Santarém, Santarém, Portugal
Updated: Nov 23
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My virtual travels around Central Portugal have recently taken me to Santarém - a town, a municipality, and a district. It's the municipality of Santarém and the surrounding area that has drawn my interest. What's not to love about this place? Intensely agricultural yet containing many towns and urban centers. Land that is generally flat but gently rolling. Not at high risk for wildfires (in my estimation). Easy access to the Tagus River. Tons of history going back to the Iron Age. About an hour to Lisbon and the coast. It all sounds like an ideal place to establish a homestead, and browsing through idealista confirms this at prices that are very good.
Check out the original - 11,284 x 5,447
Santarém Municipality. Click here to see this view using Google Earth.
Santarém, the town. Click here to see this view using Google Earth.
In the neighbourhood. Click here to see this view using Google Earth.
This is beautiful country, typical of this region. A gently undulating landscape traced with the outlines of fields, studded with trees, and punctuated with villages and towns. It has a very strong Middle Earth, Shire vibe for me. All the corners have been rubbed off long ago and you know that the people living there are doing a thing that has been going on for thousands of years.
I just had a quick look at the birds of Santarém, and it turns out there are many. Included are the Common Crane and both White and Black Storks. If I had to guess, these are Stork nests, probably used for many years. It says something about the locals that they are cool with having them on their telephone poles. Click on the image for that view.
The close proximity of Santarém municipality to Lisbon and the coast figures largely in its appeal. Most of the area is about an hour from the capital and the sea, making shopping and recreation options convenient and plentiful. Consider Praia da Foz do Arelho and Praia do Bom Sucesso, two beaches that border both the sea (wild) and Lagoa de Óbidos (calm). It's the best of both worlds on a coast that is known for undertows and rough waters.
Santarém Retail Park - Not to be overlooked is this massive retail development, a shopping mall on the warehouse scale. Located right next to the town of Santarém, this retail park is at most 45 minutes from the furthest reaches of the municipality. Easy access, free parking, lots of options and choices. Very handy.
Praça Sá da Bandeira, Santarém
Click here for this view.
As always, I highly recommend Weather Spark for information about weather and climate. So much data! The above graphic is a summary of some of the major data dimensions but there is a lot more there. The following chart is particularly useful, I think:
One thing this chart conveys very well that ones just showing temperature averages and extremes do not is the comfort dimension. There's a significant period of time when "sweltering" is a possibility, something that is true of much of Portugal but especially true of Central Portugal away from the sea. I follow two homesteading couples in the Castelo Branco region on YouTube (OKportugal and The Indie Projects), both well worth a watch), and their weekly videos give a great glimpse into the conditions there. Definitely a hot summer.