The nation of Portugal has an extremely rich cultural heritage. Portugal has always been a seafaring nation, and this led to associations with other nations in every continent. Its people have a love of the sea, sailing and fishing. The national song is the Fado, and this music expresses a deep longing, a kind of bittersweet sadness known as ‘saudade’. Fado music can best be experienced in Lisbon, well known as the cultural centre of Portugal. The Costa da Prata plays host to a variety of concerts, especially in Caldas da Rainha and Alcobaca.
Regional handicrafts include lacework and of course ceramics and painted tiles (azulejos). The nearby town of Caldas da Rainha has a tradition in ceramics and has emerged as a centre for contemporary art and sculpture.
In terms of gastronomy, the Costa da Prata region is well known for fresh fish as well as tasty meat dishes. Notable wines are Reds of the Alentejo region, and the refreshing Vinho Verde, as well as Ginja (cherry brandy) and port.