Oeste A8 - one reason for Silver Coast success
The number eight is said to be the luckiest number, or at least very lucky, according to the Chinese - which is why they loved the idea of the Olympics opening today on the 08/08/2008. In the case of property investors in the "Oeste" Region here in the heart of the Silver Coast, the number 8 turned out to be a very fortunate number indeed.
30 minutes on the A8 from Lisbon through the mountains to the "Oeste"
Most are agreed that without the opening of the A8, with the section opening up the route to Obidos, the Lagoon and the beaches around Caldas da Rainha completed in 1998 the "Oeste" would still be relatively undiscovered. In the ten years since 1998 at least 16 major tourism projects are happening at least in part because of the A8.
If you read the comments of those connected with tourism in the local media, including just this week the engineer responsible for the enterprise Bom Sucesso, the A8 was critical to both the planning and the success of such investments. This a view confirmed by António Carneiro president of Região de Turismo do Oeste who has been a prime mover in many of these projects in recent years.
As you can see on the map, the major artery the A1 by-passed the "Oeste" region, whereas the A8 is now the super-highway which crosses the Oeste from South to North, opening up the region to people coming from either the Lisbon or Porto directions.
Critically of course this placed much of the region only 30 minutes from Lisbon airport, but equally the recent opening of the Northern stretches of the A8 / IC1 now allows people to drive down quickly from car ferries at Bilbao or Santander, fly/drive using low cost airlines into "Oporto", or drive down from Northern Europe with ease.
The opening of the A15 in 2001 connecting us to Santarem and all points east made getting to and from the Madrid and central Spain much faster which brought the Oeste to the attention of many more international investors. I recently met just one case in point, a German national who works in Madrid but has purchased his holiday home at Bom Sucesso beach.
The picture above is from an article announcing the conclusion of the IP6 on the front page of the Gazeta das Caldas, in June 2006. The IP6 linking the A8 through to Peniche was welcomed by many who had invested in property and has made access to the new resorts around the Obidos Lagoon even easier and has brought the golf resorts within easy driving time from Lisbon.
To paraphrase António Carneiro of the RTO in the Gazeta das Caldas this week - Thanks to the A8 "Everything is New in the Oeste".