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Centro de Portugal

Coimbra
Place: Coimbra
Photo: Coimbra
Photo: Coimbra

In the interior of the country, there are mountains and villages of granite and schist. By the sea, fishing villages and cosmopolitan beaches with water sports set the pace of the day. And everywhere centuries old heritage proudly displays the history of the region.

Some of these places are so important for humanity that they have been included in the UNESCO list of world heritage. This is the case of the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Coimbra University.

Mosteiro da Batalha
Photo: Mosteiro da Batalha, Batalha © Rui Cunha

But there are other unique features that are well worth discovering. For example, the historic villages and castles that defended the nation's borders. The Schist Villages and the towns of whitewashed houses, like Óbidos, a treasure within walls. The cities, where modernity is combined with tradition – Coimbra, the university city, Aveiro between the Ria and the sea, and Viseu, Guarda and Castelo Branco, in which the stone architecture retains traces of an immemorial past.

Talasnal
Photo: Talasnal © Arq. Turismo de Portugal

Serra da Estrela, the highest peak in mainland Portugal, is the star of the mountains, with its endless landscapes and glacial lagoons. But there are also the Lousã, Açor and Caramulo ranges, where you can discover nature by hiking or by bike. Here you can also try rock climbing, abseiling, rafting or canoeing, for example in the Naturtejo Geopark, a preserved area where several species of birds and animals live.

Geoparque Naturtejo
Photo: Geoparque Naturtejo, Penha Garcia © ARPT Centro de Portugal

The crystal clear waters that rise from the thermal springs balance the body and soul. And the beaches! River beaches surrounded by forests and coastal beaches open to the Atlantic ocean, provide certain freshness on hot summer days. They are also well known spots for surfers from around the world, who come for the perfect waves in Peniche, and even the giant waves in Nazaré.

Nazaré
Photo: Praia do norte, Nazaré

There are flavours for every palate to comfort the stomach: cheese and sausages, bouillabaisses and roast suckling pig, honey and convent sweets; and for raising the spirits, you can rely on the excellent wines from the demarcated regions. They are all the product of the know-how of the people, who are genuinely welcoming in receiving their visitors with the best they have to offer.


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Wall and village
Place: Óbidos
Photo: José Manuel
Óbidos
The mediaeval town of Óbidos is one of the most picturesque and well preserved in Portugal.Quite close to the capital and located on high ground near the Atlantic coast, Óbidos has had a strategic (...)

Fortaleza de São João Baptista
Place: Berlengas
Photo: José Manuel
Peniche
Peniche and the sea are inseparable. It is one of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal and a major Atlantic hub for maritime-tourist activities.Before heading to the beach, your visit to (...)

Caminho Português de Santiago
Place: Campo Gerês
Photo: Amatar
Portuguese Way of St. James – Central Route
The most frequently used Portuguese Way of St. James is the Central Route, which passes through Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto. It is fully waymarked from Lisbon with the unmistakable yellow arrows that (...)

Torre
Place: Serra da Estrela
Photo: José Soares
Serra da Estrela
In summer or winter, mainland Portugal’s highest mountain is the perfect scenery for a few relaxing days in contact with nature. At 1,993 metres at its highest point in Torre, Serra da Estrela (...)

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