Central Portugal, Centro Portugal
Central Portugal covers a large area and has a very diverse landscape. It is one of the least tourist regions in Portugal. The coastal region, the silver coast, is well visited by tourists, but the further you enter the interior, the quieter and more authentic it becomes.
In central Portugal there are many larger but especially smaller places that are very worthwhile to visit. Traveling around Portugal has listed a number of them:
A selection from the many places that this area is rich
- Coimbra, the main city of central Portugal, read more
- Aveiro, also called the Venice of Portugal with its gondolas in the canals of the city. On the Costa Nova you will find the well-known colored, striped houses. Which were originally built by the fishermen as storage houses for their materials. Now they are used as holiday homes. In Aveiro, in addition to a gondola trip, you can also explore the city and its surroundings by bike using the free bicycles provided by the municipalities (BUGA-fietsen)Not far from Aveiro and good to combine is a visit to the town of Feira and its castle.
- Guarda, built in the mountain landscape of Serra da Estrela, was one of the most important strongholds in a series of fortifications that defended the Portuguese border against Castile and León during the Middle Ages.
- Alcobaça owes its fame and development to the monastery or the royal abbey of Santa Maria, founded by the Order of Cistercians in 1153. With the building after the abbey of Claraval, the headquarters of the Cistercian order in France, is the monastery of Alcobaça a very beautiful monument and is classified by UNESCO as world heritage. Alcobaça is also known for its excellent quality crystal and earthenware and porcelain.
- Nazaré,a very nice coastal town with many authentic details and narrow alleys. Cozy squares and terraces but mostly known as the walhalla for surfers because of the extremely high waves that hit the rocks.
- Covilhã is an example of a ‘mountain city’, rare in Portuguese urbanism with the expression of an extensive industrial tradition based on modern and contemporary times.
- Batalha, The city of Batalha developed alongside the monastery of Santa Maria de Vitória, built in 1386 to make a vow of the Portuguese king Dom João I to the Virgin Mary, which he would build if Portugal defeated Castile in the battle of Aljubarrota on 14 August 1385.
- Óbidos, The beautiful city of Óbidos, with white houses decorated with bougainvilleas and honeysuckle, was taken in 1148 by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, of the Moors. D. Dinis later presented it to his wife, Queen Santa Isabel. From then until 1883 the city of Óbidos and the surrounding country was always owned by the queens of Portugal.
- Figueira da Foz, the city at the mouth of the Mondego River, located 40 kilometers from Coimbra. Vast beaches of soft white sand that invite for a relaxing holiday.
Figueira da Foz
- Castelo Branco, special buildings, a Templar castle, churches from the 15th century, baroque gardens and mansions of noble families. This all comes together in Castelo Branco, the capital of “Beira Baixa”.
- Fátima, the stronghold of Catholicism in Portugal.
- Peniche, In Peniche was the fort that D. João IV built in the seventeenth century, such as the forts on the beach of Consolação and the fort S. João Baptista on the Berlenga Islands, an important military complex for protection against invasions from the sea.
- Viseu, In the center of Portugal, surrounded by mountains and rivers Vouga and Dão, stands the city of Viseu. The birthplace of Vasco Fernandes. Also a stronghold of sacred art and religious architecture, as evidenced by the many churches that adorn the historic center.
- Leiria, the shopping mecca of the region
- Tomar, The development of Tomar is closely linked to the Order of the Knights Templar, who received the lands in 1159 as a reward for the help they gave to Dom Afonso Henriques (the First King of Portugal) in the Christian reconquest of the area. Visit here especially the Convento do Cristo and the Aqueduct both built by the Order of Templars
What you really should not miss during your trip through central Portugal:
- Piódão, the slate village in the Serra do Açor.
- 10 Natural parks,Central Portugal is pre-eminently an area for nature lovers. This is also apparent from the large number of nature parks: 10 units. The most famous is the Serra da Estrela but also look at the other parks central Portugal(with thanks to R. Marien)
Serra da Estrela en omgeving
- Watervallen, where mountains and rivers are, there are waterfalls. Waterfalls they are every where, but worth a visit are Fraga da Pena and Poca da Broca.
- Praia Fluvials,the coastal strip of central Portugal is then relatively small, which does not mean that you can not keep a holiday on the water. In Central Portugal there are many rivers where the so-called river beaches can be found everywhere. These beaches range from quiet and quiet to hypermodern and fully equipped. Some are characterized by only an open area on the river, a ‘private beach. Here one finds the locals who come to swim and barbecue there. Other beaches are equipped with a sanitary building and a kiosk for refreshments and sometimes a light meal. A praia fluvial that you certainly can not skip Foz d’egua.
- An impression of central Portugal and the surroundings of Arganil, the home of Tours Portugal. Take especially the time and effort to view the photos. For a larger image you can click on the image:
Centraal Portugal impressie