VISITING CENTRAL PORTUGAL – AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
In this beautiful region, an immense selection of diverse cultural, geographic and even gastronomic programs are on offer. These range from explorations of great natural beauty spots to relaxing stays at high quality hot springs and spas or, the simply discovery of hidden places never before imagined.
COIMBRA (District Capital)
Considered to be the heart of the central region of Portugal, this city is best known for its wonderful historical University, the University of Coimbra. Founded in 1290, it is one of the oldest universities still in operation in the world (some say, the oldest) and the only one in Portugal until the beginning of the 20th century.
It is, at the same time, traditional and innovative and in 2013 was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with sixteen other locations in Portugal.
It was the center of the Portuguese language and culture and its dissemination throughout the world.
FATIMA, a religious town just south of Coimbra, with its renowned Catholic Sanctuary, is world famous for the Marian apparition reported there in 1917 by three shepherd girls, is to the south of Coimbra.
AVEIRO, Just 45 minutes away from Coimbra lies a coastal town known as “The Portuguese Venice” due to its watery landscape and its famous Moliceiros (unique traditional fishing boats).
Aldeias Xisto, The group of Aldeias do Xisto (Xisto villages) comprises 27 villages in the center of Portugal between the town of Castelo Branco and Coimbra. It consists mainly of mountains of granite surrounded and crossed by an excellent road network. Old villages in decay and disappearing became an award-winning tourist destination. This phenomenon is unique since it occurs in one of the least developed territories in the interior of the country.
Tomar – Charola, Tomar, a former seat of the Order of the Knights Templar, is a town of great charm famous for its artistic and cultural wealth typically expressed by the Convent of Christ, one of the main works of the Portuguese Renaissance. The climb up to the Templar castle and discovering the monumental Convent of Christ is a must. The Charola round-about is the oldest part of the castle. The Templar chapel was built in the 12th century and together with the castle, at the time the Kingdom’s most modern and advanced military construction, was inspired by the fortifications of the Holy Land.
Alcobaça / Batalha, The Alcobaça Monastery is a Roman Catholic monastery complex located in the town of Alcobaça, in central Portugal, some 120km north of Lisbon. The monastery was established in 1153 by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques and developed a close association with the Portuguese monarchy throughout its seven-century-long history. The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal, and, together with the older Augustinian Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, were one of the most important mediaeval buildings in Portugal. Due to their artistic, cultural and historical importance they were included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list in 1989.
The the Monastery of the Batalha, is a Dominican convent in the central region of Portugal. It was erected in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota and would come to serve as the burial church of the 15th-century Aviz dynasty of Portuguese royalty. It is one of the best and most original examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal along with the Manueline.
Passadiços do Paiva, is a wooden walkway of approximately 8.7 kilometers, in the municipality of Arouca (between Porto and Aveiro) built along the left bank of the Paiva river, in the hydrographic basin of the Douro river. The walkway is one of the elements of Arouca Geopark and allows you to get out of the reality of the urban space of the city of Porto and enter movie scene.
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