Roaming through Aveiro is the same as diving in the waters of Centro de Portugal. Known as the “Portuguese Venice”, the city is quietly dominated by the Ria de Aveiro, described by Saramago as “a living body that connects the land to the sea like a huge heart.”
Distinct architecture, a Templar castle, 15th century doors and churches, Baroque gardens and manor houses belonging to families with Historical roots. If you visit Castelo Branco, the capital of “Beira Baixa”, you will see all this in a place which combines tradition and novelty.
If “Coimbra is a lesson”, as the popular fado song, Coimbra is firstly a history lesson of Portugal.
Covilhã is a quite original example of a “mountain city”, rare in Portuguese urbanism with the expression of a vast industrial tradition based on modern and contemporary times.
With its origins deep in history, it was during the Arabian occupation that this settlement developed and was named. According to legend, during the Christian Reconquest, the Templar knight Gonçalo Hermingues, also known as Bringer-of-Moors, fell in love with Fátima, a Moor captured in the course of an ambush.
Sun and sea with abundance. Figueira da Foz, the city at the mouth of the Mondego River, located at 40 kilometers from Coimbra, with extensive beaches of soft white sand which invite for a relaxing holiday.
Built into the mountain landscape of Serra da Estrela, Guarda was one of the most important strongholds in a set of fortifications which defended the Portuguese border against Castile and León during the Middle Ages.
We are all a bit fed up with huge shopping centres, lacking daylight and character, where every single soul goes on Sunday when it’s raining. In Center of Portugal, we have a very special antidote for that: a charming city called Leiria that could well be the shopping Mecca of the region!
A typical fishing town, Nazaré is nowadays a busy summer resort, where side by side with the crowds of tourists, one still sees all over the streets of the town the fish-sellers, and the carapaus (horse mackerel) laid out to dry.
The delightful town of Óbidos, with white houses adorned with bougainvilleas and honeysuckle was captured from the Moors by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, in 1148. D. Dinis later presented it to his wife, Queen Santa Isabel. From then until 1883, the town of Óbidos and the surrounding land was always the property of the queens of Portugal.
In Peniche, the fortress that D. João IV ordered to be built in the seventeenth century was, like the forts on Consolação beach and the S. João Baptista fort on the Berlenga Islands, an important military complex for protection against invasions from the sea.
In the Center of Portugal, surrounded by mountains and rivers Vouga and Dão, stands the city of Viseu, birthplace of Vasco Fernandes, and milestone of sacred art and religious architecture, as evidenced by the numerous churches that adorn the historical center.