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Blog Travel Ideas

6 places to visit in the Center of Portugal

By We Love Small Hotels | 24 May 2021

One of the most famous natural events in the region -the Nazaré canyon- helped to spread the awareness of Nazaré and the center of Portugal, but this region goes far beyond the giant wave.

It is divided into several areas, all of which are distinct and offer totally different experiences to those who visit them. Find out below 6 places you really must visit in the centre of Portugal.

Passadiços do Paiva (Paiva Walkways)

Paiva walkways are perfect for those who love hiking in the middle of nature. Located in the Arouca Geopark, these walkways are considered a UNESCO heritage site. The route is about 8 km and is made by a trail that crosses the mountain and extends beside the River Paiva. Along the way, you will also find river beaches, a unique natural environment, and the longest suspension pedestrian bridge in the world.

Discover on these walkways a natural legacy, with its unique fauna and flora.

Where to stay: Quintãs Farm Houses, Solar Egas Moniz

Serra da Estrela Natural Park

The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is perfect for a visit in any season. In the warmer months, the predominant landscape is green, and in the colder months, it is common to see snow-white cloaks giving even more charm to the glaciers of the mountains. It's a perfect destination for those looking for nature and adventure, but also relaxation. The waters that are born on the mountain have therapeutic properties and are used in various treatments in the thermal springs in the region.

Where to stay: Madre de Água Hotel Rural, Cerca Design House

Coimbra Unesco City

History and tradition are synonymous with Coimbra. In this city, you will find historical treasures such as the ruins of Conímbriga, the University (classified as World Heritage by UNESCO) and the Joanine Library. The Mondego River accompanies you during your stay when crossing the city and the students will give your visit even more life.

Where to stay: Sapientia Boutique Hotel

Aldeias de Xisto Historical Villages

These picturesque schist villages hide river beaches, forests and genuine people. When visiting them, experience the customs of their inhabitants and the local cuisine, like participating in craftmanship or cooking workshops. Take advantage of your visit to slow down, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the green landscape around you.

Where to stay: Vale do Ninho Nature House, Mountain Whisper, Cerdeira Village, Convento da Sertã

Oeste – The Atlantic Coast of Portugal

The "Oeste" region is the most “versatile” region of Central Portugal, as it has a little bit of everything, for everyone. For history buffs there are museums and monuments, food lovers will find magnificent cuisine and good wines from the Center, adventurers have outdoor activities on land and at sea and there is even a place for those who want to rest under the sun, in one of the several beaches in the region.

Where to stay: Rio do Prado, Areias do Seixo, Noah Surf House

Fátima Sanctuary

Fátima is the highest religious exponent in Portugal. A well-known pilgrimage site where you can find the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, a Basilica of modern architecture, the neoclassical Basilica of Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima where you can visit the tombs of Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta (the three little shepherds) and the Capelinha, the site of the Apparitions to the Little Shepherds. Even if you are not a believer in religion, it is a place full of spirituality.

Where to stay: Luz Charming Houses

The Center of Portugal is a place to escape the hustle of the big cities and has so many off-the-beaten-track places to discover. Find out here all our tours in the region.