Sigthseeing Central Portugal between Lisbon and Porto.
Culture and History
The centuries old monasteries of Alcobaça, Batalha and Tomar form the Golden Triangle.
Places worth to go for a visit:
In Alcobaça is the Cistercian monastery which is included on the World Heritage List. This monastery is known for its simple architecture and Gothic tombs of Pedro I and Inês de Castro, the Chapter House and the huge kitchen. Click here for the video of the Monastery of Alcobaça .
In Batalha is the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória who played an important role in Portugal's history. It is the second most visited monument in Portugal. Particularly noteworthy are the West Portal, the Founder’s Chapel and the Chapter Hall with the tomb of the unknown soldier. Every hour the guard is changed. And in the Unfinished Chapels you imagine yourself inside but you are outdoors.
Batalha, combining past and present.
The Convent of Christ in Tomar is a monastery built by the Knights Templar and later extended by the successors of the Templars who called themselves the Order of Christ. See the video of the Monastery of Tomar.
The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in the world. The main attractions are the Joanina library, the Chapel of São Miguel, the Chapel Hall and the 33 meter high tower of the university. The town itself is also well worth visiting and the sights are close together. There is a nice walk of 5 kilometers which will introduce you to Coimbra and includes all the sights.Fátima is one of the famous places of pilgrimage and is visited annually by thousands of pilgrims. They commemorate the apparition of Mary to the three shepherd children in 1917. In the square stands the old basilica in complete contrast to the modern church Santissima Trindade and with 9000 seats, it is one of the largest churches in Europe. The church has a diameter of 125 meters and is supported by only 2 beams. 13 doors symbolize Jesus and the 12 apostles. In the church is more modern art in particular the Christ Cross by an Irish artist.
Fátima is one of the famous places of pilgrimage and is visited annually by thousands of pilgrims. They commemorate the apparition of Mary to the three shepherd children in 1917. In the square stands the old basilica in complete contrast to the modern church Santissima Trindade and with 9000 seats, it is one of the largest churches in Europe. The church has a diameter of 125 meters and is supported by only 2 beams. 13 doors symbolize Jesus and the 12 apostles. In the church is more modern art in particular the Christ Cross by an Irish artist. In this video more information about Fatima.
Óbidos is a small town with white houses, completely surrounded by high medieval and crenellated walls covered with colorful Bougainvilleas. On the walls you can enjoy a beautiful walk and take in the views of Óbidos and surrounding area.The narrow streets take you back in time.
Leiria There is a small museum in the castle and great views of the city of Leiria. Other important monuments include the cathedral from the 16th century with an archaeological museum, several churches like São Pedro, the Nossa Senhora da Pena and the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação. Apart from the cultural monuments Leiria has several museums and there is a good shopping mall for a day of shopping.
From the Bed and Breakfast you can easily and quickly drive to different beaches of central Portugal. The smaller and unknown beaches Pedras Negras, Praia Velha, Agua de Madeiros, Polvoeira, Paredes de Vitória and Vale Furado offer you "a sea of peace." The larger beaches offer more features such as cafes and restaurants.
Nazaré is one of the most famous beach towns in central Portugal. It has a wide sandy beach, a long promenade and streets. On the beach there is a traditional fish-drying business where the fisher women in traditional costume sell dried fish at the edge of the boulevard. A funicular railway goes up 110 m to Sitio, the upper town of Nazaré and the beautiful church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré. A day in Nazaré should definitely be included in your holiday!
São Pedro de Moel is a picturesque seaside town where the Portuguese like to visit. Here you can rent a sunbed with a canopy for a small daily charge. A vantage point at the lighthouse is a good point to start a walk. There are nice cafes and restaurantsclose to the beach.
Ponta Nova is on the way to São Pedro de Moel. Through the forest you reach the car park and you can walk to the beach in approx one minute. A lovely quiet beach where you will find only the Portuguese. The Beach Club at Old Beach is a good place to enjoy a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, lunch or dinner.
São Martinho do Porto is in a bay and you can park your car on the boulevard. There are shops, cafes and restaurants. On the right side of the bay at the surf school is a walkway through the cliff leading to the Atlantic Ocean. And there is a staircase leading up where you can continue to the lighthouse and enjoy the view.
Central Portugal has a hilly and varied countryside. About 10 kilometers south of Batalha is the Natural Park of Serra d'Aire e Candeeiros where there are many well-marked hiking trails. The nature park is the most extensive and varied limestone area in Portugal.
Caves of Mira D'Aire and Moedas
The caves of Mira D'Aire and Moedas are in the Natural Park. They are the largest caves and they are open to the public. A guide leads you around and at one of the locations you descend stairs - 683, but a fast modern lift takes you back above ground.