This central region is the heartland of Portugal. This wild and romantic Region south of Porto contains more history and natural wonders than most entire countries – from the colorful beach houses of Aveiro to the majesty of baroque Coimbra, the Roman remains of Conimbriga, and the castles, fortresses and ancient ruins of Belmonte and the interior. Its soaring mountains are rich in traditions, cuisine, and all sorts of sports, including snow sports in the winter. The Centro de Portugal breaks down into three sections: The coastal areas, rich in pottery, elegant cities like Aveiro and Figueira da Foz. The interior northern is home to the huge Estrela Mountain's natural park, and quaint walled towns built of granite. This is also the place to find some of Europe’s best cheese. The southern interior has granite-strewn plains in the shadow of mountains, with a rugged landscape, and small towns steeped in history and tradition.
In the Centro you will find a huge variety of nature, history and culture. First there are glacial lakes, spring waters and all kinds of outdoor sports: on land, in the sky or on water.
The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is worth a visit because it boasts clear spring waters at the sources of the rivers Zêzere and Mondego.
If you’re feeling energetic, go to Linhares where you can have a go at paragliding. For natural swimming pools try the Serra da Lousã and the Serra do Açor. And for peaceful footpaths visit the Serra do Caramulo. All of this is in the Beiras, where you will also find opportunities for canoeing and rafting, rock-climbing, abseiling and many other adventure sports. And be sure to spend some time on the Atlantic coastline with its white sand and high waves.
The region is filled with the history of fierce battles and stories of Portugal’s roots before it became a nation. Get to know the historic villages such as Monsanto. Get to know the cities too, such as Guarda or Viseu, dominated by the traditional stone architecture of the Beiras.
The Centro is a region of warm hospitality, offering visitors genuine village tourism. The charm of the people is to be seen in the authenticity of their rituals, and their popular religious festivities, such as Easter. But it is also found in their cuisine, with its cheeses, sausages and mountain honey. All of this is waiting for you.