Since Roman times, the water in Portugal has been used for therapeutic purposes. Thanks to their purity and diversity, spas remain a source of well being even today. The Centro region was favored by the Romans for the purity of its waters and it was that here they built spas for the treatment of bodily and spiritual ailments.
The spas towns of São Pedro do Sul, Curia, Luso and Monfortinho are the most well known today. All of these wellness retreats also provide complementary entertainment and activities, both in the towns themselves and in the surrounding countryside.
Round off your health and beauty treatment with the peace and quiet offered by the green countryside and the mountains. Or take to the water again, this time canoeing or rafting down the rivers or see the border paths on a balloon trip. Or combine a refreshing dip in a natural pool with a healthy picnic.
There’s an abundance of spas in the Centro region due to its unique geological makeup - there are all manner of hot springs with therapeutic properties. Springing from the earth at high temperatures, these local waters are extremely rich in both chemicals and minerals.
Thanks to the purity of the waters, the sophisticated equipment and treatment techniques, as well as the highly trained and specialized professionals working at the spas, you can now enjoy a few days’ rest and relaxation, combining careful attention to your health with recreation and leisure.
In the heart of the Centro are three towns that offer wellness options you won’t’ believe: Curia - Luso - Buçaco, set in a mountainous area.
Set in the Curia Park, the spa resort is surrounded by rich gardens, giving the visitor a true sensation of peace and quiet. In the lake nearby guests can go for relaxing boat trips or hikes.
Add a touch of charm and enriching hiking to your relaxing vacation in a truly romantic setting.
Inland is the spa town of Luso - Luso has given its name to one of the most well known springs in Portugal. It lies at the foot of the wooded hills of the Serra do Buçaco, an enchanted place where nature asserts itself with all its force and beauty. The quality of the waters and beauty and health programs are in themselves reason enough for a visit to the spa. But there are other complementary activities, such as hiking and cycling. The ancient settlement of Luso is a charming and walking town, where you’ll feel at home. It has pleasant parks and street cafés that are ideal for stretching your legs after a healthy lunch.
Set above Luso, is magical forest that has been an escape for centuries: Buçaco is a fanatic forest in the Centro region, about 30 minutes from Coimbra. In its heart is the Bussaco Palace Hotel, built in 1906 by the Portuguese Crown as a royal lodge. It is a neo-Manueline-Gothic masterpiece with all sorts of whimsical details, and the forest is home to some of the oldest trees in Europe.
Benedictine monks first settled this forest in the 6th Century. A Papal Bull of 1622 declared that any woman entering the forest would be excommunicated. In 1628 the Carmelites Order built a monastery and surrounded the 250-acre forest with a wall, where over the centuries monks planted nearly 400 Portuguese varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers while importing some 300 species from all over the world. Part of the convent was incorporated into a palace in the late 19th century and the only parts of the original building that remain are the cloisters, the chapel and some cells. The charming rural convent has a number of hermitages and chapels scattered throughout the forest, which, together with the numerous lakes and crosses, lend this place its magical quality. Bussaco also houses one of the country’s finest restaurants, boasting a superb wine list.