BEIRAS TOURISM GUIDE
An ancient university, Roman ruins, and tiny mountaintop villages
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Around the old university city of Coimbra are
fine Roman ruins, long sandy beaches, and to the east,
Portugal's tallest mountains.
Meandering from one end of the region to the other is the Mondego River,
with Coimbra rising on its banks.
After visiting the ancient university (with one of the world's finest libraries) and its numerous other attractions, Coimbra makes a useful base to explore nearby places, notably Conimbriga's Roman ruins, Buçaco's extravagant palace, the seaside resort of Figueira da Foz, and Aveiro's canals and lagoon.
Inland is one of the least explored regions in the Iberian Peninsula, home to the snow-covered Serra da Estrela Natural Park, and the fine old towns of Guarda and Viseu.
Most enchanting of all is spending some time in tiny mountaintop settlements untouched by time, such as Piodão and Monsanto, and staying at the pousada in interesting little Belmonte.
Top 5 EXPERIENCES in Beiras1. Roaming the ancient streets of Coimbra before reaching its famous university.
2. Indulging in a stay at the fantastic Buçaco Palace and hiking through its magical forest.
3. Stepping through Roman ruins and mosaics in Conimbriga.
4. Hiking or skiing down the peaks of Serra da Estrela.
5. Wandering around the timeless little mountain villages of Piodão or Monsanto.
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PLACES in Beiras
- Old university town; a tragic love story
Conimbriga - Roman village; Iberia's best preserved Roman mosaics
Figueira da Foz - The country's longest beach; exceptional Delft tiles; casino fun.
Buçaco - Manueline exuberance in a garden of Eden; the site of Napoleon's defeat
Aveiro - Colorful boats down attractive canals; a princess-saint; fine porcelain; a lovely fairytale castle
Serra da Estrela - Skiing down the mountain; ghost towns; historical museum-villages
Monsanto - Enchanting mountain village squeezed between gigantic boulders
Belmonte - Historical "Jewish town;" a great pousada
Guarda - One of the highest cities in Europe; off the beaten path Portugal
Viseu - Fine old town; 16th century art
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Castelo de Vide
Vila Real de Santo António
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Figueira da Foz
Serra da Estrela
PORTO AND DOURO
Gerês National Park
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo