Leave the monotony of the road through a road trip filled with culture, gastronomy and people with stories outside the whirlwind of city life. Lisbon and Porto are two must-visit cities, but there are many other places to discover between them. Take a break on your scheduled trip and let yourself be conquered by what lies beyond the horizon. All About Portugal selected 10 proposals difficult to resist, for those who want to know better our country.
A physical testimony of the generations that have lived at the gates of Lisbon, Lourinhã has, above all, a tradition of fishing and agriculture. Nevertheless, it is also the Portuguese Capital with respect to Dinosaurs, which gained new breath with the opening of Dino Park. If you visit the locality in the summer, be sure to take advantage of the beaches and the natural routes available.
As we pass through the walls of the village of Óbidos, we are transported to another era, still echoing on its walls. The Medieval Market, which recovers the garments and memories of the past in the summer, the Chocolate Festival, usually in April / May, and the Christmas Village are the main events throughout the year. However, any time is a good time to discover the village, its narrow streets and its cultural, gastronomic and handicraft richness’s.
Both Batalha and the region in which it is located invite a visit, due to the historical importance they have for Portugal. It was nearby, in Aljubarrota, that one of the most well-known battles unfolded and where a woman baker would impair the Castilian front. As a thank you from King João I for the victory, the Monastery of Batalha was built. Its construction crossed seven reigns, being one of the major exponents of the Gothic architecture and the Manueline style in the country.
Besides being known all over the world due to its waves, Nazaré has already attracted attention for more than a century because of its beaches and the natural beauty that marks its coast. Although nowadays, with the passage of time, its margins assume, more and more, a modern and more urban face. With its legacy in fishing and handicrafts, the region continues to be known for the Nazarene costumes, the boats and the belvederes with irresistible views.
Capital of the Order of the Knights Templar in Portugal, Tomar continues to mark the agenda of those who seek the Holy Grail. With a rich historical centre, filled with monuments, the locality is on the map mainly thanks to the marks of the Templar passage, visible in the Convent of Christ and in its Ambulatory, as well as in the Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais. But there is much more to see, namely its natural routes and small settlements in the vicinity, as is the case of Dornes.
Known as the "City of Students", Coimbra gains new life in periods of classes at its University, the oldest in Portugal. If during the day the streets are invaded by youngsters with folders, at night, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the centre is occupied by night owls, music and lots of fun. The green zones of the city, often hidden between the urban chaos, are not to be missed, as well as the cultural spaces such as the Biblioteca Joanina, the Old Cathedral or the ruins of Conímbriga.
Serra da Estrela
Highly sought after in winter because of the snow, Serra da Estrela is one of the main natural treasures in Portugal. The wide green landscapes and breathtaking views are the high point of a region also embellished by its gastronomy, namely by the Serra cheese. Go on the adventure to explore the walking routes and, if the snow allows you to, cast the shoes, put on your adrenaline hat and your skis and live Nature with fervour.
Leitão da Bairrada is one of the Portuguese people's favourite dishes, and nothing better than a stop at Mealhada to taste the delicacy, in the region of the same name. Take the opportunity to explore the locality and, to burn the calories that you have gained, go off and explore Mata do Buçaco. With an imposing stairway and well-traveled trails in nature, Buçaco is a must stop for those who enjoy hiking.
Aveiro is known as the "Portuguese Venice", because of the canals that mark the centre the city. The Ria de Aveiro is populated by the iconic “moliceiros”, traditional boats with characteristic drawings and images capable of making the most timid ones blush. Find out more about the locality aboard one of them, explore the canals and then regain energy with “Ovos Moles”, a sweet of the region. Complete the itinerary with the most emblematic cultural and architectural spaces and, with good weather, finish up at the beaches.
Embellished by its natural landscape, the municipality of Arouca represents a true immersion in Nature. Taking advantage of this characteristic richness, the locality saw the Footbridges of Paiva emerge, on the river bank of the Paiva river. With an 8-kilometre course linking Espiunca to Areinho, which can be done in both directions, the structure invites a discovery with much adrenaline. At certain times of the year, you can also go river rafting.