CNN journalist Paul Ames highlights the beauty and undiscovered treasures of “Centro”. The centre region of Portugal for its monuments, natural beauty and of course, food.
The journalist says the region is a “largely undiscovered array of treasures unjustly ignored by Portugal visitors who typically only hit Lisbon or the wine-based charms around Oporto in the north.”
The article features main points of interest in the region. The sunny beaches of the Silver Coast – with the famous waves of Nazare where Garret Macnamara broke the world record for the highest surfed wave. The old luxurious palaces turned into charming boutique hotels at affordable prices. The cool cities of Coimbra and Aveiro and the Serra da Estrela Mountains – with snow in the winter and stunning views in the summer. And the witnesses of Portugal’s heritage like Alcobaca monastery or Tomar.
Typical food from the centre region has its own itinerary. From locally produced cheese and wines, tourists can enjoy regional treats like goat, eel stew or roasted piglet and fresh fish in the many restaurants along the coast.
There are many options for things to see and do in the center of Portugal. The region was famous for its spas in the beginning of the 20th century and now “the forests, hills and vineyards of central Portugal are dotted with luxurious places to stop over – from palatial old school spas to converted castles, convents and mansions.”
Around the region there are many UNESCO heritage sites to visit. The Univsersity of Coimbra – dating to 1290 is one of the oldest in the world – with its buildings from renaissance and baroque periods.
The journalist also refers to three monuments with this distinction in the region: the great monastery in the town of Alcobaca, “Construction got underway here in 1178, while Portugal’s first king battled to gain control of the country after 500 years of Arab rule”. Convent of Christ in Tomar, and Convent of Batalha “a multi-spired Gothic pile in soft-yellow stone built in thanks for Portugal’s 1385 victory over an invading Spanish army in a field nearby.”
Read the full CNN article here.