Aliança Underground Museum

Top choice in Aveiro

Between Aveiro and Coimbra, in the village of Sangalhos in the Bairrada wine-producing region, this magnificent place is part adega (winery), part art museum. Guided tours take you beneath the winery to a vast 1.5km network of tunnels housing an extraordinary collection of African and Portuguese art. Also down here are cellars crammed with huge oak barrels of maturing wines and brandies.

Exhibit highlights include a haunting collection of funerary objects from the Niger and a marvellous selection of contemporary Zimbabwean shona sculpture. Other key 'stops' – maps of the museum are set out like the London Underground – are the fossil and mineral collections, and the display of Portuguese ceramics. These include a range of azulejos (hand-painted tiles) and quirky animals by former ceramics company Bordallo Pinheiro (still an icon in Portugal).

The scale of the wine production is also impressive – the largest oak barrels, all specially made on-site, are capable of holding up to 17,000 litres of brandy.

Tours, which must be booked in advance, are available in English, Spanish, French and German, and include a glass of sparkling wine.

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