Museu dos Descobrimentos

Top choice in The Beiras

Reason enough for a visit to Belmonte, this fabulous museum is dedicated to Portuguese seafaring and the discovery of Brazil by local-born explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral. Touch screens and imaginative interactive exhibits do a great job of illustrating the epic voyages undertaken by Portugal’s 15th-century mariners and what awaited them in the New World. Themes covered include life at sea, shipbuilding, Brazil's indigenous peoples, Amazonian biodiversity and 20th-century migration.

A highlight is a room where the sea is projected on a curved wall. Sounds are piped through and as a storm descends, you can almost feel yourself rolling on the waves. It’s utterly hypnotic.

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