Beira Litoral attractions

Top Choice University in Coimbra

Universidade de Coimbra

Coimbra's Unesco-listed university, one of the world's oldest, was originally founded in Lisbon in 1290. It was subsequently relocated several times before being permanently established in Coimbra in 1537. Its showp…
Top Choice Library in Coimbra

Biblioteca Joanina

The university's baroque library is Coimbra's headline sight. Named after King João V, who sponsored its construction between 1717 and 1728, it features a remarkable central hall decorated with elaborate ceiling fre…
Top Choice Ruins in Beira Litoral

Conímbriga Roman Ruins

Set in the lush countryside southwest of Coimbra, this is Portugal’s largest and most impressive Roman site. Ancient Conímbriga was an important city in the Roman province of Lusitania and its ruins are extensive an…
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

This great museum is a highlight of central Portugal. Housed in a 12th-century bishop's palace, it stands over the city's ancient Roman forum, remains of which can be seen in the maze of spooky tunnels under the bui…
Top Choice Museum in Aveiro

Aliança Underground Museum

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…
Top Choice Cathedral in Coimbra

Sé Velha

Coimbra's 12th-century cathedral is one of Portugal's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The main portal and facade are particularly striking, especially on warm summer evenings when the golden stone seems …
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu da Ciência

Coimbra's science museum is wonderful, with everything from kid-friendly interactive machines to early scientific instruments, fossils and skeletons. The eclectic collection is spread over three sections in two buil…
Top Choice Forest in Luso & Mata Nacional do Buçaco

Mata Nacional do Buçaco

Sprawling out from the Palacio do Buçaco, this aromatic forest is littered with crumbling chapels, fountains, ponds and exotic trees. There is a network of well-signposted trails leading to features such as the lush…
Top Choice Beach in Aveiro

Praia de São Jacinto

Sandwiched between crashing Atlantic breakers and endless sand dunes, this magnificent beach forms the western flank of the São Jacinto nature reserve. To get here, you'll need to take a bus from Aveiro to Forte da …
Top Choice Nature Reserve in Aveiro

Reserva Natural das Dunas de São Jacinto

This gloriously tranquil nature reserve extends north from São Jacinto, between the sea and the placid lagoon west of Aveiro. A network of trails runs through the pine woods and dunes, including an 8km (three-hour) …