Mata Nacional do Buçaco

Top choice in The Beiras

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 Vale dos Fetos (Valley of the Ferns) and the Fonte Fria, a monumental stone staircase near a picturesque pond. Another lovely route is the Via Sacra, which passes a series of chapels as it wends its way up to the Cruz Alta, a hilltop cross offering wonderful views.

From Luso, you can access the forest on foot – it's a steep uphill walk from the southern end of Avenida Emídio Navarro – or by car through the Portas das Ameias some 900m from the centre.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Beiras attractions

1. Convento de Santa Cruz do Buçaco

0.08 MILES

Tucked away behind the Palace Hotel do Buçaco, this is what remains of the convent where Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, rested after he…

2. Palacio do Buçaco

0.09 MILES

Originally a royal summer retreat, this lavish palace, now home to the Palace Hotel do Buçaco, was built in 1907 on the site of a 17th-century Carmelite…

3. 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…

4. Jardim da Manga

11.9 MILES

This small square, formerly part of the cloister of the Mosteiro de Santa Cruz, is dominated by its monumental centrepiece: a lemon-yellow, four…

5. Museu da Ciência

11.92 MILES

Coimbra's science museum is wonderful, with everything from kid-friendly interactive machines to early scientific instruments, fossils and skeletons. The…

6. Igreja de Santa Cruz

11.94 MILES

Overlooking the graceful Praça 8 de Maio, this is one of Coimbra's oldest churches, dating to the 12th century. Little remains of the original Romanesque…

7. Sé Nova

11.98 MILES

The landmark 'new' cathedral, started by the Jesuits in 1598 and completed a century later, dominates the square of the same name high in the old town…