Must see attractions in The Beiras

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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,…

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    Museu Grão Vasco

    Adjoining the cathedral, the granite Paço de Três Escalões (Palace of Three Steps) was originally built as the bishop’s palace. It's now a splendid museum…

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    Catedral de Viseu

    Viseu’s cathedral is a striking hybrid of architectural styles. Originally built in the 13th century, it now has a 17th-century Mannerist facade and a…

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    Museu da Ciência

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

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    Museu dos Descobrimentos

    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    Castelo do Montemor-o-Velho

    Perched atop a rugged hilltop, this medieval castle dominates the surrounding landscape. Originally dating to the 10th century, it was the scene of much…

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    Castelo de Marialva

    From its striking hilltop position, Marialva's castle is visible from miles around. The 12th-century castelo is far from intact but it's still an…

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    Museu de Aveiro/Santa Joana

    This fine museum, housed in the 15th-century Mosteiro de Jesus, owes its finest treasures to Princesa Joana (later canonised), daughter of Afonso V. In…

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    Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo

    The wonderful Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo is in a modern, award-winning building in the town of Ílhavo, 8km south of Aveiro. It covers the history of…

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    Parque Natural do Tejo Internacional

    Still one of Portugal’s wildest landscapes, this 264-sq-km natural park shadows the Rio Tejo and the watersheds of three of its tributaries. While not…

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    Old Town

    A handsome quarter of cobblestone lanes and huddled houses, Guarda's hilltop centre fans out from Praça Luís de Camões. This sloping square is flanked by…

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    Burel Factory

    The burel factory originally opened in 1960 and employed 1000 people at its height (burel is a wool fabric similar to felt). After a decline in the…