The Beiras attractions

Top Choice Ruins in Beira Litoral

Conímbriga Roman Ruins

In the rolling country southwest of Coimbra, Conímbriga boasts Portugal’s most extensive Roman ruins, one of the best-preserved sites on the Iberian Peninsula. It tells the poignant tale of a town that, after centur…
Top Choice Forest in Luso & Mata Nacional do Buçaco

Mata Nacional do Buçaco

The aromatic forest is criss-crossed with trails, dotted with crumbling chapels and graced with ponds, fountains and exotic trees. The most accessible paths lead to pretty Vale dos Fetos and Fonte Fria, where swans …
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

This great museum is a highlight of central Portugal. It's built over the Roman forum, the remains of which can be seen and cover several levels. Part of the visit takes you down to the vaulted, spooky and immensely…
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu da Ciência

This wonderful science museum occupies a centuries-old former monastery converted by Pombal into the university’s chemical engineering building. It features intriguing state-of-the-art interactive science displays c…
Top Choice University in Coimbra

Universidade de Coimbra

The city’s high point, the university nucleus, consists of a series of remarkable 16th- to 18th-century buildings, all set within and around the vast Páteo das Escolas ('patio' or courtyard). These include the Paço …
Top Choice Museum in Castelo Branco

Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Castelo Branco

A recent addition to Castelo Branco's many museums, this cutting-edge building was designed by Spanish architect Josep Lluis Mateo in collaboration with Portuguese architect Carlos Reis de Figueiredo. It's a delight…
Top Choice Museum in Aveiro

Aliança Underground Museum

Between Aveiro and Coimbra, in the village of Sangalhos in the Bairrada wine-producing region, this extraordinary place is part adega (winery), part repository of an eclectic, enormous and top-quality art and artefa…
Top Choice Nature Reserve in Aveiro

Reserva Natural das Dunas de São Jacinto

Stretching north from São Jacinto, between the sea and the lagoon west of Aveiro, is this supremely peaceful 6.7-sq-km wooded nature reserve, equipped with trails and birdwatching hides. A meandering 7km loop trail …
Top Choice Cathedral in Coimbra

Sé Velha

Coimbra's stunning 12th-century cathedral is one of Portugal's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The main portal and facade are exceptionally striking. Its crenellated exterior and narrow, slit-like lower …
Top Choice Museum in Viseu

Museu Grão Vasco

Adjoining the cathedral, the severe granite box of the Paço de Três Escalões (Palace of Three Steps) was originally built as the bishop’s palace. It's now a splendid museum featuring Viseu’s own Vasco Fernandes, kno…