Central Portugal

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Central Portugal is the place where you can get a little of everything, from the highest mountains sceneries to fantastic white sandy beaches. The green is a constant presence. You can see it everywhere. You can see it in the mountains, often contrasting with beautiful streams and waterfalls; you can see it in the green plains where every day sheep, goats and donkeys walk around on the free nature; you can even see it next to the beaches, in the vast forest planted hundreds of years ago by a Portuguese king.

The water from the rivers, streams, lakes, dams and fantastic waterfalls, together with the fresh green of forests and the sunny grass, make this area unique. So unique that if you come from Algarve or Alentejo in the dry south, and keep going north, when you reach central Portugal you might have a shock or think you're in a different country!

But central Portugal is not only made of green sceneries, beautiful streams, fantastic beaches and sunny landscapes. Central Portugal is made of people too. Central Portugal is mainly rural, and in these areas people are very friendly and like to welcome and receive people, especially foreign. In these areas the gastronomy is very rich, and I’m sure you will love some typical meals and desserts.

If you go East, central Portugal will turn even more rural and more mountainous. This is where you can find Serra da Estrela, the highest Portuguese mountain. If you go west, you will find some cities, for example Coimbra. Coimbra is the 3rd Portuguese city and the main one in central Portugal. Coimbra is known by it rich cultural patrimony. It is full of museums, century buildings, old churches and monasteries and the most important thing in Coimbra - The University. The 5th oldest university in whole Europe stays inCoimbra together with 20.000 students from all over the world. It is a place to visit. If you like big student parties don't lose the Queima-das-Fitas in May.

But if you continue west, than you will find it - the sea and the kilometres and kilometres of white sandy beaches, clean skies and pleasant sun.

In the summer you can go to the beaches and enjoy the many hours of sun and the hot temperatures (sometimes it reach the upper 30ºC on seaside and almost 40ºC on the inland areas) together with a fresh breeze coming from the sea. But, if you do not wish to go to the beach you can always do a touristy trip around central Portugal. Stay alert to touristy signs (the brown ones), they always lead into fantastic landscapes or historical places where you find very often castles, roman ruins and other great things that should be visited. You can, for instance, visit the Lousã castle, where you can also find a beautiful natural swimming pool in a stream, or you can visit Castelo de Almourol  (a little bit south from Tomar) build in a rocky island in the middle of Tejo river (biggest river crossing Portugal), and many other castles in Tomar, Ourém, Pombal, Penela...

The flora in central Portugal is very rich and it is a mix of Mediterranean trees and trees from other parts of the world. You can easily find vast plains covered with olives, huge vineyards and forests of oaks, pine, and other trees. Around houses you normally find a huge range of fruit trees of all kinds. The weather in Portugal normally stands like this:  Very hot in the summer (30ºC to 40ºC) with no rain, no wind, and clean skies. In the winter the temperature stays around 15ºC to 20ºC but at night it can be very cool with occasional frosts. There are some rainy days on winter, but it’s frequent to find sunny days, but with temperatures much lower than in summer. The autumn is medium hot, like spring, and the rain normally take place during this time but never for a long consecutive time.

But this are just a few highlights of central Portugal, it is much more than this. If you don't believe come and see for your own eyes. Central Portugal is forest; mountain; water; beach; hot; sun; history... in one word, central Portugal is the-Paradise!