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Central Portugal

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Central Portugal is a place where you can get a little of everything, from the highest mountains sceneries to fantastic white sandy beaches. Green is a constant presence; you can see it all over: in the mountains, often contrasting with beautiful streams and waterfalls, in the green plains where every day sheep, goats and donkeys walk freely; you can even see it close to Silver Coast beaches, in the vast forest planted hundreds of years ago by a Portuguese King.

Water from rivers, streams, lakes, dams and fantastic waterfalls, together with the fresh green of forests and sunny grass make this area unique. So unique that if you come from Algarve or Alentejo in the dry South and keep heading North, by the time you reach Central Portugal you might have a shock and think you're in a different country!

But Central Portugal is not only made of green landscapes, beautiful streams & fantastic beaches. Central Portugal is made of people. This region is mainly rural and in these areas people are very friendly and welcoming. Gastronomy is very rich and I’m sure you will love some typical meals and desserts.

If you go East, Central Portugal will turn more rural and more mountainous. This is where you can find 'Serra da Estrela' (highest mainland point in Portugal). If you travel West, you will find major cities, such as 'Coimbra'. 'Coimbra' is the 3rd Portuguese city and the main one in Central Portugal. 'Coimbra' is known for the rich cultural patrimony: it is full of museums, century buildings, old churches, monasteries, and the most important - The University. The 5th oldest university in Europe together with 20.000 students from all over the world. It's a place to visit. If you like big student parties don't lose 'Queima-das-Fitas' in May.

But if you continue further to West, then you will find it - the sea and the kilometres and kilometres of white sandy beaches, clean skies and pleasant sun.

In summer you can go to beaches and enjoy many hours of sun and hot temperatures (most times upper 30ºC on seaside and nearly 40ºC inland) with a fresh breeze coming from the sea. But if you don't wish to go that further you can always do a touristy trip around other areas. Stay alert for touristy signs (the brown ones), they always lead into fantastic landscapes or historical places where you often find castles, roman ruins and other great places worth visiting. You can, for instance, visit the 'Lousã Castle', where you'll also find a beautiful river beach, or you can visit 'Castelo de Almourol' (South from Tomar) built in a rocky island in the middle of 'Tejo' river (biggest river crossing Portugal), and many other castles in Tomar, Ourém, Pombal, Penela...

Flora in Central Portugal is very rich and it's a mixture of mediterranean with plants from other parts of the world. You can easily find vast plains covered with olives, vineyards, or forests of oak, pine & eucalyptus. It's also easy to find a huge range of fruit trees of all kind. Weather in Portugal usually behaves as follow:  very hot in summer (30ºC to 40ºC) with hardly no rain. In winter temperature stay around 10ºC to 20ºC in day time but at night it can be very cool with occasional frost. There is some rain in winter but it’s frequent to have sunny days. Autumn is medium hot, as spring, and rain usually happens during this time, but rarely for a long consecutive time.

These are just a few highlights of Central Portugal, it is much more than this. If you don't believe come and see with your own eyes. Central Portugal is forest, mountain, water, beach, hot, sun, history... in one word, Central Portugal is  a 'paradise'!