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Central Portugal - Rural & Charming Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels & Pousadas

Photo by: Andreas Trepte
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The Centro Region is a region in central Portugal, and its capital is Coimbra. Other cities inside this region are Aveiro, Viseu, Leiria, Covilhã, Castelo Branco, Figueira da Foz, Guarda, Pinhel, Mealhada, Pombal, Tomar, Abrantes, Torres Vedras, Torres Novas, Peniche, Águeda and Caldas da Rainha. It is one of seven Regions of Portugal (NUTS II subdivisions).

Along this region’s mountainous border with Spain are a series of fortresses and castles that once protected the country from its many invaders. Over the centuries, Moors and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese have all tried to take these villages, but their higher elevations usually gave them a distinct advantage.  Here, the more than one dozen fortified frontier villages beckon today’s visitors to come explore a 900-year history - full of the heroism, epic battles and romance upon which Portugal struggled to become a nation.

Each village has a fascinating tale of its own to tell. All of their valiant efforts paid off. Today Portugal boasts the longest-standing border in all of Europe. In these rural villages, ancient rituals and religious festivals remain popular. Visitors can sample them and partake in traditional foods such as cheese, sausages and mountain honey.

In the fortress town of Almeida, a walk through the narrow cobbled streets can lead a visitor to the ruins of a once mighty 12-pointed fortress here. One of Portugal’s many Pousadas—an historic property turned into an inn—is located in Almeida. In the town of Castelo Rodrigo, a memorial stone marks the place of a fierce battle in 1664, and visitors can view the remains of the castle, its tower and a palace here. The town has a small, Gothic church. Just near Castelo Mendo stands a beautiful bridge built by the Romans.

Most of the castles in this border region of Centro are classified as national monuments. These stone fortresses date back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Castles or parts of castles still stand at Alfaiates, Sortelha, Vilar Maior, Sabugal, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Bom, Castelo Rodrigo, Penamacor, Monsanto, Pinhel and Almeida. A 20-castle route has been delineated by the Portugal government (see www.visitportugal.com). Sortelha, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Rodrigo and the fortified town of Almeida are considered gems among them all.

FEATURED TOURS IN CENTRAL PORTUGAL:
Fatima and Coimbra from Porto - On this full day private tour from Porto we will the visit Fatima and see it Sanctuary of Our Lady. Then after Coimbra, once the capital of Portugal...more...  Coimbra Old Quarter and University Walking Tour - On this privately guided walking tour you will visit the old quarter and university of Coimbra...more... Ilhavo Aveiro and Coimbra - On this private tour you will visit the Vista Alegre Ceramic Tile factory Museum. Then in nearby Aviero we will stop for a Panoramic view of the Costa Nova...more...
FEATURED PALACE HOTEL: 
FEATURED BOUTIQUE HOTEL:
FEATURED CHARMING HOTEL: 
Curia Palace Hotel, Spa & Golf - European jewel of the “Golden Twenties” era, combining the grand tradition of Portuguese hospitality and service. A premier all-season resort encircled by a large private park with gardens, vineyards and golf course, where you’ll enjoy one of the largest spas of the Centre of Portugal, luxury accommodations, impressive and fascinating original public areas, fine dining...read more Meliá Palacio da Lousã Boutique Hotel is located in the idyllic district of Lousã, 23 km from Coimbra, 160 km from Porto and 230 km from Lisbon. The building itself is the ancient palace of the Viscondessa do Espinal, dating from the 17th and 18th century. Its location close to historically and culturally interesting sites as well as its modern interior make it the perfect choice for R + R in an exceptional environment.... read more Quinta Das Lágrimas, Coimbra - Nature, charm, history, elegance, experiences.... this is the essence of Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), a hotel with soul and character, a retreat of comfort that honors Portugal's rich traditions of hospitality and gastronomy. For centuries a private sanctuary that welcomed Kings, Emperors and world figures like the Duke of Wellington.... read more
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Latest update: August 27, 2012