Coimbra: the scene of the ill-fated love
It became a permanent home to black-cloaked students and the Coimbra fado that is an integral part of the university’s traditions. It was also the scene of the ill-fated love of Inês de Castro and King Peter I of Portugal, and of Queen Isabel’s miracle of changing the bread for the poor into roses. The lagoon near the city of Aveiro, plied by small moliceiro boats for collecting seaweed, shows another side of local traditions. And it would be sinful not to taste such baking specialties as ovos moles (egg yolk confection) or pão de ló (sponge cake)!
WHERE TO SLEEP
HOTEL QUINTA DAS LÁGRIMAS
A restored palace and a modern wing. Its gardens witnessed the ill- fated love of Inês and King Peter.
R. António Augusto Gonçalves, Coimbra
Tel. (+351) 239 802 380
MELIÁ RIA HOTEL & SPA
On the Ria de Aveiro wetland, a modern and functional hotel.
Cais da Fonte Nova, 5, Aveiro
Tel. (+351) 234 401 000
MONTEBELO VISTA ALEGRE ÍLHAVO
Inaugurated in 2016, it is a showcase for the country’s oldest porcelain factory.
Lugar da Vista Alegre, Ílhavo
Tel. (+351) 232 420 000
RIO DO PRADO
Here, the operative words are ecology and sustainability. Attention to detail is what makes the difference. Several activities.
R. das Poças, Arelho, Óbidos
Tel. (+351) 262 959 623
THE LITERARY MAN
A collection of more than 50,000 books spread around the hotel.
R. D. João de Ornelas, Óbidos
Tel. (+351) 262 959 214
DOM GONÇALO HOTEL & SPA
Don’t expect to find any sign of Franciscan austerity in this modern and comfortable hotel. Ideal for a family stay.
R. Jacinta Marto, 100, Fátima
Tel. (+351) 249 539 330
WHERE TO EAT
Built inside former salt warehouses, the kitchen uses regional products only. Enjoy delicious rice and fish/ shrimp dishes.
Canal de São Roque, 82/83, Aveiro
Tel. (+351) 234 382 674
OVOS MOLES DE AVEIRO – MARIA DA APRESENTAÇÃO DA CRUZ, HERDEIROS
Pour the sugar and the eggs into a pan. All that is left to do is follow the monastic recipe and keep it secret.
Rua D. Jorge Lencastre, 37, Aveiro
Tel. (+351) 234 422 323
CASA DO PÃO DE LÓ DE AROUCA – A. TEIXEIRA PINTO
The pão de ló sponge cake is a countrywide favourite. It goes back to 1840, and its recipe is a well-kept secret to this day.
Cimo do Burgo, Arouca, Aveiro
Tel. (+351) 256 944 246
The wood-fired oven guarantees the authentic taste that has made the reputation of this true regional institution for many years.
Rua do Adro, 152, Fátima
Tel. (+351) 249 531 737
TASCA DO JOEL
You will have to wait before being seated. The culprit is the fresh fish so many people are looking forward to. You will also find a gourmet boutique.
Rua do Lapadusso, 73, Peniche
Tel. (+351) 262 782 945
PLACES TO VISIT
MOSTEIRO DE SANTA CLARA-A-VELHA, COIMBRA
Built in the 13th century on the left bank of the Mondego River, it is
a reminder of Isabel of Aragon’s miracle of the roses. Abandoned in the 17th century due to frequent and severe floods, it was reopened to the public in 2009, and now features an interpretation centre.
MUSEU NACIONAL MACHADODE CASTRO, COIMBRA
Major collection of archeological artefacts, sculptures, paintings and objects of decorative art. It was enlarged in 2012. It boasts a restaurant and a delightful terrace.
UNIVERSIDADE DE COIMBRA E BIBLIOTECA JOANINA, COIMBRA
Founded in 1290 and one of the oldest universities, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. King John V’s library, built in the 18th century, is considered as one of Europe’s most original Baroque libraries.
SÉ VELHA DE COIMBRA
The country’s most important Roman-style building. It goes back to the 12th century and has not been modified since.
RUÍNAS DE CONIMBRIGA
The archeological site located in Condeixa-a-Velha, 16 kilometers away from Coimbra. It is one of the largest Roman settlements of which traces are left in Portugal.
MUSEU DA VISTA ALEGRE, ÍLHAVO
Reopened in 2016, visitors can learn about the advances in porcelain over the last two centuries, and familiarize themselves with its various styles, techniques and materials, as well as with the artists who have worked in the Vista Alegre porcelain factory.
FAROL DA BARRA, ÍLHAVO
Standing 66 metres, it is by far Portugal’s tallest lighthouse. Climb its 288 steps and enjoy the magnificent view. Open to visitors on Wednesdays.
The sunny beaches of Torreira, Costa Nova, Barra, Vagueira, Baleal and Foz do Arelho are favourites with sea swimming aficionados. For surfers, the Supertubos and Nazaré waves provide the greatest challenge in the country. They are the site of some of the sport’s world circuit events.
VILA DE ÓBIDOS
A small picturesque town crowned with a castle with impressive walls. It holds a Chocolate Festival in April of each year and turns into a “Christmas Town” in December.
SANTUÁRIO DE FÁTIMA
Located in Cova da Iria, this is one of the world’s most important Marian shrines. Here, in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three
local shepherd children. The main pilgrimage takes place each year on May 13.
MOLICEIROS (BOAT) RIDE
RESERVA NATURAL DAS DUNAS DE SÃO