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Last updated : Nov 2009
Beiras
Beiras - TravelPuppy.com
Beiras is a region which includes 3 provinces, Beira Litoral, Beira Alta and Beira Baixa, but it is the wooded coastal strip that holds most appeal for tourists.

Coimbra

Portugal’s third-largest city, Coimbra boasts one of the oldest universities in the world and is characterised by twisting streets and its terraced houses. Worth visiting are the University, the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral (Sé), the Art Museum housed in the former Bishop’s Palace and the 12th-century Monastery of the Holy Cross. Coimbra is also renowned as a centre of Fado, traditional Portuguese folk music.

Elsewhere

Aveiro, the ‘Venice of Portugal’, is a fishing port surrounded by salt flats, beaches and lagoons, and dissected by three canals. Torreira is a typical fishing village, lying between ocean and lagoon, which can be reached by boat from Aveiro.

Figueira da Foz is a small but growing resort with an excellent surfing beach and casino. Anadia, the centre of the wine-growing region of Bairrada, offers tastings in its cellars. At Conimbriga, fine Roman mosaics dating from the first century AD can be seen. Buçaco is renowned locally for its ‘enchanted forest’, cultivated by the Carmelite monks who arrived here in the 17th century.

Pinhal do Rei is a beautiful pine forest with walking trails and some pristine beaches. Viseu, an impressively sited medieval town with a cathedral and bishops’ palace and now a museum, lies in a part of the country best known for its Dão wine.

There are spas located at Curia, Luso and São Pedro do Sul. Serra da Estrêla is a natural park, with mountain scenery best appreciated from the car.