Central Portugal, also called the "Green Heart of Portugal", is characterized by small streams and rivers, valleys with waterfalls and wooded hillsides with the highest point the Serra da Estrela (Torre, 1992 m) often during winter time there falls snow and are there possibilities to ski.
One of the biggest attractions in the Serra da Estrela Region is undoubtedly the Serra do Açor (1.349 m.). This is a protected area with small villages made of slate ("Xisto"), and Piódão is the best known of these.

Another special attraction is Mata da Margaraça, a unique old forest of 50 hectares with vegetation consisting of ancient Oaks, Sweet Chestnut, Laurel and Holly. Fraga da Pena, a deep valley with waterfalls and is also worth a visit.
In the mountains of the Serra da Estrela you can find the spring of several rivers like the Rio Mondego, the Rio Alva and the Rio Zêzere. The Rio Alva streams east of Coimbra into the Rio Mondego.

Coimbra is the third largest city of Portugal. This city is gradually applied to the right bank of the Rio Mondego.

Bathalha is another attraction, 10 km south of Leiria. It is best known for the Dominican monastery Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória, head work of Portuguese Gothic architecture. Here attractions include the tombs of King John I and his wife Philippa of Lancaster. In 1840, the building was declared a National monument.

Fátima is a pilgrimage place, northeast of the capital Lisbon. After an apparition of the Virgin Mary was reported in October 1917, the village became a place of pilgrimage. In 1944 a basilica was built here.

The beaches of Mira, Figueira da Foz and Tocha are one hour away. Praia de Mira is situated on a small lagoon. An attraction is the moment the fishing boats are drawn and then further transported on tree trunks. The boats have a high bow and a low half-deck. They easily can move through the big waves. Two kilometers from shore they leave their nets. Then the nets are dragged slowly by oxen and tractors inside.

Golf courses are available in Viseu (3 x 18 holes), Nelas, Coimbra, Figueira da Foz and Aveiro.

Shopping facilities can be found in the nearby Arganil and Coimbra. Coimbra has proper and modern medical facilities including a University Hospital and several private clinics.

Central Portugal