Guidebook for

Celia

Guidebook for

Shopping
Coffee shop, three supermarkets, pharmacy, doctors, dentists, small hospital
Vila Nova de Poiares
Coffee shop, three supermarkets, pharmacy, doctors, dentists, small hospital
Pan-European supermarket chain and products, good for weekly stock-up, about 15 mins dive. Keep an eye out for local selections of Portuguese cheese, bread and fruit like myrtils or persimmons that you may want to try. Greet and smile - the Portuguese are extremely friendly and helpful.
Intermarché Vila Nova De Poiares
Pan-European supermarket chain and products, good for weekly stock-up, about 15 mins dive. Keep an eye out for local selections of Portuguese cheese, bread and fruit like myrtils or persimmons that you may want to try. Greet and smile - the Portuguese are extremely friendly and helpful.
Food Scene
One of the best places in Portugal to eat the traditional Chanfana (goat roast) that the area is known for. Local popular family restaurant for grilled chicken. Ask for the excellent vegetarian salad. Good value for money and healthy food.
Restaurante As Medas
One of the best places in Portugal to eat the traditional Chanfana (goat roast) that the area is known for. Local popular family restaurant for grilled chicken. Ask for the excellent vegetarian salad. Good value for money and healthy food.
Visit this upmarket restaurant for variety of choice. Popular for special occasions and family celebrations. Extensive menu and classical decor.
A Estrela Da Mó - Restauração Lda
Visit this upmarket restaurant for variety of choice. Popular for special occasions and family celebrations. Extensive menu and classical decor.
Good local traditional food, home cooked, at very reasonable prices. Children welcome.
Restaurante O Cantinho
Good local traditional food, home cooked, at very reasonable prices. Children welcome.
Make sure you visit Ivones traditional bakery for freshly baked Portuguese pastries like Pastéis de Nata (egg tart pastries). Also famous in the region for delicious Tarte de Amendoa (almond tarts).
Pastelaria Broa Doce
Make sure you visit Ivones traditional bakery for freshly baked Portuguese pastries like Pastéis de Nata (egg tart pastries). Also famous in the region for delicious Tarte de Amendoa (almond tarts).
Considered among the best in the county, for its generous portions of simple and flavour filled food, A Grelha is extremely popular, very good value for money, and known for fast and friendly service. The desserts come recommended, especially the lemon cream dessert.
The Grill
Considered among the best in the county, for its generous portions of simple and flavour filled food, A Grelha is extremely popular, very good value for money, and known for fast and friendly service. The desserts come recommended, especially the lemon cream dessert.
For a good pizza 7 min by car from the apartment. Excellent value for money, great variety, friendly ambiance. Try the honey 'A Tal de Mel' (honey and goats cheese pizza) very tasty!
A Tal Pizza
For a good pizza 7 min by car from the apartment. Excellent value for money, great variety, friendly ambiance. Try the honey 'A Tal de Mel' (honey and goats cheese pizza) very tasty!
Parks & Nature
Great for walks or picnics. Visit the ancient waterwheel along the Rio Alva. Swim or just relax on the river bank. In the summer, the kiosk on the beach serves snacks. The site has been upgraded recently and our past guest have enjoyed the facilities. There is a new restaurant with an amazing unusual menu.
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Vimieiro Fluvial Beach
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Great for walks or picnics. Visit the ancient waterwheel along the Rio Alva. Swim or just relax on the river bank. In the summer, the kiosk on the beach serves snacks. The site has been upgraded recently and our past guest have enjoyed the facilities. There is a new restaurant with an amazing unusual menu.
For a wild swimming experience in summer, visit this rocky gorge towering over crystalline water. Further downstream, the water forms a large green pool with jumping rocks and a fallen tree across. There are several waterfalls before the river disappears into woodland, perfect for a picnic. (Shop for traditional Portuguese snacks in the nearby city of Leiria.) From Aldeia de Ana de Aviz, take the N237 towards Bacelo for 3km. Turn right onto M525, follow signs to Fragas de S. Simião. Park before the bridge and walk up past the old mill houses.
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Fragas de São Simão
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For a wild swimming experience in summer, visit this rocky gorge towering over crystalline water. Further downstream, the water forms a large green pool with jumping rocks and a fallen tree across. There are several waterfalls before the river disappears into woodland, perfect for a picnic. (Shop for traditional Portuguese snacks in the nearby city of Leiria.) From Aldeia de Ana de Aviz, take the N237 towards Bacelo for 3km. Turn right onto M525, follow signs to Fragas de S. Simião. Park before the bridge and walk up past the old mill houses.
Ten to fifteen minutes walk from the village of Pardieiros, in the protected Serra do Açor, you will find a series of waterfalls of 19m height hidden in the quiet of the forest. The water in the natural pools is cold and clear. A spot perfect for an afternoon picnic in the shade of the green olive, plum and some very old chestnut trees. Swimming is recommended only for the brave, and on days 35 C. Not recommended for infants or people with limited mobility. The way to the waterfall is not very long, but you can only do it on foot.
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Fraga da Pena
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Ten to fifteen minutes walk from the village of Pardieiros, in the protected Serra do Açor, you will find a series of waterfalls of 19m height hidden in the quiet of the forest. The water in the natural pools is cold and clear. A spot perfect for an afternoon picnic in the shade of the green olive, plum and some very old chestnut trees. Swimming is recommended only for the brave, and on days 35 C. Not recommended for infants or people with limited mobility. The way to the waterfall is not very long, but you can only do it on foot.
Considered one of the most beautiful National Parks of Portugal, it is the site of the world-renowned Bussaco Palace, surrounded by formal gardens in the center of 250 acres of magnificent woods, planted by the Barefoot Carmelite monks in the 17th century. The exotic trees and species of rare flora were collected all over the world by Portuguese Navigators.
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National Forest of Buçaco
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Considered one of the most beautiful National Parks of Portugal, it is the site of the world-renowned Bussaco Palace, surrounded by formal gardens in the center of 250 acres of magnificent woods, planted by the Barefoot Carmelite monks in the 17th century. The exotic trees and species of rare flora were collected all over the world by Portuguese Navigators.
Historic poplar forest turned recreation area, with extensive trails for walking, running & cycling. 30 mins drive from Ponte Da Mucela.
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Choupal National Forest
414 En 1
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Historic poplar forest turned recreation area, with extensive trails for walking, running & cycling. 30 mins drive from Ponte Da Mucela.
Forested hiking trail with plenty of waterfalls.
Percurso Pedestre das “Quedas de Água das Paredes”
3 R. Colos
Forested hiking trail with plenty of waterfalls.
On the Penacova, Mondego and Lampreia Footpath (PR1), a 4h 20min challenging circular route for fit and experienced hikers only, discover the cultural heritage, geology and nature of a particularly rugged terrain located above the river Mondego. Departure and arrival : Largo Alberto Leitão, Parish of Penacova. Distance (s) : 10,20 km - central circuit 1.8 km - Cal Furnaces variant 1,4 km - Mondego 'Library' rock formation variant Recommended season : spring and summer, given the crossing conditions in winter and autumn in the Reconquinho area and the Carvoeira weir. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres
Largo Alberto Leitão
On the Penacova, Mondego and Lampreia Footpath (PR1), a 4h 20min challenging circular route for fit and experienced hikers only, discover the cultural heritage, geology and nature of a particularly rugged terrain located above the river Mondego. Departure and arrival : Largo Alberto Leitão, Parish of Penacova. Distance (s) : 10,20 km - central circuit 1.8 km - Cal Furnaces variant 1,4 km - Mondego 'Library' rock formation variant Recommended season : spring and summer, given the crossing conditions in winter and autumn in the Reconquinho area and the Carvoeira weir. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres
On the 10,10 km circular Route of the Moinhos do Buçaco (PR2), nature, history and people blend along a 4h 15 min walking path of medium difficulty, dedicated to the traditional mills and forms of agriculture, marked by the relief and characteristic landscape of the Serra do Buçaco. This trail has no special requirements and is recommended all year round. Departure and arrival : Portela de Oliveira, Parish of Carvalho. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres
Moínhos de Portela de Oliveira
On the 10,10 km circular Route of the Moinhos do Buçaco (PR2), nature, history and people blend along a 4h 15 min walking path of medium difficulty, dedicated to the traditional mills and forms of agriculture, marked by the relief and characteristic landscape of the Serra do Buçaco. This trail has no special requirements and is recommended all year round. Departure and arrival : Portela de Oliveira, Parish of Carvalho. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres
The circular 12.52 km Alva Route (PR3) is a 4h 10min walk of average difficulty that unfolds almost entirely along the river Alva, and the watermills and related dams built along its banks. Together with the vegetation and wildlife they provide picturesque hide-outs of their very own. Location : Parish of São Pedro de Alva. Departure and arrival : Vimieiro Fluvial Beach Recommended season : spring and summer because the crossing of the dams may be affected during the winter. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres (Route Temporarily Unavailable, last checked Feb 2018)
São Pedro de Alva e São Paio do Mondego
The circular 12.52 km Alva Route (PR3) is a 4h 10min walk of average difficulty that unfolds almost entirely along the river Alva, and the watermills and related dams built along its banks. Together with the vegetation and wildlife they provide picturesque hide-outs of their very own. Location : Parish of São Pedro de Alva. Departure and arrival : Vimieiro Fluvial Beach Recommended season : spring and summer because the crossing of the dams may be affected during the winter. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-penacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres (Route Temporarily Unavailable, last checked Feb 2018)
Departing from Aveleira, arriving in Caneiro, the sound of water is constant along the challenging 12.52 km Ribeira de Arcos (PR4) trail, a 4h 12min hike through the Ribeira de Arcos valley on paths of beaten earth. Of note are the windmills, the water mills and the various waterfalls scattered in the vegetation. Advised time : all year round; spring and summer to complete the Ribeira de Arcos valley branch. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-p enacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres (This trail was still under construction in Feb 2018).
Aveleira
Departing from Aveleira, arriving in Caneiro, the sound of water is constant along the challenging 12.52 km Ribeira de Arcos (PR4) trail, a 4h 12min hike through the Ribeira de Arcos valley on paths of beaten earth. Of note are the windmills, the water mills and the various waterfalls scattered in the vegetation. Advised time : all year round; spring and summer to complete the Ribeira de Arcos valley branch. Brochure & Maps: http://www.cm-p enacova.pt/pt/pages/percusospedestres (This trail was still under construction in Feb 2018).
Cornicovo
Arts & Culture
This legendary palace, a world-famous example of Portuguese Manueline Gothic architecture, was built for the last King of Portugal in 1885 and is now a luxury hotel. It features historical masterpieces of Portuguese art and craft, including a renowned collection of traditional "azulejos" (glazed tiles). Set in the Bussaco National Park (see listing). A definate "must visit" for your bucket list.
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Bussaco Palace Hotel
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This legendary palace, a world-famous example of Portuguese Manueline Gothic architecture, was built for the last King of Portugal in 1885 and is now a luxury hotel. It features historical masterpieces of Portuguese art and craft, including a renowned collection of traditional "azulejos" (glazed tiles). Set in the Bussaco National Park (see listing). A definate "must visit" for your bucket list.
Ancient Roman Archeological site with stunning mosaics, museum and restaurant
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Ruínas de Conímbriga
7 R. das Ruínas
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Ancient Roman Archeological site with stunning mosaics, museum and restaurant
Take a day trip to this archeological site boasting the ruins of an Iron Age fort, plus various structures & artifacts. This celtic city was one of the biggest known in Portugal. For more information, visit the nearby local Museu da Cultura Castreja (Museum of Castro Culture) in beautiful Guimarães, a museum with a small collection of interesting artifacts from the iron age town.
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Citânia de Briteiros
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Take a day trip to this archeological site boasting the ruins of an Iron Age fort, plus various structures & artifacts. This celtic city was one of the biggest known in Portugal. For more information, visit the nearby local Museu da Cultura Castreja (Museum of Castro Culture) in beautiful Guimarães, a museum with a small collection of interesting artifacts from the iron age town.
Outside Seixo de Beira stands one of four megalithic sites in the municipality of Oliveira do Hospital. These stone age sites became known in local folklore as the Casa do Moura, in Lusitanian mythology this can mean house of the Moors or ancestors. Dolmens are ancient communal burial tombs, represent the art, religion and symbolism of the peoples of West and Central European Neolithic (4500 BC) to the late Bronze Age (1800 - 700 BC).
Seixo da Beira
Outside Seixo de Beira stands one of four megalithic sites in the municipality of Oliveira do Hospital. These stone age sites became known in local folklore as the Casa do Moura, in Lusitanian mythology this can mean house of the Moors or ancestors. Dolmens are ancient communal burial tombs, represent the art, religion and symbolism of the peoples of West and Central European Neolithic (4500 BC) to the late Bronze Age (1800 - 700 BC).
Planning to stay a few days? For a calendar of current events and exhibitions in the Centro Region, check the website of the Cultural Directorate in Coimbra. http://www.culturacentro.pt
Direcção Regional de Cultura do Centro
208 R. Olímpio Nicolau Rui Fernandes
Planning to stay a few days? For a calendar of current events and exhibitions in the Centro Region, check the website of the Cultural Directorate in Coimbra. http://www.culturacentro.pt
Spend a day in Ovar, an outdoor museum to the “azulejos”, typical Portuguese ceramic pattern tiles. These Arab-style geometric flower motif tiles first appear indoors on palaces and churches from the 15th century. Later, the façades of most 19th public buildings of Ovar were tiled and ornamented with balustrades, cones and small ceramic statues. Today even private-owned houses and public walkways are tiled. At the tourist office (building of the Paços do Concelho) it is possible to schedule a free 1h guided tour. They also stock a small booklet that allows you to study the tiles of 19 façades on your own. Be sure to taste the “Pão de Ló” sponge cake and check the dates for carnival week!
Posto Turismo do Furadouro
602 Av. do Infante Dom Henrique
Spend a day in Ovar, an outdoor museum to the “azulejos”, typical Portuguese ceramic pattern tiles. These Arab-style geometric flower motif tiles first appear indoors on palaces and churches from the 15th century. Later, the façades of most 19th public buildings of Ovar were tiled and ornamented with balustrades, cones and small ceramic statues. Today even private-owned houses and public walkways are tiled. At the tourist office (building of the Paços do Concelho) it is possible to schedule a free 1h guided tour. They also stock a small booklet that allows you to study the tiles of 19 façades on your own. Be sure to taste the “Pão de Ló” sponge cake and check the dates for carnival week!
In Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, discover the charm of this delicate and seductive 20th century art style by taking a walking tour with a guide through the Art Nouveau route, an urban trail of beautiful buildings and monuments. We recommend starting with the Museu de Arte Nova for background info, after which you are also welcome to take the walk at your own pace. Just follow this list of the top 10: http://www.centerofportugal.com/art-nouveau-tour-aveiro/
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Museu de Arte Nova
9 R. do Prof. Barbosa de Magalhães
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In Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, discover the charm of this delicate and seductive 20th century art style by taking a walking tour with a guide through the Art Nouveau route, an urban trail of beautiful buildings and monuments. We recommend starting with the Museu de Arte Nova for background info, after which you are also welcome to take the walk at your own pace. Just follow this list of the top 10: http://www.centerofportugal.com/art-nouveau-tour-aveiro/
The National Olive Oil museum. An interesting experience with interactive screens illustrating the development of olive oil production since the Roman era till recent times. There is a a good restaurant with a panoramic view on the Estrela mountains.
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Museu do Azeite
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The National Olive Oil museum. An interesting experience with interactive screens illustrating the development of olive oil production since the Roman era till recent times. There is a a good restaurant with a panoramic view on the Estrela mountains.
Sightseeing
Restored historical windmills (moinhos) that once powered the agricultural economy of the region by the force of wind (Windmills), grinding the harvested cereals into flour. Get up early and from this hill, catch 360 degree views, including sunrise over the Serra de Estrela ("Mountain near the Stars"). Visit the historical windmill museum nearby (see elsewhere in this guide). Also see the Moinhos walking trail.
Moinhos da Serra da Atalhada
Restored historical windmills (moinhos) that once powered the agricultural economy of the region by the force of wind (Windmills), grinding the harvested cereals into flour. Get up early and from this hill, catch 360 degree views, including sunrise over the Serra de Estrela ("Mountain near the Stars"). Visit the historical windmill museum nearby (see elsewhere in this guide). Also see the Moinhos walking trail.
Once you have visited the Moinhos da Serra da Atalhada (windmills), you may want to learn more about their historical importance in the Penacova region. Between May and October, it is still possible to observe, in Penacova, the work of the miller, namely in Gavinhos (Figueira de Lorvão) and Portela de Oliveira (Sazes do Lorvão). In the remaining months of the year, visitors can observe the ancient art of grinding flour in the waterfalls of Ribeira de Lorvão. Also see the Moinhos walking trail.
Museu do Moínho
Once you have visited the Moinhos da Serra da Atalhada (windmills), you may want to learn more about their historical importance in the Penacova region. Between May and October, it is still possible to observe, in Penacova, the work of the miller, namely in Gavinhos (Figueira de Lorvão) and Portela de Oliveira (Sazes do Lorvão). In the remaining months of the year, visitors can observe the ancient art of grinding flour in the waterfalls of Ribeira de Lorvão. Also see the Moinhos walking trail.
For the spiritually inclined, 1h and 17 min drive from Ponte Da Mucela is the Sanctuary of Fátima, a global Catholic pilgrimage site that marks the spot where the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to three children in 1917. Meet travellers who come from all over the world to ask for healing. Includes a basilica, chapel, religious artifact museum and shopping for religious decor. Light a candle and suspend your disbelief. http://www.fatima.pt
Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
170 R. Jacinta Marto
For the spiritually inclined, 1h and 17 min drive from Ponte Da Mucela is the Sanctuary of Fátima, a global Catholic pilgrimage site that marks the spot where the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to three children in 1917. Meet travellers who come from all over the world to ask for healing. Includes a basilica, chapel, religious artifact museum and shopping for religious decor. Light a candle and suspend your disbelief. http://www.fatima.pt
Essentials
Food store, cafe and bar 5 mins drive from Ponte da Mucela. You can get basic food and fresh produce here, or order alcoholic beverages.
Cafe Minimercado Beira Serra
23 R. Nossa Sra. dos Milagres
Food store, cafe and bar 5 mins drive from Ponte da Mucela. You can get basic food and fresh produce here, or order alcoholic beverages.
Getting Around
Luís Camões Square is a taxi stop in Vila Nova de Poiares. On your visit to the beautiful small towns of central Portugal, if you do not drive or choose not to hire a car, order a taxi via phone call from the closest town or city, depending on where you are. As private taxis are not cheap, we suggest investigating prices before you leave for Portugal. https://www.portugalio.com/taxis/vila-nova-de-poiares/
Praça Luís de Camões
Luís Camões Square is a taxi stop in Vila Nova de Poiares. On your visit to the beautiful small towns of central Portugal, if you do not drive or choose not to hire a car, order a taxi via phone call from the closest town or city, depending on where you are. As private taxis are not cheap, we suggest investigating prices before you leave for Portugal. https://www.portugalio.com/taxis/vila-nova-de-poiares/
From the ancient university city, get to Ponte Da Mucela in about 30 mins for 40 EUR with one of the taxi drivers waiting outside Coimbra-B. We suggest this only in emergencies. The closest bus goes to Vila Nova de Poares. For bus details see Rede Expressos.
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Coimbra-B
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From the ancient university city, get to Ponte Da Mucela in about 30 mins for 40 EUR with one of the taxi drivers waiting outside Coimbra-B. We suggest this only in emergencies. The closest bus goes to Vila Nova de Poares. For bus details see Rede Expressos.
Book your flight to Porto for maximum convenience. Big cost reductions of between 30 - 70 EUR are available up to two months in advance. Hire a car at the airport and drive to Ponte Da Mucela, or take the train to Coimbra and hire a car there.
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Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
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Book your flight to Porto for maximum convenience. Big cost reductions of between 30 - 70 EUR are available up to two months in advance. Hire a car at the airport and drive to Ponte Da Mucela, or take the train to Coimbra and hire a car there.
15 mins walk or a € 5 taxi ride from Coimbra-B station, at Rede Expressos bus station (Rodoviaria) you can take a 35 min bus ride for around € 3,50 to Vila Nova de Poiares. From there it is a 16 min drive by car or taxi to Ponte Da Mucela. www.rede-expressos.pt
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Rede Expressos
627 Av. Fernão de Magalhães
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15 mins walk or a € 5 taxi ride from Coimbra-B station, at Rede Expressos bus station (Rodoviaria) you can take a 35 min bus ride for around € 3,50 to Vila Nova de Poiares. From there it is a 16 min drive by car or taxi to Ponte Da Mucela. www.rede-expressos.pt