Discover the many charms of Las Beiras and Estremadura, together known as Centro de Portugal.

From the delightful Art-Nouveau seaside town of Aveiro, with its pretty gondolas, head inland to Coimbra, the country’s most historic University city. From there go south to Estremadura where the awe-inspiring religious architecture of Batalha, Alcobaça and Tomar sit within striking distance of the equally impressive surf-washed Atlantic coast. Then it’s onwards and very much upwards into the Serra da Estrela mountains and there beyond to the high plains of the Planalto, at the frontier with Spain, dotted with historic fortress towns. End your trip in delightful Viseu, the granite city at the heart of the Dão wine region.

The full route takes fourteen days but you can do as little, or as much, as you like.

  • Tour Highlights:
  • Aveiro, the ‘Portuguese Venice’
  • Coimbra’s monumental University and unique Fado tradition
  • World Heritage Batalha, Alcobaça and Tomar
  • Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s highest mountains
  • Fortress towns of the Planalto
  • Delightful Viseu, delicious Dão wines
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£1150 p/p

* Indicative mid-season price for 14 nights (including car hire – flights not included).

Full details (PDF)

Day 1 & 2 – Aveiro

  • Discover Art-Nouveau Aveiro from a gondola-like ‘Moliceiro’
  • Sail or kayak in the estuary, go surfing in the ocean
  • Gaily-painted seaside houses of Costa Nova do Prado
  • Visit the Vista Alegre porcelain factory
  • Playa de Barra and the wild dunes of São Jacinto

Day 3 & 4 – Coimbra

  • Coimbra University – stunning buildings, amazing views, fascinating museums
  • Sé Velha, Portuguese Romanesque at its finest
  • Take in a fado show – Coimbra style of course
  • Jewish Quarter – especially magical by night
  • Roman ruins at Conímbriga

Days 5, 6 & 7 – Estremadura

  • The magnificent monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça
  • São Martinho do Porto a little pearl set on a string of surf washed Atlantic beaches
  • The Convent at Tomar, delightful city of the Templars
  • Sierras de Aire y Candeeiros Nature Park – riddled with caves
  • Medieval Óbidos with its famous white houses

Day 8 & 9 – Serra da Estrela

  • Walking, cycling, kayaking and much more in the Serra da Estrela Nature Park
  • Visit the Burel Wool factory in Manteigas
  • Scale the Torre peak – Portugal’s highest
  • Manteigas and Sabugueiro – charming mountain villages
  • Rich Jewish heritage and historic castle of Belmonte

Day 10, 11 & 12 – Planalto & the fortress towns

  • Fortress towns – Trancoso, Almeida, Castelo Rodrigo
  • Paleolithic rock-art in the Côa Valley 22000 years old!
  • Local wine and olive oil of the Beira Alta
  • Faia Brava nature reserve with wild horses, cattle and large birds of prey
  • Explore the Douro International Nature Park
  • Jump the border to Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca

Day 13 & 14 – Viseu & the Dão wine region

  • Delightful Viseu, historic centre of the Dão wine region
  • Grão Vasco museum, Portuguese Renaissance at its best
  • Viseu’s imposing granite-built Sé cathedral
  • Dão wine route, historic vineyards, velvety reds
  • Hike the Sierra de Caramulo and visit the Caramulo car museum

The itinerary includes the following:

  • Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
  • Economy 4dr car hire
  • Regional map and guide book
  • Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map

 

Not included:

  • Flights – but we are able to advise
  • One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
  • The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
    • extra driver
    • Portuguese toll device (we highly recommend to take this service)
    • child seats
    • GPS
  • Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges

Fly directly to Lisboa / Lisbon and hire a car – the best options are:

From London Gatwick: Easyjet or TAP Portugal
From London Stansted: Ryanair
From London Heathrow: British Airways or TAP Portugal
From Luton: Easyjet
From Edinburgh: Easyjet or Ryanair
From Liverpool: Easyjet
From Manchester: Ryanair, Easyjet or TAP Portugal
From Bristol: Easyjet
From Dublin: Ryanair, TAP or Aer Lingus

Or fly directly to Porto / Oporto and hire a car – the best options are:

From London Gatwick: TAP Portugal or Easyjet
From London Stansted: Ryanair
From London Heathrow: British Airways
From Edinburgh: Ryanair
From Liverpool: Ryanair
From Manchester: Easyjet, TAP or Ryanair
From Birmingham: Ryanair
From Luton: Easyjet
From Bristol: Easyjet
From Dublin: Ryanair and TAP

PLEASE NOTE some flights are seasonal.

NB: Flights are not included

 

Getting around

As part of your package we will include a hire car. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

AITO reviews

5 stars
All five venues were excellent but different, ranging from a friendly pension in Oporto to a 5* hotel in Coimbra. Descriptive notes and travel directions most helpful.
Personal service
Excellent choice of venues. Slick on-line communications.

Client 2019

This was a very well planned touring holiday in central Portugal, staying in a number of lovely hotels in interesting and varied places.

Client 2018

Casas Cantabricas did an excellent job in suggesting an itinerary, identifying really interesting hotels, which we would not have found on our own, and arranging car hire. We were very happy with their service.

Client 2018

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