Discover Central Portugal’s lesser-known gems on our seven-night Aveiro, Canals and Coimbra holiday.
The historic landmarks, windswept beaches and timeless mountain hideaways of Central Portugal have been a popular staycation destination for generations. Particularly the city of Aveiro – often referred to as ‘the Venice of Portugal’ thanks to its system of canals and inland waterways, its eye-catching Art Nouveau architecture and welcoming locals make it easy to slip into the laid-back pace of Aveiro life.
Sitting on the Ria de Aveiro, a vast seawater lagoon, the city’s cuisine has always followed the seasonal ebb and flow of the sea and the catches of the local Moliceiros fishermen. The Ria da Aveiro is also a protected nature reserve, home to storks, herons and flamingos – the charming beachfront town of Praia Costa Nova sits at it’s western mouth and is famous throughout Portugal for its pretty, candy-striped houses.
Leaving Aveiro, you’ll head south to the royal city of Coimbra, birthplace of the Kings of Avis. The medieval and manueline architecture at the centre of the city’s university is UNESCO-protected: the Biblioteca Joanina, the Capelo de Sao Miguel and the impressive Via Latina are amongst Portugal’s most-precious national treasures.
You’ll also visit Coimbra’s namesake: the ancient Roman city of Conimbriga. At its peak in the 1st century AD, the city had an estimated population of 10,000 and you’ll have a chance to explore a typical Roman domus with its beautifully intricate mosaics. The Museu Monografico de Conimbriga also preserves some of remarkable archaeology unearthed at the site: the sculptures, coins and jewellery of the city’s high-status residents, side-by-side with the domestic household items of everyday Roman life.
From Conimbriga, you’ll head into hills of the Serra da Lousa. Time stands still in the region’s remote Aldeias do Xista – the Schist Villages where long-held and well-loved traditions are cherished: in the local architecture, in its cuisine, and its art and handicrafts,
You’ll end your stay in the northern city of Porto, your closest connection by air, and it’s easy to extend your holiday if you’d also like to include a short stay in this exciting and dynamic city.
From £2100 per person
We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.
Direct flights from the UK to Porto, accommodation in twin/double en-suite rooms on a B&B basis, taxi transfers, a Moliceiro boat trip and four days car hire.