If you really want to get off the beaten track and see a side of Portugal that most visitors miss, this 3-day Central Portugal itinerary is for you.
Beginning and ending in the attractive UNESCO World Heritage city of Coimbra, you will visit several remote and very different villages, most of which belong to the Historical Villages of Portugal network.
Marvel at the Flintstone-esque boulders in Monsanto.
See trilobite fossils and a cluster of water mills and cottages within the UNESCO Geopark of Naturtejo.
Discover the largest collection of Roman epigraphs in the atmospheric village of Idanha-a-Velha.
Peer over the battlements of Belmonte Castle and explore the Jewish heritage and medieval frescoes.
Stroll through the cobbled streets of Piódão’s cluster of schist stone cottages, nestled in the Açor Mountains.
Depending on the weather and your mood, you have the option to go for a short hike or two, or spend time at a river beach.
Day 1. Coimbra | Idanha-a-Velha | Monsanto
- Meet your private English-speaking driver at the hotel lobby and leave towards the ancient village of Idanha- a – Velha, which has a remarkable collection of Roman epigraphs among its points of interest.
- Continue your tour to Monsanto to explore the village and castle.
- Optional: Follow the marked hiking trail through the surrounding boulder-strewn countryside, part of the Geopark
- Overnight in a cosy guest house in the centre of the village or a 4-star hotel in Monfortinho
Day 2. Penha Garcia | Belmonte
- Meet your private English-speaking driver at the lobby and leave towards Penha Garcia, also part of the Naturtejo Geopark.
- Walk to the castle and then downhill through impressive rock formations to the cluster of UNESCO World Heritage watermills to visit the millers’ cottages and see trilobites fossils in the rocks.
- Optional: Depending on the season, spend some time at the river beach near Penha Garcia (no vehicle access).
- Optional: Drive to the medieval village of Sortelha. Visit the castle and explore the village on foot.
- Continue your journey towards Belmonte historical village.
- Visit the museums and sights of your choice, such as the Jewish Museum and quarter, the castle and the chapel of St. James for frescoes or the olive oil museum.
- Arrive and check into your historical hotel near Belmonte.
Day 3. Belmonte | Piodão | Coimbra
- Leave this morning towards Piódão, a historical village consisting of schist cottages nestled on a mountainside.
- Optional: Make a small detour to Covilhã to see its impressive street art and visit the wool museum.
- Arrive in Piódão and explore the village on your own and taste locally produced sheep’s cheese, sweet potato bread and cured meats.
- Optional: Walk (or drive) to Foz d’Egua and walk the wooden suspension bridge or paddle in the river.
- Optional: (Seasonal – July and August) – spend time at the river beach in Piodão.
- In the afternoon your driver will take you back to Coimbra.
- Arrive and drop-off.
Price per person based on 2 people participating during low season €1,200.00
- 1 Night at 4-star hotel in Monsanto/Monfortinho in Double Standard Room with breakfast included;
- 1 Night at Pousada de Belmonte in Double Standard Room with breakfast included;
- 3 Full day (8 hours) Deluxe Mercedes Sedan with English-speaking driver at disposal as per itinerary;
- Welcome information packet, restaurant recommendations, our 24 hour contact number;
- Expert, fully licensed local travel agent coordination & support
- Personal Expenses.
NOTE: This tour can be done as a self drive tour if you prefer. However, we don’t suggest doing it as a self-drive especially during winter time, due to potentially adverse weather conditions.
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You can add this experience to my 8-day Introduction to Portugal tour or the 2-Weeks In Portugal Discovery, or book it as a standalone excursion from Coimbra.
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