Central Portugal
Best months:
February to December

Central Portugal

Travel article
LAST UPDATED 19/03/2008
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Rei-artur: Mapa de Portugal completo, 5 January 2006

Central Portugal spans a large area from Spain on its eastern edge to the Atlantic Ocean at the west and has a population of 2,376,609 inhabitants as found in 2005. The area of the region i 28,462 kilometres squared. 

The city of Colmbra has a population of over 100,000 inhabitants and is the capital of this region. Colmbra is home to the oldest university in Portugal. The history of the University of Coimbra dates to 1290. The historical buildings on campus are nearly as big a tourist draw to the area as the academic tradition is a draw to students.

Other cities includes Aveiro, Viseu, Leiria, Covilhã, Castelo Branco, Figueira da Foz, Guarda and Caldas da Rainha. 


Farbenfreude: Portuguese man o war; 13.06.05

Central Portugal is the epicentre to the Portuguese surf scene. It has consistant swell and somewhere to surf the year round. Peniche and Ericeira are the main hubs and with breaks like Supertubos, a heavy barreling beach break, and Coxos a long hollow world class right reef, to their name its not hard to see why. Lisbon seems to lie low on the surf travel radar though and despite this has some great breaks that work in all conditions from 2ft to 20ft.

where to stay

Petercarlsberg: Pousada da Ria, na Murtosa, Aveiro, Portugal, 4 April 2007

The youth hostel network has a large number of hostels available - all of which are in very good conditions but not very cheap. There are also camping grounds which may suit many budget travellers. Camping in unauthorised areas is not allowed.

If you are on a budget, and you want a true 'portuguese' experience, try one Residencial - the home-like hostels ubiquitous in cities and most towns.

On the luxury side, you might try the 'Pousadas de Portugal', a network of hotels reknown for using very beautiful ancient buildings and having excellent service, consistent all over Portugal. However, eating in would be expensive so you'd be better off eating out when staying at the Pousadas.

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