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Regions of Portugal - Central / Beiras

The Beiras region is one of tremendous contrasts combining ancient and modern, seaside and mountains, forests and plains. It is geographically divided into three areas: alto, baixa, and litoral; upper, lower, and coastal. You will be spoiled for choice with a huge selection of destinations. The city of Coimbra, ancient towns, villages, spa towns, Roman ruins, castles, monasteries and convents remain as evidence of its vast cultural and historical past. Enjoy sandy white beaches, pine forests, and wildlife reserves providing a wealth of flora and fauna. This region of Portugal will appeal to all tastes.

The gem of the Beiras region, Coimbra overlooks the Rio Mondego and lies halfway between Porto and Lisbon. Wander through the tangled alleys of this old university town and soak up the atmosphere of days gone by. Do not miss the late 12th-century Romanesque cathedral - one of the finest in the country. And the Museu Nacional Machado de Castro offers fine collections of paintings and ceramics, especially 16th- and 17th-century Flemish and Portuguese paintings. There are some good restaurants and seductive cafes here and Coimbra offers music of all kinds, but make sure to take in the traditional fado singing that will pull at the toughest of heartstrings. Using Coimbra as a base for a couple of wonderful day trips, visit the Roman ruins at Conimbriga, the best in Portugal. And make time for a healthy visit to the spa town of Luso, where you can revive yourself with a number of different water therapies. Walk through the Bu