Nature and Culture

To enjoy!

Both nature- and culture lovers won´t miss a thing in this region. Naturepark Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros for instance is 400 km2 large and a real paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers. The large amount of historical buildings and cities, de farmers markets, the (fado) concerts and museums making the Portuguese culture palpable.

Aqueduct with 180 arches

About 4 kilometers northwest of Tomar you can see the remains of the Aqueduto de Pegões Alto. This aqueduct was built for the water supply of the convent; it is about 5 kilometers long and has 180 arches.

A few kilometers east of Tomar is the Barragem do Castelo de Bode, a dam and reservoir in the Rio Zêzere; the dam is 115 metres high and 400 metres wide. The reservoir is open for aquatic sporters and anglers. At the harbour of the Pousada you can embarque on a boat for a tour on the reservoir.

To the north there are several other dams and reservoirs in the Rio Zêzere.

 

Culturally very rich area where you can easily spend a whole day

On the 'edge' of the Costa de Prata you can find one of the most de meest interesting places of Portugal.

Palácio Nacional de Sintra

This palace is one of the most important Portuguese examples of royal architecture. It is topped by two large twin chimneys built over the kitchen, which have become the symbol of Sintra. It is the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal. It is part of the Cultural landscape of Sintra, designated World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Palácio Nacional da Pena

This palace is the most remarkable example of Portuguese Romantic architecture. The palace stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon. It is a national monument and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It is also still in use for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.

Castelo dos Mouros

The Moorish Castle dates back to the early days of the Moorish occupation of the Peninsula (the 8th century). The current building is the result of a renovation carried out in the 19th century. The views from its walls and towers are breathtaking.

Convento dos Capuchos

The monastery was built in 1560 by Dom Álvaro de Castro, in fulfillment of a vow by his father, Dom João de Castro. Its tiny cells, small chapel, refectory and other dependencies, installed in the rock and lined with cork, are a telling example of the humble and austere existence of the Franciscan friars who lived here.

Other places of interest in Sintra are: Parque da Pena, Quinta de Monserrate (park), Museu de Arte Moderna (museum of modern art), Museu do Brinquedo (toys museum), and Quinta da Regaleira (palace and gardens).

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Endless pine forests, quiet beaches and Roman excavations

North of Nazaré and Sítio you can explore endless pine forests and quiet beaches: Praia do Norte, Praia da Légua, Vale Furado. Some beaches are guarded in the summer season, so you can safely swim there when the sea behaves itself. On the other beaches swimming is prohibited, because of the steeply sloping sand banks and the strong undertow in the ocean. South of Nazaré there is another beach, the vast Praia do Salgado.

North and south of Nazaré and Sitio there are two marked hiking trails, that take you to beaches, forests and rocks.

On the east side, between Nazaré and Valado dos Frades, in the middle of the woods, you will find a lookout on Mount São Bartlomeu (S. Brás), from where you can see the whole area.

Along the road from Valado dos Frades to Alcobaça, you will find on your left the porcelain factory of SPAL. At the factory outlet you can buy Portuguese porcelain with decorations from very simple to very exuberant, all at reasonable prices.

On the right side of this road, at the village Bárrio, you can find the archaeological site Parreitas. Here are for instance the foundations of an ancient Roman villa.

 

Water feature

When it rains the water is cascading over a carpet of large granite blocks and is collected in a huge basin.

The water is filtered in a natural way in the stomach and lead to a public fountain for the people of Mendiga. (2480 Porto de Mós)

In the park you find a educative model of the water mining. There is also a children playground, a public bbq and toilets.