The route that starts in Coimbra will delight drivers due to its amazing landscapes, along a route of 135 kilometres of EN17, passing through small towns and villages that highlight the rural centre of Portugal and its traditions that are linked to this specific area of the country.
You can start your road trip in Coimbra, in the City of Students, as it is known due to the academic culture of the city which is home to the oldest university in Portugal. Filled with UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the University of Coimbra, namely the Faculty of Law. And of course, the narrow streets of the old part of the city, known as Alta, where there are plenty of restaurants and bars.
As soon as visitors leave Coimbra and start their trip along the EN17, Ceira will be one of the first villages to visit. The parish has an amazing religious and architectural patrimony, linked to a rurality that only Portugal can achieve. Very close to the river Mondego, in Ceira the tranquillity of the flowing waters will create a calm environment, making it a good stop for someone along the more than a hundred kilometres until arriving at the final destination, Celorico da Beira.
If it is time to have lunch, then why not take the opportunity to taste one of the most traditional dishes from Central Portugal: chanfana. Made with goat meat, or even lamb, chanfana is probably one of the most popular and sought-after dishes from the Central region of Portugal. São Miguel de Poiares could be the perfect place to have a taste of slow-cooked meat, usually made in a clay pot, by the fireplace.
Still in the district of Coimbra, in Oliveira do Hospital municipality, Lourosa is a very quiet place, filled with very interesting sites to visit, such as the church and the chapels that may be found throughout the town. Lourosa has also two swings, located on high points, that allow people to see the beautiful landscapes of the region while taking a beautiful picture while swinging on the wooden swing in the middle of nowhere.
At this point, drivers will be already in Serra da Estrela, where the highest point of mainland Portugal is. During the winter it is possible to see the snow falling while tasting the well-known “Queijo da Serra”, usually made of sheep milk that is usually eaten with Portuguese bread, with the story of the bread being told in the Bread Museum, in the same locality. Seia also offers the chance for its visitors to learn more about Portuguese childhood moments, as it is possible to visit the Toy Museum, showing the different toys used in different times of history.
The trip is finally over, and a castle would definitely make the end of the trip unforgettable. Exploring the castle of Celorico da Beira is not only a fantastic way to know more about Portuguese history but is also an opportunity to take in the panoramic views over the city and the landscapes that surround it.
This road trip adventure is a chance to explore lesser-known areas of Portugal. The country has much to see and having a car to explore further is a great way to get around, although public transport is available for some parts of the route.
Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463.