Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 6-8
Next stop: Porto Previous stop: Óbidos Return to full itinerary »

This region of Portugal offers a wide variety of terrains and experiences, from fishing villages and university towns to mountains and vineyards. Base yourself in Coimbra, a buzzing university town, before heading to the coast for some beach time. Then make your way east to the wine country and the Serra da Estrela, the region's highest mountain.

  • Natural Beauty
  • History


  • Explore the old town of Coimbra, and kick back in its lively cafés and bars. It's one of the best places to experience authentic fado music performed by men (Lisbon is the place to catch a show by women).
  • Explore the string of beaches and dunes that surround Ovar, to the north.
  • Serra da Estrela National Park is the region's highest mountain, and you can hike, bike, and fish here.


  • In May, Coimbra's university students celebrate the Burning of the Ribbons, one of Europe's biggest student parties.
  • During Festas da Rainha Santa in July, expect live choral music in the streets and fireworks.

Side Trips

  • Explore the vineyards of the Dão region, which produce some of Portugal's finest wines (pick up a route from Coimbra).
  • Come to Caramulo to breathe in mountain air and walk through parks and gardens.