The Central Region of Portugal, a country within a country, is an ideal way to understand Portugal’s identity. It is so diverse and contrasting, connecting perfectly with the sea and mountains, nestled between the two great rivers, the Douro to the north and the Tagus to the south. Here, you can stroll, naturally, between history and flavour.
The Ria (Lagoon) of Aveiro is a wonderful starting point on your journey to discover the region. Head towards the coast, to Murtosa and Vagos, or cities such as Ílhavo, Aveiro and Figueira da Foz, and see the important role fish plays in the lives of the local people.
In the west, along the Atlantic coast, there are dazzling beaches, with an open sea, refreshing on those hot days of summer and breathtakingly beautiful on cooler days. Along this route you will surely encounter many surfers from all over the world, who have come seeking the perfect waves of Peniche and the gigantic ones of Nazaré. But not only are the waves sought, but also Portuguese fish, the very best in the world.
To travel away from the coast is to walk between mountains and valleys, in the direction of Tejo Internacional, which showcases an exceptional natural scenario, integrating a Nature Park, a Geopark and a Nature Reserve. Here, nature is paramount, demonstrating its species of fauna and flora, rare and endangered, as well as the marks left by the history of the Earth, spanning 600 million years. There are examples everywhere of ancient heritage, natural and man-made, connecting perfectly with one another. See for yourself. Visit the historical villages in Vila de Rei, right in the heart of Portugal. To experience pure enjoyment of the Tagus, travel to Constância and Vila Nova da Barquinha. There are so many options in the Central Region, demanding that the belly be “comforted”. There are flavours to suit everyone’s palette; fresh fish from the rivers, roasted, fried, pickled or stewed. The suckling pig is also roasted and the kid can be fried too, and then there are the cheeses and sausages, the honey and the traditional convent sweets. The wine is also varied and plentiful, whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines, from various wine-producing regions.