Explore Coimbra and the Beira Litoral
LUSO lies downhill from the Buçaco forest, 3km by winding road into the centre or a more direct walk on shady paths. A spa town for the past hundred years or so, it still draws crowds of Portuguese to take the waters. As such places go, its dated charm makes it worth a brief stop, and visitors are welcome to try the various treatments at the Termas de Luso (May-Oct; w www.termasdoluso.com). Otherwise, a turn around the small town centre (population 3000) and municipal park won’t occupy more than an hour. Locals take the opportunity to fill bottles and plastic containers with free spa water from the Fonte São João spring – Luso water is sold all over the country – next to which there’s an old-fashioned Art Deco casa do chá (tea room) with a terrace overlooking the central gardens and spa buildings.