Explore Coimbra and the Beira Litoral
Tucked beneath the granite outcrops and wind turbines of the high Beiras serra, the straggling village of CARAMULO glories in some staggering views. It’s a somnolent place, with a belvedere garden and vast, shady chestnut trees at its heart, while several waymarked footpaths radiate from the village through neighbouring hamlets and up to the local peaks. The summit of the loftiest, Caramulinho (1075m), is a five-kilometre drive from the village, while at Cabeço da Neve (same initial road, 4km) there’s another sweeping viewpoint. The best walk is the circular Rota dos Caleiros (8km, 3hr), which picks its way past the old stone aqueducts (caleiros) and granite boulders around Caramulinho, with magnificent views east to the Serra da Estrela and west to the Atlantic Ocean.
Caramulo itself also boasts the extraordinary Museu do Caramulo, which promises “art and automobiles” and doesn’t disappoint, with everything from primitive religious sculpture to souped-up Harley Davidsons. You can browse Picasso sketches and sixteenth-century tapestries, before moving on to the superb collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, most of which are in working order and given a run-out once a year in the Caramulo Motorfestival (Sept; wwww.caramulo-motorfestival.com).