MANGUALDE, 15km east of Viseu along the A25, is a well-to-do town which traditionally flourished thanks to its position on the trading routes between the mountains and the coast. As a result, a tree-lined avenue leads into a centre of noble mansions, pick of which is the tiled baronial eighteenth-century Palácio dos Condes de Anadia, packed with period furniture and beautiful azulejos. Try and visit the town on a Thursday, when the weekly market enlivens the central streets.
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A side road just outside Mangualde is the unlikely setting for Live Beach, which locals proudly proclaim is Europe’s first artificial beach, complete with 22,000 square metres of sand, salt water and all the paraphernalia associated with a real beach. In reality, it’s really just a large swimming pool faced by a flat bank of sand, but on a hot summer’s day you’ll certainly appreciate the space and chance to soak up the rays, while the bars and restaurant are good value. After 7pm the venue is also used for frequent party nights and concerts; check the website for details.