GÓIS is beautifully set on the Rio Ceira, crossed by an arched sixteenth-century bridge which leads up to a sloping cobbled square backed by a couple of old-town streets. There’s not a lot to occupy you here, but it comes into its own in summer (June to early Sept) when boardwalks are erected and white sand imported to construct a fantastic river beach, with a waterside bar and kayaks to rent. Other favourite local river beaches include that at Várzea Pequena, 5km west, or you can head into the hills for walks around the Góis schist villages – brown signposts off the Lousã road (N342) lead up to the tiny village of Aigra Nova, where there’s a craft shop-café run by a local not-for-profit agency, Lousitânea, at Rua dos Bois (t235 778 644, wlousitanea.org; daily 10am–6pm) and a good circular waymarked mountain hike (10km; 4hr) through three other ancient schist villages in varying stages of restoration.

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