Beyond Santa Comba Dão, the IP3 bears away from the Dão valley and the views are soon of the Serra do Caramulo, breaking to the northwest. The eastern turn-off point for the mountains is the small, unassuming town of Tondela, 20km from Santa Comba Dão, from where the minor N230 winds through a succession of tiny villages at the heart of the mountain range, including Caramulo itself, a twisting 19km from Tondela. This is the only worthwhile overnight stop, with a fantastic museum, and makes a good hiking base; most of the other serra villages are little more than hamlets, surrounded by rhododendrons, brightly coloured azaleas and thick green shrubs growing wild on the hillside. After Caramulo, the N230 descends to Águeda, western access point to the mountains, 37km from Caramulo, which is close to the main north–south routes between Coimbra and Aveiro/Porto.

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