In the direct neighbourhood of Quinta do Retiro are many opportunities for young an old to have an active holiday. Enjoy nature during a walk or a trip by car or – if you can conquer a hill – by mountain-bike. The roads are in good conditions. In your holiday home and the reception you will find an information pack with various tips for an active holiday, beautiful river beaches to swim and relax, routes for a beautiful car drive or bike ride.
In the Serra da Estrela, with the Torre as the highest peak in mainland Portugal, you will find breathtaking sceneries and glacial lakes. In addition, there are also the mountains of Serra do Açor and Serra do Caramulo, where you can discover nature while hiking or cycling. In this region you can choose from a broad range of outdoor activities: rock climbing, abseiling, rafting, horseback riding, canoeing or biking. Nature is all year round green and lush. For hikers we have created a dedicated page with information about trails.
Towns, villages and markets
Quinta do Retiro is situated between Tábua and Oliveira do Hospital. It is a quiet, hilly area with tranquil villages and beautiful views to the mountains that surround the region. Both are vibrant small towns where everything what you need can be found. Several supermarkets, restaurants, lovely terraces and nice little shops. The slate village of Piodão is definitely worth a visit. Famous is the “flat chicken piri-piri” to eat at long trestle tables on the Sunday morning market in Tábua.
Water and mountains
On the south side of the region is the river Alva. This river is known in Portugal for its pure and clear water from the mountains of the Serra da Estrela. Along the river are river beaches at various locations. The 12 best can be found here.
For kayak trips you can go to the nearby river Mondego. Contact Englishman Matt Toy of Rock & River to book a kayak trip on a quiet and safe part of the Mondego. This business brings you to the banks of the river, provides all equipment and gives instructions so you can go kayaking without further guidance. A second possibility is a kayak trip downstream from Penacova towards Coimbra. On this part of the Mondego is more current and therefore these tours are always guided tours here. For more information see O Pioneiro do Mondego.
Culture and history
Within walking distance of Quinta do Retiro you can visit visit the new Museu de Azeite. Here you can discover the ancient history of the olive oil pressing and olive cultivation imaged in a modern and interactive way. The design of the building itself is based on an olive branch. In the Museu de Azeite is Olea restaurant located where you can enjoy a great lunch with a beautiful panoramic view over the area.
Students city Coimbra is the nearest large town about 50 km away. Besides a historical centre, Coimbra is famous for its beautiful old university with the chapel and library from 1728. Coimbra has several modern shopping centers and is also known for its “Fado”. Therefore we recommend to conclude a day visiting Coimbra with a concert at Fado ao Centro.
More suggestions for an active holiday in the area
Coimbriga located 16 km southwest of Coimbra, is the most important Roman site in Portugal.
We recommend a bike ride on the Ecopista do Dão, a fairly flat bike path on an old railway line between Santa Comba Dão and Viseu. Good bikes for this can be rented at Abelenda Bike Rentals.
In Penela a nice climbing forest has been created in the ARBORISMO EXPERTREE PARK.