Hotel Astoria Coimbra, Portugal

GPS Coordinates: Latitude 40°12'27.99"N Longitude 8°25'49.64"W

Coimbra, in the centre of Portugal, is renowned for its university, one of the oldest in existence. The students still add an extra dose of life and activity, but it is the beautiful university buildings, especially the famed Joanina Library, one of the most richly decorated anywhere on earth, which attract the most visitors. Other sights not to be missed are the botanical gardens and the 12th century cathedral and the Hotel Astoria could not be more conveniently situated for these, being literally a few minutes away on foot.

Overlooking the riverside, within walking distance of the most important tourist sites, the railway station and the elegant shopping area, the Hotel Astoria Coimbra is also in the heart of the commercial district, making it ideal for both leisure and business travellers to Coimbra. Once here, however, it would be a shame to not explore the surrounding area. The Hotel Astoria’s convenient access to the main route between Lisbon and Porto makes it the ideal base from which to explore this exciting region.

The centre of Portugal is an often overlooked holiday destination. Natural scenic beauty and historical sites abound here. The Roman settlement at Conimbriga, for example, only a short ride from Coimbra, is the largest archaeological site of its kind in Portugal. Most memorable here are the intricate, well preserved mosaics. The museum is extremely well laid out and adults and children alike love it. Heading towards the Atlantic from Coimbra, you’ll be transported back to medieval times by the romantic fortified town of Montemor-o-Velho, on a hill rising above the Mondego’s flood plains. And only a few minutes drive further you’ll find the beautiful seaside city of Figueira da Foz, with its enormous golden beach.

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