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I discovered a beautiful place quite accidentally when I first moved to Portugal. It's so lovely; I almost dropped the house I am buying in Pampilhosa so I could move to Penacova instead! It's a quaint mountainous village with a river for boating and a freshwater beach for resting in the sun. It has a circuit of places to visit that tourists want to take advantage of. (The circuit map is the second photo)

The circuit (indicated by the blue squiggly line on the sign) maps out places to hike for incredible views of the village in the valley, the beach, hills with ancient windmills, and a riverboat experience that includes lunch on the river! Of course, if you visit Portugal, you will want to visit Porto and Lisboa, but you'll do yourself a favor if you head inland to places like Penacova.

In the village are quaint shops with everything from local pasties to gift shops. There is also a large theatre where you might enjoy the opera while you visit! And it's a 15-minute drive to the ancient city of Coimbra, too!

The picture above is from the rooftop of a home I visited in Penacova. It shows the view from both sides of the river in the valley. There are stunning views no matter where you hike, pedal, or tour by car. You will be satisfied to visit Penacova for a day or even stay a few days in a remodeled hospital that is now a hotel right on the edge of a cliff with stunning views and grounds to stroll. Below are more photos of this lovely little hidden treasure in Portugal.

If you plan a visit to Portugal, consider a visit inland. With places like Penacova, it will be a trip you'll never forget!

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