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Miranda do Corvo is the capital of Chanfana, old goat marinated in red wine, onions, garlic and herbs (for a day) then slowly cooked in a casserole. Very rich!

We have a local 'old man's bar' , Jose's and a bar restaurant; Rufinos dos Leitoes, at the end of the lane. Jose's is totally Portuguese speaking and rustic but very friendly, Jose's wife, Tina (lovely kind lady) runs the shop which has most basic things. Rufino's owner, Michael, speaks English and likes to practice it on you. Their speciality is suckling pig (Leitao) which is very good, but they do a daily 'prata' for lunchtimes, which is a starter, main meal, drink and dessert for about 6/7e. They also sell their own honey (Mel), which is delicious; the hives are at their house nearby.

Most towns and villages have dilapidated old buildings or even ruins in the centre, this is because they prefer to buy new homes, and they just leave the old ones standing...usually with a 'Se vende' (for sale) sign!

At Condeixa, near the A1, is an amazing Roman site, Conimbriga, with well preserved mosaics. Usually 4e each entrance except on Sundays, when it's free. Well worth a visit.

Coimbra, is a university city, on the Mondego river. Lovely walks along the river, there is a boat trip too. You can get the train from Miranda, takes about 30m and costs a couple of euros. You get off at Coimbra Parque and stroll up riverside or stop in one of the bars for drink or light meal. Or you can walk into the old city. Tourist Info office just up at the bridge.

Figueira de Foz is the resort town of the area, where all the Portuguese go in August for their holidays. Just follow signs from Coimbra along A14 (toll road). If you like something smaller, drive up the coast north from outskirts of Fig de Foz, along N109 towards Aveiro. Stop off at Quaiaos, Tocha or Mira Praias. Lovely beaches, dunes, pine forests and quiet.

We also have 'river beaches' or praia fluvial in the interior.....a river is dammed to create a pool, and there's usually a cafe or restaurant and changing rooms, BBQs, picnic tables etc. A popular Sunday lunch destination for the locals. There is one at Segade on the road north towards Coimbra and one as you get to the outskirts of Coimbra by the old bridge, there's one near Lousa at Louzinha, and one near Gois. Just look for the brown signs with 'Praia Fluvial'.

Further afield, we have the old Baroque hotel at Bucaco, near the spa town of Luso, where the locals take their plastic bottles to fill up at the spring.

Of course you can drive inland up into the Serras, Lousa and Estrela, definitely a day out, not just a quick jaunt.
Lousa has a lovely old church and recommended restaurant, Burgos, up the back roads of the town.

There are some 23 windmills on top of a ridge inland towards Poiares. In the forest of Atalhada. Some have been renovated. There is a restaurant too, which has never been busy when we've been there, even though the food is very good. The views are amazing, and the windmills are so sweet.

Just south of Miranda going towards Tomar is a sweet little hillside village; Gondramaz, which has been preserved as an example of the Xisto stone houses. Just follow the brown signs from Miranda to Gondramaz. 

Only 5 families live there, but they do have a restaurant Patio do Xisto, in a great spot overlooking the valley.

It is possible to walk down the track to the stream and walk to the next village.

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