Things to Do in Oliveira Portugal

things to do in Oliveira Portugal

Oliveira do Hospital may not be a conventional tourist destination, but this beautiful upcoming town has some truly unique things to offer. From a secluded waterfall to a high-end pencil factory, these hidden gems will make your trip here unforgettable.

This quirky museum is a fascinating miscellany of local culture and history. The collection includes a newspaper archive, antique tools, and even a lapidary exhibit.

1. Visit the Nossa Senhora da Assuncao Church

One of the main sights in Oliveira de Bairro is the Nossa Senhora da Assuncao Church, which is a 12th-century Romanesque-style church that’s a must-visit for history buffs. The church is also believed to be where the first king of Portugal was baptised.

The other main sight is the Parque La Salette, which is a cultured park on top of a hill. It was plotted around a chapel built to commemorate the Marian apparitions at La Salette in France, and it contains a few curiosities, like a gazebo with a gilded statue of Mary and the finger of a burglar that was shot by guards but wasn’t killed.

The town also has a few museums and attractions that showcase its rich cultural patrmonio. These include the Barracks of the Arts, which is considered one of the best cultural equipment in the central region; Radiolandia – the radio museum, with a collection of quality and international dimension; and the Bairrada Ethnomusic Museum, which has important collections linked to Bairradina music.

2. Explore the Serra da Estrela Natural Park

The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is Portugal’s highest mountain range, concealing windswept uplands and remote villages. It’s a popular destination for skiers in winter, but its peaks are also dotted with hiking trails that challenge hikers of all skill levels.

The village of Oliveira de Azemeis is home to a century-old watermill and bakery, as well as a quirky museum stuffed with a jumble of exhibits, both ancient and recent. You’ll see a collection of footwear, old newspapers, agricultural instruments, and even a taxidermy display.

If you’re looking for an easy hiking trail in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, look no further than Poco do Inferno. It’s a 5.5-mile round trip with a total elevation gain of around 800 feet. Click here or on the title of the trail in the right corner of the map, to learn more about this moderate point-to-point trail.

3. Swim in the Fraga da Pena Waterfall

This picturesque waterfall is located in the protected area of Serra da Estrela. Its 19 meter-high cascade is named Poco do Inferno (Hell’s Pool) because of a local legend that says anyone who falls into the water is bound for the netherworld.

Guests can swim and relax in the fresh waters of this waterfall, or simply enjoy the lush scenery and wildlife around it. The waterfall is especially beautiful during the fall, when the mossy rocks are covered in a rich autumnal color.

The Olive Museum in Oliveira de Azemeis is a quirky museum that takes the form of an olive branch, with rooms that are shaped like individual olives and leaves. Its exhibitions tell the story of the importance of olive production to Portugal’s history and culture.

4. Sample the Local Cuisine

In Portugal, the luscious local cuisine reflects the country’s rich diversity. Olive oil – classified according to its acidity – is the basis of many dishes, whether drizzled over seafood or doused in hearty soups and stews.

The sun-drenched landscape gifts a cornucopia of naturally ripened fruit, from bananas in the Azores to apples and pears in the north and west. In Lisbon, a new generation of chefs is shaking up traditional gastronomic tradition with dishes such as braised red mullet with liver sauce and clams at the Michelin-starred Belcanto.

Salt cod is a national treasure, served with scrambled eggs and olives; in fish cakes called pasteis de bacalhau; or barbecued and stuffed into bread rolls known as pregos. Pork is also popular, especially sausages such as alheira or pork preto.

5. Take a Walk Around the Town

The municipality’s most famous sight is the White Stork colony at the Serra de Azemeis, but there’s also a riverside park where you can watch birds for hours, vineyards to lose yourself in and forests of eucaliptal trees to get lost among. Other nature attractions include the Frecha da Mizarela waterfall on the course of the Mau River and a sandy beach where you can lay back and relax with a book.

A walk around the town’s medieval walls is a must. They were built to protect the abbey, which was a favorite summer retreat for successive monarchs and inspired the likes of Lord Byron with its Gothic and Manueline grandeur. You can tour the walls for a small fee. Other sights include a water mill that shows how the currents were harnessed to grind flour and make bread, and a museum in a converted factory dedicated to footwear manufacturing.

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