Although we've absolutely loved every second of our time in Central Portugal, easily finding things to add to our newly created 'Portugal Mini Guide'... we still can't decide whether we prefered Tomar to Batalha.. or Nazaré to Obidos...but time waits for no man, so we've pushed on northwards to find out what awaits in the 'Norte' of Portugal... along the famous Oceanic Atlantico route
Hugging the coastline, this 65km stretch of road passes sand dunes, small coves and viewpoints whilst also providing one of the most scenic drives that we've taken across Europe... perhaps matched only by the views across Norway. The sand strewn paths are not just for walking alongside the road, they also have cycle paths the entire length of this amazing route... we are 110% going to return to add this to our bike adventures in the summer!!! In fact there's a lot of simialrities between the bike rides we took on Ile de Re and the Charente Maritime in France last summer... so it'll be great to comapre the two!
With the sun partially hidden behind the milky, pink clouds... it really was highly atmospheric when added to the thunderous crashing of the waves... just to remind us how 'primal' this series of Atlantic Coastline really is.... in fact this whole area just has so much to offer including places like Leiria, Batalha, Alcobaça, Reguengo do Fetal(Buraco Roto), Porto de Mós, Ourem, Valinhos, Constancia, Vila de Rei, Penedo Furado, Dornes, Conimbriga, Luso, Buçaco, Piodão, Coimbra, Montemor and Figueira da Foz!!! (we've found that a brief chat with locals saves you hours searching through the guidebooks/internet!! - so thanks to Nuno for his input here!)
With wide sweeping bends, it's a motorhomers delight... you get the amazing views as you head through to Figueria de Foz, without the concern that you might have on twisty coastal roads like Cornwall, Scotland or even Croatia... but what's even better here, is the amount of parking... free and easy to access, it allows perfect opportunities to stop and enjoy the coastline before heading back into the comfort of the van and setting off to find another 'perfect beach'...
There was even a brief chance to grab the body boards and try to enjoy one of the safer beaches for children on this beautiful yet powerful stretch of coast... but with time and the light fading.. we set off for one of the fabulous Orbitur campsites at Vagueira... we've got a whole host of them to see up the coastline and we can't wait to see how they compare to some of the others we've seen in Portugal.. hopefully they'll be better than the independent campsite (Sabor) near Tomar that completely underwhelmed us a week ago!
But what a brilliant way to finish the day, once we arrived at the campsite tonight... a chance to sample the Portuguese equivalent of our Christmas Cake (Bolo Rei) and an opportunity to open up our Advent Calendar (courtesy of the girl's kind grandparents!) Can't wait to explore Costa Novo & Aveiro tomorrow!!!!
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