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Alcobaça: The Heart of the Portuguese Culture

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Alcobaça, a small city that’s been around for ages, sits in a valley along the central coast of Portugal. Known for its massive gothic cathedrals and quiet beachside villages, Alcobaça represents the heart of the Portuguese culture. With majority of the city’s structures seemingly stranded in time, one can’t help but feel like a medieval traveler in its archaic setting. Surrounded by mountainous greenery, the famous Alcobaça Monastery stands at its center, proclaiming its age and romanticism. Surrounding this church is where the city takes its deepest breaths; its narrow cobbled streets full of history and discovery. Small-town markets and shops bring about a slight modernity to its ambience, but nevertheless, it remains charming and completely alluring.

A short distance from the center of Alcobaça lies the bluest of the Atlantic; its shores clean and devoid of clutter and noise. This small cove of paradise, surrounded by a local fishing village, offers a different sentiment of Alcobaça. Tranquil and serene, the beach is an obvious choice for those looking for relaxation. It’s a splendid location to view the sun as its sets on the horizon, setting the mountains in front of it aglow.

A day spent in Portugal along Alcobaça’s coast will be a well-spent day, but it shouldn’t end there. Alcobaça’s local beach village has plenty of delightful cafés and gastronomic restaurants for every taste. The city center is also just a drive away, with all its orange lights reflecting on the Rio Alcoa at night. Exploring the city at night will offer an entirely different experience, one that’s full of subtle adventure. Late night restaurants fill the air with delicious Mediterranean aromas. The town squares come alive with nighthawks and lovers inspired by the forbidden loves of Alcobaça’s past. It’s a most romantic city that offers centuries worth of stories and lost tales. Alcobaça is nostalgia itself, if ever such a feeling can become a place.

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