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What to do in Penacova – Discover 10 incredible things

For us, it continues to be a priority and a trend to travel to Portugal. It’s a small country with a lot of potential for adventures and new places to explore and enjoy. Here are our suggestions for 10 must-do activities in Penacova to make the most of your visit to this picturesque village. From staying in a cosy environment to exploring the natural charms, there’s plenty to do in Penacova. Penacova, on the banks of the Mondego River and the National Route 2, is a special place with much to discover, both in the village itself and in the surrounding areas.

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Stay in a cosy local accommodation

Start your adventure in Penacova with a relaxing and comfortable stay at the Jasmine Hotel. In reality, this hotel is located in São Pedro de Alva, which is very close to Penacova and many of the region’s points of interest. With a cosy atmosphere and a convenient location, it’s the perfect place to rest after a day of exploring the area.

The Jasmine Hotel is a small secluded retreat with private parking, a garden, and an outdoor pool. Located in central Portugal, 30 km from the city of Coimbra, it is surrounded by stunning nature: eucalyptus forests, hiking trails, picturesque hills with ancient mills, the Alva and Mondego rivers, and the famous shale villages.

The building has 7 comfortable rooms on 2 floors, each with a private bathroom, air conditioning, television, and desk. There is also a bar, a spacious living room with a fireplace, and a dining area where a delicious breakfast is served with local produce. In total, the mini-hotel can accommodate 19 people and can also be rented entirely as a venue for events or to spend time with family or friends.

Make your reservation here at Jasmine Hotel

Experience the delicious local gastronomy

Don’t miss the opportunity to try the traditional dishes of the region, such as the famous lamprey rice and the tasty chanfana (a goat stew). We may not enjoy these dishes, but we recognize their gastronomic importance. Local restaurants offer a variety of delicious options that will satisfy your palate. As for desserts, you can find Nevadas de Penacova, which are small fluffy cakes with creamy egg filling and sugar topping. If gastronomy is an important part of your travels, then you’ll have plenty to do in Penacova.

Explore the Gavinhos windmills

Take a hike through the green hills and discover the charming Gavinhos windmills. These historical structures offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and are a perfect spot for memorable photographs. Exploring the Gavinhos Windmills is one of the activities you must do in Penacova.

Relax by the Mondego River water mirror

Very close by, the Mondego by the Aguieira dam, is an excellent activity to do in Penacova

Enjoy moments of tranquillity by the banks of the Mondego River, where you can admire the water mirror and relax in a serene and natural atmosphere. If you’re looking for something different to do in Penacova, heading to the Aguieira Dam can be an option.

Venture into a crossing of the troops on the Mondego River

Visiting the troops' crossing on the Mondego is one of the activities to do in Penacova

The crossing of the Mondego River no longer takes place here, but in the past, this is where the troops crossed the river. Now it’s a small waterfall with a view worth visiting and something you can do in Penacova.

Explore the Mondego “bookstore” (Livraria do Mondego)

Mondego Bookstore, one of the things to do in Penacova. Original image from https://visitregiaodecoimbra.pt/turismo-de-natureza/percurso-interpretativo-da-livraria-do-mondego/

Here you won’t find literature but a fabulous view of this geological formation of rocks, layered and regular, reminiscent of book spines in a “geological bookstore” built about 300 million years ago. Visiting this place is something unique to do in Penacova.

Visit the Lorvão monastery

Discover the fascinating history of the Lorvão Monastery, an impressive construction dating back to the 9th century. Explore its beautiful gardens and admire the unique architecture of this historic site.

Contemplate the view at Mirante Emídio da Silva

Visiting Mirante Emídio da Silva is one of the activities to do in Penacova

Climb up to Mirante Emídio da Silva and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the village of Penacova and its surroundings. This is the perfect spot to appreciate an unforgettable sunset.

Refresh yourself at Vimieiro River Beach

Visiting Vimieiro river beach is one of the activities to do in Penacova

On hot summer days, nothing beats a refreshing dip at Vimieiro River Beach. With crystal-clear waters and a relaxing atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.

Relax at Maria Delgada River Beach

Another option for cooling off is Maria Delgada River Beach, where you can enjoy a peaceful day by the river. With leisure areas and water activities, it’s a popular destination among locals and visitors alike.


We hope these suggestions help you plan an unforgettable trip to Penacova. With so many interesting activities to enjoy, we’re sure you’ll create lasting memories in this charming Portuguese village.

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