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Castle of Porto de Mos

 

The castle of Porto de Mos is one of a kind and entirely unique in Portugal. It was damaged badly during the 1755 earthquake that also destroyed a large part of medieval Lisbon.

The castle has been partly recovered and is much noticeable by its slated emerald green towers.

You will find references to the Gothic and renaissance.
Originally the castle grounds held an Roman Look out post on which the Moors build the castle of Porto de Mos. The castle was won from the Moors during the Portuguese reconquest. It was given to D. Fuas Roupinho who was the first mayor of Porto de Mos.

The castle proofs partly the importance of Porto do Mos in medieval Portugal and in the 15th century The king D. Dinis presented Porto de Mos to his wife Queen Isabel.

Beach at São Pedro de Moel

The beach and town of São Pedro de Moel is 9 km from the town of Marinha Grande and roughly 20 km from Leiria.
From the town of Marinha Grande there is a bicycle path straight to the beach which accompanies the road and goes straight through the pine forests that have given Leiria it’s place in history.

São Pedro de Moel is a small, friendly town that distinguishes itself thanks to it’s architecture and heritage and during the summer months it becomes a lively little town centered around it’s large beach and cultural heritage.

The small town of São Pedro de Moel has a lot of  history and its most famous story is the one of the count and countess of Vila real.
The town was given to the count of Vila Real in 1463 and the family of the count owned several houses close to the beach. The family of the count of vila real remained in São Pedro de Moel until 1641 when the last count was executed after being caught trying to warn his father about possible danger to a conspiracy plan his father was making together with a group of accomplices. The last counts wife, Duquesa de Caminha, was heart broken after the death of her husband and she mourned him on the rock overlooking the beach.
This rock now holds the lighthouse.

The poet Afonso Lopes Vieira had his home in the town and this is now a museum.

The beach is roughly 20km from the famous beach of Nazare and it’s surrounded by other popular beaches, this one we choose because of the charming village of São Pedro de Moel and it’s relative quietness. It’s also a beach with a history.
The beach at São Pedro de Moel has lifeguards, warning flags and surfing possibilities, also places to relax, have a good meal or get active in the waves of the Atlantic ocean.

Serra De Aire

aire

Serra D’Aire is possibly one of the most surprising mountains we have come across in Portugal holding most likely the remains of the oldest, barely remembered cultures in Portugal.

The mountains themselves contain many interesting places, like pre-historic grotto’s, ancient villages, sporting activities and nature adventures.
But what we want to concentrate on in this article is it’s impressive historical remains, that go back at least 2000 years and they show that it once was a place of incredible activity and production. Kilometre after kilometre of natural stone wall splitting the landscape into small contained patches in interesting geometrical construction of human intervention that would probably have held cattle, sheep and goats and functioned to keep neighbours out of your olive tree, as one local remarked.

You can find tracks of heavy, stone wheels from ancient agricultural transportation means and here and there, a few remains of buildings used for storage or animal housing.

The small roads and paths are a maze of routes and the ever present olive trees seem to go back as far in time as the first piling of stones that made each field somebody’s property.

Soon we will have more information on this impressive and interesting  landscape, places to stay, eat and visit!

Abrantes castle and fort

Abrantes castle and fort are mentioned as a suggestion of places to visit in the Michelin travel guide and it certainly is, but it doesn’t seem to get half the visitors it should.
This is especially so, since the building of the A23 highway that races unannounced past Abrantes as if the city has suddenly stopped existing.

From the highway it’s just a few kilometres to this historical, peaceful and awe inspiring place, it has a view of the surrounding landscape which seems to reach to the boundaries of central Portugal and it gives a vision straight into Portuguese history and the initiation of the country now known as Portugal.

The castle was another step in the reconquista (reconquest) of Portugal from the Moors. The castle goes back before the time of the Roman occupation and was conquered by the Romans in 130 AC and in the twelfth century it was taken back from the Moors by king Afonso Henriques.

Like many castles it sits on top of the town, in this case 197 meters and it has a view over the Tagus valley and surrounding hills and mountains that is unequalled.
It’s a large castle that has undergone much remodelling over the centuries and only few remnants are left of it’s medieval past but it has many interesting architectural aspects including the old church of Santa Maria do Castelo inside it’s walls. Also inside the castle walls are the beautiful castle gardens.

The town of Abrantes is just as historical and a very pleasant place to visit, a mixture of the modern with the old, climbing and descending alleys with views that demand contemplation, narrow winding roads that here and there remind of medieval Lisbon but are uniquely Abrantes and the many monuments you will see as you walk through will softly whisper it’s prosperous and historical past.

Entrance to the castle is free.

Monastery of Alcobaça

The Monastery of Santa Maria d’Alcobaça in the small town of Alcobaça, is Portugal’s largest Gothic monastery and a very impressive one.
It was placed on the world heritage list in 1989 and never ceases to amaze.

The Monastery of Alcobaça’s construction started in the first half of the 12th century and was ordered by king Afonso Henriques after he was proclaimed first king of Portugal in 1139.
The monastery is thus linked to the start of the monarchy of Portugal.

Alcobaça was given to the Cistercians by Afonso Henriques  in recognition of the victory of
Santarém (1152) and is a prime example of Cistercian Gothic architecture.

Inside the monastery are the famous and most impressive Gothic tombs of Inés de Castro and Dom Pedro (Peter I). Inés de Castro and Dom Pedro had a passionate love affair which lasted  until her death. The affair started before the death of his wife, Constanza and lasted 16 years,
Inez’s murder was ordered by the father of Peter I father, Afonso IV, who refused Peter marriage to Inez causing the couple to live together in secrecy.
The refusal and assassination where out of Political and strategic reasoning.

The affair has inspired many great novels and films. The building, it’s history,  magic and magnificence, the love affair and it’s many implications will probably inspire many more.

Read more about the monastery of Alcobaca on the Unesco website.

Palco de Especiarias, bakery and specialities cafe, Tomar

The Palco de Especiarias is one of the nicest places in the historical centre of Tomar to taste regional Tomar pastries at half the price of the same products in the more tourist cafés in Tomar. It’s a 1 minute walk from the main square, Praca do Republica.

The owner has lived abroad for many years and has returned to Tomar to open this very special little bakery to offer local delicacies that are 100% Portuguese and international style baguettes and bread such as a really delicious brown seeds and cereal bun with tuna salad.
It’s also a nice place to have a coffee or tea, accompanied by something that is guaranteed delicious!

She has many delicacies for sale to take home or eat in her bakery which seats 16 people.

The local Tomar pastries on offer are

Fatia de Tomar” – Tomar slices made of egg yolk and sugar and the most famous of the Tomar pastries.
“Doce de Cama” or Bed sweet (See Photo’s)
“Brigadeiros” Chocolate with milk cream

Cafe Restaurant Petiscos Sao Pedro

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The Cafe Restaurant Petiscos Sao Pedro in Sao Pedro de Tomar is a bar, a restaurant and a tapas petiscos bar worth visiting in the cute village of Sao Pedro de Tomar just 7 km from Tomar and roughly 5 from the Castelo do Bode lake.
It’s set in one of the nicest landscapes of Portugal on the hilly, green, fertile landscapes of Tomar, that made this area of Portugal so prosperous.

The first dish we ate at the Cafe Restaurant Petiscos Sao Pedro was from the diario (daily changing full meal) a meal of grilled Dorado fish, a typical Portuguese steak and filettes (in batter fried fish). This was all fresh, nicely seasoned with a good salad and incredibly cheap.
The next day we came we tasted a tapas or in Portuguese Petisco, from their long list of Petiscos, called Amejoa (fried shells with coriander and freshly baked bread) and it was very good. Well cooked and nicely spiced. The portions are also royal.
It seems to be a favourite place for eating Petiscos for many others also as they where served in multitude on what is elsewhere, generally a quiet Tuesday night

The building is by itself not particularly interesting but it very cute and very Portuguese in ambiance and It has a nice terrace with a great view over the surrounding Tomarense landscape and de nicest parts of the village of Sao Pedro de Tomar. The building is well renovated, a mix of typical, traditional and modern, nicely decorated and comfortable.
It’s run by a a very friendly, innovative couple that manage to offer a great selection of meals, petiscos, wine, including a very good house wine, beers and other drinks. As well as coffees, pastries and snacks.

They have the average low Portuguese prices for the daily meals and standard prices for their Tapas or Petiscos.

At lunch they serve diarios (daily dishes) at night they have a menu.

It’s a place you could go to eat or drink at any time of day. It’s very popular, busy and bustling, but not overrun.

The owners also run a taxi company, so getting there or back home doesn’t need to be difficult.

Isla Bonita Lake Beach

The Castelo do Bode lake beach at Vila Nova, Isla Bonita, Tomar Is one of the longer beaches on this part of the Castelo do Bode lake.
The beach has stony, sandy and grass parts and many pine trees. The water is shallow for quite a bit making it the perfect place for families with small children but people without children also frequent the beach. It has a lot of shady and private areas and a large open beach.
Plenty of parking space. Good access just a short part of the road down is unpaved but save.

There are no signs directing you to the beach!
The beach is quiet, even during the busier summer months.

The name Isla Bonita possibly comes from the view from the island where you can see a small uninhabited island.

Casa do Adro, Cafe Bar Lunchroom

casa-do-adro

Casa do Adro cafe bar is another nice place in the centre of the town of Serra.

Casa do Adro cafe bar is perfect for Drinks, snacks, tapas, petiscos and typially regional lunches.
The Casa do Adro cafe bar has a nice terrace and is popular amongst local and tourists. The meals are cheap and good. There is plenty of parking close by and a taxi stand. They also own the supermarket next door.

Beach at Casa Nova, Castelo do Bode – river Zezere

Following the signs from Serra to Casa Nova Albufeira takes you to a few stony ‘beaches’ or rather swimming areas in the Castelo do Bode. The one we visited is on the map. Its a small stony area with a good space for parking. The water is very clear but gets deep fast. Not suitable for small children who cannot swim. The rocks make a great place to sit and the view is incredible. Quite pleasant place to swim.

Café da Serra, restaurant bar Serra, Tomar

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Café da Serra is a restaurant bar on the central square of Serra that offers cheap but good traditional meals for lunch or dinner. They have a daily changing menu consisting of fish and meat dishes.

They also offer many typical Portuguese snacks, such as the famous Pasteis de Bacalhua. Tremocos (a type of salted bean) to accompany beer.

They are situated on the main square of Serra which is connected to all the connecting roads that lead through the nature reserve to the Castelo do Bode lake Albufeira where there are many natural beaches and walking areas.

Café da Serra restaurant bar also has very cheap lodging possibilities.

Serra is roughly 10km from Tomar .

 

Dornes beach

Dornes is one of the many interesting villages in Central Portugal, born and built on a peninsula of the Zêzere river bordering the castelo do Bode lake.

Dornes has a very rich past. it’s origins go back to the time of the Romans when it was most likely a Roman settlement of Sertorius, a roman general who lived rougly 120 year bc. and was murdered 72bc.
What is left for us to see mostly today of its amazing past are the narrow medieval streets, the church and the templar tower.

The Templar tower rises high above the village and would have functioned as a strategic defense tower on the once very mighty Zêzere river (before damming). It was possibly built to replace another older Roman tower.
The tower was connected to the defense stronghold of the Castelo do Almourol.

The church was ordered by the saint queen Isabel who lived from 1271 to 1336, and it was built in the 14th century. Queen Isabel was a much loved queen, who did many things for the poorer communities in Portugal and many still talk of her with great affection to this day.
Queen Isabel has left many ‘humble’ but impressive marks on the Portuguese landscape and the church has some very interesting historical and architectural references that we are researching and will publish soon.

The town, once was the head of the county, is now it’s just a historically beautiful and tranquil place surrounded by water, boating and swimming.

The beach is long and has stony and sandy parts. It’s unexpectedly quite, peaceful and unspoilt.
The day we visited was in the height of the season but they where only a handful of people there spread out over an area of at least 1km.

Dornes is a beautiful mix of man made and natural influence, concluding in historical aesthetics set in an awe inspiring natural environment.

For swimming there is no stream or dangerous river movement,  the waters are a little colder than deeper into the Castelo do Bode lake but warmer than river water, More on Dornes soon……….

 

Beach at Montes, Castelo do Bode – river Zezere

Another nice beach on the Castelo do Bode lake in Central Portugal is the Montes beach made of nice large flat rocks on which its easy to lie and some sandy or grassy patches.

The view is great and the beach is quite. No loud music or jet ski’s!

Close to the village of Montes and the towns of Tomar and Ferreira do Zezere.
The beach has no amenities good parking possibilities and very good access. Not suitable for mass tourism, just a nice quite beach to sunbathe or swim in the warm Castelo do Bode water.

There are a couple of beaches in Montes, this one is the main one which you get to by following the road all the way straight down.

Praia Barreiras, Castelo Bode

barreirasDirecção: Estrada Bairrinho, Barreiras. Praia Barreiras, Castelo Bode, Distrito Abrantes, e a cerca de 13 kms da cidade de Tomar. Esta é uma das maiores praias fluviais existentes em Castelo do Bode, e também das mais visitadas. No dia em que visitamos a Praia de Barreiras Lago Castelo do Bode, foi durante a época alta e fazia muito calor. Havia musica alta e jet ski’s. Embora assim, ainda havia muito espaço na Praia Barreiras, Castelo Bode, onde estender a toalha, e agua para podermos nadar confortavelmente. A agua da praia é de fundo de areia, existem varias partes onde a agua e calma e pouco profunda, ideal para pequenas crianças, mas sempre acompanhadas por adultos. Não dispõe de amenidades nem a praia é vigiada, não tem nadador/salvador.

Cabeca Gorda Lake beach

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Cabeça Gorda is a small village not far from Martinchel, that has a long swimming beach, close to a small island. The beach is stony sand with parts only schist stone, layered and climbing, making attractive, rocky patterns that are difficult to sit on but great to look at.

On the day we visited it was a national holiday, august and very hot and it was busy but it’s a long beach with a lot of private places as most people tend to stay close to the car-park. Outside of the august month it’s very likely to be much calmer.
No loud music or jet ski’s anywhere!
Plenty of parking space. Drive through the village continually downwards.

The water has small shallow areas but gets deep fast. Due to the island which breaks the lake water, there is some stream.

The beach has no amenities. The village a few local bars with basic provisions.

Aldeia do Mato, lake beach

Aldeia do Mato, Lake Beach.

Aldeia do Mato has a beach with full amenities. It’s a popular and busy beach close to Martinchel and Castelo do Bode.

The Aldeia do Mato, Lake Beach has a swimming platform and in the holiday period a life-guard and bar.

The beach is stony but the ground in the water sandy. The bar provides ambiant music that can be heard form the beach and platform.
The water at Aldeia do Mato, Lake Beach gets deep very fast but the platform provides a swimming area for smaller kids.

Address: drive through Aldeia do Mato and follow the sign.

 

Barreiras Lake Beach

barreiras
Address: Estrada Bairrinho, Barreiras.
This is one of the bigger ones along this stretch, it’s also a busy one. The day we visited it was in the height of the season and a very hot day. The beach was covered with loud music and jet ski’s.
There where still enough spots to be found for us to lie and swim.

The beach is sandy, water has plenty of shallow parts for smaller children.
The beach has no amenities or life guards.

Marisqueira de Tomar, fish and seafood restaurant Tomar

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Marisqueira de Tomar is a great fish and seafood restaurant in Tomar, locally famous, successful and excellent fish restaurant, meat grill and beer house.

The Marisqueira de Tomar was an unexpected and exceptional find for Go Discover Portugal. The restaurant is out of the historic centre and undiscovered by tourists but amongst the best appreciated Tomar restaurants by locals.

The restaurant is magnificent in décor, ambiance and dishes, typically Portuguese but luxurious, nice waiter service and good wines. Next door to the restaurant is the beer house that also serves coffees, snacks and budget meals.

It is a very exceptional fish restaurant but it also serves meat dishes, tapaz and has a part that functions as a beer house or as it is called in Portuguese a cervejaria.

The Marisqueira de Tomar is situated in the newer, modern part of Tomar where you’ll find clothes shops, banks, café’s, pastelaria’s (cakes and lunch rooms). It’s the more modern part of Tomar that is completely in contrast with the historical centre which most Tomar visitor go for.

The Marisqueira has been a family owned restaurant for the last 40 years.

It’s very nicely decorated with hand painted windows of various important Tomar scenes and natural stone element. It’s a large restaurant with different rooms, each with own ambiance, décor and atmosphere.

The fish dishes on offer are excellent! Price quality balance is very good, they offer a fish plate consisting of Lobster (whole), a large crab,  shrimp and shells for 55 Euro full portion (2 people) and half portion for 35 Euro.  but they have on menu many other dishes starting at roughly 10 euro

In the beer-house or on the terrace, they offer a daily changing full menu including drinks and dessert for 7.50 euro – I would say indulge and eat in the restaurant, you’ll find yourself coming back!

It’s luxurious local dining in a bustling much appreciated restaurant away from the tourist crowds in Tomar. It roughly 10 minutes walk form the old central bridge.

Parking is free.

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For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Beach at Alverangel camping

This beach is not really a beach more a quiet place to swim.
It’s easy to get to, it has limited parking possibilities but the road is good right down to the beach.
The beach is covered in stone with small patches of grass or sandier bits to lie on. The boat ‘runway’ is a favourite spot for the few locals that go here, to sunbathe or swim from.
The water has a short shallow area that gets deep very fast. The water floor is sandy with a few rocks.

It’s not a big tourist attraction, even though it’s close to a camping obviously because of the stony beach and the lack of amenities, but we like it, it’s a nice alternative to the busier beaches.
The photos where taken in august, the busiest month.
No amenities on the beach – No Lifeguard – Limited Parking

Senhora da Piedade

The Senhora da Piedade chapel is a small chapel built in the 14th century and renovated with new architectural additions made  in the 16th century. Outside of the floor, it looks mostly like a sixteenth century chapel, well kept and taken care off.
In the 19th century a very long stairs was added, starting in the centre of Tomar (close to the Templarios hotel) right up to the chapel.
The chapel is more interesting inside than out but it has an amazing view over Tomar and the castle of Tomar.
It’s an interesting historical site that you should visit either by car or by foot. If your travelling by foot, the stairs are long so be prepared!

Casa do Patriarca, rural tourism hotel

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Casa do Patriarca is situated in the small town of Atalaia, 3,3km from Vila Nova da Barquinha, roughly 9km from the horse riding capital of Golega, 17 km from Tomar and 10 km from Constancia,

Casa do Patriarca is beautiful 17th century manor house that has been rehabilitated by it’s current owners to be a guest-house. It is set on large grounds that incorporate  magnificent gardens, terraces and a small swimming pool.

The rooms are very comfortably furnished and each one is unique and decorated in it’s style. Each room has a private bathroom.
The breakfast room is especially attractive and there is much attention given to detail throughout the entire guest-house and grounds.
The guest-house also has a large, private parking area.

It is a few minutes walk from the 16th century church of Atalaia, an architecturally interesting church of the which façade has a mixture of architectural elements that combine Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque styles. It is also close to vila Nova da Barquinha and Golega both towns have a range of very interesting restaurants, stroll areas and sites worth viewing.

Many people visiting Fatima and Tomar book this guest-house as a quiet and cultural alternative.

It is a family run hotel and the owners are very friendly, helpful and will help to make your stay very special.

Prices are 50 euro per night for a double room..

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For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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O tabuleiro restaurant Tomar

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O tabuleiro a very popular restaurant with traditional food in the centre of Tomar

O Tabuleiro is one of the most popular restaurants with tourist to Tomar and it has a good name both locally and internationally for good food, large portions and reasonable pricing.
The restaurant is in the center of Tomar on the Rua Serpa Pinto close to the Paraca da republica. It consist of two halves with 2 entrances. The half closest to the Praca da Republica is tradionally styled whereas the other half is contemporary modern.
The restaurant is family run and exists for 37 years. It’s a very friendly, busy and lively restaurant, perfect for fast lunches or extended dinners.
Great desserts and wine choice![/tab][tab name=”Reservation”]

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Taverna Antiqua Restaurante Tomar

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Caros estimados visitantes, GoDiscoverPortugal deixou de dar qualquer tipo de suporte ao restaurante Taverna Antiqua em Tomar Lamentamos qualquer inconveniente estamos a trabalhar de forma ativa para lhe fornecer as melhores alternativas!
Por favor, confira nossas excelentes alternativas em Tomar para encontrar um restaurante adequado.

por favor, verifique a melhor alternativa,
com um estilo de alimentação mais subtil

Casa das Ratas

Casa das Ratas
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For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Café Santa Iria

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The Café Santa Iria has a modern approach to snacks and lunches than the more traditional Portuguese ‘pastelaria shops’ as it has a large selection of sandwiches, baguettes, quiches, salads and several different types of toasts making it a very popular place for a quick lunch or snack in a changing Portugal.

The Café Santa Iria is also famous for tasting a typical Tomar drink called Mouchão dos Templários. It was invented by Francisco Gonçalves Vicar and has become the most traditional drink in Tomar.

The cafe was taken over this by it’s current owner who has managed using a new concept to change Café Santa Iria into a very pleasant and popular café.
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[tab name=”Reservation”]Reservation is generally not necessary for st. Iria but to be safe or for larger groups, advisable

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Pegoes Aquaduct, Tomar

Tomar has so many amazing monuments that some of them are just not even mentioned at the tourist office, but these may be just as great or even more interesting than some of the more famous ones.
The Aquaduct at Pegoes is one of these places.
It stands strong and stretches long lenghts unvisited and undiscovered for roughly FIVE kilometres majestically through the landscape North-west of Tomar until it finally joins the convent of Christ in Tomar!

It was build in the sixteenth century and 17th century to bring water to the convent of Christ in Tomar under command of king Philip I and in places it reaches a height of 30 meters. There are signs that tell you how to get to it’s highest point where you can climb a small tower and see a lot of the aqueduct, here it’s at it’s highest and most impressive but there is little other documentation to be found at the tourist office or anywhere else in Tomar.

Taberna Antiqua Tomar

Due to a contract breach and the unwillingness of Taberna Antiqua to meet their obligations we have put Taberna Antigua under investigation and during this time we have blocked them from Go Discover Portugal. We can not answers questions or accept reservations for Taberna Antigua Tomar during this time. We hope that the situation will regulate shortly.

We apologize for any inconvenience and work hard to provide you with the best alternatives!
Please check out our excellent alternatives in Tomar to find a suitable restaurant.

Casa das Ratas, culinary, traditional food with a tavern type ambience in typical Tomar

Casa das Ratas Casa das Ratas >>

Alminhas restaurant, innovative, modern cuisine with great attention to detail in a beautiful tranquil space in the centre of Tomar

alminhas4 Alminhas Tomar

Marisquiera de Tomar, A little out of the centre but a short walk to taste real culinary local excellence in the best fish and seafood restaurant of Tomar!



Marisqueira de Tomar Marisquiera de Tomar

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