The Centro region of Portugal stretches from the Atlantic coast in the west to the Spanish border from north of the Lisbon region to the south of the Norte region. This region contains a broad diversity of landscapes from pristine Atlantic coast beaches to rugged interior mountains which contain the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.
The major cities include Coimbra, where one of the oldest universities in the world and the oldest in Portugal resides atop the hill and overlooks the Mondego River; Fatima, a site of religious pilgrimage for Catholics and known for the sighting of the Virgin Mary by three young children in 1917; Tomar, where a monastery of the Knights Templar resides; Batalha, home to the monastery built in commemoration of the Battle of Aljubarrota where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the parents of the first King of Portugal are entombed; Alcobaça, where King Pedro and Queen Ines are entombed in the monastery; Obidos, a cool walled city (which is day-trippable from Lisbon area if you have a car) known for its cherry liqueur (Ginja de Obidos); Castelo Branco and Guarda.
In the west, are several coastal towns and villages: Peniche, Nazaré, Costa Nova, Figuera da Foz and Aveiro. Inland, you can find 27 Schist Villages near Serra da Estrela Park with materials constructed from the materials abundant in the region. Monsanto, one of the Schist Villages near the Spanish border, was voted “most Portuguese village” in a government sponsored contest in 1938.