Great Things to Do and See in Tomar – Part 1

Many tourists in Portugal visit all beaches such as Algarve or the biggest cities such as Porto and Lisbon. But there are so much more to see in this authentic and interesting country. One of the best-kept secrets is Tomar which is actually one of the oldest cities in western Europe. Tomar was founded in the 12th century when the Knights Templar established a convent and declared Tomar as a Templar town. The convent is now a part of the World Heritage Site as well as many other old buildings of this town. So, if you are going to visit Portugal, don’t skip Tomar. And here is a list of the most popular spots and events.

The Old Town

Old Towns are always the top spots to explore as it refers to the original part of the city. Tomar is not an exception. The first thing you will notice is the cobbled streets and symmetrical ancient buildings. The actual grid-plan is a four-armed cross, and each of the arms leads to one of the main religious buildings. Once you have explored the history of the Old Town there are some great cafes and restaurants to take a rest and enjoy some local food and drinks.

Praca da Republica

A good place to start the tour of Tomar is the Praca da Republica. The black and white chess-style flooring of the square will make you feel like you are in some old movie. What is great about this small square is that it is surrounded by trees of the surrounding hills which makes the red-tiled roofs even more charming.

Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes

It can be really hot there in Tomar during the Summer, so it is a good idea to try the lifestyle of local people and take a siesta in midday. A great place to rest in a shade is the great secluded park of Sete Montes. It is surrounded by large oak and cedar trees, and there are plenty of welcoming benches that you can sit and enjoy your picnic with some delicious Portuguese pastry or local wine. The park has many great things to see including fountains, stone vases, sculptures, and wonderful trees that even non-gardeners can admire.

Festa dos Tabuleiros

You will have to plan your trip in advance if you want to see the fabulous Festa dos Tabuleiros. This colorful event only happens once every four years. There is no other festival in Portugal that can be compared to this one, and visitors come from all over the world to take part in the events and parades. Be prepared to see some stunning headwear, and if you are a fan of Carmen Miranda then you will love the costumes at this highly unusual festival. Some of the headdresses are made from flowers and decorated with doves!

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