Things To Do in Vila Nova de Poiares: Top Activities and Attractions

Vila Nova de Poiares.
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Here’s everything you need to know about the Best Things To Do in Vila Nova de Poiares, including what to visit, restaurants, and hotels in the Universal Capital of Chanfana.

Vila Nova de Poiares belongs to the Coimbra district, located in the Center of Portugal.

It’s renowned as the universal capital of chanfana, a hearty dish made from goat meat cooked in black clay pots in the oven, which can be enjoyed in various restaurants throughout the region.

In fact, Poiares’ Chanfana Week has gained a good reputation among lovers of typical cuisine.

However, the village offers more than just food, and for that reason, in this article, I’ll provide you with some tips on what to visit and do in Vila Nova de Poiares.

Since this region is rich in tourism, I’ll also include suggestions for hotels, restaurants, and a list of places to visit near Poiares.

So, are you ready to join us on this journey through Central Portugal?

Best Things To Do and Visit in Vila Nova de Poiares

Café Central em Vila Nova de Poiares.
Café Central, in Vila Nova de Poiares. Does it read Cerveja Grátis, or “Free Beer”, at the entrance?
O que fazer em Vila Nova de Poiares: conhcer o centro da vila.
What to do in Vila Nova de Poiares: Explore the town center.

Exploring the center of Poiares

The center of Vila Nova de Poiares can be visited in a short amount of time, as the main points of interest are close by.

Therefore, we suggest spending a few hours exploring the Main Church and the Municipal Garden, which is right in front of it.

In fact, this is the perfect place to sit at the garden’s terrace before visiting other points of interest outside the center.

Stamping the National Road No. 2 Passport

Paragem na Estrada Nacional Nº2: Café Central em Vila Nova de Poiares.
Stop on National Road No. 2: Café Central in Vila Nova de Poiares.

Poiares made history on National Road No. 2 because of the creativity of a local café, which apparently offered free beer.

So here’s the deal: at Café Central in Poiares, there’s a sign that from afar seems to say “Free Beer,” but up close, you can read the full text, which is “Cold Beer, Free Wifi.” The words “cold” and “wifi” are small and not readable from a distance.

Learning about the History of Black Clay

Chanfana, a typical dish of Poiares, is made in traditional black clay vessels, locally known as “caçoilos”.

Therefore, it’s only natural that a visit to Poiares includes learning about the history of this local product.

The best place to do so is at LBP – Barro Preto Olho Marinho, in Olho Marinho, about 7 km from Poiares.

Take the opportunity to bring home caçoilos, bowls, and other black clay pieces to enhance your kitchen and cookings. This is one of the best things to do in Vila Nova de Poiares, for sure!

Accommodation in Vila Nova de Poiares

Piscina do Montebelo Aguieira Lake Resort & Spa.
Pool at Montebelo Aguieira Lake Resort & Spa.
Área infantil do Montebelo Aguieira Lake Resort & Spa.
Kids area at Montebelo Aguieira Lake Resort & Spa.

Although I stayed at the Montebelo Aguieira Lake Resort & Spa (5 stars), which is about 25 km from Vila Nova de Poiares, know that the hotel offerings in Poiares are diverse and include hotels, country estates, and local accommodations.

Therefore, Casa nas Serras has a pool ideal for hot summer days, and if you prefer a more rustic experience, you will certainly enjoy Quinta dos Lameiros.

However, if you’re traveling by electric car, note that Turismo Rural Quintal De Alem Do Ribeiro, 10 km from Poiares, has a charging station for electric vehicles.

And if none of these suggestions appeal to you, explore the map below with all accommodations in the region.

Hotels in Vila Nova de Poiares, Portugal

Chanfana Restaurants in Vila Nova de Poiares

Chanfana is the typical dish of Poiares, so it makes perfect sense to try the local cuisine during your visit to the region.

The good news is that there are several restaurants that specialize in chanfana. Here are the most well-known ones. To see the location of each restaurant with chanfana on the menu, click on the name.

What is chanfana? Chanfana is a dish of goat meat, usually from an adult animal, marinated overnight in wine and garlic, and cooked in the oven in black clay pots, called “caçoilos.”

Best Places to Vist Near Vila Nova de Poiares

Praia Fluvial do Reconquinho.
Reconquinho River Beach, em Penacova.
Castelo da Lousã (Castelo de Arouce).
Lousã Castle.
Góis o que visitar, ver e fazer.
Bridge and river beach in Góis.
Coimbra o que visitar
Visit Coimbra, the students city.

If you’re looking to extend your trip and include other places in your itinerary near Vila Nova de Poiares, then I have excellent news for you!

That’s because there’s plenty to see and do near Poiares. Here are my top suggestions for what to visit in the surrounding area:

  • Penacova: 11 km, 6mi or 1469.746yd;
  • Lousã: 14 km, 8mi or 1230.586yd;
  • Góis: 20 km, 12mi or 752.2659yd;
  • Coimbra: 21 km, 13mi or 85.87918yd.

Everything you need to know before visiting Vila Nova de Poiares

Vila Nova de Poiares.
Best things to do and visit in Vila Nova de Poiares.

What is the best time to visit Poiares?

For those who enjoy chanfana, the best time to visit Poiares is in the second half of January, when the Chanfana Week usually takes place.

However, you can enjoy this typical dish in the village’s restaurants throughout the year.

Additionally, in August, the POIARTES event usually takes place – National Crafts Fair, Gastronomy Exhibition, Caprine, Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Exhibition. In other words, this is an excellent time to visit the region.

How much time is needed to visit Vila Nova de Poiares?

One or two days are enough to explore the main tourist attractions and most visited places in Poiares.

However, I can’t stress enough that Vila Nova de Poiares is the Universal Capital of Chanfana, which means that even if you don’t usually enjoy this type of food, I recommend you venture out and give it a try.

To do so, include one or more meals at the village’s restaurants in your itinerary.

Is it worth visiting Vila Nova de Poiares?

Yes, absolutely, it is worth visiting Poiares. For me, it’s one of the best places in Portugal to try the typical chanfana.

Moreover, it’s a must-stop for those traveling along National Road No. 2.

On a more personal note, I believe that the tradition of black clay in Poiares deserves to be more widely promoted and known.

After all, we’re talking about a particularity of Portuguese tradition that has stood the test of time and is becoming increasingly trendy.

Map and how to get to Vila Nova de Poiares

Vila Nova de Poiares is located 220 km from Lisbon and 142 km from Porto. Check the maps for the best directions to reach the region.

From Lisboa

From Porto

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