Tomar is a city in the district of Santarém, with about 15,000 inhabitants. With several historical monuments, its landmark is the Convent of Christ, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Before the boost of tourism it was an industrial center, dominated by wood derivates, with paper mills, and other activities. Now commerce and tourism are the main activities. The landscape around town is wonderful, with a strong contribution of Castelo do Bode dam.
Atop a hill, this complex of a castle and a temple is, since 1983 world Heritage for UNESCO. It was initially a Templar stronghold that, in the 14th century, with the dissolution of the order, was given to the Knights of the Order of Christ. The castle is severely ruined, but the monastery is a well-preserved gem with many interesting details. The round church (charola) is wonderful, with its late Gothic/Manueline sculpture and paintings decoration, giving it an eastern look, not common in Portuguese architecture. The corridors, covered with precious tiles lead to the four different cloisters, and allow the view of the Manueline window of chapter house, said the most refined example of Manueline art.
Each 4 years at the beginning of July (last in 2015), the procession of trays is an old tradition, unique in the world. Several girls in traditional costume carry to the head a carefully decorated tray as high as her, with 30 loaves fixed with a few reeds, for about 5 km, under a rain of petals, across the main streets also decorated. With blessings and other traditional events, the festivities last for a week, and drag to Tomar big crowds, with the expected problems in lodging and parking.
|Camping Redondo||Poço Redondo TOMAR||Campsite||-|
|Residencial União||Rua Serpa Pinto 94||Hotel||94|
|Ninho do Falcão||Quinta do Falcão, nº 24||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Wifi is common in many places in Portugal, including hotels, restaurants and coffee bars. Free wifi along the Algarve coast is available in many places. Internet cafés can still be found in most larger cities and tourist areas though.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Portugal's international telephone code is 351. The general emergency number is 112.
Each provider offers a variety of prepaid (Pré-Pagos) and contract (pós-pagos) SIM cards, both of which are available to foreigners. It generally means much lower rates for calls and especially internet. Be sure to switch off data roaming if you don't buy a local SIM card, as prices for internet are very high.
CTT is the national postal service of Portugal. It has relatively fast and reliable services and it takes several days to over a week for your post to arrive within other European countries, more so if you send post to North America or Australia. Post offices (correios) have varying opening hours, but in general post offices are open on weekdays from 08:30am-6:00pm and on Saturday mornings until 12:30. More information about offices, costs and other details can be found at the CTT website. It's a relatively efficient but also relatively slow postal service. If you want to send packages overseas, you'd better use international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are competitively priced, fast and very reliable.
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