In the interior of the country, there are mountains and villages of granite and schist. By the sea, fishing villages and cosmopolitan beaches with water sports set the pace of the day. And everywhere centuries old heritage proudly displays the history of the region. Some of these places are so important for humanity that they have been included in the UNESCO list of world heritage. This is the case of the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Coimbra University. But there are other unique features that are well worth discovering. For example, the historic villages and castles that defended the nation's borders. The Schist Villages and the towns of whitewashed houses, like Óbidos, a treasure within walls. The cities, where modernity is combined with tradition – Coimbra, the university city, Leiria, Aveiro between the Ria and the sea, and Viseu, Guarda and Castelo Branco, in which the stone architecture retains traces of an immemorial past.