The finest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Portugal can be found in Condeixa-a-Nova, near Coimbra. Step back one thousand years in time to the Roman occupation of Lusitania, which lasted around five centuries, and to the site of a well-supplied villa halfway along the road from Bracara Augusta (Braga) to Olissipo (Lisbon). Four houses have been excavated, together with a building that may have been an inn, an aqueduct, two thermal baths and another building. There is also a defensive wall dating from the end of the 4th. century BC, when the inhabitants of northern Europe advanced south to invade the Empire.
The House of the Fountains is particularly interesting, with its water feature (there are over 400 jets of water), lined by brick columns and surrounded by exceptionally well-preserved tiles. The mosaics depict mythological or hunting scenes or geometric designs (the Roman mosaics are the antecedents of the traditional Portuguese pavements which have survived to the present day).
The museum displays local archaeological finds, including a head of Augustus Caesar.
For those who love history, Rome, ruins and ancient civilisations, this is a place you should not miss.