Covilhã Travel Guide

  • Covilhã
    by Avieira67
  • Covilhã
    by Avieira67
  • Covilhã
    by Avieira67

Covilhã Highlights

  • Pro
    Bwana_Brown profile photo

    Bwana_Brown says…

     The Serra da Estrela are Bleak but Magnificent! 

  • Con
    veigapaula profile photo

    veigapaula says…

     very specific 

  • In a nutshell
    Bwana_Brown profile photo

    Bwana_Brown says…

     Take your time here and enjoy what the mountains have to offer! 

Covilhã Things to Do

  • The highest mountain

    The Natural Park of Estrela starts right next to Covilhã and has within the highest peak in Continental Portugal often filled in snow during winter.The rough and mountainous setting dotted with small lagoons offers places of rare beauty.

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  • Overlook

    In the road EN 339 that climbs from Covilhã to the top of Estrela Mountain, next to the Varanda dos Carquejais hotel there is a nice overlook giving an impressive panorama of the plains down below.

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  • Nice City Centre

    I did not had much time to fully explore the town of Covilhã but the city centre seems to have a few monuments to see and some manor houses. I would say one of the highlights should be Santa Maria Maior Church. Hidden in the city centre, it has a beautiful glazed tile façade dating back to the XIX century.Avoid taking the car to the city centre...

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  • Nestled in the Valley

    As we neared the end of the valley, and not too far from the Poco do Inferno (a waterfall that we would later visit), we stopped to enjoy the view from a small lookout area. Below lay a small village along the banks of the Zerere River, with the lower slopes of the valley now covered in trees.

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  • Poco do Inferno - a Hidden Waterfall

    A short drive on a narrow side-road off the main N338 highway along the valley wall will bring you to the waterfall known as Poco do Inferno (Hell's Well). The drive itself is quite pleasant and the waterfall is also very scenic where the Leandros River flows through a gorge to join up with the Zezere far below. The flow of water was not too...

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  • Hanging on in Harsh Conditions

    As we reached the crest of this 1760 m (5500 ft) ridge, off in the distance we could see the even higher peaks of the main part of the Serra da Estrela. We also noticed the quite sudden change in vegetation at the side of the road. There were no trees blocking the view up here, just colourful yellow and purple gorse clinging desperately to the...

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Covilhã Hotels

See all 13 Hotels in Covilhã

Covilhã Restaurants

  • Big home-made pizzas!

    Really nice food! It's home made and you can see the cook do his job :-) You choose all the ingredients you like. Pizzas are unique size (large). A pizza is for two people. It's really cheap. A pizza costs about 7-8 EUR. With drinks and coffe, 4-5 EUR per person.

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  • Any restaurant have great...

    Any restaurant have great food.But you must try the cheese from Manteigas, it's a butter cheese called 'Queijo da Serra', you also must try that with red wine....don't drive...Cheese (butter) ->(queijo da Serra)Sausage (blood or meat) -> Morcela, chouriçoHam -> Presunto, Paio We like very much 'Alheiras', a kind of sausage, you can find...

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  • Children's delight

    Covilhã has at least one McDonald's and it is near the hotel, on a modern residential neighbourhood. As we were travelling with children, we had dinner once at McDonald's, which was a great night out for them. I guess I don't need to add further details concerning food quality and price, …

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  • Varied buffet

    Having your dinner at the hotel is another option. We had dinner there one night and during weekends they have buffet dinners. Price is around 15euros/person (drinks not included) and there is a wide choice of starters, main plate and deserts. Food is international style, and meant to please every taste. I must confess I prefer traditional...

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  • Not my first choice

    The night we arrived in Covilhã we had dinner at this restaurant, recommended by the hotel's staff. Food was okish and service was good. But, overall, I don't think the quality you get is enough for the price you pay. Although this restaurant is near the hotel, and therefore convenient, it wouldn't be my first choice in Covilhã. Total price for...

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  • An excellent choice

    Located in the city centre, opposite the Town Hall. While staying in Covilhã, this was the best restaurant we went to. It has very good food and prices are also economic. It serves 2 sizes for plates, and we all chose the smaller and still there was plenty food for everybody. Deserts are very good. I highly recommend it, but if you're planning to...

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Covilhã Nightlife

  • Various

    In the city centre, by the City Hall, there is an interesting building that is the “Cine-teatro” – a mixture of cinema and theatre (it is the tall building in the photo). This building, which is under the refurbishment program I mentioned previously, displays movies and also other spectacles such as dancing and ballet. For info on what’s going on,...

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  • Hotel Méelia Confort D. Maria

    As I mentioned previously, we were travelling with small children which didn’t allow us much nightlife, … But still, the hotel has a cosy bar with snooker tables. Most people in the hotel’s bar where couples with children, so children all gathered and played together while parents could play some snooker or have a drink. But beware: if you ask for...

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  • Illuminated city at night

    Strolling around the illuminated city centre at night is very nice. Mainly, if you are lucky enough with the weather as it was our case – although we visited in middle February and this is a mountain area, the temperature was not too low, which allowed us some nice walks through the city, even with small children. In front of the City Hall you will...

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Covilhã Transportation

  • Fiat Punto Rental Car

    As with the other parts of our 2500-km road trip around Portugal, the little Fiat Punto rental car served us well. By this 5th day of the road trip, we had put about 1350 km on it without any problems at all. You certainly would not want anything much bigger considering the width of some of the secondary roads that we enjoyed taking.

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  • Walking around

    Being a somewhat small city, it is easily discovered if you walk around. I thing it is the best way, as its streets are narrow and driving around may become a little complicated, at least for longer cars. Parking is not that easy and if you are walking around you won't have to worry about this and may wonder around at ease.

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  • By train

    There are daily trains from Lisbon to Covilhã, as well as from other cities around the country. The train station is close to city centre and there are taxis and buses that may take visitors from train station to other places around the city or nearby localities. For further info on trains, check the Portuguese railways: www.cp.pt.

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Covilhã Shopping

  • Cheese and leather products

    If you are looking for some traditional products to buy as souvenir to take home, I would recommend both the cheese (Queijo da Serra) and leather products. The cheese is creamy and very tasty, although its flavour is very soft. Leather products are also typical from this area, both treated leather or that leather that looks like natural and still...

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  • Streets and shopping centres

    If you want to do some shopping or window-shopping, don't miss some of the pedestrian streets in the city centre, as they have plenty of shops. Also, I've noticed 2 shopping centres in Covilhã, although I didn't visit any of them, and therefore I cannot advice as to whether they are worth visiting or not. One of them is located in the city centre,...

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  • Covilhã Hotels

    13 Hotels in Covilhã

    66 Reviews and Opinions

Covilhã Local Customs

  • Shepherd's Dwellings

    The slopes of the Zezere valley are not too fertile, having been bulldozed by the glacier as its slowly made its way along. Consequently, one of the main uses of the valley today is for sheep grazing on its slopes. Nestled in the valley floor, we saw several of these ancient stone dwellings used by shepherds. Very often, the roofs have to be...

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  • Flowers

    While strolling around city centre, we came across this flowers in the streets. There are some tall flowerpots, in the shape of a triangle, all covered in these curious flowers we had never seen before – if you look closer they look like coloured cabbages!! We found them both in white and purple, and both like nice. After “discovering” these in...

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  • Azulejos

    Azulejos are traditional Portuguese tiles. Azulejos are hand painted tiles and can be found in blue and white shades or coloured, depending on theme, epoch and place. In Covilhã we found some nice examples of this typical Portuguese arts craft, both in churches and private houses. The azulejos depicted on this photo allude to the wool manufacture,...

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Covilhã Warnings and Dangers

  • A Battered Landscape

    This barren granite landscape is what you will see as you go even higher into the Serra da Estrela. The highest peak in the range is 1993 m (6539 ft) but, by Royal decree, a small tower was built there to raise its height to 2000 m so Portugal could claim at least one peak with that height. Naturally, the place is known as Torre! Our detour into...

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  • Parking in non-authorized places

    While visiting Covilhã by car you should be extra careful regarding parking your car. On the city centre there are a few authorized parking spaces, and the police will fine all cars parked outside these places. If you are driving a long car be careful when you venture into the oldest neighbourhoods, as streets are very narrow and in some places...

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  • Roads ...

    When traveling in this region the first thing that you see is the bad roads. Many of them are located in the interior of the mountain and they very strait... Sometimes it's dificult for 2 cars pass side by side.

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Covilhã What to Pack

  • by Elizabete Written Oct 4, 2002

    Luggage and bags: You don't need much clothes. I always bring two full suitcases thinking I will wear everything but I don't. I've learnt!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the Summer: Sandals, Runners, lot's of shorts, tank tops, some warm clothes(not alot)

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: bring bug spray!!!!!!!!

    Photo Equipment: Just your regular stuff

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Covilhã Off The Beaten Path

  • Sortelha

    Sortelha is in a better condition than Castelo Novo. It has been completely refurbished and all stone houses look wonderful with their wooden doors and windows. But too perfect, and so many of them seem to be empty, … Going up the castle and the castle's walls provides a fabulous view over the surrounding mountains and valleys … just breathtaking!...

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  • Belmonte

    Belmonte is beautiful village, with nice architecture, beautiful surroundings and flowered streets. Locals are also very nice and welcoming. And we ate a fabulous lunch there with a tasty typical dessert. The castle lies on top of the village and it used to belong to the Cabral family - Pedro Alvares Cabral is a famous Portuguese who discovered the...

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  • Castelo Novo

    Castelo Novo was one of the villages we visited on our way from Lisbon to Covilhã. It is a small village, one of the historical villages that is included in Serra da Estrela Historical Villages' routes. We went up to the castle's ruins and from there we enjoyed a nice view over the village's narrow streets and houses made of stone. From up there we...

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Covilhã Favorites

  • Around town in Covilha

    No tourist destination in itself, Covilha offers little for the tourist other than a place to stopover and get out of the next day. We did take our daily walk and will share with you what we saw.The first photo is of the statue of Pedro da Covilha, town founder.The second photo shows some of the beautiful tile work done on the buildings.The third...

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  • Covilha is located HERE

    This map shows the location of Covilha, about 2/3 of the way up along the Spanish border, starting from the south. On this day we took in the Serra da Estrela mountains just to the west of Covilha after we had had an amazing tour of the boulder-strewn village of 'Monsanto' and while we were enroute between our pre-booked accommodations in Castelo...

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  • The wool

    The wool manufactories have been a determinant factor on the growth of this city a few centuries ago. Since these manufactories need water, the city grew along 2 water streams. Also, they have become the most important economic activity of this place – I think I may say that this city used to live on the wools. The wool manufactory, that is...

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Explore Deeper into Covilhã
Drive Along the Valley Walls
Things to Do
The city
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Routes
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Tourism Offce
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Map
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Serra da Estrela
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City Hall
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Igreja da Misericórdia
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Igreja Santa Maria
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Igreja Nª Srª de Fátima
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Museu dos Laníficios - II
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Museu dos Lanificios
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By car
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Warnings and Dangers
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Off The Beaten Path
Artificial skiing
Off The Beaten Path
Manteigas
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Great View over Covilhã
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Any restaurant have great...
Restaurants
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Restaurants
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Nightlife
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Off The Beaten Path
Visit the small towns near...
Favorites
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Warnings and Dangers
Please see the travelogue...
Off The Beaten Path
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Off The Beaten Path
Map of Covilhã

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