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COVILHÃ - how to get there by train or bus and how to get around

Page checked and updated 10th May 2017.

I have no easy means to check or update so please confirm through sources given below.

COVILHÃ (pop.37,000, urban area 55,000) is a city of Northeastern Portugal. It is not in the Algarve - I was visiting! The city is about 175 miles / 278 km by road from Lisbon and 132 miles /212 km from Porto.

From Lisbon Airport and City to Covilhã by train  cplogo

If you are not planning to spend time in Lisbon, you will need to get from the Airport to LISBOA ORIENTE station. This is now very simple using the Lisbon metro (subway)  - trains run to Oriente station every few minutes from 0630 until 0100 every night. The journey takes about 5 minutes. There is also city bus 744 to Oriente.

City bus details at http://www.carris.pt/
 
If you are planning to spend time in Lisbon, all trains to Covilhã start from the city centre SANTA APOLÓNIA station. Check all details and buy your intercity tickets at www.cp.pt

From Lisbon Santa Apolónia there are three direct Intercity trains each day. Departures at 0815, 1315 and 1915. One way ticket without discount €17,20 second class, €24,20 1st class. Return journeys at 0731, 1431 and 1831.

These also stop at Lisbon Oriente (much closer to the airport) 9 minutes after leaving Santa Apolónia. Journey time to Covilhã approx 3hrs 40 minutes.

Reservation is required. You can buy a ticket at the last minute, but if the train is full you will have to wait until the next one. There are also up to three connections daily using regional trains, changing en route at Entroncamento. These trains take one or even two hours longer than the Intercity trains but are cheaper. Regional train tickets cannot be bought on line or in advance. Allow plenty of time to purchase a ticket as the ticket machines for regional trains are no longer in service. You have to wait in line at the staffed ticket office.

Reservations for train trips in Portugal can only be made up to a MAXIMUM of 60 days in advance. You can reserve on line at www.cp.pt and print your own ticket. A big discount is available on many trains for tickets purchased more than 8 days in advance. DO NOT use RailEurope etc as they cannot issue the required seat reservation for which you will pay extra.

Lisbon - Covilhã by bus (coach) - OPERATED BY CITI EXPRESS

You will need to make your way from the airport to the SETE RIOS bus terminal. This is about 3 miles/5km from the airport and is linked to it by the underground metro line. Take any train to the end of the line at São Sebastião then change to the Blue Line for a two stop ride to Jardim Zoológico station, which is adjacent to Sete Rios. Trains run every few minutes from 0630 daily. The journey will take around 25 minutes and cost €1,95.

There is also a direct special bus, Aerobus 2, running every 40 minutes. Consult the Aerobus website for details. For your bus options from elsewhere in the city check the city bus website at http://www.carris.pt/

Consult the long distance bus website www.rede-expressos.pt for Lisbon - Covilhã times, remember it's LISBOA on the timetable search. One-way fare is currently €16.00 and the journey takes about 3 hrs 45 minutes. There are six journeys each way on weekdays, three on Saturdays and four on Sundays. Extra journeys operate in both directions on Friday and Sunday evenings during University terms.

Porto to Covilhã by train

There is no direct route by train. Travel by IC train from Porto Campanhã to Entroncamento and change there. Shortest journey time is 5 hours 4 minutes, most other journeys around 6 hours. That does compare badly with the coach (bus) times which take a more direct route.

One way 2nd class ticket €27,60. Details and ticket purchase at www.cp.pt

There is a direct metro connection between Porto Airport and Campanhã station, takes 35 minutes and costs €2,45.

Please note that reservations for train trips in Portugal can only be made up to a MAXIMUM of 60 days in advance. You can reserve on line and print your own ticket. big A discount is available on many trains for tickets purchased more than 8 days in advance.  DO NOT use RailEurope etc as they cannot issue the required seat reservation for which you will pay extra.

Porto to Covilhã by coach (bus)

Citiexpress Route 1 from Porto (Campo 24 Agosto Bus Station) journey 3hrs 30 minutes. Mondays to Thursdays five journeys each way, Fridays seven journeys each way during University terms, five otherwise, Saturdays three journeys each way. Sundays three journeys each way, extras during University terms. Many Sunday journeys DO NOT RUN if the MONDAY following is a holiday; they run on the Monday instead.

One way ticket is €17,50 and a return / round trip €31,60. Tickets can be bought on line up to 30 days in advance at the Rede Expressos website www.rede-expressos.pt

Rede-Expressos has a daily direct trip from Porto (same bus station) to Covilha at 0830 with a return trip at 1715. Additional journeys (most not direct) run on Fridays from Porto and Sundays from Covilha. See their website as above.

The Campo 24 de Agosto bus terminal is a short distance outside Porto city centre, about two minutes walk from the Campo 24 de Agosto metro station and is served by numerous city bus routes.

Arriving in Covilhã

The old city and some of the University campus is on top of a tall hill. The railway and bus stations are 1.5km away down in valley below. It is a VERY steep hill.

The Bus Station in Covilha is signposted and marked on timetables and maps as the Central de Camionagem. It is located in the 'Alameda de Europa' down below the old city and University. It is about 500 metres from the railway station.

Map link  http://www.citiexpress.eu/agente/covilha

Getting around in Covilhã

Once you are up in the old city it is walkable. You cannot drive around there anyway! The city and suburbs have a network of eleven bus routes operated under the banner Covibus. Website www.covibus.com only in Portuguese. These stop outside the main bus station and also go up to the old city on the hill.

Click HORÁRIOS for timetables - INV = winter VER = summer where these are different for certain routes. P. Lectivos = University and school term times only. Exact dates vary each year so check.

One route (27) does stop at the railway station but at such irregular times it is probably not worth bothering about. Several routes stop at the 'Tribunal' about 150 metres from the station, but it is a steep uphill walk from the station. (Everywhere in Covilha is up!)

The main routes run about every 30 - 60 minutes on weekdays until about 2000hrs.

Most routes do not operate after about 2000 hrs on weekdays, after 1400hrs on Saturdays nor at all on Sundays and Holidays. Outside these times, three routes do operate about once each hour until around midnight however.

For weekday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, also Sunday and Holiday service on those three routes, see the NOCTURNOS e FINS-DE-SEMANA/FERIADOS  section.

On Sunday evenings during term time, there is a special shuttle service between the main bus station and the University Campus on route 14 every 30 minutes until midnight.

There is a zonal fare system with cash fares between €1,30 and €1,45 according to distance. Various weekly, monthly and multi-ride tickets are available offering discounts of up to 50% on those fares.

Further afield from Covilhã - local trains, local and regional buses


The railway from Covilhã has local trains stopping at all the villages en route towards Castelo Branco. These trains run three times daily, with an extra journey at the crack of dawn on Mondays. They are modern electric suburban type trains!

The timetable can be downloaded here.

The Citi Express coach services mentioned above go to Guarda, Fundão, Castelo Branco and other nearby towns in the region.

There are very limited bus services between Covilhã and the surrounding area. There are no buses on Sundays and holidays, except for one route in summertime.  Buses do not have route / line numbers. Please do check at the bus station for detailed times.

Based on a visit to the bus station, these are available:

TRANSDEV (no route number) to Castelo Branco via Fundão. Weekdays only - five buses each way for Fundão, three each way for Castelo Branco. No service on Saturdays. To Teixoso, Orjais and Vale Formoso - weekdays every 30 - 60 minutes until 1905hrs, Saturdays six buses each way between Covilha and Teixoso, three each way to Orjais and Vale Formoso. JOALTO also have three buses each way on the same route on weekdays. (This route is not shown on the website.)

Transdev (formerly Joalto) bus to Belmonte via Teixoso, Orjais and Vale Formoso five times each way on weekdays, two buses each way on Saturdays. (This route is not shown on the website)

Auto Transportes Fundao (ATF, no website) run to Tortosendo, Dominguiso, Vales, Peso and Barco seven times each way on weekdays. On Saturdays there are three buses to and from Dominguiso and one each way to and from the places beyond. Last bus on Saturdays is at 1245hrs. No buses on Sundays and Holidays.

ATF also operate other local routes, mainly for schools traffic. Details can be had from their office in the bus station.

Summer service to Parque Campismo do Pião and Penhas de Saúde runs daily from the 1st Sunday in July to the 2nd Sunday in September. There are 3 - 5 journeys depending on destination.

For Manteigas there is one bus each way on weekdays only. Operator unknown - times here.

Citiexpress and Rede Expressos also offer connections between Covilhã and other cities and towns in the north of Portugal eg Guarda, Coimbra, Aveiro, Braga and Guimaraes. See their website.

The Rodonorte coach company operates two journeys each way on weekdays between Covilhã, Guarda, Viseu, Regua etc through Vila Real to Braga and Guimaraes. There is one journey on Saturdays. Extra trips operate on Sundays during University terms. Check their website www.rodonorte.pt for details, only in Portuguese

Football Stadium in Covilhã

The stadium of SC Covilhã (the Complexo Desportivo de Covilhã is within walking distance of the city centre. Only one bus route passes by and not at times convenient for most matches. SC Covilhã currently play in the Second Division of the Portuguese League in front of 400 - 500 fans at best.

Comments and updates

If you have any comments or updates for this page, I will be pleased to receive them by email. For more about Covilhã as a city, please see this article in Wikipedia.

I take no responsibility for any inconvenience caused as a result of later changes to times etc. This page is for general guidance only and you must check details before making commitments and decisions!

For an alphabetical list of places in the Algarve, please click here
For a quick list of all timetables on the site click here
For some important general notes about buses in the Algarve, click here

Back to the main page here

www.algarvebus.info