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

INFORMATION CHECKED AND UPDATED 12th JULY 2024

PLEASE CHECK AT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES FOR THE TIMES ON THE EXACT DATE YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL
LONG DISTANCE BUS (COACH) TICKETS MAY BE AVAILABLE ONLY 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE

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

You can now pay for Lisbon metro journeys using contactless payment. Each journey including transfer to another line if needed will cost €1,80.

If you are not planning to spend time in Lisbon, you will need to get from the Airport to LISBOA ORIENTE station. Obviously, taxis are available. However, this is very simple using the Lisbon metro (subway) from the airport station. Trains run to Oriente station every few minutes from 0630 until 0100 every night. The journey takes about 5 minutes, ticket price €2,30 (cash) which includes 50 cents for the rechargeable ticket card. There is also city bus 744 to Oriente, however large luggage is not allowed. 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. Journey time is about 3 hours 30 minutes. Departures at 0815, 1315 and 1915. One way ticket without discount €19,00 second class, €26,85 1st class. Return journeys to Lisbon leave Covilhã at 0748, 1452 and 1911. SEAT RESERVATION IS COMPULSORY.

These also stop at Lisbon Oriente (much closer to the airport) 9 minutes after leaving Santa Apolónia. Journey time Lisbon Santa Apolónia <> Covilhã about 3hrs 27 minutes. 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 two or three connections daily using regional trains, sometimes changing en route at Entroncamento. These trains take one or even two hours longer than the Intercity trains, but are cheaper. Allow plenty of time to purchase a ticket as the ticket machines for regional trains at some stations are no longer in service. You may have to wait in line at the staffed ticket office. Tickets for regional trains can be purchased on line at www.cp.pt or with their app.

Train times are subject to change around major public holidays, for example Easter, Christmas and New Year. Check official timetables carefully when making your reservations.

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 Rede Expressos

You will  most of the time need to make your way from the airport to the SETE RIOS bus terminal, the starting point for most. 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 €2,30 if you pay by cash, €1,80 by card.

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 standard fare is currently €16,50. The journey takes about 3 hrs 25 minutes. There are currently 10 - 12 journeys each way daily. Extra journeys operate in both directions on Friday and Sunday evenings during University terms. Several journeys each day also stop at Lisbon Oriente bus station, which is much closer to the airport.

Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance. Discounted tickets, up to 50% reduction on the standard fare, will usually be available for early bookings.

Lisbon - Covilhã by bus (coach) - Operated by Flixbus

FLIXBUS run five times every day from Lisbon Oriente to Covilhã Bus Station. Their journeys take on average 3 hours 10 minutes. Times and tickets at their website www.flixbus.pt or app.

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 18 minutes, other journeys around 6 hours. That does compare badly with the coach (bus) services which take a more direct route.

One way 2nd class ticket between €23 and €39, but prices vary according to which train(s) you use. Details and ticket purchase at www.cp.pt

Take the METRO DO PORTO Line E from the Airport to Campanhã station. You may need to change trains, which I recommend you do at Lapa station where this is done on the same platform, no need for steps, tunnels etc. Trains are currently running about every 15 minutes daily between about 0700 and 2000, about every 30 minutes at other times. The first train from the airport is at 0606 on weekdays, 0558 on Saturdays and at 0557 on Sundays and public holidays That will take about 35 minutes and costs €2.75 - a Z4 (four zone) ticket. More details at the METRO DO PORTO website. By the way, don't throw away your 'ANDANTE' ticket if you are coming back to Porto. It is rechargeable. You can use it until it wears out and saves you €0.60 on each subsequent ticket of the same type. Tickets are sold at the Airport tourist office, but if it's not open you will need some coins for the ticket machines. The service to the Airport from Trindad starts at 0558 on weekdays, 0622 at weekends and on public holidays, with the last train at 0037 every night. The first direct trains from Campanhã station to the airport are at 0707 on weekdays, 0706 on Saturdays and 0703 on Sundays and Holidays. The last train from Campanhã  is at 0031 every night. If no direct train is shown, take any WESTBOUND train and change at Trindad station.

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.  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.

Porto to Covilhã by coach (bus) - Operated by Rede Expressos

These leave from Porto Campanhã Bus Station, next to the railway station. Journey time is 3hrs to 3hrs 30 minutes. There are currently about eight direct journeys every day, plus a couple more with a change en route.

One way ticket standard price is €17,50 with cheaper tickets available for advance purchase.Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Rede Expressos website www.rede-expressos.pt

The Campanhã Bus Station is a short distance outside Porto city centre, next to the Campanhã railway station and metro station and is served by numerous city bus routes. It is about 35 minutes from the airport by metro.

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 Terminal Rodovíario. 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 https://rede-expressos.pt/en/points-of-sales select Covilhã from the list.

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 fourteen bus routes operated under the banner Covilhã Mobilidade. Website timetable information is partly available in English These buses serve the main bus station (Terminal Rodovíario) and some buses go up to the old city, which is steeply uphill from the modern town. Routes 10, 12, the University and Serra buses plus route N1 stop at the railway station.

Routes can be mapped, times at stops seen and buses can be tracked at https://cov.elevensystems.pt/tracking?tab=lines or by downloading the app.

Most routes operate only on weekdays and until around 2000hrs. The University bus runs once every hour on weekdays, about every two hours at weekends including a late bus at 2310 except on Saturdays. The 'Serra Shuttle' runs five times daily up to the Penhas de Saúde, continuing three times daily further up to the 'Torre de Serra Estrela. Weekday evening and all other weekend service is provided by routes N1, N2 and N3.

Cash fare on board is €1,80 for any journey. A pre paid ten journey pass costs €12.15. A daily ticket for the city zone is €3,65 valid on all buses except the Serra Shuttle, which has a special fare of €12,10 return (round trip). Various monthly passes are also available, with further discounts for seniors over 65 years.

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


The railway from Covilhã has a few local trains every day, 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 railway also runs between Guarda and Covilhã. There are stops at Sabugal, Benespera, Maçainhas, Belmonte - Manteigas and Caria. There are five trains every day, at highly irregular intervals! The timetable for these trains can be downloaded here. The station at Belmonte is 3.9km (about two and half miles) from the town. There are no buses between the two.

The Rede Expressos bus / 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. So far as I can ascertain there is no regional bus service at weekends or on public holidays. Buses do not have route / line numbers. Please do check at the bus station for detailed times.

The bus company website no longer has downloadable timetables. Printed timetables may be available at the bus station. On the website, each trip must be searched by  origin, destination and date. Website is www.transdev.pt and is only in Portuguese.

TRANSDEV (no route number) to Fundão - weekdays only - five buses each way, to Orjais and Vale Formoso - weekdays only - four buses each way, to Belmonte via  Orjais and Vale Formoso only one journey each weekday at 0705hrs, returning at 1700hrs.

Auto Transportes Fundão run to various nearby villages including Tortosendo, Dominguiso, Vales do Rio, Peso and Barco. These routes have three or four buses each weekday at best. There is no weekend or holiday service at all. Timetables can be downloaded at https://www.atf.pt/Horarios.html but there is no map.

To Manteigas there is one bus on weekdays only at 1700hrs. Change of bus needed en route. Operator unknown - times here.

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

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, which are on Sunday afternoons. SC Covilhã will be paying season 20224 - 2025 in the Third Division (Liga 3) of the Portuguese League in front of a few hundred fans.

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!

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