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


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. Reduced local bus service is in operation.

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 €17,75 second class, €25,101st class. Return journeys to Lisbon leave Covilhã at 0753, 1453 and 1853.

These also stop at Lisbon Oriente (much closer to the airport) 9 minutes after leaving Santa Apolónia. Journey time Lisbon Santa Apolónia <> Covilhã approx 3hrs 27 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 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 now be purchased on line.

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 Citi Express

You will probably 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 €2.

There is also a direct bus, Aerobus 2, from the airport to Sete Rios but running only once each hour from 0800 to 1900hrs. 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/

Two journeys each day also stop at Lisbon Oriente bus station which is much closer to the airport.

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 €16,50 and the journey takes about 3 hrs 25 minutes. There are currently seven journeys each way daily. Extra journeys operate in both directions on Friday and Sunday evenings during University terms. Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance.

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 about €27,00 by most trains but prices vary according to which train(s) you use. Details and ticket purchase at www.cp.pt

There is a metro connection between Porto Airport and Campanhã station, takes about 35 minutes and costs €2,60. Service runs daily from 0557 until 0042 every day, with trains currently every 30 minutes. You now need to change trains 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 Citi Express or Rede Expressos

These leave from Porto (Campo 24 Agosto Bus Station) journey time is 3hrs to 3hrs 30 minutes. There are currently about ten journeys every day.

One way ticket is €17,50 Tickets for all journeys can be purchased in advance at the Rede Expressos website www.rede-expressos.pt

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 (same line as for the Campanhã railway 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  https://www.rede-expressos.pt/pointsofsales 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 six weekday bus routes operated under the banner 'Transportes Urbanos de Covilhã. Website timetable information is only in Portuguese. These local buses stop outside the main bus station and also go up to the old city on the hill which is steeply uphill from the modern town.

I do not know if a bus stops at the railway station. There is no obvious indication in the timetables and there is no route map to consult.

The main routes run about every 30 - 60 minutes on weekdays until about 2000hrs. For weekday evening also weekend / holiday service see below. Many bus times are marked Apenas no Inverno (runs in winter only) or Apenas no Verão (runs in summertime only  basically during school summer holidays) so take care to look at the correct times.

Only three routes operate at late on weekday evenings, at weekends and on public holidays. For weekday evening also weekend and holiday service, find routes N1, N2 and N3 at the bottom of the page.

There is a zonal fare system with cash fares of either €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 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 line between Guarda and Covilhã re-opened to passengers on 2nd May 2021. There are stops at Sabugal, Benespera, Maçainhas, Belmonte and Caria. There are six trains every day, at highly irregular intervals! The timetable for these trains 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 local 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.

The official 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. REGIONAL BUS SERVICE HAS BEEN SEVERELY REDUCED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. DO CHECK TIMES CAREFULLY. Website is www.transdev.pt and is only in Portuguese. So far as I can ascertain there is currently no bus service at weekends or on public holidays.

TRANSDEV (no route number) to Castelo Branco via Fundão. Weekdays only - five buses each way for Fundão, currently no service beyond there to Castelo Branco.

To Teixoso, Orjais and Vale Formoso - weekdays  six buses between Covilhã andTeixoso, much less frequent beyond.

To Belmonte via Teixoso, Orjais and Vale Formoso five times each way on weekdays only.

Auto Transportes Fundao (ATF, no website) run to Tortosendo, Dominguiso, Vales, Peso and Barco. Current service unknown. There were seven buses each way on weekdays, but no weekend or holiday service.

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.

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!

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