Covilhã (koo-vee-LYUHN, /ku.vi.ˈʎɐ̃/) serves as a gateway to Serra da Estrela, the centre of Portugal's winter sports. The city proper has 35,000 residents, and the municipality is home to 52,000 people.
Covilhã enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, but is one of the few areas of Portugal to experience regular snowfall. Higher locations in the municipality, such as Penhas da Saúde, can experience blizzards, while the city centre gets no more than a dusting that doesn't accumulate.
- 1 Posto de Turismo (Tourist Office), Praça do Município, email@example.com. Tu–Sa 09:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, closed Su M. This is the city-centre tourist information office.
- 2 Welcome Center, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stop here on your way into town to get information and pick up brochures.
- 1 Covilhã train station (Estação Ferroviária da Covilhã), Largo da Estação dos Caminhos de Ferro. Comboios de Portugal serves Covilhã with Intercity and Regional trains on the Linha da Beira Baixa and Linha da Beira Alta lines, with service from Lisbon, Coimbra, Guarda, and Castelo Branco.
- The A23 motorway (Auto-Estrada da Beira Interior) reaches Covilhã from Torres Novas, Abrantes, Castelo Branco, and Guarda. It meets the A1 on its western end, providing access from Lisbon. On its eastern end it meets the A25 providing a connection from Spain.
- The EN18 (N18) road provides access from Guarda and Castelo Branco, as well as the Alentejo cities of Portalegre, Évora, and Beja.
- 2 Covilhã bus station (Central de Camionagem de Covilhã, Terminal Rodoviário da Covilhã), Alameda da Europa. Citi Express, Transdev, and Rede Expressos buses serve Covilhã from such cities as Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Guarda, and Castelo Branco.
- Transportes Urbanos da Covilhã, ☏ . PDF timetable. Transdev operates eight daytime and three night-time bus routes on behalf of the municipality. €1.30-1.45.
- 1 Museu de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), Casa Maria José Alçada, Jardim Municipal, Avenida Frei Heitor Pinto 9, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. The collections of religious art include painting, sculpture, and jewelry. Free.
- 2 Museu do Queijo (Cheese Museum), Rua da Fonte Velha 15, Peraboa, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–Su 10:30–12:30 & 14:30–17:30, closed M. This museum honours the men, women, and herds who produce the local queijo da Serra da Estrela (Serra da Estrela cheese). Tastings are available.
- Torre in Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the highest peak in Continental Portugal.
- 1 Covilhã Shopping, Quinta do Alvito, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 08:30–22:00. A mall five minutes from the centre of town with 50 shops.
- 2 Serra Shopping, Alameda da Europa 1, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00–22:00. A mall with 75 shops and restaurants.
- 1 Taberna a Laranjinha, Rua Primeiro de Dezembro 10, ☏ , email@example.com. M–F 12:30–15:00 & 19:30–23:00, Sa 19:30–23:00, closed Su. The town-centre tavern with rustic exterior and decor offers tasty regional cuisine. It's rated by Michelin as "Bib Gourmand" (good quality, good value cooking) and "Simple" restaurant. €5-15.
- 2 Varanda da Estrela, Rua Nave da Areia 5, Penhas da Saúde, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M Tu Th Sa 09:00–00:00, F 12:00–17:00, Su 09:00–00:00, closed W. A cosy mountain chalet serving traditional regional cooking. €8-25.
- 1 Pousada Serra da Estrela, Estrada Nacional 339, Penhas da Saúde, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. This four-star, 92-room mountain hotel boasts an outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool, spa, sauna, restaurant, and room service. €72-161.
- 2 Tryp Covilhã Dona Maria Hotel, Alameda Pêro da Covilhã, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This four-star, 87-room hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a health club, a spa, and a business centre. €57-95.