Visit Covilhã, The Picturesque Town Of Wool And Snow

Have you ever wondered what else there is in Portugal apart from the beaches and wineries?

What is the middle of the country like?

What are the mountains hiding?

Let us introduce you to Covilhã, one of the most important towns of the Centro region, where you can find much more than just wool and snow.

Why should you visit Covilhã?

Covilhã is a marvellous little town, located at the foot of the highest mountains in Portugal, at the gate of Serra da Estrela National Park.

Despite Covilhã not being a huge metropolis, there are several reasons to visit. The beauty of the mountains, the surrounding hiking roads, the cosiness of the town and the hospitality of the locals are already pretty good reasons.

Where is Covilhã?

Covilhã is located in central Portugal, in the Centro region, Cova da Beira subregion. It occupies an area of approximately 555 km2 at the bottom of the highest Portuguese mountains, Serra da Estrela. Covilhã is situated 300 km Northeast of Lisbon and 100 km East of Coimbra.

Discover more about Portugal when you subscribe to our newsletter.


What’s the weather like in Covilhã?


Covilhã has Mediterranean weather, which means that the summer is rather warm and the winter is moderately cold and rainy.

While the rainfall in the driest month of July is only 10 mm, in January it can reach as much as 162 mm. January is also the coldest month with an average temperature of 6.2 °C.

From January the weather starts getting warmer, reaching its peak in August, with an average temperature of 22.2 °C.

The warmest months are between June and September, while spring (March-May) and autumn (October and November) are still pleasant with an average temperature of 10-14 °C.

What is the best time to visit Covilhã?

It only depends on your plans. If you want to hike around and enjoy the surrounding nature without catching the rain, aim for the time between June and September.

On the other hand, if you would like to see snow in Portugal and try the only ski resort in the country, January is the best time to visit.

Where to stay in Covilhã?

Below we listed two types of accommodation for you. The first one is for those, who are looking for extraordinary comfort and luxury.

The second list is for those on a lower budget, who just need a bed and don’t mind the number of stars.

Full comfort

Puralã – Wool Valley Hotel & SPA

Nice and calm environment, aromatherapy and comfortable beds, what else do you need? The four-star hotel and SPA has all the facilities to provide a relaxing holiday any time of the year.

Check their availability here.

Casa Serra da Estrela

This country house is the perfect choice for a summer vacation in the mountains. You can cool down in the private pool and use the air conditioner inside the house.

Casa Serra da Estrela can host up to six people, perfect for a weekend with the whole family or with friends.

Check their availability here.

Casa Serra da Estrela

Luna Chalets da Montanha

In case you are dreaming about a ski holiday in the Alps, Luna Chalets da Montanha is the best choice for you. Right at the bottom of the ski routes, cosy wooden houses provide the ultimate winter experience.

Check their availability here.

Casa das Penhas Douradas Design Hotel & SPA

Inside the national park, beautiful mountain views and spa guarantee total relaxation in Casa das Penhas Douradas Design Hotel & SPA. Book your beautiful room and let nature fill you with energy!

Check their availability here.

Luna Hotel Dos Carqueijais

Spectacular views, unique design and delicious food in a four-star hotel – Luna Hotel Dos Carqueijais. Don’t hesitate to book your holiday for all the comfort you need.

Check their availability here.

Cheaper solutions for low budget travellers

Residencial Panorama

Only 130 meters away from the centre of Covilhã, Residencial Panorama guesthouse offers you elegant rooms and free breakfast. Stay in the historical town and breath in the atmosphere!

Check their availability here.

Tomás Guest House

You don’t have to pay hundreds of euros to stay in a nice room with a mountain view. Tomás Guest House has rooms with a balcony and panoramic views for an affordable price in the region of Covilhã.

Check their availability here.


Airbnb can sometimes be a cheaper solution for you and your group when considering all the options you have.

Get a €41 discount when you book your Airbnb stay by clicking on this link.

Private room in a condominium

Book this private room on Airbnb for an unbeatable price! The room is clean and comfy with a great view. Basically, everything that you need for your trip to Covilhã.

Covilhã Hostel

For those who don’t mind sharing a room with other people, Covilhã Hostel might be a great choice. It is located in the town centre and allows you to make friends with other fellow travellers.

Covilha hostel

Apartamento Rua Centro das Artes, Covilhã

If you travel with family or friends, this apartment might be a great low budget solution for you. It can host up to five people and the entire apartment is only for you, including the kitchen and the bathroom.

Things to do in Covilhã

Covilhã is famous for the natural beauty around it. But let’s see what exactly you should not skip when visiting the town!

Winter sports

It might be a surprise for you but from December until the middle of April it is possible to find snow in Portugal. Thanks to the altitude in Estância de Ski Serra da Estrela, a ski resort awaits you with its blue, green and red routes.

The ski resort is great for experienced skiers and beginners alike.

You can also book a full-day tour to Serra da Estrela with a tour guide and pick-up service. Check their availability here.


Hiking and climbing

From Covilhã, several walking trails lead to the Serra da Estrela National Park. You can climb up to the highest peak of Portugal, the 1,993-metre high Torre, or just visit the surrounding lakes and forests.

Following the footsteps of the wool industry

Covilhã has two former factories, reminiscent of the city’s wool spinning and weaving heritage. The Fábrica de Panos da Covilhã and the Fábrica Real Veiga represent the different eras from the beginning of the industry in 1680 until its end in the 20th century.

We can learn about the manual and mechanical production processes and see examples of the yarn, clothing and fabric manufactured there.

The story of Serra da Estrela Cheese

The local cheese is one of the most characteristic foods that you have to try during your stay. However, you can go further and, instead of just tasting it, you can also learn about the production process and its history.

Visit the Museu de Quejo (Cheese Museum) in the village of Pêraboa just a few kilometres away from Covilhã!

Cheese in Covilha

To learn more about the different kinds of Portuguese cheese, read our article here!

The Queen of Cherry

Wool and cheese are not the only things the Covilhã region is famous for. The local cherry also deserves your attention. Taste the local treats made from cherries, such as cherry wine, liquor, jam or candies!

In the Centro Interpretativo da Cereja – the Cherry Museum – you can learn everything about this delicious fruit.

What are the top monuments in Covilhã?

The town is full of nice and characteristic buildings. Here is a little guide about each one, explaining why are they worth a visit.

Igreja de Santa Maria

The church dates back to the 16th century, although its recent form is quite new. The emblematic azulejo tiles were added only twenty years ago. The white and blue paintings on them tell the story of the Virgin Mary, after who the church is named.

Igreja da Santa Maria

Portas do Sol, the scenic neighbourhood

Portas do Sol is the western part of Covilhã, a picturesque neighbourhood with a beautiful panorama of the mountains. The local castle used to stand there but after the earthquake in 1755, it almost completely disappeared.

Ponte da Ribeira da Carpinteira

Covilhã is not just a town full of old buildings. It is also home to some modern constructions such as the minimalist bridge, the Ponte da Ribeira da Carpinteira. The bridge was designed by João Luís Carrilho da Graça and it was opened in 2009.

Elevador do Parque da Goldra

To encourage the locals to walk instead of taking the car, the city came up with a brilliant idea. They built an elevator to make it easier to reach the top of the town. The Elevador do Parque da Goldra is only 40 meters high, but it helps university students to get to their classes on foot.

Praça do Município, the main square

There are several reasons to take a closer look at Covilhã’s central square.

First of all, because in front of the town hall, you will see the statue of Pêro da Covilhã. The explorer, diplomat and spy who made a career in the Age of Discovery. The granite panel commemorates the adventures of the city’s hero.

Other attractions are the arcs and the remains of the former Jewish quarter. Start wandering and discover the old town!

The main square

What to buy in Covilhã?

You cannot go wrong with one of the local soft cheeses. They are delicious and characteristic, with a special way to eat. You have to open the top of the cheese, take out the soft cream and spread it on bread as if it was butter.

Another great souvenir idea is products made of cherry. Cherry wine, jam and numerous pasteis filled with the sweet fruit.

Is Covilhã worth a visit?

It definitely is! Covilhã offers a beautiful landscape, with the highest mountains in Portugal. The location offers unique opportunities, on account of its ski resort where you can practice winter sports, not to mention the city’s rich cultural heritage, handicrafts and gastronomy goods.

So if Covilhã hasn’t been on your bucket list until now, it’s time to add it!

For more lesser-known and interesting destinations, read our article about Fundão.