Coimbra
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Our most recommended Coimbra Nature & Adventure

Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

1. Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

After meeting your tour guide in the morning, you will be transported to Penacova and provided with the kayaking equipment and some instructions. Then, set off from the Carvoeira dam on a kayaking tour with a total length of 18 km (11 miles).  You'll be kayaking through the natural Mondego river valley, surrounded by extensive forests. As you travel downriver, you will pass by the small villages of Ronqueira, Rebordosa, Louredo, Foz do Caneiro and Casal. This part of the river is full of small beaches where you can stop for a picnic or go to go for a swim. On the river beach of Palheiros, you'll find a small bar where you can buy an ice cream or a cold beer. The river usually has a light current, which makes the kayaking easy and accessible to all ages. Finish in Torres do Mondego, after 3-4 hours of kayaking and breaks along the way. Expect to arrive between 15.00 and 17.00 pm.

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

2. Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

Discover the religious and learned centers of Portugal on a 10-hour guided tour of Fátima and Coimbra from Porto, and see the nation’s most important pilgrimage destination, and one of the oldest university cities in Europe. Fátima supposedly owes its name to the Moors. But the city is best known for its apparitions of the Virgin Mary to 3 children tending sheep in 1917. Since the miracle was recognized by the Vatican in 1930, 3 different popes have been to Fátima on 5 separate occasions. Visit the stunning Neoclassical Basilica and Sanctuary, and can even attend mass in the Sanctuary if you desire. There will also be some free time for lunch in the bustling city center, full of modern-day pilgrims of retail therapy. Then, continue to Coimbra and discover Portugal’s only university city until the early 20th century. Founded in the 13th century, the hilltop college is one of the oldest in Europe, and provides a beautiful backdrop to a panoramic tour of the city’s narrow streets, full of young students. Visit the Sé Nova Cathedral to see the only church in Portugal to survive the Reconquista almost intact. During the visit in Coimbra's historical center you can walk through the Quebra - Costas, Arco da Almedina, Porta do Barbacã and Rua Ferreira Borges. End at the University in the former buildings of the medieval Royal Palace. Among the highlights is the stunning Joanine Library with baroque details of red and green lacquer and trompe-l’oeil features.

From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

3. From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

This trip begins in Porto and then onto Coimbra, the city of students and the oldest university in the country (from the 12th century) and also one of the oldest in the world. Take the time to visit the Joanina Library with its collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts in the entire country. Visit the old Romanesque style cathedral (Sé Velha). Cross the river to visit the Santa Clara Convent and the Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), where the love between Pedro and Inês blossomed. Then have lunch at one of the taverns downtown where you can find the most delicious snacks. Afterwards, head towards Fátima, where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Here, you will visit the Basilica where Francisco, Jacinta Marto, and Lúcia are buried, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade (Church of the Holy Trinity), and the largest Catholic sanctuary in Portugal. There will also be time to see the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of Apparitions), a small temple built at the request of Our Lady of Fátima when she appeared to the three shepherd children, and Azinheira Grande, the tree that Jacinta, Lúcia, and Francisco passed before seeing the saint. The tour can be adjusted to include the Candle Procession that takes place every day from April 17 to October 31 between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM.

From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

4. From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

With your hotel as the starting point, your private driver will take you to Palácio do Buçaco. Considered the last legacy of the kings of Portugal, it is a charm of nature located in the Bussaco National Forest surrounded by beautiful gardens with Neo-Manueline features decorated by tile panels, frescoes, and paintings depicting the Age of Discovery. Next, head to Coimbra, the city of students, with the oldest university in the country (12th century), and one of the oldest in the world. Enjoy visiting the Baroque library with a collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts from all over the country. A downtown tavern will be suggested for lunch where you can find some of the most delicious snacks in the city. In the afternoon, see the Romanesque architecture of the old cathedral. Across the river, visit the Convent of Santa Clara and the Quinta das Lágrimas, a place that witnessed the love of King Pedro and his beloved D.Inês. Make sure to explore Portugal for the Little Ones, a theme park featuring the major monuments and Portuguese houses in miniature. The Mondego River and the Choupal National Forest are both great spots for a relaxing evening. Return to Porto after an unforgettable day in the City of Love.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

5. From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

Enjoy the convenience of hotel pick up in Lisbon and head to the first stop, the medieval village of Óbidos. A favorite of the Portuguese Queens, this village boasts charming small streets and ancient castle walls and is known as one of the most romantic spots near Lisbon.  Journey 2 hours onward to the city of Coimbra, home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest Portuguese university and one of the oldest in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, many come to admire the University's elegant Joanina Library, a Baroque library from the XVII century. Admire the elaborate azulejo wall tiles of São Miguel Chapel and visit the tomb of the first Portuguese King before enjoying free time to explore the city center.  After a day full of touring, return to Lisbon in an air-conditioned car.

Private 8-Day Tour of Portugal from Lisbon

6. Private 8-Day Tour of Portugal from Lisbon

Experience a fantastic 8-day tour of Portugal’s beautiful cities, and enjoy a week full of exciting and interesting activities. Day 1 (Wednesday): Arrival in Lisbon Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Lisbon. You have the rest of the day to spend as you wish, for example you can use this day to enjoy a stroll through the city. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 2 (Thursday): Lisbon Explore Lisbon on a scenic drive through the old town to Alfama, the oldest district of the city. Afterwards you will visit the Jerónimos Monastery, home to one of the most beautiful cloisters in the world. You will then continue on to Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries before heading back to the hotel. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 3 (Friday): Lisbon – Coimbra Leave the capital city and drive to the picturesque village of Óbidos, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. Afterwards you will head to the traditional fishing village of Nazaré, where you will visit the famous Monastery of Batalha. Continue on to Fátima, the largest place of pilgrimage in Portugal which attracts 4 to 6 million pilgrims every year. From there you can take a trip to the traditional university city of Coimbra. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 4 (Saturday): Coimbra – Porto Enjoy a tour of the Baroque library and St. Michael’s Chapel of the oldest university in Portugal, which was founded in 1291. Afterwards you will drive to Porto, the second largest city in the country. Here you can enjoy an extensive panoramic tour of the city to the cathedral. You will then visit the old stock exchange of Porto – the Palácio da Bolsa – before sampling local wine at a famous port winery. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 5 (Sunday): Porto – Vila Real Today you will leave the capital of the north and head to the green province of Minho, where you will explore the region of Vinho Verde (green wine). Visit the old town of Braga, which is also known as the Rome of Portugal. You will then head to the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte with a monumental stairway. Afterwards you will drive to the city of Guimarães, the cradle of Portugal. Explore the old town and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. You will then drive through Amarante to Vila Real. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 6 (Monday): Vila Real – Guarda After breakfast you will drive to the station of Vila Real. Travel by train through the Port wine region, and along the Corgo River to Régua. Enjoy a fantastic trip to Lamego, known for Presunto (dry-cured ham), where you can take a break. Continue on through Viseu to the city of Guarda at 1,000 meters above sea level. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 7 (Tuesday): Guarda – Lisbon Today you will head through the mountainous areas of Portugal to the city of Castelo Branco. Explore the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace before heading towards the city of Tomar. There you will visit the Templar Castle before driving back to Lisbon. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 8 (Wednesday): Depart Lisbon Transfer to the airport in Lisbon.

From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

7. From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

Day 1: Lisbon Spend a full day exploring Portugal's charming capital city. Take a guided walking tour and become acquainted with one of Europe's most fascinating cities. With your informative guide, see and learn about some of this city's most famous historical landmarks. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included).   Day 2: Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril On the second day, visit Sintra, the Portuguese Aristocracy paradise and discover the charm of its narrow alleys and the typical shops. Visit a local pastry shop where the famous sweets Queijadas de Sintra and Travesseiros de Sintra will be waiting for you. Then, customize your tour and choose from the many palaces to visit in the area, including Quinta da Regaleira and Moorish Castle Palaçio da Pena. Later, visit the geological formation of Cabo da Roca, also known as "The Snout of the Rock" or "Promontory of the Moon," and marvel at the unimaginable beauty of the area. Next, it's time to explore Cascais, an ancient fisherman village turned beautiful and cosmopolitan beach resort. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included). Day 3: Lisbon, Fatima, Coimbra, and Oporto On the third day, escape the bustle of Lisbon and head out to Fatima, where you'll visit three places of interest and attend a mass (optional). Then, make your way to Coimbra and start the tour of the city at the oldest University in Europe. See the highlights including the Joanine library, built in the XVIII century on the grounds of the former prison of the University and marvel at one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Then, transfer to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included). Day 4: Oporto and Gaia Start your day tour of Oporto at the central Avenida dos Aliados, a famous spot for celebrations and events. Admire the imposing Oporto Municipal Council building. Walk around the city center and past the Lello Bookstore with its renowned staircase, known for its link to the Harry Potter series. Then visit Gaia, a hub of the port wine industry where the wine is being aged in hundreds of different cellars. Visit a local winery, where you will be shown the various aspects of winemaking and also taste some of the best wines in the world. At the end of your day, return to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included) Day 5: Douro Valley Check-out at your hotel in Oporto and take your luggage with you as you will be taken to the airport in Lisbon or Oporto at the end of the day (if desired). The day starts with a visit to Amarante in the Douro Valley, where you can see numerous examples of the Romanesque and medieval buildings. Then, stroll along the S. Gonçalo bridge and enjoy some of the most popular sites of the city, including the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo and the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum. Next, head over to the market where you see vendors selling the delicious S. Gonçalo sweets, always a source of curiosity and great laughter due to their phallic appearance.

From Lisbon: Private Tour to Coimbra

8. From Lisbon: Private Tour to Coimbra

Coimbra was the first capital of the kingdom of Portugal for almost two centuries. It gained new status with the foundation of the University. Visiting Coimbra is like travelling back to the past, while admiring the joys of the present. You will begin by visiting the University of Coimbra, a World Heritage Site. Visit the Paço das Escolas, where you will find the Joanina Library, the São Miguel Chapel, the The Capelos Room, the Medieval and Academic Prison, the Arms Room, the Private Exam Room, and the University Tower. Leaving the University, you head to discover the Sé Velha, from its historic center with its medieval alleys and steps, up until the Santa Cruz Monastery, where the first two kings of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his son, D. Sancho I, are buried. Known as 'City of Black Cloaks', Coimbra is known for an infamous legend of love and punishment, the tragic love story of King, D. Pedro I and the queens maid, D. Inês de Castro. There are many attractions in Coimbra, such as the Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery, founded in 1283, by a lady of the nobility, D. Mor Dias, and delivered to the Poor Clares shortly afterwards. It was in the Palace of the Monastery that D. Inês de Castro lived and later, in 1355, was executed. On the left bank of the Mondego River, you will find the Portugal dos Pequenitos theme park, which is divided into three themed spaces.

Fátima and Coimbra

9. Fátima and Coimbra

Benefit from pickup in Porto city center, and then take a scenic drive to the Sanctuary of Fatima. The pickups are made between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM, and after that your journey will begin. You will go directly to Fátima where the famous apparitions occurred. Along with this, you will learn about all the important historical events that occurred at this place. The guide will be with you, giving all the explanations you will need. When all the group agrees, you will have some free time so that you can eat lunch and enjoy the local gastronomy. After you leave this amazing place, with all that energy inside you still, you will go to Coimbra. The city of students, in which is the oldest university in Portugal. This area also has other monuments and historical treasures that you will also get to see.

From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

10. From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

After pickup in Lisbon, start your private tour in Aveiro, a city of singular beauty located by the sea and the river. Its canals and the traditional boats fill the city with a unique and colorful beauty. The city has always been linked to maritime trade, fishing, and salt production. Explore with your guide the unique aspects of this city, hear about its history, and see how contemporary citizens live. Coimbra was the first capital of Portugal, but today it is known for being student city. The UNESCO World Heritage listed University of Coimbra is the oldest university in the country, and one of the first universities in Europe. Be inspired by the historical importance of the city, and enjoy the relaxed ambience. At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped off back in Lisbon.

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What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 13 reviews

Manuel was an excellent guide. He was knowledgeable, personable and did a great job managing our group dynamic displaying the utmost professionalism and respect on the things we wanted to spend time for. You can spend time freely in the Fatima sanctuary. I was able to attend confession and participate in adoration. Only unfortunate thing was it mentioned mass was optional, but with the mass times and amount of time we had to explore, I didn’t get to stay for all of mass out of respect for the time of everyone. That being said, this was still a wonderful tour and I don’t regret it as it was the only tour available that fit our schedule. For those mostly going for the religious aspects, consider a dedicated Fatima tour or go on your own. This was such a special tour being able to see where the little shepherds lived, the sanctuary and to see one of the oldest universities of coimbra. Lunch was delicious and the group size was perfect. Fantastic tour and one of the best tour guides ever

Great experience to do when in Coimbra, beautiful river and fairly gentle kayaking so you don't need to be an expert. Instructors were friendly and travel from start point and to end point is included. Couple of things could improve this experience - 1 is clearer meeting point, as we weren't sure we were in the right place and others had same problem. 2 is it needs to be made clear that this is a longer activity- we started at 9.45 but in a bus, collected people at another place before driving to our start point, kayaked with a couple of breaks and ended around 5pm before being driven back to end point in separate vehicles. We were happy overall as weather was great and we didn't have any set plans after, but other people may have been put out by this.

Great day. Saw many scenic viewpoints in Coimbra Excellent lunch and then adequate time to explore Fatima sanctuaries. Especially enjoyed visiting homes where the children grew up. Lovely neighborhood. Bernardo was very accommodating to our group and provided lots of cultural and historical information. Would highly recommend.

Very nice kayak tour on the Mondego river. You go with the flow, but still work hard against a headwind. If you are not that strong or if you are in pain quickly, better skip it. But the view and the relaxing environment are well worth it! And staff were very friendly and helpful.

Very good driver guide, and very good predisposition to teach us different aspects of the places.