Coimbra & Aveiro
Wanderlust Travel Magazine|November/December 2021
Explore this lesser-visited Portuguese pair to combine ancient learning and lagoon living, says Martin Symington
Martin Symington

AT A GLANCE

Coimbra Population: 143,396 Average max July temperature: 28°C Famous for: Ancient university, medieval old town, rococo library, fado.

Aveiro Population: 80,880 Average max July temperature: 24°C Famous for: Canals, seaweed-gathering boats, baroque, bacalhau.

Need to know Coimbra and Aveiro are around 60km apart. Trains between the take 40-70 minutes, depending on frequency of stops. The bus or drive via the toll road takes about 50 minutes.

How to get there Porto is the closest airport to both Coimbra and Aveiro. British Airways (ba.com) and TAP Portugal (flytap.com) fly direct from Heathrow and Gatwick respectively. Flight time is around 2.5 hours; fares start from around £50 one way. Trains run from Porto's Campanhã station to Coimbra (from 70 minutes) and Aveiro (from 40 minutes)

Coimbra

Set on a steep hill rising from the north bank of the River Mondego, Coimbra (pronounced Queenborough') is one of Europe's most ancient seats of learning. The university was founded in 1290 when the city was Portugal's capital. Traditions are guarded by students in black capes, while pride of place in academic lore goes to the self-governing residential communities known as repúblicas. The city hums with activity in term time, calming to a more museum-like ambience during the holidays.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WANDERLUST TRAVEL MAGAZINEView All

Colorado Rockies

Linked by the San Juan Skyway, the key stops of this remarkable, mountainous region are as steeped in scenery, culture and adventure as they are little-visited by international visitors

5 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Simon Reeve

Recently voted Wanderlust readers’ Travel Personality of the Year 2021, Simon Reeve speaks to George Kipouros about his new book, Journeys to Impossible Places, the effect of the pandemic vis-a-vis his passion for travel, and what really matters in life

6 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Back To Nature

Over the centuries Mauritius has lost many of its native species. But travellers who return post-pandemic will find not only an incredibly warm welcome but an Indian Ocean paradise trying to do better

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Coimbra & Aveiro

Explore this lesser-visited Portuguese pair to combine ancient learning and lagoon living, says Martin Symington

4 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
November/December 2021

Lord Howe Island

There’s something rather special about Australia’s wild, tiny, far-flung Tasman Sea isle, reckons Ayan Adak

3 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Soul-stirring Scotland

A cultural beacon, 5,000 years of history and epic landscapes... we encounter a wildly diverse country worth visiting in all seasons

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

North Sulawesi

Sulawesi is fascinating for anyone interested in discovering local cultures. Mark Eveleigh visits the island’s far north to find the traditional homelands of the Minahasa people

4 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

The historic city of Melaka

The UNESCO-listed city in south-western Malaysia offers visitors one of the world’s most wonderful cultural sensory overloads, reckons Simon Willmore

4 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Meet your winners of the 2021 Wanderlust Travel Awards

You crown Australia and France the most desirable countries at our prestigious awards held at Kensington Palace, hosted by Steve Backshall

3 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218

Starches & spices in Ghana

Despite nearly 500 years of European colonisation, this West African country’s staples have largely remained the same – starchy tubers and rice, expertly spiced and best-enjoyed hot off a street vendors’ stall

3 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218