Prices, conditions and contacts
Since 1996, the Côa Valley Archaeological Park (PAVC) offers oriented tours, in all-terrain vehicles and open to the public in general, to three of the major sites of Paleolithic rock art known in the Park: Canada do Inferno, Penascosa, and Ribeira de Piscos (see more detailed information for each site on this page). The PAVC guides accompanying the visits have specialized training in rock art.
The price of the visit is 10 € per person and per site. The joint visit to a rock art site and to the museum amounts to 12 €. For the current system of discounts and free entrances, see here.
The visits to the rock art sites are not covered by the free entry regime on Sundays and public holidays.
To ensure the visit, we recommend previous appointment, through the following contacts:
Tel: +351 279 768 260
Fax: +351 279 768 270
PAVC cannot transport children under the age of three years, in accordance with the legislation. From the age of three, since they occupy a place in the car, children count as adults for capacity purposes.
Due to the very high temperatures reached in the summer, it is strongly recommended the use of a hat and sunscreen, and also of comfortable clothing and footwear. Each visitor should carry enough water for himself.
Visits to rock art sites are not carried out in the following days: Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, 1 May, Christmas Day.
The three sites are located in the deep valley of the River Côa, accessible only by dirt roads. The visits start from different places: the Côa Museum (for Canada do Inferno), the Reception Center of Castelo Melhor (for Penascosa) and the Reception Centre of Muxagata (for Ribeira de Piscos).
For logistical reasons and to ensure heritage conservation, there is a limit of visitors per day/site, given the specificity of each one. All visits are oriented and carried out in all-terrain vehicles belonging to PAVC, each with capacity for eight visitors and a guide.
The Paleolithic engravings shown to the public are very patinated by time and this factor, combined with frequent superposition between motifs, makes them difficult to see and interpret. The scheduling of the visits is chosen based on the best natural light for the observation of the engravings, in order to maximize their visualization. The sites of Canada do Inferno and Ribeira de Piscos are visited only during the morning, when the panels are illuminated by sunlight more or less oblique. Rather, the Penascosa panels, located on the right bank of the river, are shaded in the morning, so this site is visited only during the afternoon.
Thus, taking also into account the average duration of each visit, we inform that during one day it is not possible to visit more than two rock art sites, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The degrees of difficulty of the three courses vary somewhat. Penascosa is the easiest is to visit, with a low degree of difficulty, with an easy access and a short walk. Canada do Inferno has also an easy visit, but with a slightly higher degree of difficulty, taking a longer and more demanding walk, with some unevenness. Ribeira de Piscos is a course of medium difficulty, with a long and winding journey, not recommended for people with poor physical capacity or mobility problems.
It should be noted that the Côa valley is a very dry region, where extremely high temperatures can be reached, particularly in summer. There is often a difference in temperature of several degrees between the plateau area, where the villages and the Côa Museum are located, and the bottom of the valley, where the visits are made. Shaded areas are scarce. We recommend the use of comfortable clothing and shoes, suitable for the time of year and weather conditions. In summer, it is strongly recommended that each visitor bring a hat, water and sunscreen, because there is a high risk of heat stroke, dehydration or sunburn. In winter or rainy weather it is recommended the use of impermeable.