Visit to the Museum

Plan Visit



The vast open-air rock art collection of the Côa Valley, which sets aside the old myth of Paleolithic art enclosed in caves, can be appreciated in the Museum’s exhibition through portable art originals, replicas of engraved panels and interactive information resorting to modern digital technologies.

At the Côa Valley Museum, the absence of a significant amount of original materials liable to be exposed in the museum building – except for a few selected pieces – highlights the archaeological sites themselves as the true objects of reference using current exhibition formats and vocabularies. 

The Côa Valley Museum does not fit in a traditional museology approach made of ‘collections’. The rock art collection lies outside in the Côa Valley.

The adopted solution clearly indicates the change of function and motivation in the use of imagery from the engravings and sites in the Côa Valley in an environment created for new readings and media uses.


Guided Visit

The exhibition area is divided into several rooms:

Côa - World Heritage Site

Highlights the Côa as a World Heritage Site, offering a panoramic view of the valley and its rock art also illustrating the long geological process of landscape formation.

Sponsored by: CARM

The land, Man and Time

Details the ancestral way of life in the Côa Valley, exhibiting some of the stone tools recovered in the excavation of Paleolithic human occupation sites in the region.

Sponsored by: Ramos Pinto

Geographic and Cultural Context of the Art of Côa

Discusses rock art explanation theories giving special consideration to the specific characteristics of the Côa Valley art.

Sponsered by: Mateus Nicolau de Almeida

The Archaic Santuary

Offers an interactive exploration of the archaic sanctuary located in the ample natural amphitheatre formed by the Penascosa and Quinta da Barca sites.

Sponsered by: Casa Ferreirinha

Everyday Paleolithic Life

Showcases a replica of Rock 1 of Fariseu (one of the most important panels in the Côa with more than 80 engraved motifs) and the portable art also from the Upper Paleolithic unearthed during the excavation of this site.

Sponsered by: Duorum 


The Never Ending Story of Côa

Besides comparing the art from different Ice Age periods, also addresses the rock art of more recent epochs, such as the Iron Age. In addition to rock 26 of Vale de José Esteves, there are more rock art replicas on display, chosen for their importance, but also inaccessibility.

Sponsored by: Quinta do Crasto

A Timeless Art

Alberto Carneiro presents Mandala-Tree for the Côa Engravers, a sculpture that develops like a Mandala and whose quadrants correspond to the relations between Art-Life / Nature-Culture, words engraved in four schist stones. This rooms also pays homage to those who fought for the preservation of the rock art, threatened, in the 1990’s, by the construction of a dam in the Coa River.
Sponsored by:  Quinta do Vale Meão

The three temporary exhibition rooms have presented various contemporary exhibitions of photography, painting, sculpture, engraving or drawing that in one way or another intended to honor or evoke the art of the prehistoric engravers.

The Côa Museum offers to the general public different types of guided tours (see Educational Services for school visits), such as:

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Other Visits

Boat Visit

Kayak Visit

Night Visit