The Mondego River is the largest Portuguese river, born in the Serra da Estrela and has its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean, in Figueira da Foz. It has a total length of 258 kilometers. Its source is located in Serra da Estrela, at an altitude of about 1525 meters. In its initial course, it crosses the Serra da Estrela, from southwest to northeast, in the counties of Gouveia and Guarda. A few kilometers from this city, near the town of Vila Cortés do Mondego, reaches an altitude of less than 450 meters. At this point, it crosses its course, first to the northwest and then, already in the county of Celorico da Beira, to the southwest.
The river Mondego serves as a border between the districts of Viseu in the north, and the Guarda and Coimbra in the south.
Between Penacova and Coimbra, the river runs through a narrow valley, in a route characterized by numerous intricate meanders.

In the vicinity of the city of Coimbra, the river inaugurates its lower course, constituted by the last forty kilometers of its route. And fulfilling a difference of only 40 meters of altitude.