Portugal by rail: take the train and discover Portugal at your own pace. You can pick the speed and comfort as you gaze at the country’s fabulous landscapes. Besides the scheduled journeys, there’s a whole range of special offers designed to help you explore Portugal by train. With so many suggestions to choose from, you’re sure to find one you’ll really enjoy. Just imagine riding on a steam train that’s been running for over a hundred years! And then add to this the beautiful scenery of the Douro valley! All this Is possible on the historic train that takes you on a real journey through time. But you can also go searching for adventure. The "Comboio Aventura" (Adventure Train) offers you special programs that combine train rides with exciting activities like paintball, aerial slides or abseiling. If you’re a young person, aged between 12 and 30, you can purchase an Intra-Rail card and explore Portugal without having to carry your home on your back, since your card guarantees you accommodation at Youth Hostels. At different times of the year, the trains link up with special events or traditional local festivities. For example, the Almond Blossom Route offers you the breathtaking sight of flowering almond trees in Alto Douro and Trás-os-Montes. But you can also go to the Cherry Festival in the Serra da Gardunha or the Grape Harvest Festival in the Alto Douro Wine Region. Book your seat for the program you’re most interested in at www.cp.pt
Douro by car: Layered landscapes of vines, historic peaceful towns and castles days past are all part of your drive along the Douro RiverValley. You’ll be traveling up hill and down dale, along narrow, winding roads. But you’ll find that it is well worth the effort when you discover everything that the Douro has to offer you. Follow the main road, beginning in Peso da Régua and driving across the hills above the Douro. From the viewpoint of São Leonardo, you can see the river valley and the mountains of the Serra do Marão, all in just one frame. A Portuguese writer described this landscape as a "geological poem". You’ll easily understand why. At Casal de Loivos, you find a naturally formed balcony overlooking Pinhão and the open, curved valley of the River Douro. Rest for the night in an ancient manor-house and wake up to the beautiful view. Cross over the River Tua, a tributary of the Douro, visit Torre de Moncorvo and continue on to a very special part of the Douro, Barca d’Alva. One of the best Portuguese wines is produced here. Very close by is the Foz Coa Archaeological Park, a fascinating outdoor gallery of prehistoric rock art, which has been classified as World Heritage. You have almost reached the far end of Portugal. Whenever you can, let yourself get lost along the minor roads, and, on your way back, following the southern bank of the River Douro, make sure to stop and enjoy the views from the castle of Numão and São Salvador do Mundo. These are places from where it is well worth gazing at the horizon.
Douro by train: Relive the early 20th Century pastime of exploring the Douro River Valley by rail on CP. The real stars of a historic train ride through the Douro River Valley are the carriages and the steam and diesel locomotives that pull them. Traveling at 18 miles an hour, these trains evoke a time when they were the only land connection between wine producing villages and the outside world. Follow the course of the river by traveling along the Linha do Douro. The railway line from Porto to Pocinho is a remarkable feat of engineering, overcoming the various natural obstacles with the help of 26 tunnels and 30 bridges. The result is an unforgettable journey though scenery of great beauty. The older stations are of real interest, particularly Régua, which was the most important in the region. The station at Pinhão, on the other hand, is one of the country’s most beautiful, with façades of decorative tiles depicting scenes of vineyard workers and views of the local countryside.
You can also travel along the modern Linha do Douro in regular trains from Porto, that leave from the city’s historic São Bento station. Or you can combine your train ride with the program of local boat rides. Two great ways to see the river.Douro-expect
Portuguese Rail - CP - has a summer steam train running between Régua and Tua in the Douro Valley. Considered one of the great railway journeys of the world, the weekly trip runs throughout the harvest season until beginning of October.Besides magnificent views of the Valley of the Douro-expect a welcome glass of Port wine (the train steams its way through the heart of Port wine country) and a plate of local cakes and live musical entertainment. Pulled by a vintage 0186 steam locomotive, the five-carriage train departs from Régua, stopping at Pinhão briefly before arriving at Tua.