Unlocking Portugal’s Beauty by Rail: 5 Must-Try Train Journeys

Portugal, known for its rich maritime history, is gradually embracing train travel as tolls on motorways rise and environmental concerns grow. With the introduction of an enticing monthly rail pass for just €49, there’s no better time to explore the country by train. In this article, we’ll highlight five of the best rail journeys Portugal has to offer, giving you a glimpse of this beautiful country.

1. Lisbon to Porto: A High-Speed Adventure

The fastest way to journey from Lisbon to Porto is aboard the sleek Alfa Pendular, Portugal’s high-speed Pendolino train. This route takes you through Coimbra, a city steeped in history, and Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal. Starting from Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia station, the 198-mile trip takes approximately three hours, with a standard one-way cost of €31.90. First-class tickets are available for €44.60, offering more spacious seats and onboard refreshments.

2. Porto to Pinhão: Wine Tasting Along the Douro River

Embark on a rustic adventure from São Bento station in Porto, famous for its hand-painted blue-and-white tiles. This picturesque train winds along the Douro River, stopping at charming rural stations. After two hours and 22 minutes, you can hop off at Pinhão for excellent wine tasting at Symington’s Quinta do Bomfim. Don’t miss the winery tour and dining at riverside Bomfim 1896 or pop-up Casa dos Ecos. Tickets for this delightful journey start at just €11.20.

3. Lisbon to Tomar: A Historical Expedition*

The new rail pass lets you explore the historic town of Tomar, known for its 12th-century castle, Convento de Cristo, and numerous impressive churches. A journey of under two hours takes you to this remarkable destination. Explore the Charola, the Templar’s oratory, within the castle. Tomar also boasts one of Portugal’s oldest synagogues. Tickets for this enriching journey cost €9.90 and are included in the rail pass.

4. Faro to Lagos: Affordable Algarve Exploration*

Budget-conscious travelers can enjoy an affordable way to explore the Algarve region with this train journey. Although not air-conditioned and occasionally crowded, it provides a convenient way to hop on and off. Starting in Faro, visit the cathedral and the Municipal Museum. Travel onward to Lagos, once an important naval center. Despite earthquake damage in 1755, Lagos retains its charm, with the church of San Antonio as its crown jewel. Fares start at €7.50 and are covered by the rail pass.

5. Lisbon to Sintra: A Short Escape to Paradise

Departing from Rossio Station in Lisbon, this short 40-minute journey takes you to the culturally rich Sintra. Known as a “glorious Eden” by Lord Byron, Sintra enchants with its castles, misty landscapes, and lush forests. Explore Sintra National Palace, Pena Palace, Monserrate Park and Palace, and the initiation well in Quinta da Regaleira. Tickets for this enchanting trip start at €2.30.

With Portugal’s expanding rail network, these train journeys offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re seeking a high-speed adventure or a leisurely ride through picturesque countryside, Portugal’s railways have something to offer every traveler. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beauty of Portugal by train with the new monthly rail pass. Visit www.cp.pt or call 00351 808 109 110 for more information and bookings.