Porto & Heritage Railways of Portugal

Prices from £1,125


8 Jun 2020 - 5 Oct 2020
Duration: 7 days
Ref: REDOU0720


Prices from £1,125
Single Supplement: £240
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Porto, where even the walls of the São Bento Railway Station have a story to tell, is just one of many highlights on this fantastic tour to discover historic Portugal and its railway heritage. Staying in Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal, we are perfectly placed to enjoy fabulous rail journeys taking us through the lush mountains, rolling vineyards and charming towns of the lesser-known Minho region. Visiting the railway museums in Lousado and Macinhata we’ll explore Portugal’s history and heritage. We’ll ride the country’s longest funicular railway and enjoy a nostalgic journey on its only surviving narrow-gauge railway.


  • Return flights from London to Porto
  • Six nights’ half board accommodation in Guimarães with table drinks included
  • Welcome drink
  • Coach transfers throughout
  • Services of our experienced Tour Manager
  • Your rail journeys:

    • Scenic train journey from Porto, via Viana to Castelo
    • Step aboard the Funicular in Viana do Castelo
    • A return trip on the train from Guimarães to Lousado
    • Journey on the historical train of the Vouga

    Plus the following excursions:

    • Guided tour of the colourful city of Porto
    • Entrance to the unique Tram Car Museum São Bento in Porto
    • Relax on a scenic boat trip on the River Douro
    • Entrance to the Railway Museum in Lousado
    • Explore the fascinating Train Museum in Macinhata
    • Visit to beautiful Aveiro, the Venice of North Portugal

Day 1: London – Porto

Today we fly to Porto and continue by coach to Guimarães where we’ll check in to our hotel. This evening we’ll enjoy a welcome drink before dinner is served in the hotel’s restaurant.

Day 2: Porto, Tram Car Museum & Douro River Cruise

After a leisurely breakfast our coach takes us to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city known for its port wine production. Many of the highlights are in the historic centre and our local guide will show us the Igreja de São Francisco, or Church of Saint Francis, which is the most prominent Gothic monument in Porto with an ornate Baroque interior. See the medieval Ribeira District where narrow cobbled streets wind past former merchants houses and admire the splendid 19th century neo-classical Palácio da Bolsa. Once home to the Stock Exchange, it was built to impress European investors. We’ll stop at São Bento Railway Station where the atrium is lined with magnificent azulejos, Portugal’s traditional ceramic tiles, before visiting the Tram Car Museum. Housed in an old thermoelectric power station, the museum has a fascinating collection of trams, trailers and vehicles. After our visit you’ll have time at leisure for lunch. This afternoon we’ll enjoy a boat trip on the River Douro. The north bank is cluttered with fascinating houses whose characteristic colours cascade down the hillside. On the opposite side see the famous wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia. Six magnificent bridges link the two banks of the river and we’ll pass under them all on this relaxing cruise. Dinner is served in the hotel this evening.

Day 3: Minho Line, Viana do Castelo & Funicular

Portugal’s Minho train line runs from Porto to the River Minho terminating in the spectacular walled town of Valenca do Minho, a crossing point into neighbouring Spain. Today we’ll take a train on the Minho Line through fertile farmlands as far as the historic maritime town of Viana do Castelo. Lying at the mouth of the River Lima, Viana do Castelo has an appealing old town with narrow lanes, fountains and attractive 16th century buildings. It is overlooked by the Monte de Santa Luzia topped by the unmistakeable basilica Santuãrio de Santa Luzia. We’ll take the funicular to the summit of the steep hill. Opened in 1923 and at 650 metres long, it is the longest funicular railway in Portugal. From this elevated viewpoint we’ll enjoy sensational views of the town, river and Atlantic coast. We return to the hotel for dinner this evening.

Day 4: Minho Line & Lousado Railway Museum

This morning we travel by train on the Guimarães spur of the Minho Line. Opened in 1884 as a narrow-gauge line, it was recently converted to Iberian gauge. We’ll alight at the station in Lousado to visit the Railway Museum, which showcases Portuguese railroad history. Housed in the depot’s repair and maintenance sheds that date back to the 19th century, the museum has a fascinating collection of historical rolling stock. We’ll return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon at leisure. Dinner is served in the hotel this evening.

Day 5: Guimarães

Regarded as the birthplace of Portugal, Guimarães is a charming city and today you’ve time at leisure to explore. You may choose to visit the small ancient castle of Guimarães, which defended the city from Moorish and Norman attacks, or the 14th century Dukes of Branganza Palace built in the style of a French chateau, and filled with 17th century furniture, tapestries and weapons. Alternatively, you may like to explore the narrow, cobbled streets of the historic centre where you’ll find fine examples of medieval architecture and delightful plazas filled with open-air cafes. This evening dinner will be served in the hotel.

Day 6: Linha do Vouga, Macinhata & Aveiro

The scenic Linha do Vouga is iconic as the last surviving metre gauge railway line in Portugal and has long been threatened with closure. Today we’ll take a step back in time and relax in 20th century carriages hauled by the metre-gauge vintage train, which, having been brought back into service, has given the line its renaissance. Also included is a visit to the Train Museum in Macinhata. This small but interesting museum is dedicated to keeping the memory of steam travel through the Vale do Vouga alive. Our final visit is to the picturesque maritime city of Aveiro known as the Venice of Portugal. The cityscape is crisscrossed by canals navigated by brightly painted gondola-style boats known as moliceiros and the quaysides in the older part of the city are lined with charming Art Nouveau houses. At the end of this memorable day we’ll return to our hotel for our final evening meal together.

Day 7: Guimarães – London

This morning we check out of our hotel and are transferred by coach to Porto for our return flight to London.


    Outward Journey


    Return Journey


Hotel Santa Luzia

Situated on one of the oldest and most typical streets in the heart of Guimarães, the 4-star Hotel Santa Luzia combines modern art with the ancestry that characterises the town’s historical centre. Contemporary bedrooms with private bathrooms have air-conditioning, a minibar and cable TV. The hotel has a restaurant serving Portuguese and international cuisine and a patio bar. Facilities also include the Santa Luzia Arthotel Spa with indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath.