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rail-holidays

Portugal

A journey through Portugal is…
 
…colourful, charismatic and breathtakingly beautiful. From the charming coastal city of Porto, with its historical centre boasting stunning architecture, to the spectacular Douro Valley with its mighty, meandering river and its undulating terraced vineyards, there are so many sides to this historic and cultural country. Explore quaint fishing villages and ancient hilltop settlements, whilst tucking into mouth-watering local delicacies such freshly-caught sardines, piri-piri chicken, Portugal’s iconic answer to the egg custard tart and, of course, a glass or two of locally-produced wine.

Things to know

  • Portugal is one of the top 20 most visited countries in the world and is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Douro Port, the fortified, sweet wine grown in the UNESCO Douro Valley, is the most famous wine to come out of Portugal and is often replicated all over the world.
  • Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, with Lisbon said to be four centuries older than Rome.
 

Key Destinations

Portugal by rail

Embark on an unforgettable journey through northern Portugal, discovering the country’s second largest city, Porto, and its surrounding heritage railways. Hop on superb city trams, embark on scenic journeys through the Portuguese countryside, ride the fabulous funicular at Viana do Castelo and journey along the incredible Vouga Historical Train. In this popular railway region, you don’t just get to experience these spectacular trains, but you get to delve into their fascinating history too, with a number of exceptional rail museums to visit.
Porto
Fantastic cities

Discover the colourful coastal city of Porto and its picturesque surroundings on an unforgettable rail journey. Portugal’s second largest city, Porto boasts a fascinating historical centre, home to quaint cobbled streets, ancient churches and Gothic monuments. Ride around the city on its wonderful tram network and learn more about them at the Tram Museum. Take a cruise along the beautiful Douro River before venturing out beyond the city to explore the famous Douro Valley, Viana do Castelo, Guimarães and more.
Pastel de Nata
Food and drink

Portugal is the home of the original piri-piri chicken dish and all the coastal cities and fishing villages mean you’re never far from some freshly-caught seafood – sardines being a particular speciality here. Tuck into a succulent pork bifanas, the national Portuguese sandwich, or try the rich Francesinha Sandwich, local to Porto. No Portuguese dish would be complete without washing it down with a locally-produced wine from the Douro Valley or an iconic Pastel de Nata – Portugal’s famous egg custard tarts.
viana-do-castelo
Rich cultural history

Portugal’s past dates farther back than any other country in Europe, with its geographical location at the edge of Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean lending to its rich history of invasions, settlements, slavery and discovery. Even the Cape St. Vincent peninsula in Sagres was, for thousands of years, thought to be ‘the end of the world’. But there’s far more to Portugal, with its traditional fishing villages, quaint hilltop towns, ancient architecture and famous wine valleys adding to its cultural heritage.