It all begins and ends in the city of Porto; in an emblematic train station lined with blue and white tile panels, which all enchants upon arrival and leaves nostalgic at departure - São Bento.
The destination is the Tua, where the vineyards calm down to give way to a rocky and more rugged landscape. Along the way, it is accompanied by the internationally beloved Douro River, which always exceeds the expectations of those who visit it and has so much to reveal. Come and ride the historical train and you will get to know this Portuguese ex-libris closely.
Come and ride the historical train and you will get to know this Portuguese ex-libris closely.
Steam at 30 km/hour
Start your journey at São Bento’s train station to Régua. This Porto Railway Station next to the the city historic center looks like a monument in itself. Take your time to admire the beautiful tiles’ work with motifs depicting the History of Portugal, between battles, royal visits, rural scenes and northern landscapes.
But don’t be late. The Steam Engine 0186 (of the year 1925), awaits for you in Régua to take you to an incredible time travel. Thus, aboard the historic train, at the speed of yesteryear, that allows you to reach the essence of places more quickly: 30 km/h, awaits you over an hour of unforgettable scenery.
Crossing the Linha do Douro line in this train allows you to capture the landscape differences in different locations and seasons. If in winter is the quietness that transpires from the window, in the transition from summer to autumn, the frenetic pace of the grape harvesting season makes the movie "faster". In this noble past destination, there are even pedestrian walks through small villages and historic villages and belvederes that enchant.
The Linha do Douro line and its historical heritage
Always along the north bank of the Douro river, you will cross towns, villages and small villages with an interesting historical, religious, cultural and scenic heritage, crossing the districts of Porto and Vila Real.
In the distance or close, you will receive the romantic looks and waves of those who see the train passing by. There are many people who, by car, train, boat or on foot, come to know the Alto Douro Wine Region, classified in 2001 as World Heritage and has been embellished for centuries by vineyards on its terraced slopes. Lovely places for its history, vicinity with the river, diversity of landscapes and farms, tourist accommodations, genuineness and great refinement.
Régua, Pinhão and Tua
There are three sound destinations of the Douro, through which the train passes: Régua, Pinhão and Tua. They are part of a wine region where it grows one of the most appreciated wines in the world: The Port Wine. This magnificent nectar, which will even serve as a toast on board, has allocated to it about 32 thousand hectares since the Roman occupation, regulated in the year of 1756 as Demarcated Douro Region.
In addition to the Port Wine, which graces your glass with an unparalleled flavor and color, in one of its different types of Port, you have in these three destinations several points of interest. The local gastronomy and sweets is one of them. And the tiles, this time allusive to the winemaking work, once again gain prominence at the Pinhão train station, where you will stop to enjoy the twenty-five panels and visit a Wine House awarded with the Best of Wine Tourism prize.
Ahead, taste the candies of Régua, get acquainted with the region's handicrafts, from which stand out the miniatures of the rabelos boats that carried the wine barrels up and down the river to the Caves and enter the rhythm of the music that the group of regional songs brings you.
The Douro River has small islets that can be seen depending on the rise and fall of the waters and other rivers cross and approach it (as is the case of the Pinhão River and the Tua River). From the Tua, the mountains occupy greater place and, to cross them, it is necessary to cross more than two tens of tunnels and bridges.
On returning to Porto, already in the first shadows of the day, the train takes your eyes to revisit what you have seen, now from a new perspective. Try not to always go with your hair blowing in the Wind or your eyes against the window. Here and there, sit back and imagine the hard work of these men and women who, centuries ago and year after year, produce one of the best wines in the world along one of the most beautiful rivers. Feel this privilege, as it is now also part of the landscape.