Recommendations for a day out from Porto

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by stuartmoss, 24 Nov 2019.

  1. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    2 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Leeds
    I'm looking for somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes away from Porto by train (no more than 90 minutes), somewhere a little bit cultural, maybe quirky, traditional and something that is away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. A few little old bars / cafes are an essentiality, it's for a group of old boys.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    5,368
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    here to eternity
    I would recommend a trip on Portp Metro line B to Povoa de Varzim. Povoa de Varzim is on the coast and has plenty of bars and restaurants along the seafront.
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    44,636
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I'm sure @Giugiaro will have some suggestions too :)
     
  5. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Joined:
    13 Jun 2015
    This is precisely my first thought when I saw the title of this thread. Only when I was last there it was a 'heavy rail' metre gauge 1 TPH worked by very chunky Henschel 2-8-2Ts. <drool>

    Another possibility is Braga, which was a quiet town in 1971. And it was the home of three ancient, preserved CP locos, at least one of which was built by Beyer Peacock. Something tells me these are probably in the CP museum today.
     
  6. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

    Messages:
    778
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2018
    My "must see" recommendation would be a trip up the Duoro, preferably one way by boat and the other way by train. I think the train journey comes within your 90 minute limit. The boat trip obviously does not, but there is a bar on board.
     
  7. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,531
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Airedale
    I've not been there, but Guimaraes (UNESCO World Heritage) is just over an hour from Campanha.

    The Douro is a full day even just up to Regua (by boat IIRC 8 hours), and IMO the first hour or so out to Livracao isn't particularly exciting.
     
  8. Giugiaro

    Giugiaro Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    4 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Valongo - Portugal
    I would assume anything within Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia and Matosinhos are out of the question. Maybe even the likes of Maia (Parish) and Ermesinde (Parish)?

    It really depends how big and busy you would consider a city to be. In Portugal places that are considered cities would still be towns in the UK.

    I think Braga is also quite big and busy, at least as much as Matosinhos or Vila Nova de Gaia.

    Guimarães is a tad smaller and, being the birthplace of Portugal, it's a must go in cultural terms.

    Aveiro is even smaller in comparison, and most stuff is less than 30min by foot, including the University.

    All destinations in both the Underground (Metro) and Overground (Urbano) services are 60min or less from Porto-Campanhã.

    Would rail related things be essential within that day out? A day out for railfaning is quite different from a day out for tourism/leisure.
     
  9. bubieyehyeh

    bubieyehyeh Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    25 Feb 2016
    Aviero has some canals and nice restaurants, but it not really the venice of portugal is often described as.
    I like foz on the atlantic coast with the walk out to the lighthouse, if the waves aren't too big, and it has some nice restaurants.
    I've done a day drip by the train down the Duoro to some of the port wine lodges, which was nice, but I think they take longer than you requested.
     
  10. rf_ioliver

    rf_ioliver Member

    Messages:
    547
    Joined:
    17 Apr 2011
    Both Braga and Guimares are historical cities easily reachable by train. Would recommend either - Braga has the cathedral (and funicular), while Guimares has the castle. Oh, and the food too!

    t.

    Ian
     
  11. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

    Messages:
    778
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2018
    What the OP hasn't mentioned is what time of year the trip will be. The beach resorts might not be as enjoyable in January. While inland it can get very hot in mid-summer. As you are going to Porto, I presume the "old boys" are all reasonably agile?

    The OP also didn't specify how long the excursion should be in total, just the journey time. Agreed that the trip up (or down) the Duoro by boat and back by train (or v.v.) is a full day's excursion, but it is a very relaxing and enjoyable day. As well as the boat/train trip, I also rode the vintage train along the Duoro (normally steam-hauled, but unfortunately not that particular day). Standing on the back balcony of the train, drink in hand, as we wound our way through the Duoro gorge was a fantastic experience.
     
  12. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

    Messages:
    778
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2018
    Unfortunately almost all traces of the original line have been obliterated by the metro. However, the old station building at Senora de Hora still survives, complete with its finger destination boards - albeit it is now a bank or post office.
     
  13. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

    Messages:
    778
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2018
    I agree, Foz is certainly worth visiting, but I think it might be a bit bracing at this time of year! Unfortunately the trams no longer go that far, although the impressive terminus turning circle is still there complete with rails. However, Foz is a longish walk from the centre of Porto. Although you can get buses there, either from the centre of Porto or from the current tram terminus, they can get extremely crowded. The last time I went, I decided to walk back to the tram terminus as the buses were packed like sweaty sardines, and then for some reason had to wait over an hour for a tram (which the timetable claimed were every twenty minutes IIRC).

    The tram museum is worth a visit - not many places have a fish tram!
     
  14. bubieyehyeh

    bubieyehyeh Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    25 Feb 2016
    Yeah we walked to Foz, the Trams didn't seem to be running at all for us either, at this time of year it might be a bit bracing, wasn't clear when OP was looking to go.
     
  15. Giugiaro

    Giugiaro Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    4 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Valongo - Portugal
    (Almost) All replaced by light metro or regauged to 1668mm.

    Not anymore. The Braga railway station was completely remodeled and the museum demolished. The parts it contained have been scattered between Valença, Nine, Lousado and Entroncamento. The first two are unvisitable except for a few select days.

    Whenever possible the old railway buildings from Senhora da Hora upwards have been preserved and reused in different ways. In the case of Senhora da Hora, it is both an Andante ticket office and a café.
    Some stations on the B and C lines have been relocated, but the original buildings are still in their original place (Boavista, Custoias, Modivas, Maia), while the ones from the closed lines are still present (Muro, Rates, Fontainhas and Outiz).

    Probably a car was parked over the rails, as per usual.
     
  16. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    2 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Leeds
    Thanks for your replies everyone. I've just returned from Edinburgh and been away from my computer. We are going in January, and this is just for a day-trip. Mobility isn't a problem for most (only me), but I'll get by a few hills, just slowly. I think at this point either a trip up the Duoro by boat and back by rail sounds good or Braga. I will do some Googling of all of your suggestions though. Once again, many thanks.
     
  17. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,531
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Airedale
    Looks like the full Douro cruise isnt possible in winter as the locks are closed :(
    I imagine the 1-hour trip under the Porto bridges is all year though.
     
  18. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Joined:
    13 Jun 2015
    Senora de Hora! Oh my, what place. Even in 1974 (the last time I was there, that summer) it was amazing. Seemed to be a train every 15 mins - Henschels (on the Povoas) and mallets (on the locals, I think) and a few railcars. And nice people (except when some secret service crook nicked my passport :) ) . If I could go back in time, Senhora de Hora would be in my top ten choices. And Regua in 1972, with those lovely Borsig 4-6-0s.

    Apologies for OT reminiscing.
     
  19. Giugiaro

    Giugiaro Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    4 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Valongo - Portugal
    Can you give Águeda a chance?

    This thing just got revived for Christmas:

     

Share This Page