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Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Missoula, Montana
Level Contributor
1 post
21 reviews
Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

We’re going to Portugal for about 10 nights starting in Lisbon, ending in Porto and stopping at a couple smaller cities/towns (to be decided) in between. All European trips we’ve done so far we’ve rented a car, but this time we’d love to skip the expense! Is it possible to take trains to all of these places? I’d like to avoid buses if I can...

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14 replies to this topic
Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
57,477 posts
41 reviews
1. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

I recommend you read these background pages here on TA concerning train and long distance bus travel here in Portugal.

https:/…Train.Travel.In.Portugal.html

https:/…Coach.Bus.Travel.In.Portugal.html

These will give you the overall picture. Any information about fares will be slightly out of date as TA no longer allows updates. Otherwise information can be regarded as accurate.

In brief, trains connect the largest cities and towns, long distance buses (coaches) connect pretty much everywhere although in remote areas there might be only one or two trips a day. Lisbon and Porto metro areas have comprehensive networks of subways, trams and buses. Almost every large town has its own urban bus network.

Come back if you have any questions after reading..

Dorset, United...
Level Contributor
338 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

My wife and I have traveled all over Portugal by train. The tickets are cheap and the trains run on time.

The Portuguese Railway CP app is very useful. If you have a smart phone I'd definitely download it.

It gives you times and prices. If you register you can also buy tickets.

There is a bit of an issue with booking tickets after the 8th July. CP emailed back saying it should fixed by the 18th June.

You might want to have a look at the Seat61 website. The Portugal section has lots of useful information.

Portalegre, Portugal
Level Contributor
1,510 posts
103 reviews
3. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

You could also check this out...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g18910…

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
857 posts
19 reviews
4. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Hi,

From Lisbon to Porto it's very easy to travel by train stopping on the way in the cities of Coimbra and Aveiro.

In Lisbon you should do a day trip to Sintra by train (very, very easy) and to Óbidos by Bus (very, very easy).

In Porto you should make a trip to Guimarães and Braga by train(very, very easy). In Lisbon and Porto you don't need the car at all. Another possibel day trip from Lisbon is the amazing city of Évora.

Beijing
Level Contributor
543 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

I’m going to Lisbon in a few months, with the second stop Marvao, then onto Monsanto, then onto pinhao and the Douro region. From my research, it looks like the easiest option would be to rent a car. How much more difficult would it be if done by bus or train?

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
57,477 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Marvao is very isolated, one bus a day from Lisbon and very, very, few to or from anywhere else.

Monsanto is equally remote.

The Douro valley up to Pinhao is easily done by train, both by regular timetabled trains and special excursions from Porto by vintage diesel and from Regua by steam train. The further east you go in that area the fewer the roads, one reason why the Douro Valley railway is still open.

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
857 posts
19 reviews
7. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Hi Jim K,

Monsanto and Marvão are amazing, typical old medieval Portuguese hilltop villages. They are very isolated and it's hard to reach them without a car, there's no easy way by public transport. The true heart of the country is there so it's a highlight of any Portuguese trip.

The closest big village from Monsanto will be Idanha Nova or Castelo Branco. Assuming you be travelling from Lisbon the best way to reach Idanha Nova is by bus, 3:25 hours journey. From Idanha Nova to Monsanto there are 30 kms, best option will be the taxi. You'll need more than 1 day to do this, sleeping in Idanha Nova Or Castelo Branco.

For Marvão, the closest big city is Portalegre witch can be reached from Lisbon by train or Bus. From Portalegre to Marvão there are 21 kms. There are several buses departing from Portalegre to Marvão but the taxis is the easiest way. You can do it without a car but make sure you reserve more than 1 day for each village

Beijing
Level Contributor
543 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Thanks for your quick answers. It definitely doesn’t seem easy. So from Lisbon to idanha nova, and then onto marvao, okay, that looks doable. I then return to idanha nova and then how to get from there to Monsanto? And after two days in Monsanto, how to get from there to pinhao?

Beijing
Level Contributor
543 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Just disregard post 8 above. I hadn’t clearly read your answers when posting it. If TA wants to delete it, by all means

Edited: 10 June 2018, 18:47
Beijing
Level Contributor
543 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Traveling throughout Portugal with no car?

Here’s what I want to know. What are the buses like between portelegere and idanha nova, and between idanha nova and pinhao. How often do they run and how much do they cost? How long is the trip?

Any idea on what a taxi would cost between portelegere and marvao, and idanha nova and Monsanto.

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