The Douro Historical Train is scheduled to leave the Régua train station, in the north of Portugal.
On the platform, the steam locomotive 0186 awaits its guests. The machine is warming up, and passengers are choosing their seat, preferably at the riverside window. After all, everyone wants to be strategically placed to see the magnificent landscape of the Douro Valley.
The departure is shortly after 3 pm, and by then everyone is distracted, photographing the exterior of the historic carriages and listening to the musicians that fill the platform with music and regional songs.
Tradicional Tour in the Douro Valley
The train journey begins. Outside, the scenery is beautiful! The zigzagging of the Douro river, the terraced slopes full of vineyards, the green interspersing with earth tones and the occasional manor houses that lurk from time to time. All makes this landscape to be considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
On board is served a glass of Porto Wine and a small bag of sweets from Régua, one of the best-known in the region. The atmosphere is festive, as the group of musicians goes through all the carriages cheering the travelers, who accompany them with claps and smiles.
Feeling the Pulse of the Douro Historical Train
The steam train follows the river up towards the Tua station. But first, a stop in Pinhão, one of the most beautiful train stations in Portugal.
Built in the 19th century, here you can see a set of tile panels from 1937 that depicts the old wine-producing life in the so-called Douro Vinhateiro — from the grape harvest to the stepping on the grapes or the transport of wine in the old traditional rabelo boats.
The stop takes just over 15 minutes. Passengers stretch their legs, appreciate the station and the locomotive gets the necessary maintenance to continue.
Tua is the final destination before the train reverses and returns to Peso da Régua. There’s not much to see here. The station becomes a regional market, ideal for souvenirs shopping. And after drinking some water, it’s time to go back.
The journey then becomes more relaxed. The landscape continues to amaze, and there’s still time to exchange some greetings with the cruise passengers crossing the Douro River.
At 6:30 p.m., the Douro Historical Train arrives at Régua, and the feeling is of reflection on everything we have seen. It’s a brilliant experience, and it makes us wonder why they ended up with such trains. History speaks louder here, and we let it.
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Lorna Lemna1 month ago
We’d like to ride the steam train. Can you recommend any accommodation (rural if possible) where we can stay so we’d be somewhat close to the train.
Also, if we don’t rent a car, would there be a train to take us from our accommodation to the steam train?
Marlene Marques1 month ago AUTHOR
Unfortunately I can’t recommend any hotel, as this was only a day trip for me and I didn’t stay overnight in the area.
In Régua there are many accommodation options and some of them are very close to the station where the Historic Train leaves.
To get to Régua, you can take another train (a normal one 🙂 ) that leaves from São Bento station, in Porto. So, Porto can also be a good option to stay.
I take this opportunity to leave here my Booking.com link, with a selection of stays in the Régua area. It’s always best to look at the map and see which ones are closest to the station to avoid long trips.
I would also like to leave you the link to the official page of the Historic Train (where you have all the information about the experience) and point out that the train does not run all year round. Check with CP to find out when the trips start this year.
If you do the experience in the Historic Train, let me know how it was!
Happy travels! M.