When the summer season at St. Martin breaks the monotony of the winter weather in Portugal, you will see the Portuguese countryside dressing up in colors and sunshine. And the MiraDouro train line provides the perfect opportunity to explore the area along the scenic Douro River route. The historical steam locomotive runs from Sao Bento to Pocinho, a small rural village in the interior of Portugal, and captures the beauty of the country perfectly.
The train features spacious Swiss Schindler cars with straight-backed benches and folding doors. Originally built during the 1940s, the train cars were refurbished in 1977, while still maintaining the retro vibe of the red, yellow, and orange color scheme. That bright and colorful decor sharply contrasts with the full gray uniforms of the stewards.
The train passes through the scenic route of the suburban area of Porto. Heading away from the industrial branches of the city, the train shoots into the wide countryside, making the distant blurred green more prominent. Between June and October, the train passes between Tua and the famous port wine epicenter of Peso da Regua as part of the journey. But during the spring and winter months, the route remains mostly active, making the three-and-a-half-hour ride between Porto and Pocinho a beautiful, leisurely escape into the hinterlands of Portugal.
The entire train journey is a feast for your eyes with splendid stretches of uninterrupted nature all around. In the first part of the journey, the train runs toward the north of the Douro, passing across irregular yellow-hued fields full of dry corn stalks. The route again meets the river at Pala, where the blue water flows like a shimmering silk strip, sliding between two big green pillows of lush hillocks. The route along the vineyards changes its colors based on the season. During the blessed St. Martin’s summer, the stepping terraces of the vineyards wrap themselves in festive colors of bronze, gold, and red. Then the train passes along orchards, where orange trees brush against the light-soaked windows. There is possibly no better way to experience the changing beauty of nature in Portugal than through this scenic train route.