Douro Valley: 9 Hours On The Train?

Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 03:46 AM
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Douro Valley: 9 Hours On The Train?

I've been reading comments on talking a Douro valley day trip from Porto. If I get it right, it's 4.5 hours each way to Pinhos. Can that be right? Who would want to take a day trip that mean 9 hours on a train? I must be missing something. What?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 04:40 AM
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You aren't "missing" anything. Some people actually enjoy spending hours on the rails so please be aware there are all sorts of ways to travel.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 06:15 AM
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Pinhao is that is the station name is 3 h 15 minutes each way from Porto. I took the train to Regua along the Duoro - a bit shorter and had a nice trip - vineyards everywhere. Check these sites for more on the Duoro by train - perhaps they can shed more light on it: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. check Portuguese railways site www.cp.pt for exact schedules - these are local trains just buy tickets before the ride.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 06:27 AM
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Some people enjoy relaxing on a train while enjoying the scenery.

You do not have to go all the way. There used to be side trips, but I think those lines have closed.

I believe there are also boat trips.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 08:41 AM
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Pinhao is on a sideline - coming off at Ragusa.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Just got back from this whole area.

Why do you want to zip to Pinhao and back again in one day.

The train obviously make several stop because the distance is not that far.

Do you want to drive, it will be under 2 hours?

How about side trips along the way.!

Do you want to visit some wineries ?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 11:58 AM
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I'm sure there are guided tours from Porto that may be as cheap as renting a car and take all the where to go out of it. Driving though would be the way to stop and go along the valley, which was a minor dissapointment to me - in light of many other vineyard-strewn river valleys I have traversed.

To me day trips to Braga and Guimares were just as enjoyable and a lot easier.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2015, 12:44 PM
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Some people take the train up and the boat back, but I'm not one for doing a day-trip from Porto that way.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2015, 04:11 AM
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To me, it's simple math. I can spend two hours going to Braga/Guimarães or 4.5 going to Santiago de Compostela. Why would I invest 9 in Douro Valley? It might be nice, but there many better wine valleys in Europe that are a lot more accessible.

As far as driving is concerned, the best decision I ever made was to give up trying to drive in Europe. It just sucks the joy out of everything. The constantly getting lost and inability to understand directions in an incomprehensible language combined with the road system of convoluted one way streets that change their names every 5 feet and lack of signs makes it a nightmare. No thanks. Europe is designed for public transportation. That's the way to go.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2015, 08:04 AM
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I hate to disagree with anyone, but driving in Europe has always been an interesting part of the trip. You get to see a lot more, make more stops, and learn a little more along the way.

You won"t get lost, at least not most of the time, if you can read a map. And if you do get somewhat lost, you can always stop and ask for help. Of course they you might have to have an understanding of the local language.

Learning a little of the local languare helps you understand more, making the experience more enjoyable.

One-way streets are there to allow traffic flow. And changing names every 5 feet has more to do with the history of the area then trying to confuse you.

>but there many better wine valleys in Europe that are a lot more accessible<. I have to assume you've never ventured up the Douro River Valley. Such a loss.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2015, 10:12 AM
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I have to assume you've never ventured up the Douro River Valley. Such a loss.>

Yes I have - read my comments above - I went by train and yes a car trip and a slower one would have been much nicer - the Duoro River Valley is nice but I guess I was not blown away like in the Mosel Valley in Germany or the Wachau Valley near Vienna - but granted mine was an ephemeral day trip by train - maybe if I went farther up the valley it would have been more wooing? Just went to Ragusa and back.
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