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Easy Rail Trips from Lisbon: The Alentejo

Many travelers start their Portugal escape in Lisbon. And, for some, rail is a great way to get around and explore. Lisbon is Portugal’s major rail hub — and Oriente Station is about 10 minutes from the airport in Lisbon by taxi or Metro. 

From Oriente Station numerous Alentejo destinations are an easy trip away. Service to the city of Santarém, Portugal’s capital of Gothic, is hourly, and takes less than 30 minutes on high-speed Alfa trains. Set on the top of a hill, Santarém has sweeping views of the Tejo River Valley.

From Santarém there is an easy connection to the regional Portalegre line. The once-a-day train is a historic 1950s set, renovated to modern standards. It follows the river, with views of small towns and castles. And it serves Nisa, Portalegre and Elvas, just under three hours from Lisbon. The picturesque town of Nisa is historic, and set where the Tejo and Sever Rivers meet the mountains. Portalegre is a bright city at the foot of high mountains, not far from Marvão and Castelo de Vide. Elvas is a highly fortified and historic city set right on the border with Spain.

Another recently updated line runs to Évora from Lisbon's Entrecampos Station in just under 90 minutes, 5 times per day in each direction with intercity service.

Another upgraded line runs to the southern Alentejo, stopping at Beja in about 2 hours from Lisbon. It runs from Entrecampos with intercity service. Set on a high hill, commanding a strategic position over the plains with its massive castle. You can stop at the towns of Alcaçovas and Cuba.  

Lastly, the Algarve line has stops in the Alentejo as well.

There are various service levels:

Alfa Pendular - high-speed service from Braga to the Algarve, with full service, WIFI, and dining car.

Intercidades, intercity fast trains with WIFI, and a snack bar.

Regional - Local service with more frequent stops.

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