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Let us take you on a journey to Portugal...

Getting to Portugal by train from London is an enjoyable experience, especially if you leave all the arrangements to us. Crossing south-west France from Paris takes under 5 hours. At the border, hop aboard the Sud Expresso sleeper train and cross Spain by night, arriving in the Portuguese capital the next morning.

Today’s Portuguese Sud Expresso sleeper train from the Basque Country to Lisbon tracks one of the world's great express routes from Paris to Lisbon through Bordeaux and Salamanca.
Travelling from Paris
In the age of steam, it was possible to connect in Paris with the Nord Expresso as part of a trans-European journey from St Petersburg to Lisbon where some would take an ocean liner to the new world.

Passengers from Paris have always had to change trains at the Spanish border because the traditional Spanish tracks are wider than the standard European gauge. Today’s travellers change at Hendaye where the sleeper train awaits the high-speed train from Paris.
Travelling from London
Travelling from London, we suggest an early morning Eurostar to Paris, followed by a TGV from Paris’s Montparnasse station. Montparnasse is just a 20 minute direct metro journey away from the Gare du Nord, with tickets included. One of the quirks of Montparnasse station is that metro line and TGV platforms are situated 500m apart linked by an underground moving walkway. We allow extra time for connections with Eurostar but if you have a lot of luggage you may find it easier to take a taxi.

Take your reserved seat on the lunchtime TGV from Paris crossing the Loire Valley and gliding through Poitou Charentes, arriving at Bordeaux in just 2 hours, before slowing down to continue through the forests of Les Landes towards the Basque Pyrenees, reaching the coast at Hendaye in 4 hours 40 minutes.
Break the journey in Bordeaux or Hondarribia
Travellers from London beginning their journey in St Pancras can comfortably reach the Spanish border in a day’s travel but if you are beginning your journey from further afield in the UK and taking a later Eurostar, then you could choose to break your journey in elegant Bordeaux. Stay overnight at one of our centrally-located hotels in this celebrated wine capital. Inntravellers have recommended stopping off at the “Marche des Grandes Hommes” a Victorian covered market just 5 minutes walk from our hotels where you can gather a range of gastronomic delights to enjoy on the train, including the “Cannelés Bordelais” pastries and of course the famous claret.

Alternatively, continue on the TGV to Hendaye and enjoy an overnight stay in the Basque Country. From the TGV at Hendaye, we can arrange a 10 minute transfer to the Hotel Obispo, a former 15th Century palace in Hondarribia, in time to sample the local cider served in the various bars accompanied with pintxo tapas. The following day, soak up the atmosphere of this medieval fishing village or enjoy a stroll on the beach before taking a taxi to Hendaye to join the sleeper train.
Sud Expresso sleeper: Hendaye – Lisbon
The Hendaye to Lisbon sleeper train departs at approx 6.30pm. There is no longer a full restaurant car but there is a small cafe bar on board where simple dishes are freshly cooked to order. If you wish to dine on board, head to the cafe bar early as seating is limited! Otherwise you could choose to dine before boarding or take a picnic with you.

The cabins on board are functional rather than luxurious. We recommend booking a private cabin with 2 bunk beds, the top bunk accessible by a step ladder. You can also choose to upgrade to a Gran Classe cabin which have 2 bunks and an ensuite shower with WC.

Breakfast is not included in the fare but the following morning, you again make your way to the café bar where you can choose from pastries, fruit and yogurts on offer. You may choose to have breakfast on arrival in Lisbon.

Unless you are staying in Lisbon, your sleeper journey ends at the modern Lisbon Oriente station, whose unique glass and steel roof has been designed to resemble a row of trees. Close to the station is the Parque das Nações with restaurants where you could enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your onward connections.
Onward connections to Lisbon & Southern Portugal
For our On the Waterfront journey, beginning in Lisbon you can take a taxi (payable locally) to your hotel.

For the Palaces & Pathways of Sintra we can pre-book a taxi for the 35 minute journey to your hotel or you can choose to take one of the frequent local trains ( payable locally)  for a 40 minute journey and a short walk to your hotel.

Similarly to reach the Arrábida Natural Park and our From Cape to Castle holiday we can arrange a direct taxi (1 hour) to your hotel from Lisbon Oriente.  

For our Along the Costa Vicentina walk, take a direct Intercity train from Lisbon Oriente (2 hours) and we meet you from the train for a 45 minute transfer to your hotel.

Further south, the quiet side of the Algarve is 3 hours away by direct Intercity train plus a 50 minute taxi to your hotel to begin our A Coast of Many Colours walk.

For our discovery holiday in Algarve’s Coast and Hills, collect your included hire car from Oriente station for a 2 and a half hour drive south.
Central & Northern Portugal
Heading north from Lisbon are some of Portugal’s more scenic railways some which you may have passed during the night. For Portugal’s silver coast, take a direct train for a 2 hour journey north, followed by a 30 minute taxi transfer to our cycling holiday, Aveiro – Lagoons and the Silver Coast . It is also possible to shorten the overall rail journey by alighting the sleeper train at Coimbra instead of Lisbon, as it calls there in the early hours. However, most Inntravellers tell us they prefer a longer night’s rest!

For the romantic valley of the Douro, take a 3 hour direct train to Porto for the first night of your Valley of Gold holiday. For the Manor Houses of the Minho, you also take the 3-hour journey direct to Porto Campanha station, followed by a 1 hour transfer to your hotel.

Let us take you on a journey to...

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