Beira Baixa Line
One of the most beautiful train rides in the Portuguese rail network between Abrantes and Covilhã, with beautiful sightseeings over the Tagus river, via Belver, Fratel and Portas do Ródão.The tour will start in this city, since from here the East and Beira Baixa Lines follow different ways.
Following Abrantes, the train moves to the right bank of the Tagus, initiating an unforgettable trip to Vila Velha de Ródão. Along the first kilometers upstream of Abrantes, the Tagus is relatively silted, with some islets. This landscape will prevail until the vicinity of the first of the dams that will appear on the way - the Belver dam. Before that, another of the dominant features of the landscape is the plume of smoke from the Pego thermal power station, on the opposite bank. Some of the buildings belonging to the Belver dam complex were designed by one of the greatest Portuguese architects of the twentieth century, Cassiano Branco. As from here the level of the Tagus rises and, for many kilometers, it becomes a calm lake. When passing the village of Belver one can hardly enjoy the beautiful medieval castle, considered a national monument. However, the Alamal river beach on the other side of the river, is much more visible. One of the few river beaches to be ascribed a blue flag, this is a most pleasant place that, by itself, will make for a day well spent.
The journey continues, now with the waters showing a first sign of lowering their level, with the reappearance of the rocky islets, some of which covered with vegetation. The train runs swiftly by the high wall of Fratel, and by Portas de Ródão, the point where Talhadas mountain is crossed by the Tagus and used to be the old upper limit of navigability of the river. The imposing landscape is the ex libris of this line, thanks to the magnificent panorama that unfolds before the eyes of the traveler.
Following our way inland, towards Castelo Branco and Covilhã, at first through the Beira Baixa plain and then by the edge of the Gardunha mountain and Cova da Beira. Any of those cities can be a good destination for this trip, both welcoming the visitors with a diversity of offers. Fundão and Belmonte, respectively before and after Covilhã, can also be seen as interesting alternatives for visits.
Access By Beira Baixa Line, upto Abrantes station
To have into account The tour can start in Entroncamento, where connections with the North Line are available
Meals Praça Velha (T. 272328640), in Castelo Branco; Cozinha da Avó (T. 275331174), ina Covilhã
In the vicinity Templar Tower (Vila Velha de Ródão); Jardins do Episcopado, ‘Bishop’s Residence Gardens’ (Castelo Branco)