From Lisboa to Évora on rails
With the renewal of the branch of Évora, it became possible to travel non stop from Lisbon to that city on board the Intercidadesty trains. A comfortable and beautiful, quick trip.
If a few years ago, we would say that we were to go by train to Evora, the comment of most people would be 'a drought! ". One would have to take the boat to the Barreiro, then take the train and switch again in Casa Branca. Now, who likes to get up early, can go to Évora, have a stroll around town, have lunch and be back to Lisbon in the afternoon. As with all trains going south, the crossing of the April 25 bridge is always a great moment, with an unforgettable view over Lisbon, Almada and the Tagus. Between Pinhal Novo and Poceirão, the landscape begins evidencing the transition to the Alentejo. The endless fields of vineyards in Palmela give way to patches of cork oak forests, pastures for livestock and some corn. One single thing remains: the horizontal profile of this flat land, only interrupted by the elevation crowned by the Palmela castle.
The approach to Vendas Novas is announced, after Bombel, by the approach of another line, coming from the left. This is the Vendas Novas Line, currently used by freight trains only. After Vendas Novas station, the train follows amidst of some gentle hills, and many oaks. Casa Branca, where the route to Évora starts, is preceded on the left, by the marked elevations of Monfurado mountain (424 meters). Abandoning the line that goes to Beja, the Intercidades train starts to approach Évora through an area tat none should miss, in Spring: all around, the field is covered with a multicolored carpet of flowers through which the train seems to float. Évora is reached by the south side, which enables enjoying the city's skyline, framed by the towers of the São Francisco Church (left) and the Cathedral (right). When getting off the train it is worth viewing the tiled panels that decorate the walls of the station. They are by Jorge Colaço (1930), also the author of the decoration of the station of São Bento, in Oporto. Then follow a street that gently rises via GNR and reaches Rossio de São Brás, antechamber of Évora, World Heritage Site.
Access: By the Alentejo line, departing from Oriente, Roma-Areeiro or Entre-Campos Lisbon stations, all connected to the underground network.
To have into account: The schedule of the first train to Evora is quite early, so check updated timetables to properly plan the trip and its return.
Other: Évora station is at a five minutes walking distance from Rossio de São Brás and ten from Giraldo's Square, so, if you have not heavy luggage, there is no need of other means of transport.
Other spots to visit: Outside the historic center of Évora, by cab, you may wish to visit the Almendres Cromlech.