We all know rail travel is the way forward when it comes to seeing the world sustainably, but it can be a real downer when tickets cost double that of flying. Many countries across Europe are now tackling that issue head-on by introducing affordable monthly ticket prices. The sunny coastal country of Portugal has now followed in the footsteps of Germany’s ‘Deutschlandticket’, launching a monthly rail pass for just €49.
The National Rail Pass launched on August 1 and is available to everyone, including tourists. It is issued by Comboios de Portugal (CP) national rail company, and travellers can make an unlimited number of journeys with no time restrictions.
So, how do you get your hands on one? The passes are available from CP ticket offices across the country and can be purchased from the 21st for the following month. What’s more, the rail passes are refundable in case your plans change.
You will need to sign up for a CP client card too, but it’s a simple process. They cost €6 and can also be purchased at CP ticket offices. Before you go to collect them, you’ll need to fill in and bring the CP card request template, which is available here, as well as an official ID, like your passport or driver’s licence, plus a passport-style colour photograph.
There is just a small catch – unlike Germany’s rail pass, this one comes with a few exceptions as to where the pass can be used. While it’s valid across most regional rail networks, the Alentejo Litoral and Coimbra areas are excluded. So the pass can’t be used on the Douro Line (Régua-Pocinho), the suburban Coimbra Line (Coimbra-Figueira da foz), the Alentejo Line (Pinhal Novo-Évora and Pinhal Novo-Vila Nova da Baronia) or the Southern line (Pinhal Novo-Tunes).
Urban railways and buses are also excluded which means services such as Alfa Pendular, Intercidades, InterRegional, Internacional and Urban services in Porto, Lisbon and Coimbra, will all require separate tickets.
Even with these exclusions, this seems like a pretty sweet deal. Rail-hopping tour of Portugal, anyone?
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