What if you could explore an entire country for only $53? Sounds tempting, huh?! While travel is continuously on the rise in many ways, travelers are still looking to save a pretty penny here and there when they can: who wouldn’t?
Trains, planes, and automobiles. While there are ups and downs for all modes of transport around Europe, buses and trains have notoriously been known for ease of travel and the price tag that comes with them.
In the past few years, train travel has increased significantly from where it once was. Long gone are the days where trips between countries cost under $20. With an increase in tourism, especially during the busier months of the year, most trains in Europe now cost over $50 (and even into the 100s depending on the route).
Travelers turned to the cheap and reliable European bus systems (such as Flix bus), but low and behold, the trains in one particular country are making a comeback!
Announced earlier this month, Portugal has just launched their new rail pass, which will set travelers back a mere $53. The country is following in the footsteps of various other European countries which already have a similar monthly pass.
What To Know About The Pass
Valid on almost all regional trains, the pass will allow locals and travelers the ease of venturing throughout the beautiful country without racking up a huge bill (winning!).
Comboios de Portugal did point out however, that the pass is not valid on urban services (subway, trams, or buses). Although this may seem like a downside for some, it’s important to note that when you do ride the regional trains, there are no ride limitations or dates where you can’t travel.
Before receiving your card, customers will need to fill in a CP form and bring an official ID with them (such as a driver’s license or passport). Cards can be easily purchased from offices around the country, and similar to the UK Oyster Card, will cost an additional 6 euros for a first-time purchase. After this, the card can just be topped up as needed per month.
As of now, the rail pass can’t be used on these lines: 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).
Other Reasons To Visit Portugal Right Now
With summer travel winding down, the fall is arguably one of the best seasons to visit Europe in general. Though the crowds decrease, the prices drop, and the leaves change, for some reason, not as many tourists visit during this time (who knows why!?).
The weather throughout Portugal drops ever so slightly, prices become more affordable, and it could be one of the best times to experience the waves. The coastal town of Nazare is world-famous for its 50-80 foot waves! (Big wave season falls between Oct-March).
With tourism kicking into high gear, a spread of new hotels has also sprung up across the country: one in particular being a former Royal home transformed. A new art museum in Lisbon is also in the works and will supposedly include a 5-star hotel!
Being a less busy season, the fall is also the prime time to buy affordable flights from multiple cities across the US. During this time, a roundtrip flight from Boston or New York to Porto can be found for under $400 roundtrip- that’s a steal! While it’s always typically more expensive to fly into Lisbon, roundtrip flights can still be found for under $500 if you look often.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com