Day trip from Porto to Douro Valley: Everything you need to know

Are you looking to make a day trip from Porto to Douro valley? Consider that you have landed in the right place. In this post, you will learn every single thing that you need to know about going to Douro valley from Porto.

Today you will learn:

  • How far Douro valley is from Porto and transportation options to get there
  • Going with a tour group vs taking public transportation
  • The most popular train stops, the cost, the time, and what to do at each stop
  • If Douro valley is worth visiting
  • lots more

So if you are ready to start planning this awesome day trip with thorough up-to-date information, then keep on reading!

Day trip from Porto to Douro valley

day trip from porto to douro valley
Views on the way to Douro valley from Porto

There is absolutely no reason why you should not go to Douro valley if you are staying in Porto. Porto is a beautiful city that makes for a great base, conveniently located you can easily do day trips.

Douro Valley is one of the most famous day trips from Porto, some other options include Guimaraes and Braga. The area of Douro valley is known for its wines. If you’ve ever visited Portugal or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of port wine.

Port wine is heavily produced in Douro valley. It’s a very sweet wine that is high in alcohol content, usually around 20%. That is strong for wine, most wines average in at 5-15% alcohol content.

There are tons of wineries where you can go and visit in Douro valley. Upon visiting, you can learn about how they make port wines, the different kinds, all while taking a tour and enjoying a tasting.

In addition to that, even if you are not a wine person, Douro valley calls for a visit. There are spectacular views and mountains in the area. If you happen to take the tour I recommend, you will be in for a treat.

One of the routes on the way to the winery has been rated by UNESCO as one of the most scenic roads to drive in the world. If you visit, you’ll totally see what I mean, it won’t be hard to notice the beauty.

This loveable region makes for a great day trip from Porto to Douro valley. Keep on reading to learn the important details!

How far is Douro valley from Porto

Douro Valley is just 60 miles away from Porto. It’s in close proximity which means a day trip is definitely worth it, you won’t have to worry about traveling the whole day to get to and from. A drive to Porto with a guided trip will take around an hour and a half.

How to get to Douro valley from Porto

You can get to Douro valley from Porto by car, by train, by bus, and even by boat! Even though most travel by car or train, let us go over all the transportation options in case you want to do something utterly unique. 😉

Traveling from Porto to Douro valley By Car

This will take you around 1 hour and 15 minutes – 1 hour and 30 minutes. There are beautiful views along the way and car travel is a great option to consider.

Do note though, Douro valley is famous for its wines so if you are going to be drinking, be responsible and don’t drink and drive. Especially in a foreign country. There are tons of tour groups you can consider that will take you there and back, so please stay safe!

Boat travel to Douro valley

Boat travel from Porto to Douro valley is unique and is also quite popular. I think it is an amazing option because even though you are sailing all day, you get to travel the route less traveled. You will go through dams, get breakfast, and even taste Port wine from the local wineries.

If this interests you, make sure you check out tours from Vila Nova de Gaia’s Quay, which is the most popular departure station to do this Douro valley boat tour.

It will leave early like 8 -9 am and it will stop at either Pinhao or Peso Da Regua. These are 2 popular regions in Douro valley, Pinhao being the most popular area for tourists.

Bus travel

The bus route will take you around 2 hours. It is a bit longer than the car but it is around the same price as a train. Therefore, if the train tickets sell out and you are strapped for cash it could be a more affordable option.

The bus will leave from Porto in the Campo 24 de Agosto Station and you will arrive in Regua 2 hours later.

Do note the buses don’t always run that frequently and not everyone wants to go to the Regua area.

Some example times for the buses are departure 7 am, 10 am, and return routes are 2:30 pm and 6:15 pm. This can be unideal for someone who wants to spend the whole day in Douro valley and has to spend time traveling to and from different areas in Douro valley with these limitations in mind.

You also don’t save money, so if you are going to take public transportation then definitely consider the train.

Train ride from Porto to Douro Valley

Train ride for day trip from porto to douro valley
Azulejos at Sao Bento train station

You can take a train ride to enjoy a day trip from Porto to Douro valley but first, let’s get into some important details.

Porto has 2 main train stations, Sao Bento and Porto Campanha. Sao Bento is famous for its “azulejos” tiles and is also closer to most tourists as its more centralized.

The Sao Bento station is in the “historic” part of Porto. If you’ve never been to Sao Bento and will be taking the train, arrive a few minutes earlier to take in the beautiful views on the wall.

In case Porto Campanha is closer to your accommodation, don’t worry, because all trains from Sao Bento pass through this train station regardless. Therefore, you won’t have to go to Sao Bento if Campanha is closer to you.

How to buy your train tickets from Porto to Douro valley

You can easily buy your tickets when you arrive at the train station at either Sao Bento or Porto Campanha.

Do not do this on a time crunch though, there can be long lines at the stations and the last thing you want to do is miss your train because of a long line.

If you are going to take the train during spring or summer, it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance and online through the Comboios de Portugal train site.

Tickets range from €7.85 -€15 euros each way. Fares vary on the stop you are going to get off, the day, the time, and the type of train.

What train to take for a day trip from Porto to Douro valley

You will need to take the Douro Line train from Porto, it is called Linha do Douro in Portuguese. There are several different kinds of trains for this line, there are the Interregional train, an urban train, and a regional train. Try to sit by the window so you can enjoy the precious views.

Interregional train

The interregional train is the most convenient train option for tourists because it gives you the option to go from Pinhao – to Pocinho which is the end of the train line and also has the most popular stops of Douro valley.

You have more flexibility to take the Interregional train to different areas of Douro valley if you’d like to get on and get off. Also, you won’t have to transfer to get to Pinhao.

Urban and Regional train

This train route is a bit more limited than the interregional train and you will have to transfer to get to popular areas like Pinhao.

Most of these trains go only straight to Regua which is a few stops before Pinhao. You can take the U and then the IR or R to IR but it’s easier to just take one train. The only reason this route would make sense is if train tickets are limited.

To get a visual of this, check out the Linha do Douro (Douro line) pdf that shows you the train stops so you can get an idea of how the stops are organized.

There are 4 common stops people take to explore Douro valley that we will go into detail below. These are Pinhao, Tua, Pocinho, and Regua.

Pinhao

day trip from porto to douro valley
Gorgeous views from the boat ride in Pinhao

This is the most popular stop and for good reason. It is absolutely beautiful in Pinhao. A perfect day in PInhao is to have lunch, do a wine tasting, and take a nice peaceful boat tour here.

The train station is super pretty too, you’ll obviously experience that if you are taking off the train to here. You’ll see azulejo tiles upon arrival.

Getting off at Pinhao from Porto will take around 2 hours and 15 minutes – 2 hours and 30 minutes. It’s the same distance if you are departing from Porto Campanha. Fares cost around €10-15 euros for each route. Fare varies depending on the time and day you go as mentioned above.

Do note, if you are going to take a train to Pinhao and want to visit a winery, you will need to reserve in advance to make sure you can do a tasting.

This is where we struggled since a lot of the wineries my friend reached out to didn’t have availability or didn’t respond.

Pro tip: planning a trip to a winery calls for planning, luckily I’ve already done the heavy lift for you. Keep reading to learn about the best options for wineries in Pinhao below.

Best 5 wineries in Pinhao that are closest to the Pinhao train station

wine tasting in douro valley
Wine tasting in Douro valley

Here are the best wineries that are closest to the station. These are also rated highly on the trip advisor website.

  1. The most popular (and closest) is Quinta do Bonfim. It’s conveniently a 3-minute walk from the train station. (4.5/5 rating)
  2. Quinta das Carvalhas is a 7 minute walk from the station and has a 4.5/5 rating.
  3. Next, there’s Quinta da Foz that is a 9 minute walk from the station and is a 5/5 rating.
  4. Fourthly, with a 20 minute walk from the station will bring you to Quinta de La Rosa. This has a 4/5 rating
  5. Lastly, Quinta da Roeda is a 25 minute walk from the station and has a 4/5 rating.

Pocinho

Pocinho is the last stop of the Douro line. It’s a small village that you can explore relatively quickly but there’s not a place with much to see.

If you are bored and fancy the trip then do it. Locals commonly go to the last stop and then go back to Tua or Pinhao where there is more ambiance.

Fares cost around €12.85 – €15 and it takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes – 4 hours from Sao Bento. From Campanha to Pocinho it is €12 – €14 and 3 hours 10 mins – 3 hours 30 minutes.

Tua

Tua is insanely beautiful and very picturesque. You have the mountains, valleys, Tua river, wineries, and it is also a common hikers destination since there are lovely routes.

It’s known as a beautiful village in the Douro valley. Definitely, somewhere you can consider if you want to see mountains, views, and go a bit more off the grid. From Sao Bento to Tua it will take around 2 hours and 30 mins – 3 hours and 20 minutes. Fares will be around €10.75 – €14.

Going from Porto Campanha to Tua is €10.45 – €12 and will take the same time as Sao bento with this route.

Regua

This is common for history lovers because in Regua there’s the famous Museo do Douro. It’s all about the history of winemaking and culture. So if that interests you, consider making a stop here. Of course, there are wineries in Regua too.

It’s about 1 hour and 50 minutes – 2 hours and 15 minutes each way from Sao Bento. Fare ranges from €7.85 – €11.30. Campanha to Regua will cost you €7.55 – €9.85 and will take 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Douro historical train

From June to October, there is a historical train that runs on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday. This is a fun unique way to explore Douro valley. The train takes you back into a historical time through a vintage train.

They provide you with food and also have a performance. It goes from the Regua and Tua stops and returns. It costs 20 euros for children – 40 euros for adults.

This is kind of limited but could be a fun thing to do if you have the time and want to explore those areas with the old historical train.

The problem with taking public transportation from Porto to Douro valley

Viewpoint to take pictures
Viewpoint on the way from Porto to Douro Valley

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I will never lie to you. So here’s the truth, taking public transportation is yes definitely affordable and doable, but limits you greatly with mobility.

This is something you want to keep in mind because if you do choose to get a cab, you will have to walk from the train station.

That’s because there are few cabs outside of the train stations. Uber is also limited so keep that in mind as well.

Consider adding taxi fares to your spending because you will most likely need a car for mobility, which can add up.

Outside of that, think about your travel season. If you are traveling during the low tourism season, there might not even be these taxi options at all.

Unfortunately, if you don’t find a cab upon your arrival to Douro valley day trip, that leaves you super limited to only exploring the city center on foot.

If you are also not thinking of going to Pinhao which is slightly walkable, then you are going to be stuck on foot where not all areas are walkable.

There’s nothing wrong with that but obviously going to inform you about these mobility limitations.

Private tour Douro valley from Porto

If all of the above sounds like wayyyyy too much work for you, don’t worry. You can totally take a private tour to Douro valley from Porto. The one I will recommend (it’s tried and true) and has amazing ratings is Oporto Road trips.

The tour offers you a visit to 2 wineries, tastings and tours at both, a lunch, a boat ride, and drop off and pick up with a guide.

I don’t think Sheila (my tour guide) could’ve done a better job, I had so much fun this day. They also take you to a few viewpoints.

You might think you are saving money with public transportation but if you are going to do a wine tour, lunch, and road trip it’ll probably add up to more if you choose the independent route. You get a lot with this tour.

My suggestion is to go on a private tour to Douro valley from Porto. You do what’s best for you though, it’s your trip!

Click on the link and book it directly on their website if you are interested in taking this route.

Is Douro Valley worth visiting

Views from the winery Douro valley

Douro Valley is DEFINITELY worth visiting. As mentioned above, it’s a wine fanatics’ dream with beautiful mountain views that are super picturesque, even for people who aren’t into wine.

So if this sounds good to you, let’s get to planning! Not to forget, that Douro Valley is known as one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world. Yeah, global fame my friends!

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed learning about how to plan a day trip from Porto to Douro valley. It is definitely worth a trip if you are in the area. This post has shown you everything you need to know and what to keep in mind.

Please have a great time on your Portuguese travels and be safe!

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