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How to Visit the Douro Valley from Porto

How to Visit the Douro Valley from Porto

While Port is AGED in Vila Nova de Gaia’s cellars across Douro River from Porto, it is MADE 130 km away in Douro Valley’s dramatic, steep, terraced vineyard, river valley - classified UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

There are a host of ways to arrive at the vineyards wineries and small towns of the Douro Valley - each method having its own perks. Here are our top picks for the adventurous traveler to the luxe traveler!

 
Our very own Odile enjoying the Douro sights - and Porto!

Off the beaten path travel

Rent a car 

If you are interested in visiting wineries and small off the beaten path towns in Douro, Farah suggests renting a car in Porto and driving to Douro Valley. The ride is under two hours and the beautiful views towards the latter leg of the journey will build hype for the rest of your journey!

Once in the valley, you’ll have the flexibility to traverse its three unique sub-regions (Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo, Douro Superior) explore some of its hidden gems and best day trips with your own set of wheels.

A word to the wise

While the recently-built highway is smooth-sailing, the national roads that connect the wineries and traditional towns are windy and difficult.

 A three point turn in the Douro

A more relaxed ride

Train from Porto to Douro

Those looking for a more relaxed ride can take the 2.5-hour train from Porto which snakes along Douro River and provides an absolutely gorgeous journey.

Stops in smaller towns and villages are frequent, but we suggest you get off in Régua (Douro’s most dynamic and largest town), Pinhão (quaint and walkable) or venture all the way to Pocinho (near the border of Spain, from where you can access Foz Côa).

Douro Valley Train

Douro Valley train hugging the river

 

Boat Ride

For the ultimate chill experience, you could take the 7-hour boat ride upriver from Porto to Régua, or the 2.5-hour boat ride from Régua to Pinhão.

 Douro Valley

A view from the boat ride to Pinhão

Taxis

While Uber hasn’t quite yet hit Portugal’s most famed wine country, affordable taxis can be called from any hotel and the drivers usually speak English, are absolute peaches and save you from needing to sacrifice yourself as a designated driver on vacation in wine country!  

Super Luxe!

Guided Tour with Pickup

Finally, while we suggest you spend at least one night in Douro Valley to fully embrace its magic, if you are tight on time, you can embark on a full-day tour with pick up and drop off in Porto.

Luxury Douro Tours, EV Tours and Cool Tours have some of our favorite guides and pit stops amongst the many great tour companies offering pre-selected itineraries or with whom you can develop your own (to include ideally 2 or no more than 3 winery visits to avoid fatigue!)

Quinta do Tedo

One of EV Tours favorite spots is the beautiful Quinta do Tedo 

Experience the Douro in Porto

Douro Valley is a must if you really want to experience Port in its birthplace. But if you don’t have time for Douro, a visit to the all-encompassing World of Wine or independent Port cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia can offer you a good intro “taste” of Port.

Porto's World of Wine

Go inside a Port barrel at Porto's Wold of Wine 

 

Looking for more resources to plan your trip? Check out our recent posts for an overview of Douro Valley wines, our top pick for Douro Valley wineries and Douro Valley Restaurants

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Odile Bouchard

Hi! I'm Odile; I am half-French, half-American and grew up between Burgundy, Napa Valley and Tuscany - wine and travel run deep in my veins. My family owns Quinta do Tedo in the Douro Valley, one of Farah Trading Co's favorite producers!

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1 comment

  • Hello, just came across your blog and wanted to say hello. I will be travelling with my family (5 adults and one infant to porto ) in Nov 18-21. Would love to stop by at your winery. Would love to see if you also recommend other wineries nearby. We are still figuring out the details on how to get there from Porto. If you have a recommendation for a person /company that can give us a tour , we would love to hear it.
    My family are from Napa valley.

    Sincerely,

    Miriam

    Miriam Anulo

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