Visit the Douro Valley

Visit the Douro Valley
Visit the Douro Valley

Looking for information for visit the Douro Valley in Porto ! How to get to the Douro Valley from Porto? Or maybe you are looking for a guided tour of the Douro Valley? In this article, no blah, we get straight to the point with googlemaps to make your research easier.

In this article, find out (also use the menu to directly access the part that interests you):

  • to read my article - Visit Porto
  • How to get to Lisbon by train
  • Looking for a nice excursion in the Douro Valley (private or semi-private) from your hotel in Porto (contact Pascal, Raquel and Yoric)
  • For a group tour (a little cheaper, but compare according to the number of people).

Do you want to take a guided tour of Porto with a French / Portuguese? I advise you to contact Ricardo or Mélanie.

Upon my return, I created a FREE Porto guide to receive it directly to your mailbox. In this Porto guide, you will find my must-see GoogleMap maps, and this ready to print:

1) Visit the Douro Valley

It would be a shame to visit Porto and not push the Douro Valley. If like me you like wine, and even if you don't know much about it, it is essential, the landscapes are incredible!

Also, you must eat in a fifth! A fifth is a wine farm, but it is also the registered trademark, the emblem of a wine-growing tradition. In short, you have to do one and I personally recommend Quinta do Tedo, the farm is magnificent (see photo below) and the food is just insane.

They also make a hotel.

The region's man-made wine-growing landscapes, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, are worth it in themselves, planted with typical riverside villages.

The Duero has its origin in Spain and flows into the Atlantic at Porto. It has thus participated in the transport, since the eighteenth century, of goods, thinking about wine.

The opportunity for a getaway by the water ... and wine.

If you really don't have time to get there, you can always go to Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south bank in front of Porto, a historic city where English merchants installed their wineries in the XNUMXth century and the headquarters of the Porto wine houses. most famous. But let's be honest, it would be a shame not to see the landscapes from which this sweet drink is extracted! :)

Mail from Nathalie about this hike:

Back from Porto, with your help we had a wonderful time. Comments about the tour in the Douro Valley: The small group visit of the Douro Valley with a guide (, Pascal, was the highlight of our stay in Porto. The trip is excellent, the guide very cultured, made us discover landscapes , wines and the cultural and human heritage of your region. Added to this is a small typical meal and good humor in all circumstances. We highly recommend it. Thank you Maxence for your wise advice.

For a group tour (a little cheaper, but compare according to the number of people).

2) Join the Douro Valley from Porto

First advice: it is better to rent a car to visit the Douro Valley and thus be able to move freely. Some agencies offer to rent a car in the center of Porto and leave it when leaving at the airport.

A very practical option, but having to rent a car can quickly become demotivating, and I understand you. Anyway, I stopped by Carigami to rent a car in Porto and I have no regrets at all!

Fortunately, you have other ways to explore the Douro Valley without renting a car.

Many say that a day is a bit short to visit the treasures of the Douro Valley, and it all depends on the means you spend to join the Douro Valley from Porto!

In fact, many places offer excursions like going by boat. Frankly I do not recommend it (read the reviews) because you spend a lot of time on the boat (5 hours), you only visit the wineries, and once you arrive we leave you in Régua for 1 or 2 hours to take the train. to Porto… Especially since the beautiful landscapes only come at the end, and the return is sometimes done by bus.

Instead, contact Pascal and Raquel, who offer a nice excursion in the Douro Valley (.

For a group tour (a little cheaper, but compare according to the number of people).

/! Be careful with the beautiful real landscapes of the Douro Valley that you see on a postcard, it is from Regua (see map above) then Pinhao / Tua and back to Regua, unless you choose a boat cruise (but not from Porto as I told you , so opt for a one-hour cruise from Pinhao or Regua, for example), otherwise you won't be able to hike through the valley and the landscapes aren't terrible from Puerto.

Here you have a map that I have personalized and that shows you where the magnificent landscapes of the Douro Valley (purple area) are located, it could not be clearer ...

Therefore, it is best to get to Vila Real by highway (without stopping there), then follow the Regua sign, then cross the small Regua bridge and follow the road to Pinhao.

Make a stop at Quinta Do Tedo, you won't be disappointed!

  • Well, how do we go to the Douro Valley from Porto without a car?

The best thing is to go through a guided tour in a minibus with a guide, there you don't waste time on a boat, you will really see the Douro Valley and you will do authentic wine tastings in wineries such as:

  • Bodegas Raposeira (visit and wine tasting)
  • Cuevas de Tedo (visit and wine tasting)
  • Cuevas de Aveleda (visit and wine tasting)
  • / li>

French speaking guides (Pascal, Raquel or Jean and Susana) come to pick you up from the hotel by minivan, they make you discover the Douro Valley region off the beaten track, then you take a 1 hour cruise (between Pinhao and Tua) , where it is more pleasant for a cruise ... with of course during the excursion, tasting, visit ...

You also have this "Douro Tour" ticket which is not bad at all, it is up to you to compare between the two.

Otherwise, I advise you to go by your own means, either by train (I'll tell you about it in the next part) or by renting your own vehicle.

  • Best viewpoint of the Douro Valley - Sao Leonardo

You have the best place in Sao Leonardo. On the other hand, you will have to go back through Regua to get there. There are not 30.000 bridges over the Duero ...

3) Visit the Douro Valley by boat or train.

  • Discover the Douro Valley by boat.

The cruises depart from the Duero. It's a good option, but you won't have time to see much. As I told you in the previous part, this excursion does not seem very good, especially since the beautiful landscapes only reach the end.

If you want my opinion, it is better to choose an excursion with a private minibus OR take the train to Régua and only do 1 hour by boat there, otherwise if you go on the boat excursion from Porto, it is 5 hours of boredom in a 6 hour trip.

For a group tour (a little cheaper, but compare according to the number of people).

You also have this walk and this "the Douro Tour" which is not bad at all, it is up to you to compare between the two.

  • Visit the Douro Valley by train

The Linha do Douro, a historic train pulled by a steam locomotive (it departs from the center of Porto and goes east to Pocinho - to see the route via GoogleMap), will allow you to see more things than by boat. This railway line is one of the most picturesque in Europe.

It will cost you € 13,30 for a 3-hour one-way trip. Yes, it is long, but if you are tired of your stay in Porto, it may be a good idea to discover a unique landscape without too much tension.

As Pocinho is very small, I advise you to stop much earlier, in Pinhão (suddenly Porto Pinhão is done in 2h30), and then opt for a cruise towards Tua, the most beautiful part of the river. In Pinhão, you can discover quintas (see below) and sleep there.

If you want to indulge yourself, you can sleep at The Vintage House, an XNUMXth century wine estate, which offers you a heated pool on the heights of the Duero, all in the heart of the city.

Minibus tours with tasting, lunch and guided tours are offered, as I mentioned in my article to visit Porto.

It is also a good option for those who do not want to take the initiative to visit the Douro Valley on their own and do not want to be away from the city for long (or that).

You also have this "Douro Tour" ticket which is not bad at all, it is up to you to compare between the two.

4) Where to sleep in the Douro Valley

  • Where to sleep in the Douro Valley?

While I do, I will take a room at Quinta Do Tedo which is between Regua and Pinhao. The setting is crazy and the food is really very good!

  • Where to sleep in Pinhão?

You have the Douro BackPapper Youth Hostel, if not fancier, Casa Rodrigue and even fancier the Vintage House, which often offers discounted prices, check out the reviews.

  • Where to sleep in Regua?

Good value for money and very well located, the Original Duero, read the reviews. You also have, more elegant, the Regua Douro which is very well located and sometimes offers discounts, to see.

  • Can we take a private guided tour of the Douro Valley and spend the night in the Douro Valley?

Question from Dominique: Are the guided tours you mention for several people? Rather we are looking for a private day trip for 2 or 3 people! Without returning to Porto but to stay in one of the villages in the valley and return to Porto by our own means (train or other). Is this possible in your opinion?

5) The Douro Valley by car - Itinerary from Porto

Be careful, when renting a car, remember to check that it is equipped for the motorway (otherwise you will not be able to use the motorway network) to avoid disappointment.

If you are like me, I advise you to take a tour to the north. At this point we take the A4 motorway, the national road is three times as long and the landscape is not necessarily of interest.

Make a stop in Amarante to visit the São Gonçalo Monastery Church, perched on the Douro River. The three-story facade is impressive, the altar also carved in wood. Continue over the bridge and try one of the famous cakes in the village.

Join Vila Real by the Nationale 15 and discover its beautiful XNUMXth century Baroque mansion with particularly beautiful carved wooden ceilings and an upstairs museum.

Here you have a map that I have personalized and that shows you where the magnificent landscapes of the Douro Valley (purple area) are located, it could not be clearer ...

Therefore, it is best to get to Vila Real by highway (without stopping there), then follow the Regua sign, then cross the small Regua bridge and follow the road to Pinhao.

Make a stop at Quinta Do Tedo, you won't be disappointed!

If you want an even more complete itinerary, this is what you can do:

Don't miss Favaios, a dazzling white town where time has stood still, and continue along the national highway (landscapes dotted with creepers and dry stone walls are found in this stunning corner) to Pinhao.

Near Pinhão, we discover the quintas, these wine estates, with the authentic Quinta do Panascal, one of the largest vineyards in the Douro. An audio guide will allow you to learn more and you can taste the wines.

Much more modern, the Sandeman house in Quinta do Seixo, which above all offers an exceptional panorama and the possibility of having a picnic in the vineyards, on the roof of the world. You choose !

In Folgosa, savor the DOC, a restaurant run by chef Rui Paula, awarded with a Michelin star, considered a benchmark of modern cuisine. Suspended by pilings over the Duero with its long terrace.

Live a sensory experience with an inventive chef who draws inspiration from generations of culinary traditions. If you want to pamper yourself, opt for the Douro menu, which offers food and wine pairings.

The opportunity to deepen your knowledge of Portuguese wine ... and your portfolio.

Sleep at Quinta da Azenha in Folgosa, a traditional family inn with simplicity. To get there, there is no address, only GPS coordinates. This shale and granite farmhouse overlooks the Douro and fields of vineyards, olive trees, figs and lemons.

A room costs from 50 euros a night. You will love having breakfast at the family table.

Many activities are available if you have a little time the next day: hiking, swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing ... Frankly, it makes you want to stop a bit and explore a little more closely. nature.

Back in Porto from the south this time, don't miss the baroque sanctuary of Lamego (Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios for those in the know).

The most athletic will assault its 658 steps that reveal frescoes on each level.

For others ... know that it is accessible by car from the top. On the highway, cross the N108 and the N222 through the eucalyptus forest in Entre-os-Rios, where you can have a picnic while enjoying a beautiful view.

6) Visit the surroundings of Porto

Other ideas to visit the surroundings of Porto:

This site also offers excursions: Guided tour of the Minho region (departure / return from the hotel). Guided visit to the Douro Valley (departure / return hotel). Visit of Aveiro from Porto (departure / return hotel). Day trip to Santiago de Compostela (departure / return to the hotel).

Braga (30 minutes), nicknamed the "Rome of Portugal"

  • Three excursion ideas to visit the surroundings of Porto:

What can also be pleasant is to take an excursion to the towns where the Douro passes (Amarante, Pinhão, Lamego), with a tasting of local products, a breakfast with a panoramic view of the Bagaúste dam ... and a tasting in the vineyard "Quinta do Tedo".

  • Here is the map from googleMap (to enlarge this map):

This excursion will really allow you to immerse yourself in the lands of Portugal.

Another great idea for a walk is a walk through Aveiro. Aveiro is a bit like the Venice of Portugal (30 km south of Porto). It is known for the beauty of its natural water channels along the Portuguese coast: transport from Porto, guided tour, 1-hour boat cruise through the city canals, visit to typical houses of the Costa Nova.

If you are more tempted by an excursion to visit the fabulous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela,!

  • Do you want to visit Salamanca and are you looking for a roadmap to go by car from Porto to Salamanca?

So, first of all, you should know that you cannot walk through the Douro Valley and that the landscapes are not terrible from Porto.

The beautiful landscapes that you have in mind start in Vila Real, then Pinhao and then return to Regua. Therefore, it is best to get to Vila real by the highway, then drive towards Peso da Régua and Pinhão and then walk.

From Porto, you can go through Gondoma and then go to Vila real because you will pass through many very beautiful small towns.

If you change your mind and just want to visit the Douro Valley, it is best to take the train to Pinhao because it runs along the river, you eat there, you take a walk, then you return to Porto (day count).

7) Accommodation in Porto

Here is a map of the neighborhoods of Porto. I advise you to stay in the Ribeira neighborhood (old Porto), near the D metro line or near the Luis bridge to be clearer.

As I told you, I advise you to stay in the Ribeira neighborhood, at the foot of the Luis Bridge. For my part, it was at the Carris Ribeira hotel where I stayed, it is an ideal location, perfect for going out and visiting Porto on foot.

So looking around this hotel will be perfect;)

Here is a list of good addresses (located in the historic center - east side) that Internet users have communicated to me:

  • The Ribeira Do Porto hotel is located in the Ribeira district (purple area below)
  • The Casa Ribeira Porto is also a good address well located, that is to say a stone's throw from the Luis Bridge in the Ribeira district. However, the prices are higher, but sometimes they offer discounts, so check it out!
  • Cheap and well located hotel address in Porto?

Located 5 minutes on foot (10 seconds from the Stock Exchange Palace, which I recommend you do the guided tour) just from the Ribeira docks you have the Being Porto youth hostel that has a good value for money. . You also have the BlueSock Youth Hostel, which is even better located.

These 2 addresses also offer double rooms, so even if they are youth hostels you can go as a couple as a result ...

Well here it is, the article to discover the Douro Valley comes to an end. Do not hesitate to leave comments to enrich this article!

Now you know:

  • What to visit in the Douro Valley
  • How to get to the Douro Valley from Porto

And you, do you know the Douro Valley? Do you have good addresses to share?

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