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Douro Valley by train: an ultimate guide

Getting from Porto to Douro Valley by train has become a popular choice. Discover how to make the most of this travel option!

Sara Riobom

February 24, 2023

Wine tour in Douro Valley

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Have you decided where to stay? If not, read my article about the Where to Stay in Douro Valley.

I have already written a comprehensive guide on how to get from Porto to Douro Valley, but there is this mystique about getting to the region by train which is why I decide to write this Douro Valley by train: an ultimate guide. It is a long article, so here is the table of contents to help you navigate it:

view from douro valley trains

Is it worth it to get to Douro Valley by train?

The first thing you should decide is if getting to Douro Valley by train makes sense according to a) your traveling style and b) what do you plan to do in the region.

Reasons to do it

You should consider getting to Douro Valley by train if:

  • If you prefer not to drive in the region (as the roads are quite windy and narrow, it takes a skilled driver to do it) and don’t want to hire a private driver / tour guide to do it for you.
  • For environmental concerns (it is the least polluting way of getting to the region).
  • If you prioritise enjoying the stunning landscape of the Douro Valley and NOT the wine tastings.
  • If you are very fond of train trips in general.

Reasons to NOT to do it

As much as I love traveling to Douro Valley by train, I reckon that it might not be the best solution to make the most of the region, especially if you want to visit more than one winery. I think a lot of people don’t understand why, which is why I created this map to help you.

map douro river regua pinhao pocinho
I adapted this map from the original one published by CroisiEurope.

Where should I get out from the train to Douro Valley?

douro valley train schedule from porto

The Douro Valley consists of three sub regions, and when you take a train from Porto you can get out at either Régua, Pinhão or Pocinho.

  • 1st option: Porto – Régua. Duration: 2h. Ticket price: 9,85€ (one way).

    This is the shortest Douro Valley train connection from Porto. The views from the train are not interesting at all, consisting mainly of residential areas. However, this is the best option for those of you who are taking the train because it is a cheap transportation option. It is also the option that will allow you more time to explore the region, since you will only be spending 4h in total inside the train.

    From Régua, you can walk by foot to a lot of restaurants BUT you will need to take a taxi to get to practically any winery.
  • 2nd option: Porto – Pinhão. Duration: 2h20. Ticket price: 11,10€ (one way).

    This is an interesting option because it allows you to enjoy some nice river views from the train (in the section Régua – Pinhão) while, at the same time, allowing you to spend some time exploring the region.

    You can perfectly get an early train to Pinhão and, once you arrive there, take a 1h cruise in Douro river (it is such a pleasant activity!) or get by foot to one of the best vineyards in the region, like Quinta do Bomfim or Real Companhia Velha.

    This the probably the best option for those of you trying to get the most of one day in Douro Valley.
  • 2nd option: Porto – Pocinho. Duration: 3h. Ticket price: 13,45€ (one way).

    This is BY FAR the best option for those of you who want to enjoy the best views because, even though no one really talks about it, you get the best views of exploring Douro Valley by train on the section from Pinhão to Pocinho.

    Thing is, it makes up for a veeeery long day for those of you who want to come back to Porto in the same day, since you’ll be spending a loooot of time inside the train. Moreover, Pocinho is located in the most remote sub region of the Douro Valley; there are not as many wineries in that region, but fortunately you will be just 9 minutes driving distance to one of my favourite vineyards, Quinta do Vale Meão, and 15 minutes away from the AMAZING Côa Museum.

    All and all, I only recommend you to take the train to Pocinho if you are planning to spend a night there, and I promise you that it will be worth it!

Prices and schedules

These are the current prices for getting to Douro Valley by train from Porto:

Porto – Régua – Porto19,70€4h
Porto – Pinhão – Porto22,20€4h40
Porto – Pocinho – Porto26,70€6h

Are there discounts on the train tickets?

Senior citizens (over 65 years old) have 50% discount of most train tickets, including the ones I have been writing about on this article, provided that you carry an identification document that proves your age – your passport or ID card (on even a copy of it) will do.

CP – Comboios de Portugal also provides discounts for those who purchase train tickets in advance (at least 5 days in advance). However, these discounts only apply to alfa pendular and intercity trains, and all trains that make the Porto – Douro connection are regional or inter regional ones.

As for schedules, these are the current ones:

Trains schedule of the connection Porto – Régua and Régua – Porto

train schedule porto regua
train schedule regua porto

Trains schedule of the connection Porto – Pinhão and Pinhão – Porto

train schedule porto pinhao porto

Trains schedule of the connection Porto – Pocinho and Pocinho – Porto

train schedule porto pocinho porto

Where to catch the train to Douro Valley in Porto?

I have already written a guide about the train stops in Porto but in short, I recommend you to take a train from Campanhã station because it is the only one where whatever train you take to Douro Valley, it will take you directly.

If you catch a train at São Bento train station, you can either take an IR (inter-regional train), that goes straight to Douro Valley, you might have to first take an urban train to Ermesinde train station and then change to an IR train to get to Douro Valley.

If you are staying in the city centre (and hence close to São Bento train station), you can either take the subway to Campanhã or take any train from São Bento to Campanhã.

How can I buy the train tickets to Douro Valley?

You can buy them in several places actually. Usually I buy the tickets online on Comboios de Portugal’s website. You need to sign up for an account. They ask for your name, date of birth, desired routes and you can choose to put your phone number to receive tickets via text message.

If you have family members, there is no need to create an account for each one, as you can simply add them on your profile. Payment methods accepted are Paypal, Credit Cards and Debit Cards. For identification, they accept almost all forms including a passport or a driving license.

One thing that I find very irritating is that you can’t buy a train ticket with more than 2 months in advance, at least online.

tickets office sao bento station-porto
The tickets office are on the right hand side, when you enter São Bento train station.

Another option is to buy the train tickets at the tickets office in either São Bento train station or at Campanhã train station.

Is there a train from Lisbon to Douro Valley?

It is possible to go from Lisbon to Douro Valley but it is not the most fantastic thing to do in the world 😛

It takes around 5 / 6h to get from Lisbon to Régua by train, and there is no direct connection, so you need to take 2 trains.

As for the Lisbon – Pinhão connection, the trip lasts anywhere from 5h30 to 7h30 and there is also no direct connection, so you need to take 2 trains.

As for the Lisbon – Pocinho connection, the trip lasts anywhere from 6h30 to 8h30 and there is also no direct connection, so you need to take 2 trains.

The price to get from Lisbon to Douro Valley, whether you get out at Régua or Pinhão, is around 29€ / 35€ (second class tickets) or 42€ / 49€ (first class tickets).

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