How to get from Porto to Douro Valley

Oh, the Douro Valley, the enchanted region where the best Portuguese wines are produced and where breathtaking views are waiting…

Sara Riobom
10 de March de 2022

Oh, the Douro Valley, the enchanted region where the best Portuguese wines are produced and where breathtaking views are waiting for you.
I’ve already told you what are the best vineyards are and where to stay in Douro Valley. But it was missing a fundamental guide on how to get from Porto to Douro Valley.

There are basically three major ways to get from Porto to Douro Valley:

  • You can visit the region on a Group Tour that includes a Wine Tasting, a boat Cruise and Lunch for just 90€ / person. This is one of the most affordable ways (for the budget traveller) to get a glimpse of the region, and it will also be a good opportunity to meet like minded travellers.
  • If you prefer to have a more exclusive experience, with premium boutique wineries, you should consider our Private Wine Tour in Douro Valley. This is more suitable for those of you who prefer to have a premium, private experience with a professional guide specialised in wines.
  • Last but not the least, if you prefer to explore the region on your own, read the best options (both public and private transports) down below – but please take into account that the roads in Douro Valley are very windy and narrow, and that you shouldn’t drink and drive!

These are the best ways to get from Porto to Douro Valley on your own:

Private Transfer

large group transport porto
© PortoAirportTransfersTO

A private transfer is, naturally, the most expensive way to get from Porto to Douro Valley. This is, however, the most convenient one if you are staying a couple of nights in the region, as the driver can pick you up from your hotel in Porto and take you to your accommodation in Douro Valley. There are two ways of getting a private transfer from Porto to Douro Valley.

  1. In case you are purely interested on a transfer, then I suggest you to contact a company called A Firma. I have been working with them for some years and they are professional and trustworthy. I partnered up with them to offer you an exclusive 5% discount on their services – just send an email to and don’t forget to mention PORTOALITIES 5% to claim your discount.
  2. If you’re interested in getting picked up from your hotel in Porto, then get taken to a couple of wine tours and finally to your accommodation in Douro Valley, then it is worth it to check out our private wine tours.

Our experience in wine tours combined with our solid network of wine producers enable us to provide you with the best private wine tours in Douro Valley (don’t take my word for it – just check our reviews on TripAdvisor).
We can pick you up at any hotel in Porto, do the tour and then drop you off in Douro Valley. Please take into account that we do not provide just the transfer service (with no tour).

Rental car

ride car douro valley
© Observador

For the ones out there who love to drive as much as I do, renting a car is the best option to get from Porto to Douro Valley.
Please keep in mind that even though the ride from Porto to Peso da Régua (the main city in Douro Valley) runs very smoothly on the highway, the roads on the region itself are narrow and windy and not suitable for the fainted heart.
But if this piece of information does not deter you from driving in the region, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view on your way from Porto to Douro Valley.
If you have already booked your trip to Portugal, you can start looking for a rental car on AutoEurope, where you can not only get an overview of the cars & prices but also handle the booking.

Driving from Porto to Douro is the best option for those looking for complete freedom and flexibility. However, keep in mind that if you plan to indulge on wine tastings in Douro Valley, it would be completely reckless and dangerous to drive afterwards!
If you want more information on this topic, check out my complete guide on renting a car in Porto.

Day Cruise in Douro river

large boat douro river cruise from porto to regua
© Tomaz do Douro

There is another way of getting from Porto to Douro Valley which consists of a combination of a train or bus ride from Porto to Régua, Pinhão, Pocinho or Barca d’Alva, followed by a boat ride down the river, or the other way around (going up the river by boat and then getting back to Porto by train or by bus).
This is a popular choice for those who are not so much into wine tastings and prefer to spend the day enjoying the views and making new friends.
Usually there are welcoming drinks and lunch being served on board, and there are also some programs that include a visit to a vineyard.
There are two programs:

  • Douro river cruise Porto – Régua (the main city in the Baixo Corgo sub region), where you take the train at São Bento train station all the way to Régua, and from there take a boat ride back to Porto (Estimated time of arrival: 18h). Lunch is served on board.
  • Douro river cruise Porto – Pinhão (the main city in the Cima Corgo sub region). You will take the boat at Cais de Estiva, in Porto, all the way to Pinhão. Take the opportunity to visit the azulejos tiles at the local train station, they are quite pretty! Afterwards, you will take a bus back to Porto, where you’ll arrive around 21h.

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sao bento train station porto
One of the cheapest ways to get from Porto to Douro Valley is to take the train, a ride famous for its scenic views of Douro river. You have a direct IR connection (InterRegional) every two hours starting at 7h15 (then 9h15, 11h15…) until 19h30. The price is currently set at 9,75€ (Porto – Régua).
The slightly cheaper alternative is to take two trains (an Urban followed by a Regional one – you need to switch trains at Caíde train station).
However, given the fact you’ll only be saving €1,35 and wasting extra time to switch trains, I really recommend you to take the direct IR train to get from Porto to Douro Valley.
Train is the best way to get from Porto to Douro Valley you are only going to stay one day in the region.


bus from porto to douro valley
© Ambitur

A similar option in terms of pricing is to take a bus to get you from Porto to Douro Valley.
There are several companies offering this connection (Porto-Régua): Rodonorte and Rede Expressos. Rodonorte has a bus from Porto to Douro Valley departing at 7h00 and the last one at 14h30. The one way ticket costs 9,50€.
Rede Expressos’ first bus from Porto to Douro Valley departures at 10h00 and the last one at 18h15. The one way ticket costs 9,50€.
Pro tip: Honestly, there is no advantage to take a bus to get you from Porto to Douro Valley, as it is not cheaper (nor does it take less time) than a train ride. It may come in hand if, for some reason, there are no more spots available on the train.

To sum up all the options to get from Porto to Douro Valley:

  • The train and bus are the most affordable options to get you from Porto to Douro Valley, however you will have zero flexibility and will need to pay for a taxi to drive you to vineyards (very few are at a walking distance from the train stations).
  • Private transfers and private wine tours (like the ones we provide) are the most expensive option, but also the option that can be tailored to your requirements.
  • Renting a car is a mid-price option that I highly recommend to experienced drivers who enjoy driving 🙂 However, if you want drink during the day this is not a responsible option.
  • Douro river cruises are a good option for those who just want to enjoy the landscape.

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