Oh, the Douro Valley, the enchanted region where the best Portuguese wines are produced and where breathtaking views are waiting for you.
These are the best ways to get from Porto to Douro Valley:
A private transfer is, naturally, the most expensive way to get from Porto to the 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 the Douro Valley.There are two ways of getting a private transfer from Porto to the Douro Valley.
- 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 a couple of years and they are very professional and trustworthy. I have been able to partner up with them to offer you an exclusive 5% discount on their services – just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to mention PORTOALITIES 5% to claim your discount.
- 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 the 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 the Douro Valley (you don’t have to 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 the Douro Valley. Please take into account that we do not provide just the transfer service (with no tour).
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 the 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 the Douro Valley.
If you have already booked your trip to Portugal, you can start looking for a rental car at either RentalCars or AutoEurope, where you can not only get an overview of the cars & prices but also handle the booking.
Driving from Porto to the Douro Valley 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 the 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
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: 6pm). 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 get a bus back to Porto, where you’ll arrive around 9pm.
One of the cheapest ways to get from Porto to the 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 the Douro Valley.
Train is the best way to get from Porto to the Douro Valley you are only going to stay one day in the region.
A similar option in terms of pricing is to take a bus to get you from Porto to the Douro Valley.
There are several companies offering this connection (Porto-Régua): Rodonorte and Rede Expressos.Rodonorte has a bus from Porto to the 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 the 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 by getting a bus to get you from Porto to the 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 the 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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