Porto is an amazing city to visit, with vibrant history, a big food scene, and lots of quaint streets to roam. If you are visiting on a 3 day trip to Porto, I would highly suggest adding in a day trip to compliment exploring the city of Porto.
There are so many amazing places nearby to Porto, that you won’t want to miss out on. I have laid out my favorite day trip options from Porto below, and included all the details on doing it yourself or joining a highly rated guided tour.
In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the best day trips from Porto for whatever type of adventure you are seeking!
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The 8 Best Day Trips from Porto, Portugal
If you could only pick one day trip from Porto, the Douro Valley would be my top pick! Lush vineyard wind around each side of the Douro River with wine estates, or Quintas, dotting the landscape. When we visited during November we were greeted with the most beautiful red, orange, and yellow hues in the vineyards.
Not only is the Douro Valley the oldest wine growing region in the world, it is also most known for its port wine production. Visiting the Douro Valley will give you a look back to one of the most historical parts of this region.
Douro Valley Day Trip from Porto by Car
On the day that we were doing our road trip, we took a taxi to the Porto airport to rent a car just for the day of exploring. We always book our cars in Europe through Discover Cars due to their competitive pricing and free cancellation policy. If you want to read more about my tips on driving and renting a car abroad, check out my international travel planning guide here.
We chose to visit two wineries during our trip to Douro valley, the smaller Quinta do Tedo and the larger Quinta da Pacheca. We chose Quinta do Tedo for the sweeping views over the vineyards and the Douro River and Quinta da Pacheca for being a well-known established winery in Douro.
If you want a really unique experience in the Douro valley, you can actually book a night to stay in a wine barrel at the Wine House Hotel at Quinta da Pacheca.
We walked by the wine barrels on our way to our tour and tasting at Qunita da Pacheca and they looked really spacious in person. If we are ever back in the Douro Valley I am adding a stay here to our itinerary.
For current pricing and availability on your dates, check out the buttons below.
Douro Valley Day Trip from Porto Tours
If you don’t want to coordinate renting a car just for the day or taking public transport, but still want to adventure into the Douro Valley, then I would highly suggest one of the below tours that will provide transportation from your hotel in Porto to the Douro Valley for a full day of exploring.
The tours referenced below include transportation, 2 winery visits in the Douro Valley, a boat cruise down the Douro River, lunch, and free cancellation for a full refund.
From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch
Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch
From Porto: Douro Valley Full-Day Wine Trip with Lunch
Douro Valley: Wine Tour with Lunch, Tastings & River Cruise
Lamego (Combine with Douro Valley)
We ran out of time on our day trip and we were leaving the Douro Valley just as it was getting dark. If you have some time to spare on your day trip and are nearby the Douro Valley, you must make a stop into Lamego, Portugal.
Lamego is known for the magnificent baroque stairway that climbs the steep Santo Estêvão hill to the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios church. The criss-cross architecture leading up to the church on a hill is very similar to the Bom Jesus do Monte found in Braga.
We actually stopped in Aveiro on our way to the Douro Valley and loved the charm here! It is known as the Venice of Portugal due to its canals navigated by colorful Moliceiros boats, traditionally used to harvest seaweed. You can arrange for a traditional boat tour.
When visiting Aveiro, make sure to notice the Art Nouveau buildings but adorned with Portuguese tiles. One of the most interesting buildings in town is the Cathedral of Aveiro and its prominent bell tower.
Aveiro is a short 50 minute drive from Porto. If you would rather skip the driving or public transportation, it is possible to take the train between Porto and Aveiro from the Campanha station near Porto.
Aveiro Day Trip Tours from Porto
If you would prefer to join a tour that picks you up from your hotel in Porto, check out this highly rated tour to Aveiro, the Paiva Walkways, and Arouca 516 Footbridge.
Costa Nova (Combine with Aveiro)
For those beach-lovers, a day trip to Costa Nova would be the perfect addition to your Porto itinerary. With its beach-front, candy striped houses, Costa Nova is one of the most picturesque towns along the coast. You can spend your day here relaxing at the beach, checking out the beach-side restaurants, or leisurely strolls through town.
The colorful houses that we see today were originally built as wooden huts by fisherman to store their equipment right as they back from a day of fishing.
Today these houses have been turned into vacation rentals like CC Casa da Costa and M Costa Nova which are available for rent if you wanted to extend your time in Costa Nova.
Braga & Guimarães
Braga and Guimarães are only 30 minutes apart, and make the perfect combination for a day trip from Porto if you are seeking more history.
The pride of Braga is the Bom Jesus do Monte, with its 630 zig-zagging steps to reach the church. The symmetry here makes this place a photographers dream, and still on my list to visit one day. Braga does have more shops and restuarants than Guimarães. I would suggest spending at least 4 hours in Braga.
Guimarães is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is most known for the 10th-century Guimarães Castle and other medieval buildings throughout town. I would suggest spending 3 – 4 hours in Guimarães.
You can reach Braga and Guimarães on your own from Porto either by driving roughly 45 minutes to Braga, then continuing less than 30 onto Guimarães. It is also possible to take the train/bus from the Campanha station right outside of Porto as public transportation to these cities is very well connected.
Braga & Guimarães Day Trip Tours from Porto
If you want to skip the car or pubic transportation, check out this highly rated tour from Porto taking you to Braga and Guimarães including lunch! What I liked about this tour was that it included guided tours of the historical monuments in Braga and Guimarães, as well as a traditional Portuguese lunch. You will also be picked up and dropped off directly from your hotel in Porto.
Coimbra is a riverfront city, which used to be the capital city of Portugal with an incredibly preserved medieval old town and the oldest university in Portugal. Many people come to Coimbra on a day trip from Porto or Lisbon, but don’t generally stay the night.
If you had some extra time in your itinerary, I would suggest slowing down and taking time to explore Coimbra, especially after all the day trippers have left. Some of the top activities to do in Coimbra are to join a fado show and port wine tasting, kayaking on the Mondego River, or a University of Coimbra walking tour.
Coimbra Day Trip Tours from Porto
If you are interested in joining a tour of Coimbra from Porto which will handle all the transportation to and from your hotel, I would highly suggest the Fatima and Coimbra full day tour from Porto.
Only 30 minutes driving south from Porto, you can easily visit Cortegaça on your way to Aveiro or Costa Nova. The main attraction in Cortegaça is the Igreja de Santa Marinha de Cortegaça which is known as the most beautiful church in Portugal. The church was built between 1910 and 1918 and is covered entirely in blue azulejos from the 20th century.
If you are on a mission to see all the azulejos in Porto, you can easily make a couple hour trip to Cortegaça to complete your search.
It is also possible to take a 40 minute train ride from the Campanha station near Porto to reach Cortegaça, which makes this a really easy half-day trip option as well.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
If you are looking for a nature escape, then the best day trip for you would be Peneda-Gerês National Park. This national park is on my list for when we return to Porto.
Only about an hour driving from Porto, you can instantly be immersed in the bluest waters, surrounded by stunning waterfalls.
There are no good bus/train routes that currently take you to the Peneda-Gerês National Park. Therefore, if you would like to visit without a car, I would suggest booking a highly rated Peneda-Gerês National Park Kayaking and Waterfall tour from Porto.
I hope that you now have all the tools you need to plan the most epic day trip from Porto. If you are currently planning a trip to Norway and have any questions, drop them in the comments below. For more travel inspiration and tips, follow me on Instagram for current updates.
Looking for more Portugal inspiration? You may also enjoy these posts:
- The Ultimate 3 Days in Porto Itinerary
- 7 Best Viewpoints in Porto, Portugal
- The Perfect 3-Day Lisbon Itinerary
- Sintra Day Trip from Lisbon
- How to Visit Benagil Cave in Algarve, Portugal
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