By Darren Griffiths

How to get to the Douro Valley from Porto 2024

6th February 2024

Going to Douro Valley for a tour of the wine farms or just a leisurely trip to admire the views? We have compiled the best means by which you can get to Douro Valley from Porto. Whether it’s over the water, along the road, by public transportation, or private, we’ve got them all here.

Make sure to also check out our Quick Douro Valley Guide!

Porto to Douro Valley by Car

To do this trip by car is enchanting. The N222 is known as one of the best roads in the world and also boasts some truly magnificent views.

douro valley view portugal-2
The Douro Valley

An advantage of travelling by car is that you get to see much more of the region than you do by travelling by other means, like by train or boat.

Self-drive (Private)

Taking a trip from Porto to Douro Valley day trip:

This is one of the better options when travelling with kids or when you want that extra flexibility around where you go and when. It’s just not a great option if you want to fit in several wine tastings!

porto port wine douro valley
Porto port wine can be enjoyed in the city or in the nearby Douro Valley

There are a few options that you can choose from when it comes to driving yourself from Porto to Douro Valley. The first option is hiring a car from a rental company for the day:

Rentalcars.com is a website that connects you to a whole bunch of rental car companies in one place, where you can see and compare the different prices.

To hire a car for the whole day from 8 am to 4 pm (pickup and drop off at the airport) costs between €100 and €300 depending on what car you want to drive and which company you use.

Holidaycars.com is also a great option, and slightly more affordable with prices as low as €36 per day.

Other car rental companies like Hertz can also be used, but then you will have to manually compare prices.

Whichever car rental company you choose, we thing that being able to make up your own private tour (or group tour if you have kids!) is one way to ensure that you build memories of your trip.

Porto to Douro Valley by train

This is one of the more affordable ways of getting to Douro Valley from Porto. The train rides are known for the gorgeous views of the Douro River. 

weekend in Douro valley

There are two options: The first is taking one direct train (The InterRegional connection). This train departs from Sao Bento train station every two hours, starting at 07:15 and ending at 19:30.

The cost of a train ride to the Douro region is roughly €12 one way. The second option is taking two connecting trains, which is slightly cheaper but takes longer.

If you do choose a train journey however, you will need to hire a taxi to each wine farm that you decide to visit, as they are usually too far to walk between.

This gives you some of the flexibility that you would get with driving but also keeps you on a slightly more structured journey.

It also means you can get around the wine estates tasting as many amazing wines as you’d like, at your own pace.

Porto to Douro Valley by Bus

The last means of getting from Porto to Doura Valley via dry land is by bus. This is an option, but not one of the best ways to get to Douro Valley from Porto.

douro valley view portugal
Our Douro Valley view from our hotel room

It is not more affordable or quicker than any of the other options and can often be less comfortable than travelling by train, or private car.

Two great bus services that are available are Rodonorte or Rede Expressos.

Rodonorte’s option costs around €10 one-way and departs at 07:00. The last bus is at 14:30. The Rede Expressos option costs about the same and departs at 10:00. The last bus is at 18:15. 

Porto to Douro Valley by boat

Most people come to the area to have a full experience of the Porto wine estates and farms, however, if wine tastings doesn’t interest you, then getting to Porto Valley by boat may be a more exciting experience for you.

porto douro river
Porto’s wine warehouses on the Douro river

With the luscious vegetation lining the river and the vast terraced landscape stretching out on either side of you, you could enjoy a truly scenic trip.

Porto to Douro Valley River Cruise

There are quite a few river cruise options to get from Porto to Douro Valley. One can take a train or a bus from Regua, Pinhao, Pocinho, or Barca d’Alva and then a boat ride down the river.

douro valley river portugal
Stay in a Portuguese winery in the Douro Valley

Wine tasting is a possibility on many Douro river boat cruises.

Porto to Douro Valley tours

Get Your Guide Tours

Get Your Guide offers several boat tours and river cruises from Porto to Douro Valley. These can be a great option for those looking for a general overview of the region.

porto port wine rabelo boats
Traditional Rabelo boats which transport wine from the Douro Valley to Porto

These tours each offer slightly different things.

Some offer guided wine tours of beautiful terraced vineyards and cellars, and others include lunch and tours of things of interest, but one thing you are guaranteed with a boat trip is gorgeous views.

Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch

From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch

From Porto: Douro Valley Full-Day Wine Trip with Lunch

The Get Your Guide trips are definitely the best “all-around” options.

In summary, you can get to Douro Valley using several methods, but the best value for comfort, affordability, and speed would probably be the direct train.

Using this option will allow you to have the freedom of going wherever you want (including making last-minute decisions to visit newly discovered places) and enjoy the views of the Douro River, as well as keeping it at a budget level.

porto douro river
Porto Douro River overlooking the UNESCO Ribeira District.

If you are not concerned with flexibility and affordability, then a guided tour is the way to go.

With informative guides to share their knowledge with you and the safety of having people who know the area showing you around, you can truly relax and enjoy the experience.

The Get Your Guide river tours are more luxurious and would suit those who would prefer an “all-round” experience, but are not for you if you don’t want to miss a single thing!

Perhaps you’d like to stay in the Douro Valley for a night or two? If so, then check out our guide to Where to Stay in the Douro Valley.

All in all, this is a stunning region, worth being explored. So, take a look at your options and make a plan!

Related Porto articles:
The Best Porto Wine Tours: Everything You Need to Know
24 Best Things to Do in Porto
Where to Stay in Porto, Portugal – The Best Areas
48 Hours in Porto Itinerary: The Best of Porto in Two Days