Best Day Trips from Porto
By Viator, June 2013
Douro Valley and Wine Tasting
This is one for wine buffs. Head inland through the vineyards of the Douro valley to Pinhão in the very heart of port wine country. Check out the railway station with its entrancing blue-and-white azulejo tiles depicting vineyard works and then enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch accompanied by award-winning local wines and a rare 30-year-old vintage port. In the afternoon visit the wine estate at Quinta do Portal to sample the sparkling rosés, sweet moscatels and fine ports. There’s also an option to enjoy an hour’s leisurely cruise down the Douro.
Santiago de Compostela
Follow in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims with a guided visit to the Roman Catholic cathedral at Santiago de Compostela over the border in northern Spain. With its mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture, the cathedral houses the relics of St James and bristles with gargoyles, statuary, bell towers and cloisters. Heading back into Portugal, stop off at seaside Viana do Castelo to discover its ancient citadel, grandiose Basilica of St Luzia and fine Renaissance piazzas.
Guimarães and Braga
Discover Portugal’s architectural and religious heritage with a trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site Guimarães for its 10th-century castle and the palace of the Dukes of Braganza, who ruled the country between 1640–1910. Lunch on local delicacies and journey on to the Baroque Bom Sanctuary of Jesus do Monte in Tenões. Completed in 1784, it is approached by a monumental interweaving stairway lined with chapels representing the Stations of the Cross. End the day in ancient Braga, founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago and stuffed with ornate Baroque churches.
Contributed by Sasha Heseltine
Tours & Tickets
Cross the border into Spain and retrace part of St James Way – a sacred route followed by centuries of pilgrims – on a visit to Santiago de Compostela from ... Read more
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)