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Porto sprawls along the Douro River, where multi-colored houses adorned with lacy wrought-iron balconies line the promenade. At its heart lies charismatic Ribeira, a tangle of streets buzzing with life and crammed with castles, churches, bars and restaurants, with sandy beaches nearby. It’s also the home of port wine, with several world-famous bodegas open for tastings – Taylor’s and Sandeman among them. But there are plenty of amazing day trips from Porto into the scenic Douro valley or to historic cities in northern Portugal and beyond.

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

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Santiago de Compostela and Viana do Castelo Day Trip from Porto

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

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

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.74

Douro Valley Wine and Cheese Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Spend a day in Douro Valley, visiting three beautiful wineries to sample sparkling wine, Port, local wine and ‘vinho verde’ – a young or green wine. Called ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.59

Guimarães and Braga Day Trip from Porto

4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Travel north on a day trip from Porto to two of northern Portugal's historic cities, which are currently basking in the European spotlight. First, discover the ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $124.66

Day Trip to Douro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 20 Reviews

See one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, where Man has overcome the slopes of the land, planting vines in what can be considered open air ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.59

Aveiro Tour from Porto Including Moliceiro Cruise

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 5 Reviews

Discover Portugal’s answer to Venice – the pretty coastal town of Aveiro – on a half-day trip from Porto! Choose from a morning or afternoon tour, and then set ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $66.49

Fatima and Coimbra Day Trip from Porto

Discover the pilgrimage site of Fatima and the university city of Coimbra on a day trip from Porto! The full-day tour includes a visit to the Sanctuary of Our ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.59

Wine Tour of the Vinho Verde Region from Porto Including Lunch

Taste Portugal’s distinctive ‘green’ or ‘young’ wine on this scenic day trip from Porto to the lush vinho verde wine region. Travel through the ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $103.88

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