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3 Incredible Day Trips an Hour from Porto

Looking for the perfect day trip from Porto? Here are 3 day trip destinations just an hour from Porto, Portugal.

woman walking in portugal wine hotel
Monverde Wine Hotel - Mentioned in '3.Amarante'

Porto is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, but it’s best enjoyed when paired with experiences in its surrounding region. Whether you're looking to explore more of Portugal’s wine scene, to delve into the country’s rich history, or a relaxing retreat in one of Portugal's historic villages all of these trips make for the perfect day trip or an overnight stay.

Here are three different destinations less than a 2 hour drive from Porto, including ideas of what to do, and our recommended hotels/Airbnb accommodation for each area.


For anyone who hasn't been here before we're Tristan & Shay a couple sharing our experiences operating an Airbnb and providing Porto tips and recommendations. For more Porto recommendations and guides be sure to also check out our other posts:


Douro river valley vineyard
Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi

1. The Douro Valley

Just an hour and a half drive from Porto, the Douro Valley is a must-visit region for wine lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world's oldest wine regions with stunning terraced vineyards, rolling hills, and charming traditional villages. We absolutely love the Douro valley and even if you are only there for the day, the drive itself is an unforgettable experience.


What to do:

  • Visit a traditional winery: There are many wineries in the Douro Valley that offer tours and tastings. Some of the most popular include Quinta do Vallado, Quinta do Crasto, and Quinta do Panascal.

  • Take a boat tour on the Douro River: See the valley from a different perspective by taking a boat tour on the Douro River. Many tours depart from the town of Pinhão and offer stunning views of the vineyards and hills.

  • Explore the charming villages: The Douro Valley is home to many charming traditional villages, such as Peso da Régua, São João da Pesqueira, and Provesende. Take a stroll through the winding streets and admire the historic buildings and stunning views.

Where to stay:

  • Quinta do Vallado: This beautiful winery offers luxurious accommodations in the heart of the Douro Valley. Guests can enjoy wine tastings, guided tours of the vineyards, and a relaxing spa.

  • Six Senses Douro Valley: This luxurious resort features breathtaking views of the river and vineyards, as well as a spa, outdoor pool, and many other amenities.

  • Quinta das Amendoeiras (Airbnb): Located in Seixo de Ansiães, this little airbnb has three rooms all available for booking and overlooks a perfect view of the Douro River. The hosts, Mário and Catarina, are kind, welcoming, and funny — they are fantastic cooks — and are sure to make your stay unforgettable.


Old buildings in Guimaraes
Photo by Bruno Martins

2. Guimarães

Known as the "Birthplace of Portugal", Guimarães is a historic city located just 40 minutes from Porto. Its charming medieval center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features a beautifully preserved castle, a 12th-century monastery, and many other historic buildings.


What to do:

  • Visit the Guimarães Castle: This 10th-century castle is one of the city's most iconic landmarks and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

  • Explore the historic center: Take a stroll through the winding streets of the historic center and admire the beautiful architecture, such as the Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.

  • Visit the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória: Also known as the Guimarães Monastery, this 12th-century monastery is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture.

Where to stay:

  • This Old Water Mill (airbnb): This is a 14th-century water mill, situated alongside the Selho River near the Medieval Bridge, resides in a historically significant area amidst the lush beauty of Minhota, just 2 kilometers away from Guimarães' historic center.

  • Casa do Juncal: This charming guesthouse is located just outside the historic center and offers comfortable accommodations and a peaceful garden.

  • Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães: This historic monastery has been converted into a luxurious hotel and features a beautiful courtyard, spa, and outdoor pool.


Old bridge in Amarante Portugal
Photo: Wikimedia

3. Amarante

Amarante is a delightful town located just a short drive (around 50 minutes) from Porto. Nestled along the banks of the Tâmega River, this charming destination is known for its picturesque setting, historic architecture, and old bridge - boasting a tranquil charming atmosphere.

Amarante offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and a relaxed ambiance, making it a wonderful day trip or overnight stay option when visiting Porto.


What to do:

  • São Gonçalo Church: Visit the São Gonçalo Church, a stunning example of Baroque architecture. Inside, you'll find intricate woodwork, gilded altars, and the tomb of Saint Gonçalo, the city's patron saint.

  • Amarante Bridge: Stroll across the iconic Amarante Bridge, a picturesque, arched stone bridge that spans the Tâmega River. It's a great spot for photos and offers lovely views of the town.

  • Historic Center: Wander through Amarante's historic center, where narrow streets are lined with colorful houses, shops, and cafes. Don't miss the charming Largo de São Gonçalo square.

  • Casa de São Roque: Explore the Casa de São Roque, a historic mansion turned museum that provides insights into the town's history and culture.

Where to stay:


FAQ

Do I have to rent a car for day trips from Porto?

Renting a car can provide flexibility and convenience, especially if you plan to explore multiple destinations in one day or prefer an independent travel experience. However, many day trip destinations from Porto can also be reached using public transportation, such as trains and buses.

How do I get to the Douro Valley from Porto with public transport?

What is the Douro Valley known for?

How do I get to Guimarães from Porto with public transport?

What is Guimarães known for?

How do I get to Amarante from Porto with public transportation?

What is Amarante known for?

What are some other day trip options from Porto, Portugal?


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