Excursions from Porto: the best day trips around Porto

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Porto, in the north of Portugal, is a beautiful city on the banks of the Douro River. But it is not the only place to visit when in this area.
In fact, there are nearby green hills, lush landscapes, countryside and villages declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Here are the best excursions to do around Porto.


  1. Briefs
  2. Guimaraes
  3. Viana Do Castelo
  4. Vinho Verde road
  5. Barcelos
  6. Lamego
  7. Coimbra
  8. Valenca do Minho
  9. Peneda Geres National Park
  10. Fatima
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Braga

City of Roman origin from which you can admire a splendid landscape.It has retained a baroque touch which can be seen when visiting the Sanctuary do Bom Jesus do Monte and the Sanctuario do Sameiro, a religious place that attracts millions of faithful every year.
Also of interest is the Biscainhos Museum, inside the palace of the same name, which houses collections of decorative art, musical instruments and paintings.
Finally, it is worth making a stop at Palazzo Raio, an 700th century residence, covered with blue azulejos.

  • Range: 53,9 km
  • it is 53,9 km from Porto, by car it can be reached in 45 minutes following E1 / A3 towards Valenca. The train from Porto Station takes you to Braga in 1 hour 10 minutes (€ 3,25) - Get directions
    Private organized tours depart from Porto in the morning
  • Santuario do Bom Jesus open Mon-Sun 7: 30-20: 00. Sanctuario do Sameiro open Jun-Sep 7: 30-20: 00 Oct-May 7: 30-18: 00. The Biscainhos Museum Tue-Sun 09: 30-12: 30/14: 00-17: 30. Private tours depart in the morning at 8:00 am and last all day
  • Organized tours cost from € 45,00 - book online
  • Braga and Guimarães: Full-Day Tour with Lunch from Porto Da Porto: Braga and Guimarães Full-Day Tour

2 - Guimaraes

It is a town of medieval origins, elected a World Heritage Site since it is one of the oldest towns in Portugal.
The historic center is very beautiful, characterized by medieval streets, the Palacio dos Duques de Braganca, the Igreja de sao Miguel do Castelo and the Igreja de Sao Gualter.
Very interesting is the castle on top of the hill which dates back to the th century and was built to defend the monastery and the surrounding urban centers.
Finally, if you have time left, visit the Plataforma das Artes and Criatividade, a place that hosts artistic and cultural activities instead of the old market.

  • Range: 55,4 km
  • it is 55,4 km from Porto, can be reached by car in 45 minutes following the E1 / A3 towards E82 taking exit 6. The train from Porto Campanha station takes 1 hour and 5 minutes (€ 3,20) - Get directions
    Organized excursions also depart from Porto which usually combine the visit of Braga and Guimares
  • The castle is open Mon-Sun 10: 00-18: 00; tours depart from Porto in the morning and last approximately 8 hours
  • Entrance to the castle costs € 2,00; organized excursions from Porto from a minimum of € 44,00 - book online
  • Braga and Guimarães from Porto: full day with lunch Guimarães and Braga: historical and food tour from Porto

3 - Viana Do Castelo

Little known by tourism, is a beautiful town overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that once lived on fishing and trading with Brazil.
To visit the Santuario de Santa Luzia on the homonymous mountain in neo-Byzantine style and dating back to 1954; particular and near the port, then, is the Castelo de Santiago de Barra with a panoramic walkway.
In the city center, however, a visit to the Republic Square, the Old Town Hall and the Museum of Decorative Arts is a must.

  • Range: 84,8 km
  • it is 84,8 km from Porto and can be reached in 1 hour by car following the A28. By train, changing at Nine takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes (Get directions). Alternatively, there are private guided tours that depart from Porto
  • The castle is open Sun-Fri 9: 00-18: 00; organized tours from Porto depart in the morning and last about 8 hours
  • Entrance to the castle is free; private tours cost € 85,00 - book online
  • Viana do Castelo: full-day guided tour from Porto

4 - Strada del Vinho Verde

It is located in the area of ​​Portugal occupied by the Minho region characterized by a luxuriant vegetation with plots of land cultivated with vines.
The position of the vines along the rivers and the influence of the oceanic climate make the wines of the area young and characteristic.
During an excursion to these places as well as stopping in the cellars to discover the wine production and taste the various labels, a stop in Amarante is a must, with the immense bridge symbol of popular resistance to the Napoleonic armies, to taste the typical sweets "papos de anjo".
And finally, to contemplate the landscape, stop at the Serra do Marao.
The best way to enjoy this area is to join an organized excursion.

  • Range: 66 km
  • it is located east of Porto and extends for several kilometers; Amarante is 66 km away, reachable in 40 minutes by car (Get directions). Tours depart from Porto with pickup from your accommodation
  • the organized excursions depart in the morning around 8:30 and last 8 hours
  • the tours have a cost starting from € 90,00 - book online
  • Vinho Verde: Day Tour from Porto, wine tasting and lunch;

5 - Barcelos

It's a pretty medieval village with a historic center characterized by the bridge, the walls and the Matriz church.
During the visit of the town it is also possible to admire some historical residences such as the Casa do Condestavel and the Solar do Pinheiros and the 700th century churches Bom Jess da Cruz and Nossa Senhora do Terco.
It is also worth taking a trip to the Barcelos handicraft center and the Museo da Olaria to get a feel for the local art.

  • Range: 51,6 km
  • it is 51,6 km from Porto and can be reached by car in 50 minutes or in 1 hour by train from Sao Bento Station in Porto changing at Trofa (Get directions). It is also possible to participate in day trips that depart from Porto
  • organized tours start in the morning and last 8 hours
  • excursions start from € 85,00 - book online
  • Barcelos Rooster and Ponte de Lima Tour from Porto Barcelos: Guided walking tour

6 - Lamego

Inhabited by the Visigoths in the th century, this one ancient city is famous because, once upon a time, the famous Port wine was produced.
From the Middle Ages you can visit the castle, the church of Santa Maria de Almacave and the cathedral.
The baroque sanctuary dedicated to Nossa Senhora dos Remedios is very beautiful; here every year the faithful from 6 to 8 September make a pilgrimage to thank the Madonna.
You can visit the town on your own or during a tour that will also make you discover the panoramic points overlooking the great valleys.

  • Range: 118 km
  • it is 118 Km from Porto and can be reached in 1 hour and 30 by car along the A20 / IC23 then the A4 and finally the N226 (Get directions). Alternatively, you can join an organized tour that starts from Porto
  • Tours depart in the morning and last approximately 9 hours
  • Tours organized with city tours and wine tastings cost € 155,00 - book online
  • Lamego: a medieval tour with Douro, Porto and Spumante

7 - Coimbra

It overlooks the banks of the Mondego river, famous for being the oldest university in Portugal.
While visiting this town, we suggest you go up the tower from where you can admire the splendid panorama and then dedicate some time to some rooms on the ground floor.
In the Baixa city, however, do not miss the Mosteiro de Santa Cruz, the Mosteiro de Santa Clara a Velha, the Machado de Castro National Museum, the gardens of the Quinta das Lagrimas and the Sé Velha cathedral on whose staircase students wear black cloaks. and sing the Fado de Coimbra.
If you visit Coimbra in May you will witness the Queima das Fitas, a lively party to celebrate the undergraduates.

  • Range: 119 km
  • it is 119 Km from Porto and can be reached in 1 hour and 20 by car following the A29, in 1 hour by train direct from Porto Campanha station (Get directions) or by participating in a private tour departing from Porto
  • entrance to the tower is from November to March Mon - Fri 9: 30-13: 00 and 14: 00-17: 30 while Sat and Sun 10: 30-16: 30 from March to October Mon-Sun 9: 00-19: 30. The tours instead depart from Porto in the morning and last 8 hours
  • The entrance to the tower including rooms on the first floor is € 10,00. Organized tours start from € 55,00 - book online
  • Aveiro and Coimbra: Full-Day Tour from Porto From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full Day Private Tour

8 - Valenca do Minho

An excursion not to be missed, north of Porto, is this fortified city with a particular star shape that you can admire by walking around the ramparts.
To see the fortress characterized by walls and a castle, both medieval, which enlarged during the war from Restauracao; inside the ancient military hospital, however, there is the Bombeiro Museum which is worth visiting.
Finally, you can walk through Elos da Montanha the path that runs through a beautiful landscape between hills and mountains.

  • Range: 128 km
  • it is 128 km from Porto and can be reached in 1 hour and 10 by car following the E1 / A3; the train that connects the two cities takes about 2 hours - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free

9 - Peneda Geres National Park

Nature lovers should definitely visit this park which is located in the north east of Portugal between Alto Minho and Traso as Montes.
Featuring stunning scenery with lakes, waterfalls, rivers, streams and mountains, is inhabited by unique animal species such as the wild horse of Garrano and the dog Castro Laboreiro, in the Peneda National Park there are also small rural villages.
Sports enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as kayaking or canoeing or it is possible to take simple walks on paths that lead to castles, monasteries and sanctuaries.

  • Range: 107 km
  • it is 107 km from Porto and can be reached by car in 1 hour and 10 minutes following the E1 / IC28 (Get directions) or by participating in organized tours that depart from Porto
  • organized tours start in the morning and last 8 hours
  • the tours have a cost starting from € 85,00 - book online
  • Gerês Park: 4x4 Tour with Lunch from Porto and Braga From Porto: Small Group Day Tour of Geres National Park

10 - Fatima

A day trip from Porto, especially dedicated to the faithful and believers, is the one to Fatima, the famous place where the apparition of 1917 took place.
The visit of this town mainly concerns religious sites and usually includes the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Basilica, the Monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Nearby there is Ajustrel, the village with the houses of the three little shepherds who had the apparition, the Ourem Castle, the Convent of Christ and the Monastery of Bathala.
If after the sacred aspect you are in the mood for nature, 10 km from Fatima are the Alvados Caves, a complex of rooms decorated with stalactites and stalagmites.

  • Range: 196 km
  • Fatima is 196 km from Porto and can be reached in less than 2 hours by car following the A29 (Get directions). The best way to get there is to join a private excursion that starts from Porto
  • private excursions depart early in the morning and last approximately 9 hours
  • the cost of a tour from Porto starts from € 55,00 - book online
  • Fátima and Coimbra: full-day tour from Porto

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