How to get to Douro Valley from Porto by train? Check out this epic Douro Valley train guide and plan the most memorable to Porto to Douro Valley day trip by train.

BEST Porto To Douro Valley By Train Day Trip

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Soumya

Planning to take the train from Porto to Douro Valley? You’re at the right place.

In this ultimate Porto to Douro Valley Train Guide, you’ll learn all about taking the train to Douro Valley, things to do in Douro Valley on a day trip, and the pros and cons of taking the train vis-à-vis other means of transport

The scenic Douro Valley in Northern Portugal is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal. It is also the birthplace of Port Wine, a Portuguese fortified wine.

The best part is you can easily visit Douro Valley on a day trip from Porto. And there are many ways you can do that – by train, car, or boat.

One of the most popular options, especially among locals, is to take the Porto to Douro Valley train. We took the Douro Valley train from Porto to Pinhao and onward to Pocinho and absolutely loved it.

If you want to do the same, follow along and plan an epic day trip to Douro Valley from Porto by train.

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Check out the cheapest and best way to visit Douro Valley Portugal. By train. Enjoy stunning Douro Valley sceneries, visit vineyards, taste port, and cruise along the Douro river with this easy to implement train travel guide. #Portugal #Porto #Douro
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Is Douro Valley Worth Visiting?

Yes, Douro Valley is absolutely worth visiting because of three reasons. Also known as the Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal’s Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the main producer of Port wine, and home to an exquisite landscape created by years of traditional viticulture practices.

Undulating hills, terraced vineyards, sumptuous orange trees, once-in-a-while wine estates, and River Douro snaking through them all. The beauty of Douro Valley is unparalleled.

If you have seen some wanderlust-inspiring pictures of Portugal, you have probably seen a few of Douro Valley.

Douro Valley is the best place to visit if you want to enjoy good Port wine, experience traditional wine cultivation, and photograph gorgeous sceneries.

If you have more time than a day, staying in one of Douro Valley’s charming hotels is a perfectly relaxing way to experience this gorgeous place.

📖 Related Read: Love beautiful, historic places? Check out this epic list of the 17 Best Heritage Places to Visit in Portugal.

Why Take the Train from Porto to Douro Valley?

Douro Valley train stations are often adorned with gorgeous azulejo panels. That was one of the reasons why I decided to take the train from Porto to Pinhao and not the car.

There are multiple ways to get to Douro Valley from Porto. Train, car, bus, cruises, and guided tours are all viable options.

Here are a few reasons why you would want to take the train to Douro Valley from Porto.

  • You want to see Douro Valley like the locals do – in an old train chugging through winding railway lines while marveling at stunning views of the hilly countryside throughout the journey and admiring beautiful azulejo tiles at local train stations.

  • Someone in your group suffers from motion sickness. Traveling by car on the hilly roads of Douro Valley is a strict no-no in that case. One of my readers actually got back to me with this reason and how they felt that my Douro Valley Train Guide was super helpful to them.

  • You’re traveling on a budget. The train is the most budget-friendly way to get to Douro Valley from Porto.

Pro Tip: If you’re traveling on a budget, read our 10-Day Portugal Itinerary by Train and Bus.

How to Take the Porto to Douro Valley train?

Trains from Porto to Douro Valley
Taking the train from Porto to Douro Valley is an exciting way to see this place.

Which Train to Take to Get To Douro Valley from Porto?

You need to take a Linha do Douro or Douro Line train from Porto. Have a look at train numbers and stops here.

There are Urban (U), Regional (R), and Inter-Regional (IR) trains. Three important stops that you need to know about – Regua, Pinhao, and Pocinho.

  • U and R trains will take you to Regua (end of the line). IR trains will take you to Pocinho at the end of the line and everything in between.
  • You need to get on the IR train from Porto to Pinhao – the most popular Douro Valley train stop. Pinhao comes between Regua and Pocinho – two other less-frequented but interesting stops on the Douro Valley train line.
  • The train journey is pretty basic till Regua but gets especially scenic after the Regua station. From Pinhao to Pocinho, it is more rugged, wild, and more offbeat.

A special Douro Historical Train also runs between July and October. The website does not give too much information on schedules and prices. This train runs between Regua and Tua and back. It includes traditional performances, food, and a journey back in time.

Pro Tip: Looking for the best guided tour of Douro Valley? Check out this incredible full-day tour of Douro Valley from Porto that includes a boat tour, wine tasting, and lunch.

Where to Board the Train for Douro Valley?

Rolling hills of Douro Valley
Verdant, green rolling hills and stunning scenery make Douro Valley a wonderful day trip from Porto.

There are two train stations in Porto where you can board your Douro line train: Sao Bento or Porto Campanha.

Sao Bento Train Station (Google Maps) is located in the historic center of Porto and easiest to get to. This station is an attraction in itself, being one of the best places to spot azulejos in Porto. Get here early to spend some time in the big, beautiful hall of the station.

Or you can go to Porto Campanha Train Station (Google Maps), a 10-minute drive from Sao Bento. All the trains from Sao Bento pass through Porto Campanha anyway.

Trains from Porto Campanha to Douro Valley are more frequent than those from Porto Sao Bento. Check for schedules here before planning.

Pro Tip: Get a seat on the right side of the train when traveling to Douro Valley from Porto because that is where you will get the best views of the valley.
If you board late, the right side seats will all be gone.
The train moves very close to River Douro. You can even see the fishermen from close quarters. But these are old trains, and their glasses may not be that clear all the time.

Where to Get Off the Douro Valley Train?

Pinhao Train Station on Porto Douro Valley Train Line
The charming railway station of Pinhao on the Porto-Douro Train line.

Depending on what you want to see, you can choose to get off at one of the many charming village stations of Douro Valley.

Pinhao (2 hrs 15 minutes from Porto Sao Bento) is the most popular stop on the Douro Valley train line.

You can also choose to get off at Regua (1 hr 50 minutes from Porto Sao Bento).

If you’re more adventurous and like to see offbeat gems, then head to Pocinho, the last stop on the Douro Valley train line. Pocinho is a small village, and you can tour the entire hamlet in about 30 minutes.

Most locals who were on the train with us went all the way to Pocinho (we did the same, too) and came back to Pinhao to spend a lazy afternoon by the river.

Keep reading to find out what to see at each of these places in Douro Valley.

Author in Douro Valley Portugal
Planning a Porto to Douro Valley day trip is one of the most rewarding experiences.

How to Book your Porto to Douro Valley Train Ride?

The Porto to Douro Valley train operates daily, and tickets cost between €10-15 depending on where you board and where you want to get off the train.

You will want to buy your tickets as soon as possible, especially in spring and summer when Porto is packed with tourists, and everyone wants to go to Douro Valley.

There are three ways to buy your Porto to Douro Valley train tickets.

  • Online on the OMIO Website – my preferred way of booking trains in Europe. OMIO Website is in English and easy to navigate.

  • At the ticket counter at Sao Bento or Porto Campanha train stations. Plan to come a little early because the queues at the counter can be really, really long.

If you are planning to come back on the same day, make sure you buy a return ticket for your journey. The ticket offices at the small Douro villages may or may not be open when you need them to be.

Note that this train ride is not included in the Porto Card, the city’s official city pass.

What to Do in Douro Valley?

Things to Do in Pinhao

A traditional Rabelo boat
Riding a traditional Rabelo boat in Pinhao is the best way to enjoy a day trip to Douro Valley from Porto.

Since Pinhao is the most popular village on the Douro train line, there are lots of interesting things to do here.

Right after getting off the train at the Pinhao station, you will be treated to a visual wonder. The train station is a museum of beautiful azulejo panels representing life and work in Douro Valley.

You can then enjoy a visit to a winery, cellar, and vineyard. There are many wineries around the Pinhao Station, but Quinta do Bonfim is only 5 minutes away. Book a visit to Quinta do Bonfim and taste delicious family-made Port on the terrace here with splendid views of the valley.

Boat Tours in Pinhao in Douro Valley

Head next to the Rio Douro pier at Pinhao, where you can take a 1-hour guided tour on a traditional Rabelo boat. Pass under the Eiffel Iron Bridge, listen to interesting stories, and enjoy the lush green countryside of Portugal’s unique wine region.

Since the 1-hour Rabelo boat tour is a group tour, it can sometimes get crowded, especially during the peak seasons. You can book a private Rabelo boat tour instead.

How about a private yacht cruise on the Douro River? That sounds even more fun!

Once you’re done with your winery tour and boat tour, treat yourself to a sumptuous lunch in Pinhao. There are several good restaurants here. They will serve you the catch of the day and some good Port wine to go with it.

Lunch in Pinhao in Douro Valley
Here’s what I ate in Pinhao for lunch.

Things to Do in Regua

Regua is home to the Douro Museum (Google Maps), where you can learn all about the history and culture of winemaking in the Douro Valley.

There are several wineries here where you can go for some Port tasting or spend your time relaxing at the Regua waterfront. You can also do a Douro Valley wine tour from Regua and enjoy samples of Port wine.

Things to Do in Tua

Some boat rides can take you from Pinhao to Tua, another scenic Douro village. It is a popular stop among hikers.

Porto to Douro Valley Train – Is It Worth It?

Beautiful town of Pinhao in Douro Valley
Pretty hamlets line the picturesque Alto Douro region in Portugal.

The train from Porto to Douro Valley is absolutely worth it because of its charm when compared to other means of transport.

The train is most definitely the more local way of seeing the picturesque Douro Valley. Locals have made this journey for years and still do. On the train, you get an opportunity to meet and talk to them. Most of them are traveling for a day out in their favorite Douro Valley.

The Douro Valley train is also much cheaper than renting a car or taking a guided tour.

Plus, you can get a holistic experience and see a bit of everything. Include a winery tour with stunning views, a Rabelo boat cruise, lunch at the waterfront, a tour of the Azulejo-studded railway station of Pinhao, and the Douro Museum in Regua.

Some cons of the Douro Valley Train

All said and done, a train journey is always less flexible than renting a car and driving on your own. You will need to plan your day in advance instead of just going out whenever you like.

Also, if you are keen to do more winery tours along the way, then it makes sense to drive. That will be faster and more convenient.

Plus, if you wish to avoid the headache of planning the train trip and just want to relax, consider booking one of these highly-rated guided day tours from Porto to Douro Valley. These small group tours take care of everything and are totally worth it.

Suggested Itinerary for Douro Valley Day Trip by Train

Here’s a sample itinerary for a day trip to Douro Valley from Porto by train. You can choose what to keep and what to change according to your preferences.

  • Board IR 861 from Porto Campanha at 7:25 am and arrive at Pinhao at 9:46 am.
  • Spend the first half of the day in Pinhao – take a Rabelo boat ride, tour a winery, and have lunch.
  • Take IR 868 from Pinhao at 2:06 pm and arrive at Regua at 2:33 pm.
  • Spend the rest of the day exploring the Douro Museum in Regua and at the waterfront.
  • Head back to Porto on IR 876 at 6:40 pm or a regional train at 9:09 pm.

Please note that the train times may change. Refer to the latest Douro train schedule before making plans.

Experience more of Northern Portugal

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Loved this Porto to Douro Valley Train Guide? Pin it for later!

Check out the cheapest and best way to visit Douro Valley Portugal. By train. Enjoy stunning Douro Valley sceneries, visit vineyards, taste port, and cruise along the Douro river with this easy to implement train travel guide. #Portugal #Porto #Douro

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

2 thoughts on “BEST Porto To Douro Valley By Train Day Trip

  1. Love your artiicle, howwever there is no info on Pocinho. What to do in Pocinho since you can see everything in 30 minutes. Did you take the same train back to Pinhao ?

    1. Pocinho is a small village – nothing much to see except the scenery and walking through the quaint lanes and gazing at the houses. We stopped to have some pastel at a village shop. Strolling through the village gives you the experience of a true Portuguese village, not overrun by tourists yet. Yes, we took the same train back to Pinhao.

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