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Best day trips from Porto

Porto has a lot to offer and you can spend several days exploring the city and visiting the many wine cellars to enjoy the delicious Port Wine but, if you want to go beyond and visit a bit more of the region, there are many spectacular places with a lot to offer. We’ve made a list with the best day trips from Porto.


DOURO VALLEY


The Douro Valley region is a must if you are a wine enthusiast. It’s the most famous wine region in Portugal and the first one to be demarcated in the World, being established in 1756 by the Marquees of Pombal. In 2001, it was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is definitely one of the most beautiful wine regions in the World.


There are several ways to visit the area, the most common is taking a boat cruse up the Douro River from Porto, taking the train to Pinhão or Peso da Régua but the best option would be to drive, so you can explore the area a bit more and visit one of the several vineyards and having a little taste of the delicious Port Wine.


The highway connecting Peso da Régua and Pinhão (N222) has been considered one of the most beautiful ones in the World, and believe me, it’s true. From Pinhão you can also take a boat up river. They normally depart frequently and the trip last an hour. If you have the chance, enjoy the sunset before you go, you won’t be disappointed.


One day won’t be enough to enjoy the area and I’m sure you’ll definitely feel like coming back to this place.



AVEIRO


Located an hour away from Porto, Aveiro was once a fisherman’s town by the Ocean, occupied by Ria, a shallow coastal lagoon, that embraces the city centre. Because of the many picturesque canals, it’s often dubbed as the “Venice of Portugal” with its own traditional boats, called Moliceiros that are still in use for the tourists delight.


Try the delicious egg sweet known as ovos moles and tripas de Aveiro (French crepes).

Last but not least, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Costa Nova, a colourful neighbourhood that borders the sea.


The easiest way to get Aveiro is taking the train from São Bento or Campanhã Stations. The service runs very often and a single ticket costs 3,55 euros.


BRAGA


Known as the "Portuguese Rome", for its devotion to tradition and religion, Braga is Portugal’s third largest city and one of its oldest ones. It offers a delightful mixture of incredible architecture styles, beautiful squares and churches on every corner.


Apart from its traditional heritage, Braga attracts young people from all over Portugal, as it’s home to one of the most traditional Universities in the country, Universidade do Minho and, in 2012, the city was named the European Youth Capital.


In 2019, Braga finally received its most important recognition, the spectacular Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary has become an UNESCO Heritage Site.


The easiest way to get to Braga is by train. You can take it from São Bento or Campanhã Stations. The journey takes around an hour and a single ticket costs 3,25 euros.

GUIMARÃES


Guimarães is considered the birthplace of Portugal, as it was here that the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, was born and started his conquests later in life. The historical centre is a true gem, with its narrow medieval streets, well preserved castle and gorgeous Palace that belonged to the dukes of Bragança, giving the tourists a great opportunity to understand how life in Medieval Portugal was once upon a time.


In 2001, Guimarães was declared an UNESCO Heritage Site and in 2012, it was chosen as the European Capital of Culture, attracting more visitors to this lovely place.


The best way to get to Guimarães is taking the train from São Bento or Campanhã Stations. The journey takes around 1hour 15 minutes and a single ticket costs 3,25 euros.


COIMBRA


The former capital of Portugal and one of its most important cities, Coimbra is normally connected with its famous University, which was built on the grounds of the former Royal’s Palace, in 1290 by King D. Dinis and has become an UNESCO Heritage Site in 2013.


Coimbra University has around 25.000 students and is the most important one in the country. It also holds the most important and famous library in Portugal, “Biblioteca Joanina”, which shouldn’t be missed.


The historical area is one of the oldest ones in Portugal, with some buildings dating from the 12th century. It will be easier to start from the University at the top of the hill and make your way down towards the Mondego River.


The best way to get to Coimbra is by bus. The journey last 1 hour 25 minutes and a single ticket costs 9,50 euros.


AMARANTE


Located in Serra do Marão, Amarante is a breath-taking city to explore. The Renaissance and Romanesque influences on its historical buildings, gives Amarante a charm that is hardly found in any other city in Portugal. The city is part of the Romanesque Route so you’ll find many churches, old bridges and monasteries to visit.


This is the hometown of São Gonçalo (Portugal’s St. Valentine) and famous also for its unusual traditional pastry, a penis shaped cake, which you can find being sold by older ladies all over the town.


The best way to get to Amarante is by bus. There are services running every hour and the journey takes around 50 minutes. A single ticket costs 8,20 euros.


We hope you've enjoyed our list with the best day trips from Porto and if you need any additional information about places to visit, send an email to hiportowalkingtours@gmail.com