Douro Valley from Porto by Train (2024)

How to visit Douro Valley wineries by train. Step-by-step instructions on planning a train ride.

Whether you plan to visit wineries in the Douro Valley or just want to admire Douro’s gorgeous nature, the Douro Valley makes for an excellent day trip from Porto

You can reach the the valley by car, by train, by boat, or by bus. Alternatively, hop on an organized wine tour.

In this article, I talk about visiting the Douro Valley by train from Porto:

  • Where does the Douro Valley train depart from?
  • Douro Valley train schedule
  • Where to buy Douro Valley train tickets?
  • Which station to get off at?
  • Pros and cons of taking a train to the Douro Valley vs. driving, boating, or a wine tour
  • Traveler’s tips for your train ride from Porto to the Douro Valley.

The Linha do Douro railway line connects Porto to the town of Pocinho in eastern Portugal, which is close to the Spanish border.

Trains heading to the Douro Valley depart from two locations in Porto: the São Bento train station, situated in the city center, and the Campanhã station, located in the eastern part of the city. Both stations are on the same train line and are separated by a brief eight-minute journey.

Train schedule and tickets

You can book tickets for the Douro on the railway’s website or at the ticket counters at the station. Many find the online ticketing option to be quite complicated, so purchasing tickets at the counter may be easier.

Upon entering the grand hall of the São Bento train station, which is adorned with famous azulejo murals, you’ll find the ticket office to your right. A return ticket to Pinhão costs approximately 20 euros.

Pinhão is one of the more popular destinations in the Douro, known for its scenic beauty and the numerous renowned quintas nearby.

Other sought-after destinations are near the Régua, Covelinhas, and Ferrão train stops.

To reach Pinhão and Ferrão, you will need to board a train that lists Pocinho as its final destination.

Be aware that some trains go only as far as Régua. There are at least twelve departures per day from São Bento station to Régua.

RELATED:  Which is Better: Pinhão or Régua?

Trains leave Porto about every two hours. The duration of the trip from Porto to Pinhão is approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes.  

I found that for a day trip to the Douro Valley, it makes the most sense to take the 9:20 am Pocinho train from the São Bento station to Pinhão, have lunch in the valley, visit a couple of wineries in the afternoon and then hop on the 6:14 pm train back to Porto.

RELATED: 5 Best Douro Valley Wineries to Visit Near Pinhão

Tip: Considering the length of the train ride, it’s a good idea to bring along a snack and a bottle of water for both the outward and return trips. You won’t have the option to buy food or water on the train.

Directly across from São Bento train station, you will find several traditional Portuguese cafés, known as confeitarias.

Additionally, there are vending machines and cafés at São Bento station itself, should you need to purchase water or snacks.

Train ride

Trains to the Douro Valley typically depart from platform 1 at São Bento station.

Tip: The train runs just by the Douro river banks. For the best river views, try to find a seat on the right side of the train.

The train, while having a vintage appearance, is clean and well-maintained. Restrooms are available onboard.

However, you will find neither electricity sockets nor WiFi on the train. Mobile internet reception is intermittent along the Douro line, so it might be wise to bring a power bank and pre-download reading materials or videos for your journey.

Once the train has departed, you will be asked to show your tickets to the train staff. Paper tickets do not need prior validation, at least as of 2023.

Tip: Be aware that there are no station announcements on the train.

 
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These are some of the incredible views you will see from your train.

The Pinhão train station is beautifully decorated with azulejo tiles in the wine theme.

If you get off at Pinhão, you can visit several quintas by foot or a taxi.  

There is a taxi stand right by the station.  I found taxi rates to be very reasonable. We only paid 5 euros to get from Pinhão to Quinta da Roeda, a 5-minute ride.  Your taxi driver will give you their phone number so you can call them to fetch you after the tour.

My articles about visiting wineries in the Douro Valley without a car and 5 Wineries to Visit Near Pinhão may also be helpful if you plan a self-guided Douro wine tour.

If you want to add a rabelo boat tour in Pinhão, head over to the harbour just a few minutes walk from the train station.  To make a reservation, check out these options for the Douro river boat cruise and a private Douro boat tour.

For your return train ride after 6 pm, be aware that the station at Pinhão and all its services might be closed. Consider this when planning your trip, especially regarding purchasing tickets and snacks.

Pros and Cons of Visiting Douro Valley by Train

Despite the lengthy journey, a day trip to the Douro Valley by train is highly rewarding and well worth the experience.

Pro’s

  • Low-budget option. Nothing can beat a 20 euro return ticket cost.
  • Scenic ride.
  • Some wineries are easily accessible from train stations.
  • Avoid the challenges of navigating the Douro Valley by car.

Con’s:

  • Long ride, which leaves less time to visit wineries.
  • Train runs only every couple of hours which requires careful planning.
  • You will need to arrange transportation from train stations to wineries. 
  • Train can be crowded during high season.

As an alternative to train, check out these Douro Valley wine tours from Porto and boat tours from Porto. There is also and option of coming to the Douro Valley by bus and returning by boat.

For the best local car rental rates visit Rentalcars.

Picture of Polina Spirova
Polina Spirova

A sommelier and a wine tour guide. I travel all around Portugal collecting the best wineries to visit, best places to stay and eat.

I organize wine tours in the Douro Valley.

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