Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) is the closest airport to the Douro Valley with only 125 km or 77 miles between the runways and the fascinating views and wines of Douro.
Here is my comprehensive guide to getting from the Porto Airport to the Douro Valley. There is a variety of transportation options catering to different preferences and budgets, Whether you prioritize convenience, flexibility, scenic value, or guided experiences, or low-cost travel there’s a suitable choice for every traveler.
The Porto Airport stands out for its modern facilities and comfort, serving as a major hub that connects the north of Portugal with the rest of Europe and even offers direct flights from Newark, NY.
For those opting to travel by car, the journey to your Douro Valley accommodation can be as quick as approximately 1.5 hours.
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Porto airport to Douro Valley by private transfer
Private transfer would be Ideal for those seeking convenience and direct service to their accommodation in the Douro Valley. Although it’s the pricier option, it eliminates the need for navigating public transportation or driving after your flight.
The driver will wait for you in the Arrivals hall with your name displayed.
In my experience, Uber and Bolt and taxi drivers would most likely not take you as far as Douro.
Here are some transfer options to check out:
Transfer prices from Porto airport to the Douro Valley start from 200 euros for 2 people.
For competitive quotes from private drivers, also try out GetTransfer. If you do not a Mercedes-Benz van and a professional driver, you might get a lower quote.
Porto airport to Douro Valley by car
Renting a car offers maximum flexibility and the opportunity to explore the Douro Valley at your own pace. This option allows for spontaneous stops at wine estates (quintas) and viewpoints and detours to discover hidden gems along the way.
It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the main wine region areas from Porto airport.
Her is the most common route from Porto airport to Douro:
1. Follow signs to VRI | Porto | Zona Portuária Leixōes | A4 | Matosinhos.
2. Turn in VRI direction (Vila Real | Valongo | A3 | Porto | Braga) and follow signs for highway A4 in the direction of Vila Real.
3. After the Marão Tunnel, take Exit #23 for the A24 in the direction of Viseu and stay left at the fork towards Viseu/Aveiro.
4. Continue on A24 if you are going to the Régua or Lamego areas. Exit to N-323 if your destination is closer to Pinhão.
Like many highways in Portugal, A4 is a tollway and requires fees of approximately 8 euros for a one-way trip.
While the highways are very good and well-maintained, when driving between wineries in the Douro Valley beware of some steep hills and winding roads. Drive carefully and stay alert. My article on Driving in the Douro Valley provides further insights on exploring the region by car.
There are a number of car rental office at the Porto airport (OPO). As always, booking your rental in advance is highly recommended. I normally use Rentalcars to book cars in Europe. Consider renting a transponder to make payments of highway tolls faster and easier. I found that some toll booths in Portugal only accept Portuguese credit cards.
Combining the metro and train services offers economical and scenic route to the Douro Valley, allowing travelers to experience local life and stunning landscapes.
Follow these steps to reach the Douro Valley from the Porto airport by public transit:
1. Take the metro from Porto Airport to Porto’s city center (Trindade station). At Trindade, switch to the yellow line and get off at the São Bento station. Metro ride will take you approximately 40 minutes.
2. Trains to the Douro Valley depart the São Bento station or Campanhã station in Porto. I recommend using São Bento as more central. In addition, São Bento is a historic train station where you can admire famous azulejos depicting important events of the Portuguese history and scenes of wine growing in Douro.
3. Buy tickets at the ticket office located to the right of the main entrance. Most staff speak English. The main train stations in the Douro Valley are Peso da Régua (known just as Régua) or Pinhão. Keep in mind that to reach Pinhão, you need to take a train in the direction of Pocinho, which is the last stop on the Douro line.
4. As you get off the train, take a taxi to your destination in the Douro Valley. There is no Uber in the Douro Valley.
Public transporation is a cost-effective way to get to Douro. However, it requires a lot of planning. Trains to Pocinho leave the São Bento station only about 3 times per day. There are a couple of more departures from the Campanha train station.
Use the official train line website cp.pt for up-to-date schedules and pricing.
Also, there are buses connecting Porto and Régua. Bus fare is 10 euros for a one-way trip. I usually, do not recommend taking a bus, but in case the train goes on strike, it might be an option. Check the Rede Expressos bus company website for schedules and pick up locations in Porto.
Private wine tours
I have found that one of the effective ways to get to your hotel in the Douro Valley is to combine it with a day tour from Porto,
Private wine tours will pick you up at the airport, take you on a wine tour in the Douro Valley and then drop you off at your location in Douro at the end of the day.
Of course, these options only makes sense if you are arriving to the airport by 9 am so that you have a day ahead of you to explore the valley.
Whatever the transportation method you choose, you are guaranteed to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Douro Valley, that begins soon after you set out from Porto.
In my blog, I write about visiting wineries in the Douro Valley. I also give recommendations of restaurants and hotels for any budget.