What is the closest city to the Douro Valley, Portugal?

Porto is the closest major city to the Douro Valley.  Vila Real is another important city between Porto and the Douro Valley.  In the valley, the towns of Lamego and Peso da Régua are the most notable.

The Douro Valley stretches for hundreds of kilometers, so there activities are not concentrated around one city.  It is worth noting that many famous and beautiful wineries are located between the towns of Peso da Régua and Pinhão.


Which cities are the closest to the Douro Valley?

1. Porto

Porto at Night

The distance from Porto to various points in the Douro Valley ranges from 100 to 140 kilometers (60 to 85 miles).  Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, has an international airport catering to flights from all across Europe and more recently direct flights from Newark, NY.

The Porto Metropolitan Area, also known as Grande Porto, has a population of around 1.7 million people.

For most visitors exploring the Douro Valley, Porto serves as a primary base, as it has a lot to offer: architecture, history, excellent food and wine tasting choices and all types of accommodation. 

The journey from Porto to the Douro Valley takes approximately 1.5 hours by car and around 2.5 hours by train from Porto. 

You will find that many Douro Valley wine tours inlcluding ours originate from Porto.  

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2. Vila Real

Vila Real (Real stands for Royal) positioned as the capital of the Douro sub-region, rests on a plateau surrounded by the Alvão and Marão mountains.

With around 180,000 residents, the Vila Real district is home to the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro.  The town is modern and industrial with a some buildings in the center dating back to the 16th century.

Situated along the route connecting Porto and the wine country, Vila Real is not typically a stopping point for those on a wine tour, but a visit to the Mateus Palace, or Palácio de Mateus in Portuguese, located near the city of Vila Real, is highly recommended.  

In addition, Vila Real can be a good base for visiting the Alvão Nature Park.

However, in my opinion, staying in Vila Real for visiting wineries is not the best option, since a trip from Vila Real to the Alto Douro wineries would take between 20 to 50 minutes by car.  Besides, there are many beautiful stay available in the valley itself.


3. Péso da Regua

Peso da Régua, commonly known as Régua, is in the heart of the Douro Valley located at the confluence of the Douro and Corgo rivers.

Although Régua is home to only around 15,000 inhabitants, it holds significant importance. Serving as a key transportation hub, the town provides regular train and boat connections to Porto,

While the town itself may appear unremarkable with limited tourist attractions, its surroundings boast numerous quintas (wine estates). Most wineries are easily accessible by car or taxi from central Régua. 

Various restaurants in the town center serve traditional Portuguese dishes, but I strongly recommend exploring the gastronomic offerings of the Old Train Station Warehouse (Armazém da Estação Ferroviária de Peso da Régua), such as Aneto & Table, the River, or Castas e Pratos restaurants. 

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Which is Better in the Douro Valley – Régua or Pinhão?

4. Lamego

Lamego is a small historic town with roots tracing back to the Roman era, Its rich heritage can be explored through historical landmarks:  Lamego Castle and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. 

Lamego is surrounded by vineyards, including large ones like Quinta da Pacheca and small family ones such as Quinta da Casa Amarela.

Enjoy your visit!  If you are looking for a wine tour in the Douro Valley I am happy to help.  

Recommended Small-Group Tour

  • Free Cancellation

  • 2 Wineries

  • 1-Hour Boat Tour

  • Best Value

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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