Although Porto is a beautiful city where there is a lot to do, the region around Porto is at least as beautiful. You will find countless cosy little villages where time has stood still. But there is also breathtaking nature to be found that you must have seen. So there are plenty of trips to do from Porto. We ourselves rented an all-in rental car from Sunny Cars to do these trips and recommend doing so too. Renting a car in Portugal is not that expensive and the road code is the same as with us. Don’t you dare do this, no problem at all. Most of these trips from Porto can also be done with an organization. Only then you pay more and you can’t stop where you want.
Trips from Porto
Braga is a city 50 minutes’ drive from Porto. And although this city is very cozy and has quite a few shops where you can shop well, the one reason of your visit to this city is mainly the Portuguese sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte . This ancient pilgrimage site in the middle of nature is hugely impressive and gives you a mysterious feeling. Especially when we visited it on a foggy, cool day. This trip takes a bit of effort,because the view of the top of the mountain can be found at about 116 meters altitude which you travel on foot via many stairs. But it’s more than worth it!
If you are here, you can also drive straight to Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro. This sanctuary, which is portugal’s most popular Maria pilgrimage site, is slightly higher up the mountain. Even though this may be the most popular place of pilgrimage, it is very quiet. There are few tourists to see and it is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities. Both places of pilgrimage are easy to visit together. And the best? They are both completely free!
2 Douro Valley
The most famous trip of all trips from Porto is undoubtedly the Douro Valley. Some parts of the valley are Unesco World Heritage sites and that’s not surprising when you see this impressive nature. Here you can find the best and best known vineyards. For example, Sandeman has his own grounds here to make his delicious Porto. You can find plenty of organizations in Porto that offer to visit this, coupled with a visit to some of Porto’s wine tastings. You can also drive yourself and that gives you a little more freedom, but you have to look for the nice spotsyourself. Something that can be disappointing in the Douro Valley as it is such a large domain. So preparing well is the message.
If you thought you had to go to Venice to be in a gondola? Then you’re wrong. Because in Portugal this is also possible, namely in the town of Aveiro, a 60-minute drive from Porto. Although they may not be real gondolas, but moliceiro boats are an experience you should not miss. You pay 10 euros/person for a 45-minute boat trip.
This city has more to offer than just the cosy canals you can sail on. You can also walk around the small alleys and be surprised by the authenticity that this city certainly has in abundance. You will find numerous shops with homemade products. From canned sardines to handmade jewellery and soap. But also shopping in the new modern open-air shopping centre is a nice experience. The only downside is that parking here is not so cheap compared to the rest of Portugal. But you shouldn’t be stopping you from coming. For us this was one of the nicest trips from Porto that we made.
4 Costa Nova
Although Costa Nova can be perfectly combined with the above Aveiro. this trip is quite separate because in good weather it deserves at least a day apart. This cosy seaside resort has everything you want. Endless quiet beaches,good food and beautiful colourful cottages for which this town is known. Don’t expect a big seaside resort,because it’s just a small village. But Costa Nova is big enough to have a nice day at the beach. Something we don’t think you’re going to find in Porto because of the crowds.
Student city Coimbra should not be missing from your list of trips from Porto. And don’t let the 129-kilometre trek stop you from going because on the quiet toll roads you’ll be there. Coimbra is called by many the most beautiful city in Portugal and that is perhaps a bit exaggerated. But that you will find beautiful, ancient and modern art and architecture in the streetscape, is certainly true. Parking parkeren in this city is not always easy.
What about you?
Are you planning trips from Porto? Or do you just stick with Porto itself? Let us know for sure in the comments of on our Facebook page.