5 Fun trips from Porto
Although Porto is a beautiful city where there is much to do, the region around Porto is at least as beautiful. You will find numerous cozy 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 excursions to do from Porto. We ourselves rented an all-in rental car from Sunny Cars to do these excursions and recommend doing so. After all, renting a car in Portugal is not that expensive and the road code is just the same as with us. Don’t you dare do this, no problem. You can also do most of these trips from Porto with an organization. Only then you pay more and you can’t stop where you want.
Braga is a city 50 minutes’ drive from Porto. And although this city is very cozy and has quite a few stores where you can shop well, the one reason of your visit to this city is mainly the Portuguese shrine Bom Jesus do Monte. This ancient pilgrimage site in the middle of nature is hugely impressive and gives you a sense of mystery. Especially when we visited it on a foggy, cool day. This excursion does require some effort, as the view from the top of the mountain can be found at a height of about 116 meters, which you descend on foot via many stairs. But it is more than worth it!
If you are here anyway, you can also drive straight to Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro. This shrine, which by the way is the most popular Marian pilgrimage site in Portugal, is located a little higher up the mountain. Even though this is perhaps the most popular pilgrimage site, it is very quiet. There are few tourists to be seen and it is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities. Both pilgrimage sites can easily be visited together. And the best part? They are both completely free!
2 Douro Valley
The most famous excursion of all trips from Porto is undoubtedly the Douro Valley. Some parts of the valley are Unesco World Heritage Sites, which is not surprising when you see this impressive nature. Here you can find the best and most famous vineyards. Sandeman, for example, has its own grounds here to make its delicious Porto. You can find plenty of organizations in Porto that offer to visit this, coupled with a visit to some Porto wine tastings. You can also drive yourself and that gives you a little more freedom, but you have to look for the nice spots yourself. Something that can be disappointing in the Douro Valley since it is such a large domain. So preparing well is the key.
If you thought you had to go to Venice to sit in a gondola? Then you are well 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, it is still an experience not to be missed. You pay 10 euros/person for a 45-minute boat ride.
This city has more to offer than just the cozy canals you can sail on. You can also wander around the small alleys and be surprised by the authenticity that this city certainly has in abundance. You will find numerous stores selling homemade products. From canned sardines to handmade jewelry and soap. But shopping in the new modern open-air shopping center is also a fine experience. The only downside is that parking here is not so cheap compared to the rest of Portugal. But that shouldn’t stop you from coming. For us, this was one of the most enjoyable excursions from Porto that we made.
4 Costa Nova
Although Costa Nova is perfect to combine with the above Aveiro. this trip is still separate because in good weather it certainly deserves a day apart. This cozy seaside resort has everything you desire. Endless quiet beaches, good food and beautiful colorful houses for which this place is known. Don’t expect a big seaside resort, because it’s just a small village. But Costa Nova is just big enough to have a pleasant day at the beach. Something that, in our opinion, you are not going to find in Porto because of the crowds.
Student city of Coimbra should not be missing from your list of trips from Porto. And certainly don’t let the 129-kilometer trip stop you from going because on the quiet toll roads you’ll be there in no time. Coimbra is called the most beautiful city in Portugal by many, which is perhaps an exaggeration. But that you will find beautiful, ancient and modern art and architecture in the streetscape is certainly true. Parking in this city is also not always easy.
Excursions from Porto
Are you also planning trips from Porto? Or do you still just stick to Porto itself? Be sure to let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.