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Day trips from Porto

If you spend your studies or a semester abroad in Porto, you can consider yourself lucky. After all, you’ll be studying where others go on holiday and you’ll be able to experience the hospitality and Portuguese culture first hand. In addition, you can do, experience and discover a lot in Portugal in summer and winter. Once you have discovered our insider tips for Porto, the question arises as to what there is to see outside the picturesque city on the Atlantic coast. We have put together the best tips for exciting tours and excursion destinations from Porto.

The 8 best day trips and tours from Porto

If you’re a student, you’ll not only be happy about a nice flat near the university, like the MILESTONE Porto Asprela. Every now and then you just have to get out and see something different. Whether you just need a quick change of scenery or you’re planning a real trip, this list will help you discover unique places, historical sites and unspoilt nature close to Porto.

1) Trip to Matosinhos beach

Going on holiday by metro? No problem! If you’re longing for sun, beach and sea, a trip to the former fishing village near Porto is a good idea. While the harbour town itself looks quite rustic, people come to Matosinhos mainly for the beach. You can easily spend a whole day here and cool off in the Atlantic on hot summer days. If you prefer to swim without waves, visit the Piscinas de Marés tidal pool – a kind of infinity pool with a view of the sea. And Matosinhos is also worth a visit in the cold season. Because the path along the beach invites you to stroll and linger even on chilly days.

Distance: 10 km

How to get there: 30 minutes on the blue metro line A or 30 minutes by bike.

Duration: A few hours to a day trip

Seasons: Highly recommended in summer, but a visit is possible all year round.

2) Braga: The city of churches

You may have noticed that many people in Portugal are very religious. The religious centre of the country is in Braga, the third largest city in Portugal. There are several holy places here that are absolutely worth seeing. You can reach the Basilica of Bom Jesus do Monte, which is situated on a hill, either by taking the historic funicular railway or the baroque staircase with no less than 17 floors. The cathedral in the city centre, built in late Gothic style, is also definitely worth seeing. But that’s by no means all that awaits you in Braga. The day can pass quickly here.

Distance: 55 km

Journey: 1:15 hour by train and 40 minutes by car

Duration: Day trip

Seasons: All year round

Information and contact: https://bomjesus.pt/

3) The cradle of the country: Guimarães

South-east of Braga is the small town of Guimarães, which is considered the origin of Portugal. After all, Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, is said to have lived here. The amazingly well-preserved historic buildings in the old town, which is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a reminder of this important history. But the absolute highlight is Monte Latito with its three national monuments: the Castelo de Guimarães, the Romanesque church of S. Miguel do Castelo and the Ducal Palace.

Distance: 55 km

Journey: 1:15 hour by train and 40 minutes by car

Duration: Day trip

Seasons: All year round

Information and contact: https://pacodosduques.gov.pt/

4) Aveiro - the Venice of Portugal

Small water canals, delightful gondolas and magnificent Art Nouveau buildings. No, you’re not in Italy. The sight of Aveiro, situated in a lagoon, makes you think you’ve landed in Venice. But you are in Portugal – just 75 kilometres from Porto. During an excursion, you can soak up the special atmosphere of the city on a boat trip and explore the small streets on foot.

Distance: 75 km

Journey: 1 hour by train or bus

Duration: Day trip

Seasons: All year round

5) Praia da Costa Nova

In the immediate vicinity of Aveiro you will find the breathtaking Costa Nova beach, which stretches almost endlessly to both the north and the south. The distinctive colourful houses along the promenade give this place a unique flair. Although the beach is popular, you’ll find a spot here even on the nicest days. You can also enjoy water sports like rowing and sailing in the lagoon. If you prefer it quiet, the bus will take you directly from Aveira to the peaceful nature reserve Reserva Natural das Dunas de São Jacinto. The footbridges lead you through the middle of the forested dunes, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna.

Distance: 85 km

Getting there from Aveiro: 15 minutes by bus

Duration: Day trip or for several days

Seasons: Highly recommended in summer, but also possible all year round.

6) Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park

Near the Spanish border, a true natural spectacle awaits you. Numerous hiking trails lead you through the rugged, green landscape, which is even home to golden eagles and wolves. The Pedra Bela viewpoint is said to be the most beautiful in the country. But there is more to see in the national park: Roman roads, ancient building relics and castles from the Middle Ages. If you are looking for adventure, you can set up camp at one of the 6 campsites, go canoeing or abseil down waterfalls while canyoning. In the Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal shows its romantic and wild side at the same time.

Distance: 111 km

Journey: 1:15 by car

Duration: Day trip or for several days

Seasons: All year round

Information and contact: http://www2.icnf.pt

7) Wine culture in the Douro Valley

If you live in Porto, you must visit the picturesque vineyards along the Douro River at least once. After all, the Douro Valley is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal. You will also learn a lot about the history and origin of the notorious Port wine. Many local winegrowers and wineries invite you to authentic wine tastings, which is why you should rather leave the car behind to enjoy a few glasses. Since it’s easy to get there by train or boat from Porto, this shouldn’t be a problem. Be sure to include the towns of Pocinho and Pinhão in your visit, as they are among the most beautiful in the area.

Distance: 180 km

Getting there: 2 hours by train or as a day trip by boat, including arrival and departure.

Duration: Day trip or for several days

Seasons: All year round

8) Sanctuary of Fátima

There are several myths surrounding this pilgrimage site in central Portugal. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children in and around Fátima. The prophecies that were delivered are said to have all come true. This is why the place still attracts people from all over the world who visit Fátima for religious reasons. But even if churches are not your cup of tea, it is a unique place in the world that impresses with its special pompous churches and peaceful olive groves.

Distance: 200 km

Journey: 2 hours by train or bus

Duration: day trip

Seasons: all year round

Information and contact: https://www.fatima.pt/

Nikolina

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Nikolina is our Sales and Marketing Intern. She´s an old soul who spends her free time listening to Sinatra and watching old movies. Her dream is to move to New York and make a career in show business.

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