We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Hi, all! I'm planning a trip to Portugal for my husband and I this upcoming July. I have a rough itinerary, but am unsure about how much time to spend in/around Porto. I'm thinking 1 night and 1 day in Porto might be enough for us just to get a light "feel" for the city, then spend maybe 2 (or 1 night?) in a B&B in Douro Valley, probably Pinhâo, to relax and enjoy the calming scenery. Here is my rough itinerary:

1 night Porto

2 nights Douro Valley (or 2 night Porto, 1 douro)

1 night Coimbra

3 nights Lisbon/Sintra

3 nights Algarve region (thinking near Sagres)

1 night Seville

1 night Evora

Flying out of Lisbon...

We will have a car and like to see as much as possible, with a bit of "relax and do nothing" in between (Algarve, Douro Valley). I realize Porto is a big city, and we will not get to see much, but I'm thinking my husband would probably enjoy the Douro Valley more, so quite conflicted on what to do. Any help or tips is appreciated! Thanks.

14 replies to this topic
West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Note** we really want to take a day trip and possibly spend a night in Seville, which is why I'm having trouble deciding how much time to spend around Porto.

los angeles
Level Contributor
1,050 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

I think you’re trying to do too much, my recommendation would be to identify three or four places you want to go and divide your time between them. As it stands now all you’ll be doing is traveling from one place to another. I just returned from two weeks in Portugal and we spent five nights in Porto, two nights in Sintra and five nights in Lisbon. I’m just one of those people who doesn’t believe you should spend less than two nights in any place. Have you looked at the travel time between the places you’re considering?

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
454 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

I agree with Sally. I've been to Porto six times. One night is not enough. I would slim your list down a bit. I would spend at least two nights in Porto as there are lots to see and do. One night in Douro valley. A few days in Lisbon. I wouldn't like to spend half my trip on the road.

Edited: 24 October 2017, 11:01
West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Yes, we don't typically mind a lot to driving, as we enjoy seeing as much as possible, with a few "relax and do nothing" days in between. The distances aren't too bad-- the only thing I'm hesitant about is visiting Seville, as it is at least 3 hours from where we'd be staying in the Algarve region and almost 4 hours to Evora. I thought about cutting the night in Coimbra out, and just visiting on our way to Lisbon, but unsure. Is it worth staying a night in Coimbra? My initial plan was 2 nights in Porto, 1 night in Pinhao, I am only hesitant since I think Pinhao may be more relaxing and enjoyable for my husband. So hard to decide!

On our trips, we enjoy just walking around, exploring the city, eating at different places, checking out unique shops and bookstores, seeing the different architecture, taking photos etc. We probably will not visit any museums.

For ex, here was our itinerary for Croatia Slovenia, just to get an idea for the type of traveling that we enjoy:

Fly into Zagreb, drove to Zgorne Jezersko, 3 nights in Slovenia. Visited Bled, Vrsic mt pass, Ljubljana, lake Bohinj.

Drove 1 night near plitvice national park to visit

drove fo coast, 1 night in Trogir, visited Split

ferry to hvar, 3 nights in Zavala

Drove to dubrovnik 2 nights

1 night Vienna (layover- definitely not enough)

Thank you, all, for your help and advice!!

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
454 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

To me there isn't a great deal to do in the Douro valley. I spent the day there and it was enough for me. In Porto there are lots of old buildings, churches, architecture, old streets, the river, the beach, port cellars, restaurants etc. I would just stay in Portugal save Seville for another holiday and spend a week or so in Spain next time you have a holiday.

West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Im thinking you are right about Seville. I will probably end up saving it for a trip to Spain. It's just that we get so little vacation time here in the US, that I try to get as much in our trips as possible, but I do really love to get a true feel for the country as well. I'm thinking we'll probably do 2 in Porto and 1 in Douro Valley. Unsure about Coimbra. Thanks for your help!

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
454 posts
21 reviews
7. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

I haven't been to Coimbra but I've heard it's nice. Maybe go there for the day if you are passing through. I would also love to go to Seville sometime but I'd want to spend about a week there a day just wouldnt be enough. It's a bit easier for me as I live in the uk. Spain and Portugal are only a couple of hours flight from me. Portugal is such a beautiful country you will love it. Definitely spend a few days in Porto and Lisbon to get a feel for the place. Porto is the most beautiful city I've ever been to in Europe.

West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
8. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Thanks again, appreciate the help!

Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
154 posts
61 reviews
9. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Hi,

I agree with Sally and Gazrob.

My advice as a local from Porto, is for you to spend 2 nights in Porto and 1 in the Douro Valley.

Note that you wan't need the car in Porto (and it is quite difficult to and expensive to park in the city center). At Douro Valley it would probably be better to stay in Peso da Regua or Lamego instead of Pinhão. Pinhão is a very small village that you can visit in 1-2 hours. Regua and Lamego are small and much more interesting cities and both are not far from Pinhão.

I would keep the night in Coimbra and forget about Sevilha.

There are several interesting cities in the south of Spain: Sevilha, Granada and Cordova and much more around Madrid (Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca).

It is probably better to save Sevilha to another holiday dedicated to Spain.

West Chester...
Level Contributor
46 posts
8 reviews
10. Re: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?

Thanks, Pedro! I've decided that's probably best. 2 nights in Porto, 1 in Douro, 1 in or near Coimbra, 3 or 4 in Lisbon/Sintra, 3 or 4 in the west Algarve somewhere, ~1 in or near Evora.

Reply to: 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Douro Valley?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted