This adventure is the perfect introduction to Portugal for first-timers. Over the course of a week, you'll explore Lisbon's exciting food and culture scene, take scenic day-trips to historic villages, and walk through Porto's UNESCO-listed city center. Finish in the oldest wine region in the world before returning to Lisbon by way of the country's medieval capital: Coimbre.

Highlights

  • Kick-off with an evening food tour in Lisbon to learn about local gastronomy
  • Wander through the city's best districts with a guide and on your own
  • Visit Sintra's 16th-century monastery and Cascais' beautiful waterfront
  • Check out Porto's scenic waterfront district called Foz for important museums
  • Photograph beautiful 18th-century vineyards in the Douro Valley

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon - Culinary Excursion Lisbon
Day 2 Explore Lisbon with a Local Lisbon
Day 3 Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 4 Transfer to Porto - City Tour Porto
Day 5 Day-Trip to Douro Valley Porto
Day 6 Transfer to Lisbon, via Coimbra Lisbon
Day 7 Depart Lisbon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon - Culinary Excursion

Welcome to Lisbon!
Welcome to Lisbon!

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon's airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring. 

When evening hits, you'll take part in a gourmet food tour in Lisbon—a great way to experience the city for the first time! Wear a good pair of walking shoes because you, along with your English-speaking guide, will meander through a series of authentic winding alleys tasting the incredible flavors of Portuguese gastronomy, especially in the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique—practically a city within the city—that sets the food culture and gastronomic trends of Lisbon.

Over the course of four hours, you will visit seven spots that brilliantly link tradition with modernity. Experience ways that locals have reinvented restaurant concepts, including a market and hotel school while getting a taste of culinary recipes that have become world-famous.

Day 2: Explore Lisbon with a Local

Sunset in Lisbon
Sunset in Lisbon

After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up at your hotel for an excursion around Lisbon. Your first stop is the beautiful area of Belém, an ode to the superb age of the Portuguese Discoveries—the numerous territories and maritime routes discovered by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries. Here you'll visit Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries, followed by the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, considered one of the most stunning monuments of Portugal. 

Next, you will proceed to the charismatic Alfama district, home of traditional Fado music, with twisting streets that wind up to an imposing castle on one of the city’s highest hills. With whitewashed houses, flower-laden balconies, and red-tiles roofs, Alfama is a perfect mix of historical landmarks and charming residences. You will also discover one of the most important squares in the city and the famous Liberdade Avenue. Make sure to taste the delicious and sweet Pastel de Belem, a traditional pastry found here. 

At the end of the tour, your guide will return you to your hotel. As for dinner, consider choosing between some of the city's best Fado restaurants for a memorable evening of traditional cuisine and music.

Day 3: Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Sintra's fairytale setting near Lisbon
Sintra's fairytale setting near Lisbon

The area surrounding Lisbon offers an incredible variety of architecture and scenery, from fairytale palaces to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. Today's guided excursion is the ideal way to experience some of these attractions. 

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will deliver you to the first stop on the tour: Sintra. This village—about 30 minutes by car from the capital—is a harmonic combination of history and fantasy, described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron in the 18th century. You will have free time to explore on your own and have lunch, and your guide can recommend some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that are worth a visit. 

Your next stop will be the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal and mainland Europe. Enjoy the gorgeous views across the Atlantic Ocean as waves crash onto the shore. On the return trip to Lisbon, you will have time to appreciate the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and nowadays an excellent spot for surfing. You'll also be able to visit the luxury entertainment town of Estoril, known for its casino (the largest in Europe) and attractive gardens. 

After the excursion, you'll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Lisbon any way you'd like.

Day 4: Transfer to Porto - City Tour

Porto's cityscape
Porto's cityscape

This morning, you will be transferred to Porto—Portugal's 2nd largest and most populous city.

After you've checked into your hotel and had lunch, it's time for a half-day tour around the city. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Porto while traveling around in an exclusive vehicle. Settled by Romans, this is an emblematic city known for its delicious Port wine, medieval townhouses stack up beside the beautiful Douro River, and churches wearing their blue-and-white azulejo tiles.

Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of the city. Here you'll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city's most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most important museums and modern local treasures.

Next, you'll head to the city center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to admire the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway StationClerigos TowerChurch of St. FrancisLello BookshopSta. Catarina StreetMajestic Café, and Bolhão Market, to name a few.

After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you will finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge. The tour culminates at one of the most famous Port wine cellars near the riverbank. Here you will learn more about the origins of Portugal’s fortified wine production and partake in a tasting or two. 

In the evening, explore Porto's dining scene on your own ask your guide for suggestions before parting ways!

Day 5: Day-Trip to Douro Valley

Douro Valley
Douro Valley

After breakfast in Porto, you will be picked up at your hotel for a full-day excursion in the Douro Valley, one of the most beautiful (and certainly the oldest) wine regions in the world!

To kick it off, you can learn about the production process of Port wine at one of the most notable vineyards in the Douro Valley, while partaking in several Port wine tastings. If you are not particularly fond of Port wine, you can alternatively visit a table wine vineyard and producer. The tour also includes a visit to a local olive oil producer since this is one of the most beloved products of the region. 

In the mid-day, you'll have lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant where there will be more time to learn about the area and ask your guide questions. Next, is a relaxing and scenic boat trip along the valley with photo ops at several magnificent viewpoints along the Douro River.

Following the boat trip, you'll return to Porto in time for dinner on your own.

Day 6: Transfer to Lisbon, via Coimbra

A fountain Coimbra's city center
A fountain Coimbra's city center

Today, after breakfast and check-out, you will be transferred to Lisbon. About halfway through the trip, you will make a stop in Coimbra where there will be free time to walk around and have lunch. 

Coimbra is the medieval capital of Portugal and the site of the country’s greatest university: the University of Coimbra, established in 1290. Coimbra wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity and pride, witnessed by its multicolored collage of buildings that span nearly a millennium. In fact, the city's historic core cascades down a hillside creating a lovely setting along the east bank of the Rio Mondego. Explore the streets your own with a self-guided tour before you finish the road trip to Lisbon. 

Upon arrival in Portugal's capital and largest city, check in to your hotel and take the remainder of the day to either rest or explore your neighborhood surroundings.

Day 7: Depart Lisbon

Lisbon's historic Alfama district
Lisbon's historic Alfama district

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal! Depending on the time of your flight, squeeze in one more walk through the streets of Lisbon, perhaps picking up some last-minute souvenirs. At the designated time you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departure onwards. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Best of Lisbon & Porto - 7 Days
Map of Best of Lisbon & Porto - 7 Days