This complete nine-day itinerary combines urban exploration in historic cities with stunning rural and coastal excursions for an exciting overview of Portugal. You'll begin in the north in charming Porto and with a private driver, work your way south to Lisbon ending your stay in the Algarve in Albufeira. Along the way, you'll explore the golden triangle of Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril outside of Lisbon as well as spend some time at the end of the world in Lagos, Sagres, and Cabo de São Vicente.

Highlights

  • Cruise down the Douro River and admire the views of Porto 
  • Dine on Portuguese cuisine as you take in a live Fado performance in Lisbon
  • Visit the stunning red and yellow Pena National Palace in romantic Sintra
  • Stand at "the edge of the world" on the windswept cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente
  • Swim in the Atlantic and relax on the beach in Albufeira

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto Porto
Day 2 Explore Porto Porto
Day 3 Private transfer to Lisbon Lisbon
Day 4 Explore Lisbon Lisbon
Day 5 Day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 6 Lisbon to Albufeira Albufeira
Day 7 Day trip to Lagos, Sagres & Cabo de São Vicente Albufeira
Day 8 Free day Albufeira
Day 9 Depart Faro  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto

Porto
Stroll colorful neighborhoods in Porto

Welcome to Portugal! Upon your arrival to the coastal city of Porto, you will check into your accommodation before setting out for a little exploration. Famous for its sweet red Port wine, its blue-and-white-tiled churches, and its stacked medieval townhouses lining the Douro River, there is plenty to see and do in Porto.

Day 2: Explore Porto

Porto and Douro River, Portugal
Sunrise over Porto, the Douro River, and the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge

Enjoy a half day private tour of Porto where you will learn about the city's vibrant history as you visit its cultural landmarks. Accompanied by your guide, you will explore the mix of old world and modern architecture of Boavista Avenue, the city's main drag before working your way down to Foz, the seafront neighborhood packed with museums. Return to the city center to explore sites like the São Bento Railway Station and Torre dos Clerigos (Cleric's Tower), and the Church of  São Francisco.

Roam the shops of Santa Catarina Street and the food stalls of Bolhão Market. After a trip to the Porto Cathedral, you'll walk along the banks of the Douro, through Ribeira Square, and onto the Dom Luis I Bridge for fantastic photo ops. On your own, take a cruise down the Douro River and discover the six bridges that connect Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Day 3: Private transfer to Lisbon

Libon
Explore Belém Tower on the banks of the Tagus River

After breakfast, you'll meet your private transfer and drive directly to your next hotel in Portugals' charming capital, Lisbon (3 hours).
After checking in, discover the city by foot, funicular, or by the historic Tram 28. Visit some of Lisbon's museums, like the 16th-century convent-turned National Tile Museum, the Fado Museum, where you'll learn about the country's signature folk music, or the Berardo Collection Museum for modern and contemporary art by the likes of Picasso, Dali, and Warhol.

Day 4: Explore Lisbon

São Jorge Castle, Lisbon, Portugal
Admire the hilly views of Lisbon and the São Jorge Castle

In the morning, enjoy a half day private tour visiting Lisbon's most exciting sites, including Liberty Avenue and Rossio Square. Wander the cobblestoned lanes of Alfama Quarter, the city's oldest neighborhood, and discover the Baroque 18th-century Santo António Church next door to the impressive 12th-century Lisbon Cathedral (commonly referred to as the Sé Cathedral). On your way to the São Jorge Castle, you'll stop to explore Roman ruins including a Roman theater. At the top of Castle Hill, you'll have the chance to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city laid before you.

In the evening, take in a traditional Fado performance as you dine on the local fare with a backdrop of central Lisbon's main attractions: the Jerónimos Monastery, the 16th-century Belém Tower, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries).

Day 5: Day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Sintra Palace
Roam the striking yellow and red Pena National Palace

Early this morning you will make the short trip to the romantic resort town of Sintra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra was used as a retreat by the Romans, the Moors and the Portuguese kings due to its favorable position, its beauty, wooded ravines, and freshwater springs. You'll visit Pena National Palace, built in the Romanticist style by King Ferdinand II in the 1800s on the site of the ruins of a 16th-century monastery. Take in the views of the nearby medieval Castle of the Moors situated within Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.

Continue your tour and head to the cliffs of Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Enjoy the vistas over the rugged terrain and the Atlantic Ocean. Next, head to the southern Iberian Coast and to the pretty beach town of Cascais and Estoril before returning to Lisbon in the late afternoon.

Day 6: Private transfer to Albufeira

Praia Pescadores, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Explore Albufeira and relax on Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman's Beach)

Meet your driver and head south to Portugal's inviting Algarve coast and to the resort town of Albufeira (2.5 hours). Spend the afternoon laying out on any of Albufeira's excellent beaches, like Praia dos Pescadores and Peneco, two central beaches located in Old Town. Stroll the waterfront promenade stopping for dinner with a view of the ocean and setting sun.  

Day 7: Day trip to Lagos, Sagres & Cabo de São Vicente

Cabo São Vicente, Portugal
Discover the most southwesterly point in Europe at Cabo de São Vicente

Today you will drive the short distance to historic Lagos for a peek into its storied past. Explore its walled old town and visit the 18th-century ornately-gilded Church of Santo António, the monument to Henry the Navigator, the 15th-century slave market (colonial Europe's first), as well as replicas of caravels that sailed on historical expeditions. Continue the 30-minute journey west to the small fishing port of Sagres. Learn more of Portugal's Age of Discovery with a visit to the site of Prince Henry the Navigator's nautical school perched on the windswept cliffs at the "edge of the world."

Next, drive along the coast to Cabo de São Vicente, what was once thought to be the literal edge of the world during the Middle Ages. Enjoy the stunning vistas from atop the 200-foot-high cliffs. On your return to Albufeira, just outside of Sagres, you'll stop at Praia da Baleeira (beach) for another chance to snap some great photos of the dramatic coastline.

Day 8: Free day

Portugal - Algarve - Praia do Castelo
Travel four miles west to Praia do Castelo

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning and spend the rest of the day at your own pace. Find your way to a beach to sunbathe or participate in any number of water-related activities (paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, dolphin watching, etc.) or make a day of shopping the trendy boutiques downtown near Albufeira's Old Town. There are also ancient Roman ruins to check out not too far from Albufeira (10.5 miles away), like the Cerro da Vila in Quarteira or visit one of Portugal's oldest castles, the Castle of Paderne.

Day 9: Depart Faro

Algarve
Say farewell to the Algarve and to Portugal 

Take one last look at the stunning coast, and squeeze in any last minute souvenir shopping this morning. After checking out of your hotel, you'll transfer to the Faro airport (45 minutes) for your flight home, or on to your next destination. 

Map

Map of Best of Portugal from Porto to Albufeira - 9 days
Map of Best of Portugal from Porto to Albufeira - 9 days