- Take the famous yellow trams through Lisbon's hilly neighborhoods
- Explore Sintra's incredible nature, architecture, and history
- Enjoy the cosmopolitan fishing village of Cascais along the Portuguese Riviera
- Discover the architectural heritage of Porto's historic city center
- Taste Portugal's wine and port varieties with a day trip to the Douro Valley
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon - Explore the city||Lisbon|
|Day 2||Guided walking tour in Lisbon - Fado music performance||Lisbon|
|Day 3||Explore Sintra and the Portuguese Riviera with a guided tour||Lisbon|
|Day 4||Take the train to Porto - Explore the city||Porto|
|Day 5||Explore Porto with a walking tour||Porto|
|Day 6||Visit the Douro Valley for a wine tasting||Porto|
|Day 7||Depart Portugal|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon - Explore the city
Welcome to Portugal!
After arriving at Lisbon Airport, your host will welcome you with all the necessary documentation for your trip and transfer you to your accommodation. Take some time to settle in before exploring the capital city. Lisbon is Europe's second-oldest capital, after Athens. It was once home to some of the world's greatest explorers, like Vasco da Gama, Magellan, and Prince Henry the Navigator. The city is full of authenticity, where old customs and ancient history intermix.
Tomorrow you'll enjoy a guided walking tour of Lisbon, so enjoy the rest of your day at your own pace. The Baixa neighborhood is a good place to start, with its hilly cobblestone streets. Here you can taste the country's famous Pastel de Nata, a traditional custard pastry sprinkled with cinnamon. Next, visit the area's three famous squares, including Rossio, Figueira, and Comércio. You'll find many of the city's monuments in these areas, plus plenty of cafes, bars, and shops.
In the evening, stroll the side streets of Baixa for a traditional meal at one of the neighborhood's restaurants. Or if you prefer a bit more energy, settle into a bistro around one of the busy squares.
Day 2: Guided walking tour in Lisbon - Fado music performance
After breakfast, you'll enjoy a walking tour of Lisbon, the city of seven hills. One of the best ways to truly see the city is by strolling its streets—made with Portugal's world-famous cobblestone—and exploring its different neighborhoods.
Start with the historic Alfama and Castelo districts, two of the oldest areas of Lisbon. Filled with steep streets, the views are some of the best in the city. Because of this, there are several viewpoints scattered throughout these districts. Ride the quintessential yellow trams up to the Graça, Santa Luzia, or Portas do Sol scenic vistas, where you can gaze over the sea of red roofs to the Tagus River.
While perusing Alfama and Castelo, check out the Lisbon Cathedral, the 17th-century National Pantheon, and, of course, the 11th-century, Moorish castle, Castelo de S. Jorge. On your way down, pass by the National Theatre of São Carlos and grab lunch near the riverfront at the city's Time Out Market where you'll find an entire floor devoted to food stalls serving an array of international cuisine.
After lunch, walk towards the neighborhood of Belém, home of the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Then meander into the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts, which are the most bohemian areas of Lisbon. You'll find steeper, cobblestone streets with yellow trams curving around sharp corners, plus many sights worth a visit, including the ornate interiors of the Church de São Roque and the ruins of Carmo Church.
In the late afternoon, head back to your hotel for a little relaxation before returning to the city center for a typical dinner at a Fado house. Here you'll enjoy a live performance of Portugal's Fado music, an experience not to be missed. If you're looking for a nightcap after dinner, return to Bairro Alto, which is rumored to have the best nightlife in Lisbon.
Day 3: Explore Sintra and the Portuguese Riviera with a guided tour
Awake early for a group tour to the popular tourist destination of Sintra, home of the National Palace of Pena and its surrounding greenery. The town and the northern slope of the Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountains) have wonderful natural characteristics and impressive historic landmarks.
It's difficult to see all that Sintra has to offer in one single day, so it's best to focus on one of the most romantic palaces in Portugal, the Pena Palace. The castle's history starts in the 15th century, but its current state is a prime example of Romanticist architecture, brought back to life in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. Enjoy wandering the grounds with views out to the forest, the valley, and the sea.
After exploring the castle, take some time to enjoy the town of Sintra. Many tourists overlook Sintra itself, but it's home to charming, winding cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and quaint shops, all nestled into the surrounding hillside.
On the way back to Lisbon, stop at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), for views over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue your journey towards the Portuguese Riviera in the towns of Cascais and Estoril. It’s worth stopping for a quick stroll around the towns and along the beach.
You'll return to your hotel in time for a little rest and relaxation before dinner.
Day 4: Take the train to Porto - Explore the city
Today you'll trade Lisbon's lively capital for its northern equivalent, Porto. In the morning, a driver will transfer you to the train station in Lisbon, arriving at Porto-Campanhã station about three hours later. After settling into your accommodation, set out to explore the city.
You'll enjoy a guided walking tour of Porto tomorrow, so for now, you can stick to some of the city's main sites. Head to Liberdade Square where you can wander the streets and pass many major monuments and churches. If you have time, explore the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, a 19th-century garden with walking paths and views over the city.
For dinner, check out the Ribeira neighborhood for numerous restaurants lining the riverside. Grab an outdoor table to enjoy the sunset while you eat.
Day 5: Explore Porto with a walking tour
Enjoy breakfast before embarking on a half-day, guided tour of Porto. Start at the São Bento Station, well-known throughout the world for its atrium lined with about 20,000 blue tiles. Nearby is the Romanesque Porto Cathedral and the Clérigos Tower, a baroque bell tower worth the climb for its expansive views of Porto.
You can't miss Livraria Lello, a 19th-century bookstore that inspired parts of Harry Potter. Then pop into Café Majestic for a little rest and a cup of coffee while admiring its ornate interior. Continue to the neighborhood of Ribeira, navigating the steep steps and medieval streets through café terraces and picturesque corners. You'll have free time to browse the shops or simply relax at one of the main squares.
In the afternoon, enjoy a walk along the banks of the Douro River. Here you'll find many places to taste more of Portugal's famous wine. You can also take a short river cruise in one of the many replicas of the Rabelo boats.
Day 6: Visit the Douro Valley for a wine tasting
Awake early for your group tour of the Douro Valley, a lush wine region set just 1.5 hours from Porto. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley is set within rocky hills, which lack quality soil needed for winemaking. Throughout the centuries, however, locals revitalized the region, planting vineyards one at a time.
Start the tour with a scenic drive, admiring the passing landscapes of deep valleys, sharp turns along the Douro River, and terraced vineyards that seem to go on forever. You'll have the opportunity to visit one of the many estates that produce the region's famous wines and ports, tasting the different varietals while enjoying lunch.
The Douro River is also known for its difficulty in navigation, challenging boats with its natural barriers. The Rabelo boat, a unique and ancient vessel, is the only one able to take on the Douro. Nowadays, these types of boats are used for tourism, offering 1-hour river cruises. Enjoy the views of the valley from a different perspective.
In the late afternoon, you'll return to Porto in time for one last dinner in Portugal.
Day 7: Depart Portugal
Enjoy one last breakfast in Porto. A driver will transfer you to the airport in time to catch your flight home, or onto your next destination.