This 12-day Iberian adventure checks off the highlights of Portugal, then hops over the border for an interlude in southern Spain. Explore Porto's lively riverside Ribeira district, sip local wines in the Douro Valley, and lose yourself in the beauty of live fado music in Lisbon. After heading across the Alentejo plains to Évora, turn south for food tours and flamenco in the sunbaked streets of Seville.


  • Steer a traditional rabelo boat down the Douro River
  • Explore the "City of Seven Hills" by foot and tram
  • Gaze out over the Atlantic from the cliffs of Cabo da Roca
  • Watch ancient history come alive in Évora
  • Taste the flavors of Andalusia on a culinary tour of Seville

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto, Portugal's Unvanquished City Porto
Day 2 Walking Tour of Porto Porto
Day 3 Transfer to the Douro Valley via Amarante Douro Valley
Day 4 Douro Valley Guided Tour Douro Valley
Day 5 Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra Lisbon
Day 6 Walking Tour of Lisbon, Evening Dinner & Fado Show Lisbon
Day 7 Day Trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 8 Transfer to Évora, Historic Walking Tour Évora
Day 9 Évora to Seville, Afternoon Walking Tour Seville
Day 10 Flavors of Seville Food Tour Seville
Day 11 Free Day in Seville Seville
Day 12 Depart Seville  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Portugal's Unvanquished City

Douro's beautiful riverside setting
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Porto's center. Portugal's second-largest city lies in the country's northwest, with a picturesque setting along the banks of the mighty Douro River.
After settling in, stretch your legs with a stroll through some of the city's main sites, starting with the central Liberdade Square. Wander the winding streets packed with historic monuments and churches. If you feel like a peaceful retreat, explore the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, a 19th-century garden with walking paths and views over the city. As evening falls, check out the Ribeira neighborhood, where numerous lively restaurants line the riverside. Grab an outdoor table to enjoy a spectacular Douro sunset while you eat.

Day 2: Walking Tour of Porto

Porto's colorful Foz neighborhood

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before embarking on a guided tour of Porto. Start at the São Bento Station, famed for its atrium lined with over 20,000 blue azulejo tiles. Nearby you'll find the Romanesque Porto Cathedral and the Clérigos Tower, a Baroque bell tower worth the climb for its expansive views over the city.

Don't miss Livraria Lello, a 19th-century bookstore that inspired parts of Harry Potter. Then pop into Café Majestic for a 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. After lunch, take a walk along the banks of the Douro River, or cross to the opposite bank to visit one of the city's historic port wine cellars for a tasting.

Day 3: Transfer to the Douro Valley via Amarante

Amarante's historic Ponte de São Gonçalo
Today it's time to say goodbye to the unvanquished city and head east into the Douro Valley! After having breakfast and checking out of the hotel, you’ll meet your driver and start your journey. Stop along the way to spend some time in Amarante, a city full of history and tradition. Take a stroll across its iconic bridge, the Ponte de São Gonçalo. During the Peninsular War of the early 19th century, the bridge played a significant role in helping the Portuguese army to defend the city against the French.
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Take lunch at one of the many bistros lining the Tâmega River and enjoy views across the Serra do Marão mountains. Continue into the Douro Valley in the afternoon, where you can get settled at your hotel and enjoy an evening amid the stunning natural landscapes and fresh air of Portugal's first demarcated wine region. 

Day 4: Douro Valley Guided Tour

Terraced vineyards along the Douro River
Spend today visiting the famous wine country of the Douro Valley. This UNESCO-listed region has been producing wine for over 2,000 years, with lush vineyards carved by hand into the rugged valleys and hillsides along the winding Douro River. Along with your knowledgeable guide, you'll stop at one of the many quintas (wine estates) to taste some of the valley's finest wines—including the area's famous sweet port. 
In the afternoon, see more of the valley from a breathtaking perspective with a cruise down the Douro River on a traditional rabelo boat—ancient wooden vessels once used to navigate the region's winding waterways.

Day 5: Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra

Stop to explore the historic university town of Coimbra
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up for the four-hour transfer to Lisbon. Break up the journey with a stop along the way in Coimbra, Portugal's former medieval capital and home to one of Europe's oldest universities. Spend some time exploring the atmospheric streets of its historic center, which tumble down a hillside to a postcard-perfect setting along the Rio Mondego. Don't miss a visit to the 13th-century University of Coimbra and its Joanine Library, where more than 300,000 works are arranged in beautiful gilt-covered bookcases. 

Day 6: Walking Tour of Lisbon, Evening Dinner & Fado Show

Yellow trams climb Lisbon's hilly streets

After breakfast, join your guide for 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 characterful neighborhoods. Start with the historic Alfama and Castelo districts, two of the city's oldest areas. Ride the quintessential yellow trams up to the Graça, Santa Luzia, or Portas do Sol scenic vistas, where you can gaze over a sea of red roofs to the Tagus River.

Check out Lisbon Cathedral, the 17th-century National Pantheon, and the 11th-century Castelo de S. Jorge. On your way down, pass the National Theatre of São Carlos and grab lunch near the riverfront at the Time Out Market, where you'll find an entire floor devoted to international food stalls. After lunch, walk toward Belém, home of the Torre de Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. Then meander into the bohemian Chiado and Bairro Alto districts for more steep, cobblestone streets, the ornate Church de Sao Roque, and the ruins of Carmo Church.

In the late afternoon, return to your hotel for some relaxation. As evening falls, head back into the Bairro Alto to enjoy a night at one of the city's best fado restaurants. Enjoy traditional Portuguese fare with a live soundtrack of the melancholy, haunting tones of Portugal's distinctive folk music.

Day 7: Day Trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais & Estoril

The mysterious inverted towers of Quinta de Regaleira

Today takes you to magical Sintra, also known as the "Mountain of the Moon." Located just half an hour east of the capital, this resort town in the Sintra Mountains is known for its forested hills, upscale villas, and Moorish palaces. Visit the Palacio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace), a fantastical 19th-century castle that mixes Moorish and Portuguese late-Gothic architecture, or take a tour of the mystical Quinta da Regaleira, an impressive estate whose grounds hold countless secrets like dizzying inverted towers used in Masonic initiation rites. 

Afterward, explore Sintra's historic center to see more examples of 19th-century romantic architecture surrounded by the lush gardens and forests of the area. On the way back to Lisbon, stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, where you can breathe in the sea breeze at the 18th-century cliffside lighthouse. The day will end in Cascais and Estoril, two beachside resorts that are known as some of the most glamorous locales in Portugal. Stroll around town and take in the panoramic sea views before returning to Lisbon to enjoy your final night in the city.

Day 8: Transfer to Évora, Historic Walking Tour

Évora Cathedral rising above the ruins of the Templo Romano
This morning, you'll meet your driver for the two-hour drive to Évora, capital of Portugal's Alentejo region. Get settled in, then meet your guide for a three-hour walking tour of Evora's abundant architectural wonders. With narrow streets of Moorish origin contrasting with light-filled squares, this World Heritage Site is one of Portugal's oldest cities and dates back over 2,000 years.
Stroll the medieval walls, visit the grand Évora Cathedral, see the ancient Roman ruins of Templo Romano, and experience the macabre 16th-century Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones). In the afternoon, you'll have free time to explore the city at your own pace and do some shopping. The Alentejo region is famous for its cork forests and products, and you'll find an incredible selection of cork shoes, bags, umbrellas, jewelry, and clothing among the local shops and boutiques.

Day 9: Transfer to Seville, Afternoon Walking Tour

Aerial view of Seville from the Space Metropol Parasol

It's time to bid Portugal farewell and join your driver for the 3.5-hour transfer to Seville, crossing the border into Spain and turning south to reach the vibrant capital of Andalusia. Upon arrival, stretch your legs with an afternoon walking tour. Discover 2,000 years of history in Seville's monuments and buildings, including the 15th-century, UNESCO-listed Seville Cathedral. The largest Gothic church in the world is an awe-inspiring testament to pious grandiosity, with echoes of the city's Moorish past found in the former minaret of the Great Mosque that serves as its bell tower.

Continue to the orange tree-filled Santa Cruz neighborhood, known as the Jewish Quarter with its narrow streets and quaint squares. It's a colorful and well-preserved part of the historic center, with many cafés and tapas bars—the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy some small plates and local wine. You'll conclude your walk at the most recent and modern monument in town—the Metropol Parasol (or, to the locals, Las Setas)—where you'll be rewarded with a birdseye view of the city.

Day 10: Flavors of Seville Food Tour

A charcuterie stall at Seville's Lonja del Barranco gourmet market
It's time to taste Seville's flavors! On today's delicious group tour, you'll follow an expert guide through three of the city's most historic neighborhoods—sampling the best local dishes and snacks along the way. Browse a bustling food market, sit down to some small plates in hole-in-the-wall tapas bars, and treat yourself to sweet pastries at a local bakery. Learn the history behind some of Andalusia's most beloved specialties, like jamón ibérico (cured ham), salmorejo (a thicker, creamier gazpacho), espinacas con garbanzos (spinach and chickpea tapas), and churros with chocolate.

Day 11: Free Day in Seville

A sunset flamenco performance in the Plaza de España
Today you'll have a free day to explore Seville at your own pace. You could check off more of the city's many grand monuments, such as Casa Pilatos, the Church of Divine Salvador, the Giralda, and the Real Alcázar, or opt for an adventurous excursion out of the city. Take a day trip to the countryside to see the production of one of Spain's biggest exports firsthand on a tour of an Andalusian olive oil estate, or head to Jerez de la Frontera to see the famous dancing horses of the Royal Equestrian Academy and visit a local sherry bodega (winery).

The true heart of Seville is found in its music and nightlife, so when the sun goes down make sure to catch a traditional flamenco performance for a dramatic evening of song, dance, and guitar that traces its roots back to the arrival of the first Gitanos (Roma) in 15th-century Andalusia.

Day 12: Depart Seville

An aerial view of Seville and the Cathedral

Enjoy a final leisurely morning in Seville. When the time comes, your driver will transfer you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Adios!

More Great Portugal & Spain Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal and Spain? Check out these other ways to spend 11 days, 13 days, and 14 days on the Iberian Peninsula.


Map of Discover Portugal & Southern Spain: Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon, Évora & Seville - 12 Days
Map of Discover Portugal & Southern Spain: Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon, Évora & Seville - 12 Days