This tour mixes Portugal's vibrant cities with the incredible natural scenery of the Algarve region, starting with guided tours of Porto and Lisbon's hilly and historic neighborhoods. Enjoy a day trip to the Douro Valley for a tasting of the region's wine and port varietals, then head south to Algarve to explore its water sports, preserved coastal parks, and endless coastline filled with sandy beaches and rock formations. Spend hours relaxing on the beach, hiking along the coast, or meandering the historic fishing villages, all before watching dramatic sunsets and experiencing the area's exceptional nightlife.

Highlights

  • Ride the yellow trams through the historical neighborhoods of Lisbon
  • Relax on sandy beaches protected by the golden cliffs of the Algarve
  • Discover the architectural heritage of Porto
  • Enjoy tasting wine and port varietals in the Douro Valley
  • Explore the Algarve's vibrant beach towns and famous nightlife

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon and take the train to Porto Porto
Day 2 Visit the Douro Valley for a wine tasting Porto
Day 3 Enjoy a walking tour of Porto - Take the train to Lisbon Lisbon
Day 4 Explore the sites and scenic vistas of Lisbon Lisbon
Day 5 Catch the train to Algarve - Enjoy a sunset on the beach Lagos
Day 6 Discover Algarve's endless entertainment Lagos
Day 7 Enjoy the beaches and nightlife in Albufeira Albufeira
Day 8 Return to Lisbon - Depart Portugal  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon and take the train to Porto

Aerial View of Porto
Aerial View of Porto

Welcome to Portugal!

Upon arriving at the airport in Lisbon, a private transfer will take you to the city's main train station.  After a 3-hour train ride, you'll arrive at the Porto-Campanhã station in the lively city of Porto. Settle into your accommodation and head 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 admire many 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 2: Visit the Douro Valley for a wine tasting

The Douro Valley Wine Region
The Douro Valley Wine Region

Awake early for your group tour of the Douro Valley, a lush wine region 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 the city.

Day 3: Enjoy a walking tour of Porto - Take the train to Lisbon

Porto's Vibrant Riverside
Porto's Vibrant Riverside

Enjoy an early 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, it's time to return to Lisbon. A private driver will take you to the train station where you'll catch your 3-hour train ride to Portugal's capital city. Settle into your accommodation before enjoying the streets of Lisbon. For dinner, check out the bohemian Bairro Alto neighborhood, rumored to have the best nightlife in the city.

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Day 4: Explore the sites and scenic vistas of Lisbon

The Famous Yellow Trams of Lisbon
The Famous Yellow Trams of Lisbon

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 GraçaSanta 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 the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts. 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 evening, grab dinner at a traditional restaurant that features live Fado performances, a typical musical experience that can't be missed.

Day 5: Catch the train to Algarve - Enjoy a sunset on the beach

Beaches of Lagos, Portugal
Beaches of Lagos, Portugal

Today you'll trade bustling cities for relaxing nature in Portugal's popular Algarve region, which is the country's southernmost area known for sandy beaches and white-washed villages. In the morning, a private driver will transfer to the train station in Lisbon. About three hours later, you'll arrive in the city of Lagos to enjoy the coastal ambiance of the Algarve.

Lagos will be your hub for a couple nights, so take this afternoon to enjoy its historic old town and castle. If you're up for a little adventure, you can take a kayak tour around the nearby water caves, bays, and inlets. In the evening, settle into your accommodation and grab dinner along the waterfront. As the sun starts to set, take a stroll to some of the beaches, including Pinhão Beach with its dramatic sandstone rock formations.

Day 6: Discover Algarve's endless entertainment

Algarve's Famous Seastacks
Algarve's Famous Seastacks

The rest of your trip will be set in the scenic region of Algarve, where you'll have plenty of time to explore the area's sights and coastline. Whether you're interested in endless beach days, sports, hiking, or history, the Algarve truly has something for everyone. 

The Algarve is known for its long beaches, often bounded by golden cliffs and small bays nestled between rocks, creating a wild look. And with over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and low annual rainfall, nearly every day is a beach day. There are around 124 miles (200 km) of coastline, making the region an excellent spot for all kinds of water sports, including sailing, surfing, and windsurfing. If you're interested in golf, the sport has brought international attention to the area, as the region has been voted as the best-golfing destination in the world. 

The Algarve is also a popular hiking destination, thanks to its three protected areas: the Vicentina Coast (which is the most well-preserved stretch of coastline in Europe), the Ria Formosa (a maze of channels separated from the sea by a strip of sand), and the Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António Marsh Natural Reserve, which has rich biodiversity.

For the history buffs, the region offers many sites to explore. Check out Silves, formerly the capital of the Arab Kingdom, for old town walls and archeological excavations. The towns of Sagres and Lagos were both very important during the 15th-century, boasting fortresses and castles. You'll find plenty of architecture to admire in Tavira, as well as in the historical center of Faro with its beautiful cathedral.

And if you're a night owl, the entertainment in the summer is some of Portugal's best, especially in the cosmopolitan areas like Albufeira, Portimão, and Vilamoura.

Day 7: Enjoy the beaches and nightlife in Albufeira

The town of Albufeira at Sunset
The town of Albufeira at Sunset

After breakfast, you'll head east along the coast to the town of Albufeira. One of the busiest seaside resorts in the Algarve, Albufeira owes its fame to its beaches and lively, carefree atmosphere. It's an excellent place to enjoy the region's famous nightlife.

But aside from its beaches and bars, the village has an interesting history, a picturesque town center, and the famous whitewashed buildings. Founded by the Arabs, you'll find charming streets that narrowly wind through the town, eventually leading to the beaches of Túnel and Peneco. This long stretch of sand forms a protective amphitheater shape facing the sea.

In the evening, enjoy strolling along the promenade, which is bounded to the west by Xorino Cave where the Moors took refuge in the 13th century. Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in the old town overlooking the beach. Then explore the city's exceptional nightlife.

Day 8: Return to Lisbon - Depart Portugal

Sunrise over Lisbon
Sunrise over Lisbon

Awake early for your final breakfast in Portugal, plus a morning transfer to the train station in Albufeira. You'll embark on a 3-hour train trip towards Lisbon. At the train station in Lisbon, your transfer will be waiting to take you to the airport to catch your flight home, or to your next destination.

Map

Map of Best of Portugal, from Porto to Algarve - 8 Days
Map of Best of Portugal, from Porto to Algarve - 8 Days