Check off some of Portugal's most famous sights on this seven-day family adventure. Start in Lisbon with a guided tour via electric tuk-tuk and a ride on an amphibious land-to-water bus. Take a relaxing sunset cruise, see the historic castles of Sintra, then head to the golden beaches of the Algarve region. Sail to the wondrous Benagil Cave, learn to surf in the gentle waves, see friendly dolphins at play on a dolphin-watching tour, and pick clams straight from the waters of Ria Formosa Lagoon.


  • Feast your way through a guided family food tour of Portuguese cuisine
  • Swim, snorkel, and play on the pristine beaches of the Algarve 
  • Tour the winding streets of Lisbon via electric tuk-tuk
  • See playful wild dolphins in their natural habitat on a catamaran cruise 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon, Family Food & Culture Walk Lisbon
Day 2 Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour, Explore Lisbon, Sunset Cruise Lisbon
Day 3 Private Excursion to Sintra Lisbon
Day 4 Drive to Lagos, Algarve Beach Day Algarve
Day 5 Catamaran Cruise to Benagil Cave Algarve
Day 6 Dolphin Watching Tour, Clam Picking at Ria Formosa Lagoon Algarve
Day 7 Drive to Lisbon, Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, Family Food & Culture Walk

Traditional Portuguese pastries 

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Once you've had time to get checked in and settled, start your adventure with a guided family food tour! This immersion into Portuguese cuisine will showcase not only the foods and ingredients that make up popular dishes here, but also teaches the history and culture behind them. Learn about the right vegetables to cook a soup and why sardines and cod are among the most desirable ingredients in Portuguese cooking. Get plenty of chances to sample snacks, starters, drinks, and desserts.

The tour will present you with the typical foods, smells, and flavors of the city. You'll visit the Mercado da Ribeira, a large market and food hall in the city, as well as some traditional shops. Taste traditional local delights, such as canned fish, traditional ginjinha drink (with a non-alcoholic alternative for the kids), delicious Portuguese bread and cheese, salted cod fish cakes (salted) and, of course, the famous pastéis de nata (custard tart). Relax at your hotel tonight before continuing your discovery of the city tomorrow. 

Day 2: Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour, Explore Lisbon, Sunset Cruise

See Portugal's most iconic sites on today's tours

Explore Lisbon in style today with an electric tuk-tuk tour. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you'll zip through the charming capital's modern and historic districts, from the neoclassical avenues of Baixa to the cobblestone alleys of the bohemian Bairro Alto. Discover the city's fascinating history and hidden corners, and stop at stunning panoramic viewpoints like São Pedro de Alcântara, Parque Eduardo VII, Senhora do Monte, and Santa Luzia. Afterward, set out on a self-guided tour to see more of the capital.

Walk to Castelo de São Jorge, a castle with spectacular city views, and also sometimes has exhibitions with knights and archers—something the kids are sure to love. Then, head to the Telecabine Lisboa for a cable car ride along the river with dizzying views of the Vasco Da Gama bridge. For a fun and unusual experience, take a Lisbon Hippotrip Tour. These amphibious vehicles take you over both land and water, allowing you to see some of Lisbon's most notable sights without ever leaving the comfort of your own seat. Is it a bus? Is it a boat? It's both!
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If you're looking for space for the kids to run, head to Jardim da Estrela, a huge park with playgrounds, duck ponds, and a café that often hosts live music. And if the older kids are into street art, visit LX Factory, a buzzy district with creations by local artists everywhere. Stop by Jerónimos Monastery, a breathtaking piece of architecture with a vast chapel, and the National Azulejo Museum, dedicated to the history of Portugal's traditional tilework. End the day with a relaxing sunset cruise on one of the Tagus River's trademark wooden boats, watching the sun drop as you coast downriver. 

Day 3: Private Excursion to Sintra

Colorful Pena Palace in Sintra

Today's day trip takes you on a private tour to the village of Sintra, located in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains. Your driver will collect you from your hotel, and you'll make the 40-minute drive to this lovely little town, home to a whimsical collection of palaces and villas, winding streets, and colorful art. 

The tour takes you through the village and to some of its most well-known palaces. Your first top will be the Quinta da Regaleira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with incredible neo-Gothic architecture, large gardens, and an assortment of hidden passageways and winding staircases. Then, you'll visit the National Palace of Sintra, which is located in the town center and was once a hunting retreat for the Portuguese monarchy.

You can also stop by the impressive Pena Palace, a vividly colored romanticist castle completed in 1854 and overlooks the whole town. Originally intended as a summer palace for the king, it was purchased by the state in 1889 and was later transformed into a museum. The castle is adjacent to Pena Park, which encompasses nearly 500 acres (200 ha) and has shaded walking paths, pavilions, lakes, and ponds. There are even some secret walking paths for the kids to discover, making it a great spot to relax at the end of the tour. 

Day 4: Drive to Lagos, Algarve Beach Day

Beautiful beaches of the Algarve

Pick up your rental car today and hit the road to Portugal's beautiful Algarve region and the city of Lagos, which is located about three hours from Lisbon. Once you've arrived and checked in at your accommodations, enjoy what the Algarve is most known for—miles of beautiful beaches! If you travel west for about 30 minutes, you'll reach the quiet cove of Ingrina, which has calm and shallow waters that make it perfect for little ones. The cove itself is very sheltered, and there is a restaurant located just at the top of the beach for lunch or snacks. 

You can also head east, stopping at Praia da Marinha, where the clear blue waters invite curious snorkelers, and the silky white sand stretches endlessly toward the sea. There are boat tours available to see the surrounding caves and a small beach hut that serves snacks and beverages. From here, it's not far to Praia do Anção, one of the coast's popular family beaches. Equipment rentals are available here, fun watersport activities for the kids, and plenty of restaurant options. 

If you've got any budding surfers in the family, head north from Lagos to Praia de Odeceixe. Shaped like a flat tongue, this white, sandy beach is at the mouth of a river, with shallow, calm waters on one side and more boisterous waves on the other. There's a surf school on the beach, and a 30-minute walk takes you to the village of Odeceixe, where you can have lunch at a local restaurant. When you return to Lagos later today, you can take a self-guided walking tour of the city. See the inner-walled Old Town, stroll along the harbor, and enjoy the city's distinct character and laid-back charm.

Day 5: Catamaran Cruise to Benagil Cave

Inside Benagil Cave 

Head to nearby Portimão for a catamaran tour of the world-famous Benagil Cave. You'll depart from the harbor in the morning, traveling along the famous beaches of Carvoeiro and Algar Seco, as well as the Alfanzina Lighthouse and Praia da Marinha. Relax on the catamaran's sunbathing nets and enjoy the gentle breeze as you cruise along the coastline and to the cave, an astounding natural wonder sometimes called the "Benagil Cathedral" due to its size. Spend some time here, then anchor in the coves of João de Arens, where the kids and adults can dive in for swimming, snorkeling, or paddle boarding.  

After you return to port this afternoon, drive out from Portimão to explore independently. You can visit more gorgeous beaches, such as secluded Pinhao Beach or Ponta da Piedade, which features dramatic sandstone cliffs and turquoise water. There's also Praia do Camilo, where a wooden staircase takes you down to a sheltered, sandy cove.  

For more water-based fun, visit Aqualand, located about 30 minutes from Lagos and home to the highest water slide in Portugal. There are also separate areas for smaller children, with slides and fountains that cater to the littlest adventurers. Spend some time at Lagos Zoo, where the kids can see hippos, monkeys, and assorted birds, or combine waterpark and wildlife at nearby Zoomarine, with wildlife shows and several water slides. Be sure to make a stop at Sand City, a park that features more than 100 sand sculptures created by local and international artists. 

Day 6: Dolphin Watching Tour, Clam Picking at Ria Formosa Lagoon

Dolphins in the Algarve 

Get up close and personal with playful dolphins on this Algarve catamaran cruise. Depart in the morning with your guides, who will take you across the sun-kissed waters of the coast to find dolphins in their natural habitat. The Algarve region is a haven for these fun-loving animals, and you're likely to see them socializing, frolicking, or feeding near the catamaran. Learn about the fascinating habits of these highly intelligent sea creatures, and the kids should look for other types of sea life that frequent these waters. The cruise culminates with a stop in a nearby bay for swimming, snorkeling, and a snack. 

Interested in how seafood is harvested in the Algarve? Head to Ria Formosa Lagoon and learn all about the centuries-old tradition of clam picking. You'll set out on a traditional wooden fisherman's boat, getting a hands-on education on how to pick clams from the crystal-blue waters. The lagoon is also quite beautiful, with many flora and fauna worth seeing. End the tour at a nearby oyster nursery, where you'll try fresh oysters (alongside some delicious sparkling wine for the adults) to conclude this fascinating and culturally insightful experience.

Day 7: Drive to Lisbon, Depart 

Last looks at Lisbon!

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal! This morning, you'll drive back to Lisbon and to the airport, where you'll return your rental car and catch your flight home. Safe travels! 

More Great Portugal  Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal? Check out these other Portugal itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Portugal with your family, or discover the best time to visit Portugal.


Map of Family Getaway to Lisbon & the Algarve - 7 Days
Map of Family Getaway to Lisbon & the Algarve - 7 Days