Families with elementary school-aged kids will find plenty of fun on this 10-day tour of Portugal. Break up exploring the major cultural attractions of Lisbon and Porto with some beach time at Nazaré and hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park. Parents can sit back and relax on chilled-out activities like boat and tuk-tuk tours, while adventurous youngsters will love descending into the mysterious inverted towers of Sintra and exploring the stalactites and stalagmites of the Mira De Aire Caves.


  • Eat your way through Lisbon on a food walk
  • Visit the whimsical hilltop palaces of Sintra
  • Spend relaxing time on the beach at Nazaré
  • Get active in Portugal's only national park, Peneda-Gerês

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon, Food & Culture Walk Lisbon
Day 2 Lisbon by Tuk-Tuk & Family-Friendly City Tour Lisbon
Day 3 Day Trip to Fairy-Tale Sintra Lisbon
Day 4 Transfer to Nazaré via Óbidos Nazaré
Day 5 Free Time in Nazaré Nazaré
Day 6 Transfer to Porto via Mira De Aire Caves Porto
Day 7 Porto Vintage Car Tour & River Cruise Porto
Day 8 Hike in Peneda-Gerês National Park Porto
Day 9 Family-Friendly Tour of Porto Porto
Day 10 Depart Porto  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, Food & Culture Walk

Sample Portuguese food, like pastéis de nata

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Depending on your time of arrival and how energetic your family is feeling after the journey, a food tour is a great way to get oriented, to refuel, and to learn a bit about the city.

Start your tour at a local market selling fresh, natural products. Learn all about Portuguese cuisine, including interesting facts like why sardines and cod are so highly prized. Get plenty of chances to sample snacks, starters, drinks, and desserts that appeal to all ages. This tour includes a visit to Mercado da Ribeira and some traditional shops where you and your kids will taste some traditional local delights, such as canned fish, traditional ginjinha drink (with a non-alcoholic alternative for the kids), delicious Portuguese bread and cheese, cod fish cakes, and, of course, the famous custard pastries, pastéis de nata.

Day 2: Lisbon by Tuk-Tuk & Family-Friendly City Tour

Hop in a tuk-tuk to explore the steep streets of Lisbon

Explore the famously steep "City of Seven Hills" today on an electric tuk-tuk tour—a fun, eco-friendly mode of transport sure to delight all ages. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you'll zip through the 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 along the way, and stop at stunning panoramic viewpoints like São Pedro de Alcântara, Parque Eduardo VII, Senhora do Monte, and Santa Luzia.

Afterward, continue visiting a range of other attractions to suit your family's interests and needs. You could check out Castelo São Jorge, a commanding Moorish castle high above Lisbon's narrow medieval streets. Kids will love the family activities with knights and archers that take place periodically. Keep an eye out for the peacocks, too! Moving on from the castle, fly over the Tagus River with a ride on the Telecabine Lisboa ("Lisbon Cable Car"), which runs along the river at Parque das Nacoes for around a mile (2.2 km). 
For something a little different, jump on board Lisbon's Hippotrip amphibious vehicle. After a tour through the city center on land, you'll head out to the Belém district and drive straight into the Tagus River. To reconnect with nature, check out Estufa Fria, Lisbon’s greenhouse, in Edward VII Park. Alternatively, it’s hard to beat the Jardim da Estrela, one of Lisbon’s biggest parks, which is in front of the Basilica da Estrela. As well as a playground and duck ponds, there’s a café with child-friendly activities in summer, and you’ll often find live music or other events taking place.

Day 3: Day Trip to Fairy-Tale Sintra

The mysterious inverted tower at Quinta da Regaleira

No family vacation to Lisbon would be complete without a day trip to Sintra. Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens today with a guided exploration of the region's dense forests and the many 19th-century palaces that dot the mountainside. The kids will love running through secret passageways and climbing turrets in the gardens at Quinta da Regaleira. Hear about the legends and myths of Sintra, and the real-life authors and artists who have left their marks here, including Lord Byron and Hans Christian Andersen.

Wander through the Sintra historical village, stopping for a travesseiro—the traditional sweet of Sintra. Continue the adventure at the National Palace of Sintra, a hunting retreat and summer resort for the Portuguese monarchy and its court during the Middle Ages. See if the kids can guess what two giant triangular chimneys were used for!

Day 4: Transfer to Nazaré via Óbidos

Take a ride up the funicular for views over Nazaré

Today you'll be picked up at your hotel in Lisbon for your journey north to Nazaré. En route, stop in Óbidos, a classic Portuguese walled city with a labyrinth of cobblestone streets and flower-bedecked, whitewashed houses. Explore at your leisure, then treat yourself to a delicious traditional Portuguese lunch. If you dine al fresco, situate yourself so you have a great view of the historic village and its stunning castle, which dates back almost a millennium. Let the kids burn off some energy with a stroll around the fortifications and stop to check out the wares of local vendors around town. 

Plan your trip to Portugal
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Get back on the road in the afternoon and continue to Nazaré, where you'll check into your hotel. You'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore the area and its plethora of seafood restaurants. This is a charming beach town with narrow, cobbled streets leading to a stunning stretch of sand along the Atlantic coast. During the winter months, the town attracts surfers from all over the world to test some of the biggest waves ever recorded at Praia do Norte. However, during the spring and summer, you can enjoy calmer seas.

Day 5: Free Time in Nazaré

Spend a day at the beach in Nazaré
Today you can enjoy some relaxed free time on the beaches of Nazaré. Instead of the main beach, check out São Martinho do Porto, a sheltered bay to the south of Nazaré. It’s known as a family-friendly beach, thanks to its calm waters. Also look out for other local traditions, such as the fish drying in the sun. This is a day to recharge at the mid-point of your trip, and to spend some calm family time together.
If you and your kids have the energy, take the funicular up to Promontório do Sítio for a birds-eye view of the cliffs, beach, and town below. And whether you're into surfing or not, the Surf Museum inside the Fortress of St. Michael in Nazaré Sitio is an excellent way to experience a slice of local culture, and kids will be thrilled by the giant waves that crash around the clifftop fortress.

Day 6: Transfer to Porto via Mira De Aire Caves

Tour the Mira de Aire Caves, the largest in Portugal

It's time to head north today as you meet your driver for the trip to Porto. Break up the journey with a stop en route at the impressive Grutas Mira de Aire, the largest underground caves in Portugal. Formed during the Middle Jurassic Age more than 150 million years ago, the caves were only found in 1947, and in 2010 were elected one of the “Seven Natural Wonders” of Portugal.

The visit starts with a short film explaining how this cave system was found. Then, follow your guide underground, descending 683 steps about 340 feet (110 m) down into a fascinating world of mineral formations. Curious children will love spotting the stalagmites (which grow up from the cave floor and are formed by mineral deposits dripping onto the floor of the cave) and stalactites (icicle-shaped mineral formations that hang down from the cave ceiling). 

After visiting the caves, continue to Porto. Take time to settle into your hotel, then head to a very special attraction in Porto's historic center: one of the most famous and beautiful bookstores in the world, the Livraria Lello. Said to be the series' writer J.K. Rowling's inspiration when describing the Flourish & Blotts store, young readers and fans of Harry Potter will adore stepping into this enchanting world of books. 

Day 7: Porto Vintage Car Tour & River Cruise

Cruise on the Douro River on a traditional barge

Today, get ready for a memorable morning that will delight both parents and kids. A guide will pick you up in a vintage 1920s car for a three-hour tour of Porto. Discover the city's most important highlights and hidden corners in style. The car will act as the perfect prop in family pictures, too. Afterward, spend some time checking out the Foz neighborhood. Away from the picturesque but touristy historic center, Foz has nice beaches, a pretty lighthouse, and thinner crowds than some parts of the city. End the excursion with a guided visit to a port cellar so that the grownups can enjoy a taste of the area's famous fortified wine.

Later in the day you can sit back and put your feet up on a relaxed one-hour cruise down the Douro River. Board a traditional flat-bottomed rabelo boat and set off from the port to cruise past Porto’s historical city center, an area known as Ribeira, or “riverfront.” Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its immense cultural and architectural importance, vibrant Ribeira still bears traces of its medieval past.

Day 8: Hike in Peneda-Gerês National Park

Peneda-Gerês National Park
Kids will love spotting wildlife like wild horses in Peneda-Gerês National Park
Get active in nature today with a hiking trip to Portugal's only national park, the Peneda-Gerês National Park, which comprises a whopping 436 square miles (703 sq km) in Portugal's north, near the Spanish border. Your trip among the park's wild mountain landscapes will include several shorter, accessible hikes that get you up into the best scenery of the park in a short time. The hike will be adapted to your family's needs and the age of your children.
Throughout the day, see some breathtaking viewpoints, from mountain panoramas to waterfalls, and swim in crystal-clear lagoons with only fish for company, while sighting some local flora and fauna along the way. Wildlife to watch out for includes garrano (wild horses), wild boar, wildcats, deer, otters, and three species of endangered bat. At one of the most iconic viewpoints, you'll enjoy a picnic of traditional local food while admiring the gorgeous scenery.   

There will also be a cultural side to your adventure today. As you travel between the scenic highlights of the park in a 4WD vehicle, your knowledgeable local guide will give you numerous insights into the park and its inhabitants. You will also get to see and experience the area's centuries-old villages, where ancient traditions have been preserved, and meet the villagers that help conserve the region's distinctive culture. Part of your national park ticket price also goes to help the community you visit.

Day 9: Family-Friendly Tour of Porto

There's a lot for kids to enjoy in Porto

Spend today in Porto, digging deep into its cultural attractions, beautiful gardens, and fun activities that are ideal for families. One is the Crystal Palace Gardens in downtown Porto, with many peacocks, ducks, and roosters that children might like. Another great park is at the Serralves Museum, where you'll find an immense garden with large lanes perfect for strollers. If your kids love animals, don't miss the Biological Park in Gaia district, which contains replicas of typical rural houses, granaries, and barns, as well as hundreds of animals in their natural habitats and a wildlife recovery center.

For a fun indoor attraction, head to SEA Life Porto. The small aquarium is well organized, with each room decorated differently and a walk-through tunnel that makes the experience immersive and fun. Here you will see rays, sharks, fish of all shapes and sizes, and a beautiful turtle. Outside, there is a patio where you can eat ice cream and socialize with a friendly family of penguins. After the visit, check out Matosinhos Beach and celebrate a fun-filled trip to Portugal with a final meal.

Day 10: Depart Porto

Goodbye beautiful Portugal!

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal today. Depending on your schedule, you may be able to fit in some last-minute souvenir shopping, or some final pastéis de nata pastries! When the time comes, your private driver will take you to Porto Airport to catch your flight home. Adeus!

More Great Portugal Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to Portugal? Check out these other Portugal itineraries, explore other ways to spend 10 days in Portugal with your family, or discover the best time to visit Portugal.


Map of Family Trip to Portugal: Lisbon, Nazaré & Porto - 10 Days
Map of Family Trip to Portugal: Lisbon, Nazaré & Porto - 10 Days