- Immerse yourself in the art and culture of beautiful Lisbon
- Explore the incredible castles and palaces of Sintra
- Visit the historic towns of Coimbra and Évora
- Get lost in the souks of Marrakech
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 2||Day Trip to Sintra||Lisbon|
|Day 3||Travel to Porto||Porto|
|Day 4||Free Day in Porto||Porto|
|Day 5||Travel to Coimbra||Coimbra|
|Day 6||Travel to Évora||Évora|
|Day 7||Explore Évora and the Alentejo Region||Évora|
|Day 8||Travel to Marrakech via Lisbon||Marrakech|
|Day 9||Get to Know Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Travel to Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 11||Depart Lisbon|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon
Welcome to beautiful Portugal! After you settle into your hotel, head out into the city to explore this charming European capital. Built on seven hills where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon seems to have been tailor-made for gorgeous sunset views. Packed with miradouros, or viewpoints, you'll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy Lisbon from all angles.
Travel around the city on foot, by funicular, or by the historic Tram 28. Visit some of Lisbon's impressive museums, like the National Tile Museum, where Portugal's signature, ornate glazed tiles are on display in a former 16th-century convent, the Fado Museum, where you'll learn about the country's signature folk music, or the Berardo Collection Museum for modern and contemporary art by the likes of Picasso, Dali, and Warhol.
Wander the narrow, cobblestoned lanes of Alfama, the city's oldest neighborhood, where you'll find charming outdoor cafes nestled in between intricately tiled buildings. Poke around the boutiques, or haggle away at the Feira da Ladra flea market, and make sure to visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge at the top of the hill for breathtaking views of the city. Bairro Alto is the center of Lisbon's nightlife, but if you prefer a quieter evening, sip on Portuguese wine or ginjinha, a local sour cherry-like liqueur, as you dine al fresco or take in a live fado performance.
Day 2: Day Trip to Sintra
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll make the short, 30-minute drive to Sintra for a private tour of its colorful mansions and castles. This magical place is brimming with lush gardens and fairytale forests to go with its elegant palaces. You'll visit Pena National Palace, built in the Romanticist style by King Ferdinand II in the 1800s on the site of the ruins of a 16th-century monastery. Take in the views of the nearby medieval Castle of the Moors situated within Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
After lunch in a nearby village, or perhaps by the coast, you'll continue to a quieter area of Sintra for a stop in one of the country's most beautiful convents, the Convent of the Capuchos. Built directly into the side of a rock, and now almost entirely obscured by vegetation, this nearly 500-year-old dwelling was once home to Capuchin monks and friars. After exploring the enchanting, yet austere convent, you'll head to Cabo da Roca on Sintra's coastal cliffs. This rugged cape is the westernmost point in Europe.
Make your way back to Lisbon for an evening free to explore on your own. Perhaps indulge in some of the city's culinary delights, such as fresh seafood, pasteis de nata (custard tarts), or bacalhau (salted cod).
Day 3: Travel to Porto
Today you'll take the morning train up the coast to Porto, where you'll check into your next hotel. After lunch, you'll embark on a private tour of Portugal's second city. Famous for its sweet red Port wine, its blue-and-white-tiled churches, and its stacked medieval townhouses lining the Douro River, there is plenty to see and do in Porto.
Your guide will share some of the city's vibrant history as you visit its cultural landmarks. Marvel at the juxtaposition of old world and modern on Boavista Avenue, Porto's main drag. Head down to Foz, the seafront neighborhood packed with museums and local treasures. Then head to the city center, where you can admire Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Neo-Classical architecture as you explore sites like São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, and the Church of São Francisco.
You'll also visit the magnificent Lello Bookstore and the artsy Majestic Café, and roam the shops of Santa Catarina Street and the food stalls of Bolhão Market. After a trip to the Porto Cathedral, you'll walk along the banks of the Douro, through Ribeira Square, and onto the Dom Luis I Bridge for fantastic photo ops. Spend the rest of the evening discovering the city at your own pace.
Transfer time: 2.5 hours
Day 4: Free Day in Porto
Spend today getting to know Porto on your own. Take a cruise down the Douro and see the city from another point of view, or perhaps visit some wine cellars to try its famous Port. If you're a sports fan, snag some tickets to an FC Porto soccer game, or unwind with a stroll around the idyllic Crystal Palace Gardens.
If you'd prefer to venture beyond Porto, opt for a day trip to Aveiro. This coastal town is dominated by its canals, which you can navigate via colorful gondola-like boats. Visit the beautiful Museum of Aveiro inside the Convent of Jesus, pop over to the nearby fishing village of Costa Nova with its brightly painted beach cottages, and don't forget to try the ovos moles, a local delicacy made of egg and sugar.
A day trip to historic Guimarães makes for an excellent alternative if you're in the mood for castles, palaces, and impossibly charming streets.
Day 5: Travel to Coimbra
Ride the train this morning to the riverfront city of Coimbra. Wander around this atmospheric, hilly city and discover its fascinating history on your own today. Dating back to Roman times, Coimbra offers breathtaking architecture and a colorful history.
Take a tour of the 16th-century University of Coimbra, Portugal's oldest college, and its elegant 18th-century Baroque library. Stop by the Machado de Castro National Museum for your fix of religious art and a chance to explore the underground labyrinth of Roman tunnels and rooms left over from ancient times. Or perhaps take a relaxing stroll in the Botanical Garden.
Transfer time: 1.5 hours
Day 6: Travel to Évora
Today, you'll continue heading south and inland to the town of Évora. After lunch, embark on a private tour of this enchanting UNESCO World Heritage City. You'll learn about the city's importance to Portugal's famous explorers, and gain insight into how Évora is linked to the most significant moments in Portuguese history through the ages.
Along the way, see sights such as the Roman Temple, the 13th-century Cathedral of Évora, the chilling but unique Chapel of Bones, and more. Spend the evening sampling the city's rustic cuisine, inspired by modest rural life and natural ingredients.
Transfer time: 3 hours
Tour duration: 2.5 hours
Day 7: Explore Évora and the Alentejo Region
Take another day to explore beautiful Évora on your own, or perhaps take a day trip to one of the nearby villages and wineries in the Alentejo region, such as Monsaraz. This walled medieval village is full of whitewashed stone cottages high up on a hilltop. Home to an imposing castle and art ranging from the megalithic to the modern, dreamy Monsaraz also boasts a winery, where you can indulge in a local tasting.
Day 8: Marrakech via Lisbon
You'll switch gears today and return to Lisbon to catch a short flight to Marrakech, Morocco. After settling into your hotel, set out on foot to explore this lively city at your own pace. Get lost wandering the pink-walled medina and flex your bargaining muscles in the souk. Here you'll find everything from rugs to scarves to lamps and spices.
Simply take in all the sights and smells — Marrakech is a feast for the senses. In the afternoon, relax in the impossibly blue Majorelle Garden, and in the evening dine on delicious couscous or tagine, succulent dates, and sweet mint tea.
Day 9: Get to Know Marrakech
After breakfast at the riad, set out on a full-day tour of Marrakech. You'll see mosques, traditional bakeries, wooden fountains and old lodging houses and more as you wander around the busy alleyways. Stop for a photo op at the imposing Koutoubia Mosque, with its distinctive square tower. Explore the opulent architecture and patterns of the Ben Youssef Madrasa, which was once the largest theological college in North Africa.
On your guided walk around the medina, you'll discover some of the most interesting handicrafts, including tin and copper metalwork, the leather auction, and art, before you bask in the splendor of the Bahia Palace and its gardens. In the evening, wander around Jemaa el-Fnaa. Its musicians, storytellers, snake charmers, and other entertainers make for a lively end to your day.
Day 10: Travel to Lisbon
You'll return to Portugal today, with a flight back to Lisbon after you've filled up on your last Moroccan breakfast. Once you settle into your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day to explore on your own.
Make sure to visit Belém Tower on the banks of the river. Built in the early 16th century, this enchanting fortified tower played a major role in Portugal's maritime history as a starting point for explorers like Vasco de Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. Christopher Columbus stopped here after returning from the New World. Visit the exquisite Jeronimos Monastery, with its ornate details and massive courtyard.
Stock up on unique souvenirs in Príncipe Real, a trendy neighborhood where you'll find everything from antiques to boutique concept stores. Watch the sunset from a nearby miradouro and enjoy a farewell seafood dinner on your final night in Portugal.
Day 11: Depart Lisbon
Take one last look at beautiful Lisbon, and squeeze in any last minute souvenir shopping this morning. After checking out of your hotel, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home, or on to your next destination.