Three weeks is the perfect amount of time to explore the Atlantic coastline of Portugal and Morocco at a relaxed pace. Ebb and flow with the tides as you make your way south from Porto to the Algarve via Lisbon, Matosinhos, Sintra, Cascais, and Comporta. Cross the Strait of Gibraltar by ferry, landing in Tangier, and continue south to Asilah, Rabat, Marrakesh, Essaouira, and Casablanca.


  • Explore the best of Porto and Lisbon
  • Relax on the golden sands of Comporta and Costa da Caparica
  • Cruise into the Algarve's world-famous Benagil Cave
  • Experience the vibrant cities of Tangier, Rabat, Marrakesh, and Casablanca
  • Enjoy the beach at Asilah and eat seafood in Essaouira

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto (Portugal), Foodie Experience Porto
Day 2 Half-Day Porto Walking Tour Porto
Day 3 Day Trip to Matosinhos Porto
Day 4 Transfer to Lisbon via Nazaré & Aveiro Lisbon
Day 5 Full-Day Lisbon Walking Tour Lisbon
Day 6 Day Trip to Sintra, Sailing Experience: Cascais to Lisbon Lisbon
Day 7 Explore the Beaches of Costa da Caparica Lisbon
Day 8 Drive to Comporta, Beach Day  Comporta
Day 9 Day Trip to Setúbal & Arrábida Natural Park Comporta
Day 10 Drive to the Algarve, Explore Lagos Algarve
Day 11 Catamaran Cruise to Benagil Cave, Visit Sagres & Cabo São Vicente Algarve
Day 12 Hike the Coastal Fisherman's Trail, Visit Ilha da Barreta Algarve
Day 13 Transfer to Tarifa Port, Ferry to Tangier (Morocco), Food Tour Tangier
Day 14 Private Tour of Tangier Tangier
Day 15 Transfer to Asilah, Explore the Town Asilah
Day 16 Transfer to Rabat, Self-Guided Tour Rabat
Day 17 Transfer to Marrakesh, Private Tour of Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 18 Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Free Time Marrakesh
Day 19 Foodie Experience in Essaouira Marrakesh
Day 20 Transfer to Casablanca, Private Tour of Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Day 21 Depart Casablanca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto (Portugal), Foodie Experience

Portugal is famous for its grilled fish and fresh seafood dishes

Olá and welcome to Porto, Portugal's second-largest city! Upon arrival, a private driver will be waiting to whisk you off to your hotel in the city center. Drop your bags and freshen up before you dive into Porto's rich culinary scene.

This afternoon you'll join a 3.5-hour walking tour of the historic downtown. A local guide will share a firsthand look at Porto's culinary renaissance, including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants adopting old methods. Stop at old-school family-run businesses to taste simple, quality products and traditional Portuguese recipes made with love. Learn why these spots are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto unique. Finish the experience with an introduction to Porto's famous drink, port wine, and taste three different styles.

Day 2: Half-Day Porto Walking Tour

The stacked colorful houses of Porto with the famous Dom Luís I Bridge

Discover the rich history and culture of Porto this morning with a private half-day guided walking tour. Start exploring Boavista Avenue and Foz, then head to the UNESCO-listed city center to marvel at various Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and neoclassical monuments and sites. You'll learn about the city's heroes, battles, and the reason it's called "Invicta" (the Unbeaten City), plus you'll visit the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, the Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Bolhão Market, and more.

After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its grand silver altarpiece, venture down to the wide Douro River for breathtaking views of Ribeira Plaza and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, the perfect photo spots.

Day 3: Day Trip to Matosinhos

Visit Matosinhos
The saltwater swimming pools in Matosinhos

Located close to the center of Porto, Matosinhos is where Porto's residents come to kick back by the coast and dine on fresh seafood. This oceanfront suburb has one of the best beaches in the Porto area, with surf-friendly waves year round. This area was also the main source of the city's fish and seafood. Start with a visit to the local market, a curved white pavilion that dates back to 1944, to see the breadth of fresh seafood and explore the studios of young designers on the renovated top floor.

Then find somewhere for a grilled fish lunch on Rua França Júnior. After, head to the beach and admire the waterfront with its 17th-century defensive forts, stop by the Sea Life aquarium, or visit the Piscina das Marés saltwater swimming pools.

Day 4: Transfer to Lisbon via Nazaré & Aveiro

The colorful Art Nouveau buildings in Aveiro's historic center

Pack up and hit the road—it's time to go to Lisbon. Today you'll make a day of the three-hour transfer by stopping en route at the coastal Art Nouveau city of Aveiro and the fishing town of Nazaré, home to the world's biggest waves. An hour south of Porto, beautiful Aveiro sits at the edge of an extensive coastal lagoon and features a network of canals. Explore the energetic university city on foot or in a moliceiro—a colorful boat traditionally used for seaweed harvesting but now repurposed for canal cruises.

You'll continue to Nazaré, a traditional fishing village famous for its long, sandy half-moon beach and some of the biggest waves in the world. Admire the beautiful wooden fishing boats and the local women who still wear the traditional seven skirts. If you're lucky, the world-record-breaking waves might be pumping, attracting top surfers from all over the world. Finally, continue to Lisbon, where after check-in, you can relax and explore the streets of Portugal's colorful capital at your leisure.

Day 5: Full-Day Lisbon Walking Tour

Lisbon city trams
If you get tired walking the hilly streets of Lisbon, just catch one of the historic yellow trams

Fill up on breakfast this morning before you join a walking tour of hilly Lisbon. Board one of the quintessential yellow trams to Bairro Alto and Chiado, where the great 20th-century writers and philosophers used to gather. Continue to picture-perfect Alfama, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. Here, walk along narrow cobblestoned streets, and see the stunning 12th-century Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral).

After lunch, head over to Belém, one of Lisbon's most historic and monumental areas. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), and tour the National Ajuda Palace, once home to the Portuguese royal family. Don't leave without stopping by Pastéis de Belém. This bakery claims to be the original home of the pastéis de nata, and still follows the original recipe monks in the area used in the 18th century.

Day 6: Day Trip to Sintra, Sailing Experience: Cascais to Lisbon

Sintra's hilltop setting near Lisbon
Pena Palace sits atop Sintra's highest peak

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sintra and its hills, dotted with fairy-tale palaces and extravagant villas, have enchanted visitors for centuries. Your guide will whisk you from downtown Lisbon to romantic Sintra, starting with Pena Palace, one of the best expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in Europe, where King Fernando II intentionally mixed architectural styles. From here, enjoy views of the Moorish Castle. It's a testimony of the Islamic presence in the Iberian Peninsula, which was built in the eighth century and conquered during the formation of the Portugal Kingdom.

Wander the picturesque village of Sintra and stop to taste the town's famous travesseiros and queijadas de Sintra before continuing to Cascais. This fishing village was once the summer destination of the royal family. Explore the Cascais Citadel, a set of 500-year-old fortifications built to protect Lisbon from pirates and corsairs, then visit a unique natural chasm in the seaside cliffs called Hell's Mouth. End the day by sailing back to Belém in Lisbon, passing historic mansions in Estoril and many golden sandy beaches along the way.

Day 7: Explore the Beaches of Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica
Long stretches of sand and beach clubs await south of Lisbon at Costa da Caparica

After almost a week of exploring Portugal, it's time to turn down the pace. Today you'll enjoy a slow day relaxing on the golden sands of Costa da Caparica, a stretch of dozens of beautiful wild beaches just south of Lisbon. The sands stretch 18 miles (30 km) down to Cabo Espichel, and along this coast, you'll find everything from peaceful spots to trendy beach clubs to nudist stretches of sand.

Closest to Lisbon, and beneath the high-rise apartments and hotels, you'll find easy-to-access beaches with cafés, bars, and surf schools. Praia do Tarquínio-Paraíso, Praia do Dragão Vermelho, and São João da Caparica all have the prestigious Blue Flag, and along here, you can still see traditional fishing boats and fishermen.

Day 8: Drive to Comporta, Beach Day

The quiet white sands of Comporta attract visitors from around the world

Comporta is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, with long stretches of white sand and crystal-clear waters. The relaxed village has become popular with celebrities, artists, and those seeking a more exclusive holiday experience. Today you'll rent a car and make the 90-minute drive south.

Climb over sandy natural dunes to reach the wide stretches of sand, where you'll see many people practicing watersports, enjoying seafood at chic beachfront restaurants, or lazing on the sand. Choose a spot for lunch and order white sangria with local cheeses and fresh seafood, such as calamari or clams, before leaning into a slow afternoon. Beyond the tranquil and traditional village, Comporta is a biodiverse natural habitat with a wide variety of flora and fauna, including storks and flamingoes that nest close to the seaside.
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Day 9: Day Trip to Setúbal & Arrábida Natural Park

Breathtaking view of the Arrábida Natural Park
Arrábida Natural Park looks like paradise on earth

If you like wandering through local markets, today's trip to Setúbal is unmissable. This morning you'll wander one of the best markets in Portugal—and the world—where you can see what's in season, explore the variety of Portuguese seafood, and pick up delicious souvenirs. After, venture up to the Forte de São Filipe for views of the Tróia Península and its resorts.

Setúbal was once a large industrial city but now shines in the shadow of the Arrábida Natural Park. Within the protected reserve, you'll find endless bushland and pristine beaches. Take a scenic drive along the hilltop, stopping by Cabo Espichel—a wild, wind-swept spot where giant waves crash against towering cliffs. It is a place to appreciate the raw beauty of nature and is often a great place for sunset.

Day 10: Drive to the Algarve, Explore Lagos

The famous landscapes of the western Algarve 

After breakfast this morning, you'll make the drive from Comporta to the Algarve, about two hours south. Choose the coastal route and take your time, stopping in Vila Nova de Milfontes for lunch at the mouth of the Mira River or in Aljezur, the sweet potato capital of Portugal.

Eventually, you'll reach Lagos, a charming coastal destination with a walled Old Town, a pretty harbor, dramatic sandstone cliffs, beautiful beaches, authentic restaurants, and buzzing nightlife. While the Algarve is a popular destination for summer holidays, Lagos still retains its distinctive character and laid-back charm. Use the rest of the afternoon to laze on the nearby beaches, Meia Praia or Praia Dona Ana, or explore the historic center.

Day 11: Catamaran Cruise to Benagil Cave, Visit Sagres & Cabo São Vicente

Benagil Caves
Benagil Cave is the result of wind and water over time

Explore the Algarve's iconic soaring cliffs and curious coastal formations today with a boat cruise. Depart Lagos destined for the world-famous Benagil Cave. Along the way, you'll pass the beaches of Carvoeiro and Algar Seco, as well as the Alfanzina Lighthouse and Praia da Marinha's stunning views. Relax on the catamaran's twin sunbathing nets and enjoy the gentle breeze as you cruise along this unforgettable coastline, exploring secret spots only accessible by sea. Anchor in the coves of João de Arens to swim and snorkel before returning to shore.

This evening you could visit the small, peaceful whitewashed village of Sagres and explore the most dramatic coastal scenery in the Algarve. Sagres feels like the end of the world today, so try to imagine how the Portuguese explorers felt during the country's Age of Discovery when they set sail from here to explore the uncharted world. As twilight approaches, go to Europe's southwesterly point, Cabo São Vicente. It's the perfect spot to watch the sun sink into the Atlantic Ocean while enjoying a glass of wine.

Day 12: Hike the Coastal Fisherman's Trail, Visit Ilha da Barreta

Boardwalk trails near Bordeira lead off into the evening sunshine (photo courtesy of mountaintreks)
Boardwalk trails near Bordeira on the Rota Vicentina

The most authentic way to explore the rural countryside and coastline of southern Portugal is with the Rota Vicentina. This network of trails runs for 280 miles (450 km) through the western Alentejo and western Algarve regions. Today you'll start in Bordeira, embarking on a self-guided hike along a portion of the epic trail. You'll follow a circular route through pine forests, sweeping beaches, and past vast sand dunes. 

The name—Ilha Deserta—literally means Deserted Island, which is a fitting name for the village-less sand island that you'll visit today. Located off the coast of Faro, the island (also known as Ilha da Barreta) is famous for its beautiful beach and unspoiled nature. It's truly a paradise in the Algarve, stretching for about 4 miles (7 km). The main appeal of this beach is its remoteness and its unspoiled nature. You'll need to catch a regular ferry service to reach the island and take your own towels. You can still rent umbrellas and loungers, and you'll find showers and a restaurant too.

Day 13: Transfer to Tarifa Port, Ferry to Tangier (Morocco), Food Tour

The ancient city of Tangier, sitting by the coast

Today you'll board a ferry for Africa! Drop off your rental car and take a private transfer from the Algarve to the coastal town of Algeciras in Spain, where you'll take a boat from Tarifa Port to Tangier in Morocco. Tangier is known as the gateway between Europe and Africa. Stretching along the Maghreb Coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier offers a remarkable blend of cultures. Several influences have shaped the city for centuries, attracting artists, spies, and eccentric foreigners.

Once you're in Tangier, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Then it's time to start exploring. First stop—a food tour. Go on a journey through the medina, where you'll visit the community bakery where locals bring their breads and cookies. Learn about traditional Moroccan spices and their culinary and medicinal uses, and indulge in a variety of street food. Savor regional specialties, including grilled meats, fried sardines, and braised stews, plus honey-drenched cookies, dates, and dried figs.

Day 14: Private Tour of Tangier

Pause to enjoy a traditional Moroccan mint tea with views of Tangier's old medina

Get to know Moroccan culture with a private guided visit. Meander around the Kasbah and Medina districts, passing places such as the 17th-century Sultan's Palace, which has been turned into a museum filled with fascinating antiquities, including Roman remains, crafts, pots, chandeliers, and rugs. Stroll through the intricate lanes leading to Bab Bhar (Gate to the Sea), offering stunning views of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Iberian Peninsula, the vibrant port of Tangier, and the Ville Nouvelle.

Appreciate the cultural diversity and unique lifestyle passed on through generations with the communal ovens used for baking bread, the weaver's section, and tiny restaurants you would not venture into without a local. By the end of the tour, you'll feel closer to the people of Tangier and have the confidence to continue exploring on your own.

Day 15: Transfer to Asilah, Explore the Town

Asilah has whitewashed buildings with typical Arabic architecture

This morning a private driver will take you on the short journey to Asilah with a special pit stop at the so-called Hercules Caves. This special place has both geological and mythological stories. The legend of this place says Hercules slept in the caves after separating the European and African continents. Explore the caves, then continue south to Asilah, a lively and artsy beach town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

This seaside town is a popular holiday destination. Here you'll find a mix of Spanish heritage and Moroccan traditions with a beautiful, uncrowded beach and artistic shops around town. Start by exploring the paintings of the medina, one of the cleanest and most well-maintained in Morocco, then climb the Portuguese-made ramparts, visit the El-Hamra Tower, and see the Mzora Stone Circle, which dates back to the fourth millennium BCE. Finally, visit the Nashia Bazaar, which is one of the largest souks in town.

Day 16: Transfer to Rabat, Self-Guided Tour

Tour Hassan
Hassan Tower is the minaret of an incomplete mosque

This morning you'll take a comfortable two-hour private transfer to Rabat, the capital of Morocco since 1956 and a bustling UNESCO World Heritage city. Embark on a self-guided tour, starting at the Royal Palace of Rabat and the medieval Chellah Necropolis, where you can wander the Roman and Islamic ruins. Stroll through the medina to find the Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohamed V, an abandoned 12th-century project that features the minaret of an incomplete mosque and hundreds of columns.

Spend time in the historic medina—stop at the souks to browse local crafts and gifts, such as rugs, spices, slippers, jewelry, leather, and more. Remember that bartering is part of the fun! Next, visit the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens and enjoy the serene space away from the crowds. The lush terraces are filled with paths, exotic plants, flowers, and fruit trees. End at the grand door of the Kasbah des Oudaïas, the gate out of Rabat's old city center and the Musée des Oudaïas handicrafts museum. Admire the white and blue architecture, then relax at your accommodation.

Day 17: Transfer to Marrakesh, Private Tour of Marrakesh

Shopping in the Souks of Marrakech
Bartering is part of the game when it comes to shopping in Marrakesh
This morning take a private 3.5-hour transfer to Marrakesh, "the Red City." Later this afternoon, a guide will meet you at the hotel for a half-day guided visit, leading you past historical sites such as the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadien Tombs, the 19th-century Bahia Palace, and the Jewish Quarter. Wind your way through the colorful and lively UNESCO World Heritage-listed medina, visiting different artisan areas within the souks where you can barter for souvenirs or gifts.

Day 18: Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Free Afternoon

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Marrakech
A hot-air balloon over Marrakesh at sunrise gives you great views of the High Atlas mountains

Witness the desert landscape of Marrakesh from above with a hot-air balloon ride. Despite the early wake-up call, it's worth it to experience the sunrise over the red desert. The serene atmosphere created by the pastel colors, soft lighting, and crisp early-morning air offers a stark contrast to the vibrant hustle and bustle of Marrakesh. Admire the stunning scenery as you float over arid hills, quaint villages, and patches of greenery, all set against the stunning mountain backdrop. Indulge in a delicious Moroccan breakfast pastry while still in the air, then float back to earth.

The afternoon is yours to explore at your pace. You could barter for souvenirs or gifts, book yourself a relaxing hammam or traditional Moroccan bathhouse experience, or take a taxi to Majorelle Gardens and enjoy the lush, expansive gardens filled with subtropical plants, bamboo, lilies, and palms. In the early evening, venture to the central square of Jemaa el-Fna, which comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, games, food stalls, and more after dark. If the excitement is too intense on the ground, look for a rooftop café on the square and relax while watching the fun.

Day 19: Foodie Experience in Essaouira

The town of Essaouira
Turquoise seas meet the historic fortified walls of Essaouira

Embark on a private full-day trip to the charming coastal city of Essaouira and discover a different side of Morocco. This city has a long history of diverse influences, from Indigenous Berbers and Phoenicians to Romans, and today it's a hub for the artsy and young surfer crowd. After a scenic 2.5-hour drive from Marrakesh, follow your guide through Essaouira's medina, with bright and wide streets that cover an impressive 75 acres (30 ha).

Savor local specialties such as ma'akouda, sfinge, or nougat, visit the bustling port with its bobbing blue boats and fortified walls, and experience a mini-cooking class and meal at a local Saouri home. Then, join a walking food tour in the afternoon, exploring the souks, street vendors, leafy plazas, and whitewashed houses with ornate wooden doors. Take time to stop into various traditional shops and pick up some ceramics, spices, leather goods, or shoes before the return journey back to Marrakesh.

Day 20: Transfer to Casablanca, Private Tour of Hassan II Mosque

Sunset at the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
Sunset bounces off the reflective Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Early this morning, you'll take a private three-hour transfer to Casablanca, the Art Deco capital of Africa. You'll drive via the coastal route, visiting two old Portuguese fortified cities along the way. Stop at El Jadida to tour the hauntingly beautiful Portuguese cistern and walk the ramparts, then continue to Azemour, a place that has inspired many Moroccan artists over the decades. Life here is still traditional despite its proximity to cosmopolitan Casablanca. Your driver will take you to a local fish market for lunch, where nearby restaurants grill up the freshest fish from the Atlantic.

On arrival in Casablanca, join a guided tour of the Hassan II Mosque. The largest mosque in Morocco, and the only one open to non-Muslim tourists, you'll explore the superb architectural masterpiece and learn about its history. Your guide will help you admire the ornate design with beautiful green hues and mosaic tiles, lavish wood, marble and carved stone interiors, and arched ornamented ceilings.

Day 21: Depart Casablanca

Beautiful mosaic tables and silver teapots for sale in Casablanca
Beautiful mosaic tables and silver teapots for sale in Casablanca
It's time to say goodbye to Portugal and Morocco. If you have time before your flight today, venture into the more modern souks of Casablanca and shop for last-minute spices, slippers, and souvenirs. At the designated time, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for the 45-minute transfer to the airport for 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 three weeks in Portugal and Morocco, or discover the best time to visit Portugal.


Map of Journey  Along the Atlantic Coast: Portugal to Morocco - 21 Days
Map of Journey Along the Atlantic Coast: Portugal to Morocco - 21 Days