This 12-day adventure checks off Portugal's classic highlights before escaping to the untamed nature and remote beauty of the Azores. Embark on a perfect itinerary of day trips, culinary tours, and cultural excursions as you discover Lisbon and Porto, then set out across the Atlantic to explore volcanic valleys, crater lakes, and towering waterfalls on the magical island of São Miguel.

Highlights

  • Stroll past colorful tiles & historic landmarks in Lisbon's Belém neighborhood
  • Be charmed by the medieval whitewashed village of Óbidos
  • Sample Porto's distinctive flavors on an immersive culinary tour
  • Discover an unspoiled paradise on the "Green Island" of São Miguel  
  • Get lost in the Azores' subtropical forests, volcanic lagoons & lush valleys
     

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon Lisbon
Day 2 Explore Lisbon, Azulejo Tile Workshop & Fado Dinner Lisbon
Day 3 Day Trip to Sintra via Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 4 Transfer to Porto via Óbidos, Batalha, Fátima & Coimbra Porto
Day 5 Discover Porto & Afternoon Food Tour Porto
Day 6 Port Wine Cellars & Tasting Experience Porto
Day 7 Fly to Ponta Delgada & Explore Western São Miguel  São Miguel Island
Day 8 Tour Central São Miguel: Lagoa Fogo, Caldeira Velha & Ribeira Grande São Miguel Island
Day 9 Furnas Valley Tour, Discover Eastern São Miguel São Miguel Island
Day 10 Fly Back to Lisbon Lisbon
Day 11 Free Day in Lisbon  Lisbon
Day 12 Transfer to Lisbon Airport & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon

The red rooftops of Lisbon's Alfama district
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon Airport, a private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your accommodation in the capital. Depending on your arrival time, spend the afternoon settling into your hotel or take a stroll around the Alfama district for quaint alleys, cathedrals, and great little cafés to sit and enjoy the sounds and sights of the city. As evening falls, enjoy a drink in Rossio Square or head to the Bairro Alto district for an authentic Portuguese meal.

Day 2: Explore Lisbon, Azulejo Tile Workshop & Fado Dinner

A traditionally-tiled trolley on the streets of Lisbon

Spend today exploring most of the Old Town of Lisbon, one of the world's oldest and most beautiful cities. Walk its narrow and hilly streets, admire its intricately tiled sidewalks, visit important historic sites, climb to panoramic viewpoints, and taste the delicious local gastronomy. You'll also spend some time getting to know the Belém quarter, famous for its monuments from the age of the Portuguese Discoveries and one of the most renowned Portuguese delicacies, the pastel de Belém (custard tart).

In the afternoon, you'll head to a local workshop to learn about azulejos (the decorative tiles adorning many of the city's most beautiful buildings) and use traditional techniques to create the perfect keepsake of Lisbon Then it's on to a local restaurant to experience the splendor of fado music firsthand. Known for its haunting melodies, fado originated in the poorer quarters of Lisbon, singing of all the sadness, sorrow, and longing of day-to-day living. Tonight you'll immerse yourself in the beauty of this art form as you enjoy dinner serenaded by a soundtrack of live music. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Sintra via Cascais & Estoril

The fairytale Pena Palace overlooking Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
Your private driver will be waiting this morning to transfer you into the picturesque countryside and coastline around Lisbon—starting with visits to Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and the luxurious seaside resort of Estoril.
 
Continue past the sweeping vistas of Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, and end your trip in the fairytale village of Sintra. Set among the lush mountains and forests of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to fantastical palaces and manor houses, including the iconic yellow Pena National Palace and the Castle of the Moors.

Day 4: Transfer to Porto via Óbidos, Batalha, Fátima & Coimbra

Fortress walls surrounding the beautiful whitewashed village of Óbidos
Today you'll head north towards Porto, visiting some of Portugal's most historic cities and villages along the way. Start in Óbidos, a fortified village in Portugal's Estremadura region that dates back to the Middle Ages. Filled with picturesque houses bordered by an imposing Moorish wall it's known as Vila das Rainhas or "Town of the Queens." Take a walk through its cobblestone streets, climb its ancient fortifying wall, and try the local delicacy of ginginha—a sour cherry liquor often served in a chocolate cup.
 
Nearby you'll find Batalha, worth a visit for its magnificent 14th-century Batalha Monastery, and Fátima, home to one of the most important Catholic sanctuaries in the world and visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. Nearing Porto, take some time to explore Coimbra, one of the most storied cities in Portuguese history as well as the oldest.
 
The former medieval capital is most famous for its 13th-century University of Coimbra, which is a great place to start your sightseeing. Bibliophiles will love its Baroque library, home to over 200,000 books and considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Next door you'll find the intricately tiled Chapel of Saint Michael, and don't miss a scenic stroll through the historic center before getting back on the road and continuing to Porto for the evening.
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Day 5: Discover Porto & Afternoon Food Tour

Traditional fishing boats along Porto's riverfront
Head out on your own today to immerse yourself in the colorful neighborhoods and rich history of Portugal's second city. Stroll through the cobblestone lanes of the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, admire soaring Gothic churches, wander the bustling stalls of world-class food markets, and climb to breathtaking views over the Douro River
 
In the afternoon, you'll embark on a gastronomic discovery of Porto as you visit five unique, family-run locations and enjoy a hand-selected tasting menu of classic Portuguese dishes and drinks. Discover the city's most charming and authentic neighborhoods as you sample flavorful offerings, meet local purveyors, and learn about the remarkable culinary renaissance that Porto is experiencing.

Day 6: Port Wine Cellars & Tasting Experience

Visit a port cellar to sample Portugal's famous fortified wine
This morning is free for you to enjoy and explore Porto at your leisure. You could check out chic shops, sample delicious goods at its famed market, wander the gardens of the Serralves Foundation and explore the museum's contemporary artwork, or work up an appetite with a stroll along the river as you sink into the rhythm of this beautiful city. Later on, you'll join a guided tour of the cellars of Casa Ferreirinha, producer of celebrated Barca Velha and port wines, for an immersive tasting experience and the perfect introduction to Porto's most famous wine.

Day 7: Fly to Ponta Delgada & Explore Western São Miguel

Ponta Delgada's Portas da Cidade (City Gates)
It's time to bid the mainland farewell and transfer to the airport to catch your flight to the Azores. Located roughly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) off Portugal's Atlantic coast, this archipelago of nine islands is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique landscapes of dormant volcanoes, lush greenery, and turquoise crater lakes. Your destination is the Azores' largest city of Ponta Delgada, located on São Miguel Island, where you'll be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel to get settled in. 

In the afternoon, join your guide to explore the western side of the island. Among the highlights, you'll find the verdant volcanic landscapes of Sete Cidades and its neighboring lagoons and trails. This area is a hiker's paradise and one of the most beautiful parts of the Azores to explore on foot. Upon reaching the Sete Cidades Lagoon, trade your walking shoes for a canoe or kayak and explore the shores from a different vantage point. Afterward, don't miss the Ponta da Ferraria, a natural pool where hot springs mix with coastal seawater to create a warm pool among volcanic rocks.

Day 8: Tour Central São Miguel: Lagoa Fogo, Caldeira Velha & Ribeira Grande

Views across the crater lake of Lagoa do Fogo
Today your guide will introduce you to the central area of São Miguel, located between the two biggest cities on the island: Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Grande. Heading north via a mountain road, your first stop will be at a panoramic viewpoint that overlooks Lagoa do Fogo, arguably the most scenic lagoon in São Miguel. Further down the road, don't miss the Caldeira Velha, a geothermal phenomenon with warm pools where you might want to go for a dip! 

Reaching Ribeira Grande, you can visit the main church as well as the central garden of this town, also known as the Jardim do Paraíso (Paradise Garden). Continue west to the beach of Areais de Santa Bárbara, one of the island's most stunning stretches of shore, then head east through the tea plantations of Gorreana and Porto Formoso (the only permanent tea plantations in Europe). Along the way, you'll make a few stops at local viewpoints (such as Ponta do Cintrão or Santa Iria) and allow yourself to be amazed by the overwhelming beauty of the island.

Day 9: Furnas Valley Tour, Discover Eastern São Miguel

A path along São Miguel's east coast from Ponta do Sossego
Visit some highlights of São Miguel's Furnas Valley today—home to the largest number of volcanic phenomena in the Azores, as well as some of its most dramatic landscapes. Discover the hot springs and fumaroles (volcanic steam vents) of Furnas Village, as well as the spectacular Furnas Lagoon, whose shores are used as the "kitchen" of cozidos das Furnas, a stew cooked only through geothermal heat from a hole in the ground. If you've worked up an appetite exploring, you'll have the opportunity to sample some of this local delicacy before getting back on the road.
 
In the afternoon, tour the eastern side of São Miguel and explore one of the island's most pristine and least-visited areas. See the picturesque waterfalls of Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park, then skirt the entire eastern coast, stopping at stunning viewpoints like Ponta da Madrugada and Ponta do Sossego along the way. If you feel like visiting some truly unspoiled nature, head to Pico da Vara in the center of Laurissilva—a rare and magical subtropical forest that is only found in a few archipelagos in the northern Atlantic.

Day 10: Fly Back to Lisbon

Sunrise over São Miguel's Ponta do Arnel Lighthouse
After a final morning in the Azores, it's time to say goodbye to your island paradise and fly back to Lisbon. Depending on your time of arrival, you can spend the afternoon relaxing at your hotel or head out to explore more of the city. 

Day 11: Free Day in Lisbon

Blue skies over Lisbon's 16th-century Jeronimos Monastery
Spend your final day in Portugal relaxing and exploring Lisbon at your own pace. A great option could be spending some time at the Parque das Nações, a recent development on the east side of the city by the river. Designed and built from scratch to house the World Exhibition of 1998, it houses a fascinating selection of museums and attractions, including the Oceanário, considered the best aquarium in Europe.
 
Head to the LX Factory for cool street art alongside a selection of restaurants, bars, and shops, or treat your tastebuds to an afternoon at the Timeout Market, where the shining stars of Lisbon's gastronomy are gathered under one roof. The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian should be at the top of the list for any art lovers visiting the capital, while the breathtaking Jeronimos Monastery in picture-perfect Belém is one of Lisbon's can't-miss highlights.

Day 12: Transfer to Lisbon Airport & Depart

Sunset over Lisbon's Abril Bridge

After a final leisurely breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the Lisbon Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels and boa viagem!

More Great 12-Day Portugal Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal? Check out these other 12-day Portugal itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.  

Map

Map of Lisbon, Porto & the Azores - 12 Days
Map of Lisbon, Porto & the Azores - 12 Days