This 10-day trip splits time between Portugal's exciting capital and its southern coast while moving at a relaxed pace. Kick off the adventure in up-and-coming Lisbon for a guided introduction to the 'City of Seven Hills', including nearby highlights like Sintra and Cascais. Then, choose your own day-trip before taking the train to Lagos for several days of golden beaches and picturesque villages in the Algarve.

Highlights

  • Enjoy an evening gastronomy tour around Lisbon on your first night
  • Walk and ride the tram through cool up-and-coming districts like Alfama
  • Visit Sintra's pastel-hued highlights including a 16th-century monastery
  • Choose between fun day-trip options, like kayaking in Arrábida Natural Park
  • Spend your last few days beach-hopping and dining on seafood in and around Lagos

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon - Culinary Excursion Lisbon
Day 2 Half-Day Tour of Lisbon Lisbon
Day 3 Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 4 Free Day in Lisbon Lisbon
Day 5 Transfer from Lisbon to Lagos by Train Lagos
Days 6-9 Explore Lagos & the Algarve Region Lagos
Day 10 Transfer from Lagos to Lisbon by Train - Depart Portugal  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon - Culinary Excursion

Welcome to Lisbon!
Welcome to Lisbon!

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon's airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring. 

When evening hits, you'll take part in a gourmet food tour in Lisbon—a great way to experience the city for the first time! Wear a good pair of walking shoes because you, along with your English-speaking guide, will meander through a series of authentic winding alleys tasting the incredible flavors of Portuguese gastronomy, especially in the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique—practically a city within the city—that sets the food culture and gastronomic trends of Lisbon.

Over the course of four hours, you will visit seven spots that brilliantly link tradition with modernity. Experience ways that locals have reinvented restaurant concepts, including a market and hotel school while getting a taste of culinary recipes that have become world-famous.

Day 2: Half-Day Tour of Lisbon

Statue at Praca do Comercio
Statue at Praca do Comercio

Today you'll get to discover Lisbon on a half-day tour visiting key sites and some well-kept secrets, exposing the city's unique atmosphere and authenticity. This will be a fun adventure as you travel around the city utilizing the yellow tram system broken up with relaxed strolls. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes. 

The tour includes the following:

  • Praça do Comércio: the largest of Lisbon’s plazas
  • Baixa: the 'new city', built after the devastating  1755 earthquake
  • Praça da Figueira: Lisbon’s traditional market square
  • Rossio: the heart of downtown Lisbon
  • Iron Lift Viewpoint: a stellar 360º view over the downtown district
  • Largo do Carmo: the setting for the democratic revolution of 1974
  • Carmo ruins: the only Gothic monument of the city
  • St. Roque Church: a Baroque extravaganza
  • Bairro Alto: the lively bohemian district
  • Chiado: the city's most elegant shopping area
  • Portas do Sol: a breathtaking view over Alfama (the Old Town)

In the evening, you'll dine at one of the best Fado restaurants in Lisbon for traditional Portuguese cuisine interspersed with authentic singing and music.

Day 3: Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Sintra's fairytale setting near Lisbon
Sintra's fairytale setting near Lisbon

The area surrounding Lisbon offers an incredible variety of architecture and scenery, from fairytale palaces to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. Today's guided excursion is the ideal way to experience some of these attractions. 

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will deliver you to the first stop on the tour: Sintra. This village—about 30 minutes by car from the capital—is a harmonic combination of history and fantasy, described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron in the 18th century. You will have free time to explore on your own and have lunch, and your guide can recommend some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that are worth a visit. 

Your next stop will be the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal and mainland Europe. Enjoy the gorgeous views across the Atlantic Ocean as waves crash onto the shore. On the return trip to Lisbon, you will have time to appreciate the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and nowadays an excellent spot for surfing. You'll also be able to visit the luxury entertainment town of Estoril, known for its casino (the largest in Europe) and attractive gardens. 

After the excursion, you'll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Lisbon any way you'd like.

Day 4: Free Day in Lisbon

You can kayak in the calm waters of Arrábida Natural Park
You can kayak in the calm waters of Arrábida Natural Park

Today, you'll have a free day in Lisbon to enjoy the city any way you'd like! If you've seen enough of the city and are anxious to explore other areas, here are some excellent day-trip ideas:

  • Fátima & Nazaré: Religiously significant, Fatimá is the site of an important Catholic shrine, Our Lady of Fatima. From there you'll continue to the coastal town of Nazaré for a completely different type of sightseeing: the site of the biggest wave ever surfed.

  • Jeronimos Monastery: This glorious example of ancient architecture was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Located near the Tagu River, the monastery was commissioned in the late 15th century by King Manuel I, to honor Our Lady and Saint Jerome.

  • Sesimbra: This is a great village to stroll along the beach and just watch the world go by. You can also pay a visit to Sesimbra's beautifully-restored central church, or head uphill to Sesimbra Castle. If you have time on the way back, you can also make a stop in Almada for spectacular views over Lisbon.

  • Óbidos: The historical medieval village of Óbidos definitely merits its own day trip. Surely one of the best-preserved old towns in Portugal, visitors will be delighted by its cobbled streets and sunnily painted houses.

  • Arrábida Natural Park: For something more active, take a kayaking trip in Arrábida Natural Park and admire the gorgeous views from the water as you paddle through its tranquil river systems. You’ll have the chance to discover numerous hidden caves and secluded beaches; pack a picnic lunch. 

  • Knights Templar: Visit the villages of Constância and Tomar and learn about the intriguing story of the holy order of warrior monks. 

  • Évora: One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, you'll find narrow, winding lanes leading to an impressive number of important architectural works. Évora's also a lively university town with great restaurants. 

Day 5: Transfer from Lisbon to Lagos by Train

Lagos is known for stunning beaches
Lagos is known for stunning beaches

This morning, you'll get yourself to the train station for the trip to Lagos (about 5 hours). This is a town on the western end of the Algarve Region, situated along Portugal's picturesque southern coast. 

Once you've arrived at Lagos Railway Station, you'll make your way to the hotel for check-in and then have the rest of the day to explore on your own. Lagos is known for its charming inner-walled old town, pretty harbor, dramatic sandstone cliffs, beautiful beaches, as well as authentic restaurants and buzzing nightlife. Locals are proud to say that Lagos has not succumbed to mass tourism like other cities in the Algarve, and the city still retains its distinctive character and laid-back charm. 

The best way to start is by walking around!

Days 6-9: Explore Lagos & the Algarve Region

Take the wooden walkway to scenic Praia do Camilo in Lagos
Take the wooden walkway to scenic Praia do Camilo in Lagos

Today, you'll have the entire day to explore the incredibly scenic area in and around Lagos, its nearby beaches, and the larger Algarve Region any way you'd like.

If you haven't spent much time in the port city of Lagos yet, it's definitely worth some time to wander through its 16th-century inner walls for cobblestoned streets and inviting squares. You'll also find a great range of restaurants and nightlife options both inside and outside the walls (not surprisingly, outside is more modern).

If beaches are high on the list, you'll find a number of dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, watersports, and boat excursions. For example, there's Pinhao Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another option is the Ponta da Piedade, which offers more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo enjoys a memorable view from the top while 200 wooden steps lead to a sheltered sandy cove. 

The scenery doesn't stop there: If you have a car, the surrounding Algarve region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.

Day 10: Transfer from Lagos to Lisbon by Train - Depart Portugal

Lisbon's Abril Bridge
Lisbon's Abril Bridge

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal! This morning you'll make your way to the railway station for a train ride to Lisbon. Upon arrival, transfer to the airport for your departure. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Lisbon & the Algarve - 10 Days
Map of Lisbon & the Algarve - 10 Days