- Take a culinary tour of Ports and sample local delicacies
- Hike to a stunning waterfall in Peneda-Gerês National Park
- Take a private guided tour of Lisbon's highlights
- Go surfing in Sagres or Milfontes
- Unwind on the Algarve's iconic beaches
|Day 1||Arrive in Porto - Culinary Excursion||Porto|
|Day 2||Get to Know Porto||Porto|
|Day 3||Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park||Braga|
|Day 4||Viana do Castelo via Braga||Viana do Castelo|
|Day 5||Viana do Castelo||Viana do Castelo|
|Day 6||Nazaré via Aveiro||Nazaré|
|Day 7||Lisbon via Alcobaça & Óbidos||Lisbon|
|Day 8||Guided tour of Lisbon & Evening of Fado||Lisbon|
|Day 9||Explore Évora and the Alentejo region||Évora|
|Day 10||Aljezur via Vila Nova de Milfontes||Aljezur|
|Day 12||Travel to Lagos via Sagres||Lagos|
|Day 13||Explore Lagos & the Algarve||Lagos|
|Day 14||Drive to Lisbon & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Porto & Culinary Excursion
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Porto'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.
In the late afternoon, you'll learn about Porto and its cuisine with a 3.5-hour walking tour of the historic downtown. Guided by a friendly English-speaking native, this excursion offers a first-hand look at the culinary renaissance that the city is experiencing, including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants that are adopting old methods.
You'll take part in several distinct tasting locations that harken back to an era of simple, quality products and recipes created by people who love what they do. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so unique. Furthermore, you'll witness the revival of Portuguese cuisine while you explore local restaurants, cafes, and stores offering the best of Porto.
The evening, of course, would not be complete without an introduction to the famous drink of Porto: Port wine. As you taste three different versions, including one vintage, you will learn about the history of this drink and why it is a timeless favorite.
Day 2: Get to Know Porto
Today is a great introduction to Porto! After breakfast at the hotel, you'll join a half-day tour of the city with a local guide. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city as you travel from place to place in a comfortable private vehicle.
Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of the city. Here you'll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city's most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most important museums and modern local treasures.
Next, you'll head to the city center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — to admire renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, and Bolhão Market, to name a few.
After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you'll finish your tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
Rest up, then head back out in the evening for another tour, one centered on the city's exciting food scene. This is your chance to get off the well-worn tourist path for a side of Porto that travelers rarely see. You'll be welcomed by local families in their small, authentic restaurants, cafés, and bars as you taste a range of traditional dishes, local pastries, and of course, Portuguese wines.
Day 3: Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park
Immerse yourself in Portugal’s wild landscape on a full-day small-group tour of Peneda-Gerês National Park, where you can hike incredible mountains, admire local fauna and flora, drink in amazing viewpoints, and splash around in mesmerizing waterfalls.
The park will greet you on your drive with incredible views of the lush mountains, turquoise waterways, and iconic bridges. You'll head out on a mellow but gorgeous trek to see beautiful lagoons and the stunning Tahiti Waterfall. If you like, you can also go for a dip in the therapeutic (though cold!) waters. You'll also enjoy a traditional picnic lunch at Pedra Bella, one of Gerês' most iconic viewpoints while you rest with the mountain at your feet and admire the incredible surrounding scenery.
After your excursion, you'll travel to the charming town of Braga, a must-see destination loaded with charm where you'll spend the night. Explore the city's streets as the sun sets and ask your specialist for a recommendation for a great restaurant in town for this evening's dinner!
Day 4: Travel to Viana do Castelo via Braga
After breakfast, explore more of historic Braga. Visit the sanctuaries here that comprise the "Triangle of Faith": the ancient Braga Cathedral — one of the most important buildings in the country thanks to its long history and magnificent representations of different architectural styles — as well as the important pilgrimage sites of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and Our Lady of Sameiro.
Take some time to wander through the quaint city at your own speed and perhaps pop into local stores to do some shopping. After a delicious lunch in town, you'll hit the road again to your final destination: the stunning city of Viana do Castelo. If you're inspired to take in a stunning sunset view, head to the beautiful Santa Luzia church and admire its exquisite architectural detail before tucking into a delicious dinner.
Day 5: Viana do Castelo
After breakfast this morning, you'll have the day to discover the extraordinary Viana do Castelo, the jewel of the Costa Verde. Wander around this beautiful town, lounge on its nearby beaches, or head out to the valley nearby; today is yours to tackle however you like.
If you're itching for exploration, spend the day walking the city, taking in its beautiful medieval center and riverfront. In the old quarter, you'll be charmed by leafy 19th-century boulevards, narrow lanes crowded with Manueline manors, and rococo palaces — all under the watchful gaze of the dramatic, pearly white Neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia church, perched on a hilltop high above the town. To visit the top, you can drive, hike, or ride the small cable car up the mountain.
Stop into the Gil Eannes, a former war hospital ship now open as a museum, then when hunger strikes, line up for one of the city's delectable specialties: bolas de berlim, a mouthwatering custard-filled donut dusted with sugar. The treats sell out twice a day but are definitely worth the wait!
If you're interested in checking out the areas beyond the city, you have some great options. Viana's setting by the Rio Lima estuary makes the town a great jumping-off point for exploring the lower Lima Valley, and you'll also find some lovely beaches just outside the city center.
Day 6: Travel to Nazaré via Aveiro
Today you'll head south, stopping first for a self-guided tour of the charming enclave of Aveiro. Situated on the edge of an extensive coastal lagoon system, Aveiro is a prosperous town with a beautiful city center and a youthful, energetic buzz. It's sometimes dubbed the "Venice of Portugal" thanks to its small network of picturesque canals. But where the Italian city has gondolas, Aveiro has moliceiros — colorful boats traditionally used for seaweed-harvesting but now used for canal cruises.
After lunch, you'll continue to Nazaré, whose warren of narrow, cobbled lanes run down to a wide, cliff-backed beach. Wander around town, being sure to catch a pretty sunset overlooking the ocean, and relax as you enjoy the quiet of being off-the-beaten-path this evening.
Day 7: Travel to Lisbon via Alcobaça & Óbidos
After breakfast, you'll make the two-hour drive to Lisbon. Along the way, enjoy a few fun stops starting with Alcobaça, a town with a charming center complete with a little river and bijou bridges, as well as the magnificent 12th-century Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça — one of Portugal’s most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Next, you continue to adorable Óbidos. Surrounded by a classic crenelated wall, Óbidos’ gorgeous historic center is a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and flower-bedecked, whitewashed houses livened up with dashes of vivid yellow and blue paint. You will have time to take a self-guided visit around this historic village with its stunning castle, which dates back almost a thousand years.
From here, continue to Lisbon, where you'll have the evening to relax and wander the lively streets. Your specialist will have some great recommendations for eateries here in Portugal's up-and-coming capital.
Day 8: Guided tour of Lisbon & Evening of Fado
Discover Lisbon on a half-day tour that takes you through key sites and some well-kept secrets, introducing you to the city's unique vibe. You'll travel around utilizing the yellow tram system, broken up with relaxed strolls. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes!
On your tour, you'll discover highlights like Praça do Comércio, Lisbon's largest plaza; the "new city" of Baixa (built after the devastating 1755 earthquake); Praça da Figueira, Lisbon’s traditional market square; and Rossio, the heart of downtown.
Bring your camera for your stop at the wonderful Iron Lift Viewpoint, which gives way to a stellar 360º panorama overlooking downtown. There's also a fantastic stop at Portas do So, where you'll be treated to a breathtaking panorama over Alfama (the Old Town). Your guide will also take you to sights like Largo do Carmo — the setting for the democratic revolution of 1974 —and the Baroque extravaganza of St. Roque Church. Keep an eye out for funky finds in the Bairro Alto, the lively bohemian district, or perhaps lean into high roller status with an investment piece in Chiado, the city's most elegant shopping area.
After your tour, spend the afternoon enjoying Lisbon on your own; stroll around the city's gorgeous streets or ask your guide for a recommendation for a perfect coffee or a glass of wine that you can enjoy as you watch the city pass you by.
In the evening, you'll dine at one of the best Fado restaurants in Lisbon; enjoy a sumptuous meal of traditional Portuguese cuisine interspersed with authentic singing and music.
Day 9: Explore Évora and the Alentejo region
Today you'll have a full-day excursion of the Alentejo region, where the pace of life slows amid the area's quiet golden plains. This sparsely populated yet vast swath of land between the Algarve region and Lisbon offers scenic rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards, and charming fortified towns with several walking trails, Neolithic monuments, rustic wineries, and cork production facilities.
Enjoy the slower rhythm here; residents in the Alentejo region are more traditional than in other parts of Portugal, something you'll see reflected in their home-cooked cuisine and beautiful handicrafts. Get to know the locals and their cultures today as you visit medieval villages, a cork forest, a winery, and Neolithic monuments. You'll also tuck into a delectable lunch at a traditional Alentejo cuisine restaurant before you head to Évora for the rest of the day.
A UNESCO-recognized city, Évora is filled with monuments including some dedicated to the golden age of Portuguese maritime discoveries. You'll also find ancient ruins at the Templo Romano, gorgeous medieval landmarks, and a lively dining scene.
Day 10: Travel to Aljezur via Vila Nova de Milfontes
Enjoy breakfast before hitting the road towards the Algarve. You'll stop along the way at Vila Nova de Milfontes, one of the loveliest towns along this stretch of the coast. Here you'll find a quaint city-center with whitewashed buildings, sparkling beaches and a laid-back community who can't imagine living anywhere else.
Milfontes is much more low-key than most nearby resort towns, except in August when it’s packed to the hilt with surfers and sun-seekers who swell the usually small population. The city is located in the middle of the beautiful Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina and still serves as a port alongside a lovely, sand-edged limb of the estuary.
Explore Vila Nova de Milfontes for as long as you like, then continue to Aljezur for the evening. Depending on what time you make it into town, head to the coast above the city's iconic rock formations to watch the sunset. Then enjoy fresh seafood at one of the town's delicious eateries.
Day 11: Aljezur
Spend today exploring the coast around Aljezur. Straddling a narrow river, Aljezur is split between its western Moorish section (with a collection of cottages below a ruined 10th-century hilltop castle) and its hilltop eastern section, known as Igreja Nova (New Church).
Nearby beaches, edged by black rocks that reach into the white-tipped, bracing sea, are surfing hotspots. So if the ocean calls, by all means, catch a wave! The surrounding countryside, which is part of the natural park, is a tangle of yellow, mauve and green wiry gorse and heather. However you explore the area, you're sure to surrender to laid back vibes that will help you unwind.
Day 12: Travel to Lagos via Sagres
Today you will continue along the coast to Lagos, making a stop en route in Sagres, whose cape is the westernmost point of the Algarve. Sagres is a great destination for nature lovers who appreciate raw beauty. The region is formed of massive cliffs and vast beaches, which are pounded by huge waves that roll in from the Atlantic Ocean. Those waves are also a big draw for surfers, so rent a board and hit the waters if you're interested in going for a ride.
After some time taking in the dramatic coastline and charming town, continue to Lagos, a spectacular seafaring town on the western side of the Algarve Region, situated along Portugal's southern coast. Upon arrival, you'll check-in to your hotel and 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 exploring here is by walking around!
Day 13: Explore Lagos & the greater Algarve Region
Today, 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 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 your list, you'll find several dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, water-sports, and boat excursions. For example, there's Pinhao Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another great spot is the Ponta da Piedade, which features more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo gives way to a memorable view from the top of a staircase whose 200 wooden steps lead to down to a sheltered sandy cove.
The scenery doesn't stop there: the surrounding Algarve region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.
Day 14: Drive to Lisbon & Depart
Farewell, Portugal! This morning, enjoy one last breakfast (perhaps topped off with a final egg tart) before you hit the road back to Lisbon's Airport for your departure.