Escape to the coast on this gorgeous 10-day exploration, that includes ample time is Porto and Lisbon, and stops through charming seafaring towns with fantastic beaches, delicious fresh seafood, and dramatic coastlines. Go hiking in the unparalleled beauty of Peneda-Gerês National Park, hit the waves in the surfing hot-spot of Sagres, and laze in the sand on the Instagram-worthy beaches of the Algarve. 

Highlights

  • Explore Porto's landmarks and food scene on private guided tours
  • Hike to waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park
  • Spend time in beautiful towns like Viana do Castelo & Évora
  • Enjoy Fado music in Lisbon
  • Soak up the sun from the beaches of the Western Algarve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto & city tour Porto
Day 2 Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park Braga
Day 3 Viana do Castelo Viana do Castelo
Day 4 Viana do Castelo to Nazaré via Aveiro Nazaré
Day 5 Nazaré to Lisbon via Alcobaça & Óbidos Lisbon
Day 6 Guided tour of Lisbon & Evening of Fado Lisbon
Day 7 Explore Évora and the Alentejo region Évora
Day 8 Aljezur Aljezur
Day 9 Aljezur to Lagos via Sagres Lagos
Day 10 Drive to Lisbon & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto & City tour

Porto's Old Town of Foz
Porto's Old Town of Foz

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Porto's airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel.

Today 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 the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway StationClerigos TowerChurch of St. FrancisLello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina StreetMajestic Café, and Bolhão Market, to name a few.

After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you'll finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.  

Rest up, then, in the evening, it's time for another tour — this time 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 2: Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park

A tranquil stream in Peneda-Gerês National Park

Immerse yourself in Portugal’s wild landscape on a full-day 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 the park's iconic bridges. You'll lead out on a mellow but gorgeous trek to see beautiful lagoons and stunning waterfalls. 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 Bela, 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, 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 3: Viana do Castelo

The romantic cityscape of Viana do Castelo
The romantic cityscape of Viana do Castelo

After breakfast this morning, you'll have the day to explore the extraordinary Viana do Castelo, the jewel of the Costa Verde. Explore this beautiful town, its nearby beaches, or the close-by valley however you like, depending on your mood and interests.

If you're itching for exploration, spend the day walking through town; the city showcases a 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 4: Travel from Viana do Castelo to Nazaré via Aveiro

The romance of Aveiro
The canals of Aveiro

Today you head south to Nazaré, 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 5: Travel from Nazaré to Lisbon via Alcobaça & Óbidos

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça
Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça

Today you will make the two-hour drive to Lisbon. Along the way, you will make 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 to almost a thousand years. 
  
From here, continue the drive to Lisbon, where you'll have the evening to relax and wander the lively streets.

Day 6: Guided tour of Lisbon & Evening of Fado

Rua Augusta triumphal Arch
Rua Augusta triumphal Arch

Today you'll discover Lisbon on a half-day tour that takes you through 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!

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 view over 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 7: Explore Évora and the Alentejo region

An undulating vineyard in Alentejo
An undulating vineyard in Alentejo

Today you'll have a full-day excursion of the Alentejo region, where the pace of life slows amid the area's iconic 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 a number of 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 those pertaining 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 8: Aljezur

Narrow streets in Aljezur
Narrow streets in Aljezur

After breakfast, spend today exploring the coast around Aljezur, where you'll spend the night. 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 9: Drive from Aljezur to Lagos via Sagres

Surfs up in Sagres!
Surfs up in 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 10: Drive to Lisbon & Depart

Belem Tower in Lisbon
Belem Tower in Lisbon

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. 

Map

Map of Coastal Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, & The Algarve - 10 Days
Map of Coastal Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, & The Algarve - 10 Days