See the highlights of Portugal's cities, beaches, and gorgeous towns on this fantastic itinerary that takes you through the country's must-see gems. Explore the urban centers of Lisbon and Porto with the help of experts, in-the-know-locals, and unique opportunities to see — and taste! — the wonderful vibrancy of Portugal. You'll also visit tiny villages, imposing palaces, and dramatic beach towns that off-the-beaten-path. This trip plan is a wonderful option if it's your first time in the country!

Highlights

  • Take a delicious culinary excursion around Lisbon
  • Enjoy private guided tours in Lisbon and Porto
  • Visit beautiful towns like Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, and Coimbra
  • Stay in the charming medieval city of Évora
  • Hit Portugal's best beaches in the stunning Western Algarve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon & Culinary Excursion Lisbon
Day 2 Explore Lisbon with a Local Lisbon
Day 3 Day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 4 Lisbon to Porto via Coimbra Porto
Day 5 Get to Know Porto & Food Tour Porto
Day 6 Drive from Porto to Évora - Private Tour Évora
Day 7 Explore the Alentejo region Évora
Day 8 Évora to Lagos & explore the Algarve Lagos
Day 9 Explore Lagos & the greater Algarve Region Lagos
Day 10 Train from Lagos to Lisbon & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon & Culinary Excursion

Welcome to Lisbon!
Welcome to Lisbon!

Welcome to Portugal! Upon your arrival in Lisbon, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring this incredible city. 

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 culinary trends of Lisbon.

Over the course of four hours, you will visit seven delicious 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: Explore Lisbon with a Local

Belem Tower
Belém Tower

After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up at your hotel for an excursion around Lisbon. Your first stop is the beautiful area of Belém, an ode to the superb age of the Portuguese Discoveries—the numerous territories and maritime routes discovered by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries. Here you'll visit Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries, followed by the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, considered one of the most stunning monuments of Portugal. 

Next, you will proceed to the charismatic Alfama district, home of traditional Fado music, with twisting streets that wind up to an imposing castle on one of the city’s highest hills. With whitewashed houses, flower-laden balconies, and red-tiles roofs, Alfama is a perfect mix of historical landmarks and charming residences. You will also discover one of the most important squares in the city and the famous Liberdade Avenue. Make sure to taste the delicious and sweet Pastel de Belem, a delicious pastry found here. 

At the end of the tour, your guide will return you to your hotel. As for dinner, consider choosing between some of the city's best Fado restaurants for a memorable evening of traditional cuisine and music.

Day 3: Day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Pena Palace
Pena Palace in Sintra

Today you'll head out of Lisbon for an incredible day trip to a trio of picturesque locales. 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, you'll meet your guide, who will deliver you to your first stop: 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 18th-century British poet Lord Byron. Your guide will give you plenty of information about the city's wonderful palaces, imposing monuments, and great eateries in the area; armed with these tips, explore Sintra on your own and have lunch amid the local splendor. 

Your next stop is the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of not only Portugal but all of mainland Europe. Enjoy the gorgeous views across the Atlantic Ocean as waves crash onto the shore. As you head back to Lisbon, you'll visit 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 beautiful gardens. 

Once you return to Lisbon, you'll have the remainder of the day to enjoy the city any way you like!

Day 4: Transfer from Lisbon to Porto via Coimbra

A romantic gardenscape in Coimbra
A romantic gardenscape in Coimbra

After breakfast this morning, you'll set out for Porto, stopping halfway in beautiful Coimbra, where you'll enjoy lunch and some sightseeing. 

Coimbra is the medieval capital of Portugal and the site of the country’s greatest university: the University of Coimbra, established in 1290. Coimbra wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity and pride, witnessed by its multicolored collage of buildings that span nearly a millennium. In fact, the city's historic core cascades down a hillside creating a lovely setting along the east bank of the Rio Mondego. Explore the streets your own with a self-guided tour before you finish the road trip to Porto. 

Upon your arrival in Portugal's second-largest city, check in to your hotel, then take the remainder of the day to either rest or explore your new neighborhood surroundings. There are myriad options in town for dinner, so ask your specialist for a recommendation or two, and be sure to save room to savor a bit of iconic Port wine as a nightcap!

Day 5: Get to Know Porto & Food Tour

The flickering lights of Porto at dusk
The flickering lights of Porto at dusk

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 town. Here you'll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city's most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most revered 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 StationClérigos TowerChurch of St. FrancisLello BookshopSta. 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.  

But that's not all: you'll also visit a small scale canning factory, which produces gourmet-quality tinned fishes. What makes this purveyor unique is its hand-made processing techniques, which have been used here for the last century. Tinned fish isn’t only a delicacy in Portugal; it's a traditional way of life that continues to adapt to the times.

In the evening, after you've had some time to rest, 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 most 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 6: Drive from Porto to Évora - Private Tour

Évora's medieval architecture
Évora's medieval architecture

This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll get on the road and head to the town of Évora—a driving distance of about three hours. 

After lunch in town, you will begin a private guided tour to discover the most impressive treasures of this UNESCO-listed city (awarded in 1986). Your guide will cover Évora's main monuments including those pertaining to the golden age of Portuguese maritime discoveries while answering questions along the way. This tour is especially ideal for visitors wishing to get an overview of the city's major events, which have always been linked to the most significant moments of Portugal's history. 

In the evening, you'll have the free time to explore Évora's streets and dining scene on your own.

Day 7: Explore the Alentejo region

Vineyard in Alentejo
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 return to Évora for the rest of the day.

Day 8: Travel from Évora to Lagos and explore the Algarve

A spectacular strip of sand in Lagos
A spectacular strip of sand in Lagos

This morning you'll pick up your car rental and will hit the road to Lagos, a spectacular town on the western end of the Algarve Region, situated along Portugal's picturesque southern coast. 

Once you've arrived in town, 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!

Day 9: Explore Lagos & the greater Algarve Region

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

Take 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 your list, you'll find a number of dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, water-sports, and boat excursions. For example, there's Pinhão 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: 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 your train to Lisbon. When you arrive in the capital, you'll transfer to the airport for your departure. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Discover Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, Évora & the Algarve - 10 Days
Map of Discover Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, Évora & the Algarve - 10 Days