- Go on a hiking adventure to Portugal's only national park
- See the oldest university in Portugal
- Visit Sintra's palaces with a private guide
- Tour the sea caves of the Algarve by boat
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon & Drive to Porto||Porto|
|Day 2||Porto Guided Walking Tour||Porto|
|Day 3||Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park||Porto|
|Day 4||Free Morning in Porto & Drive to the Douro Valley||Douro Valley|
|Day 5||Discover the Douro Wine Valley||Douro Valley|
|Day 6||Drive to Lisbon via Coimbra||Lisbon|
|Day 7||Comprehensive Walking Tour of Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Romantic Sintra||Lisbon|
|Day 9||Mafra & Ericeira Guided Tour||Lisbon|
|Day 10||Drive to the Algarve via Setúbal||Lagos|
|Day 11||Sea Cliffs & Caves Boat Tour||Lagos|
|Day 12||Drive to Faro in the Algarve||Faro|
|Day 13||Free Day to Explore Faro||Faro|
|Day 14||Drive to Lisbon via Évora||Lisbon|
|Day 15||Depart Lisbon|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon & Drive to PortoArrive in Lisbon, and collect your rental car at the airport. Your Portuguese adventure begins right away as you drive north toward Porto. On the way, stop in quaint Óbidos, a charming medieval town just an hour from Lisbon.
As soon as you reach the destination, the imposing city walls surrounding the historic center will greet you. From the cobblestoned streets to the whitewashed houses decorated with century-old bougainvillea, there will be plenty to appreciate in this stop. Don't miss the local liqueur, ginjinha, made from morello cherries and usually served in a chocolate cup. Then, continue to Porto.
Day 2: Porto Guided Walking Tour
Today, you’ll discover the amazing city of Porto on a guided walking tour. Visit can't-miss landmarks like the S. Bento Railway Station, famous for its 20,000 white-and-blue glazed tiles, or azulejos. Other stops include the Porto Cathedral, the riverfront Ribeira District, the Clérigos Tower, and Lello Bookshop, which inspired the beloved Harry Potter novels.After the introductory tour, enjoy free time to explore the city on your own. Stroll around its pretty streets, or cross the Douro River through the Bridge of Luis I. The iron bridge is pedestrian-friendly and provides sweeping views of the river and the city. Once you're on the other side of the Douro, tour a vintage port wine cellar like Graham's or Ramos Pinto.
Day 3: Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National ParkEnjoy a full-day hiking tour in Peneda-Gerês National Park today. As the only national park in Portugal, this truly unique area protects natural landscapes alongside historic structures like ancient Roman roads. Deer, wolves, and golden eagles reside within its borders.
Day 4: Free Morning in Porto & Drive to the Douro ValleySpend the morning exploring Porto on your own. Walk to the city center to see the impressive Old Stock Market and the 15th-century Church of St. Francis. Another popular attraction is the stunning Carmo Church, whose façade is covered in intricate azulejos. For lunch, order a francesinha, a local meat-heavy sandwich topped with melted cheese and bathed in beer-tomato sauce.
Day 5: Discover the Douro ValleyAfter breakfast, tour local wineries in the Douro Valley. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the region boasts schist mountains traced with rows of grape vines and is considered one of the global viticulture centers. Spend the day admiring the deep valleys, terraced vineyards, and the blue ribbon of the river meandering down below.
Visit one of the many local estates that produce Douro and port wines. Most offer tours, so you can learn how these world-class wines are cultivated while tasting some of the region's distinctive whites and reds. Another highly recommended activity is a river cruise. Usually lasting one or two hours, these boat adventures provide a different—but equally breathtaking—perspective of the valley.
Day 6: Drive to Lisbon via Coimbra
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 7: Comprehensive Walking Tour of LisbonIt's time to explore the "City of Seven Hills." A guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to discover Alfama, Lisbon's oldest quarter, where you'll find St. George's Castle perched atop a tall hill. Then, head to Baixa, the downtown area which was completely rebuilt after the devastating 1775 earthquake. Stroll in Chiado, a bohemian neighborhood where 19th-century intellectuals gathered in cafés.
The next stop is Belém, a historic district associated with the height of Portuguese exploration. Stop by monuments such as the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, an iconic Lisbon landmark. Before returning to your hotel, drop by Pastéis de Belém to try pastéis de nata or Portuguese egg tart, one of the country's most delicious desserts.
Day 8: Day Trip to Romantic Sintra
Go on a private guided day trip to Sintra, the Portuguese capital of Romanticism. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is known for its numerous palaces. Pena Palace is arguably the most famous, with its colorful exterior and juxtaposition of architectural styles. Equally beautiful and interesting are the Quinta da Regaleira, the medieval Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, and Queluz Palace.If you wish to explore other areas, visit one or two palaces and then drive to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in mainland Europe. Continue your journey toward Cascais, part of the Portuguese Riviera. A beloved seaside destination, this town provides a perfect beach getaway for residents of the capital.
Day 9: Mafra & Ericeira Guided TourRise early to meet your guide and make your way to Mafra, a town 45-min away from Lisbon. This destination is home to the imposing Palace and Convent of Mafra, an 18th-century Baroque palace built on a king's vow. This astounding monument was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You'll also find the Aldeia Típica José Franco, an adorable miniature clay village.
For a leisurely afternoon and a delicious lunch, stop in Ericeira. This traditional fishing village developed into a resort town in the late 20th century. However, it hasn't lost its laidback charm nor forgotten how to make its famously fresh seafood-based dishes. Visit the beach, which hosts the yearly World Surfing Championship.
Day 10: Drive to the Algarve via SetúbalIt's time to head south toward the wild Algarve region. Get excited for a scenic drive along the coast. On the way, stop at two incredible sites: Arrábida Natural Park and Setúbal. In Arrábida, you'll admire sweeping ocean views from atop dramatic cliffs. Walk along the trails, feeling the wind in your face.
Day 11: Sea Cliffs & Caves Boat TourHave an incredible day touring the Algarve by boat, and spend four hours playing in the water. You'll be taken from Lagos to Burgau and back, passing by the famous golden beaches of Dona Ana and Don Camilo. Highlights include the cliffs and caves of Ponta da Piedade, Canavial, and Porto de Mós, as well as the famous black rock of Praia da Luz.
Day 12: Drive to Faro in the AlgarveEarly in the morning, hop in your rental car and make your way to Faro. As the main city in the Algarve region, Faro is a must-see destination in Portugal. On the way, consider stopping by Algar Seco to explore its scenic rocky coastline filled with sea cliffs and caves.
Day 13: Free Day to Explore FaroLocated near both the Ria Formosa lagoon and the sea, Faro is a wonderful city to wander around. Take a free day to explore on your own and discover the city center, the Arco da Vila (Town's Arch), the Municipal Museum, the Faro Cathedral, and other landmarks.
You can also catch a ferry from the Cais das Portas do Mar to the islands right off the shore. These islands provide a much more secluded and quiet beach experience. The most captivating ones include Farol, Culatra, and Deserta. There are several tour operators offering excursions. But if you feel adventurous, you can rent a speedboat and beach hop from island to island on your own.
Day 14: Drive to Lisbon via Évora
Prepare to drive back to hilly Lisbon. Rather than going straight to the capital, take a longer route and stop in Évora. Founded in Roman times, this impressive city is a true living museum. Its golden age started in the 15th century when the royal family and court resided here. This rich history is part of what has earned the town UNESCO World Heritage status.
Besides the noteworthy residences, Évora is known for its medieval walls, its Cathedral, and the Roman Temple to Diana, the goddess of the moon. Another highlight is the São Francisco Church. This house of worship enjoys worldwide fame for its curious Chapel of Bones, whose walls are decorated entirely with human skulls and bones. After the visit, continue to Lisbon.