Discover the culinary and cultural heart of Portugal on this road trip through Lisbon, Porto, and the Douro Valley. Begin in the 2000-year-old capital, whose antique buildings and local delights like pasteis de Belém make it perfect for history and food lovers alike. Head north to the colorful city of Porto, home of port wine and local pastries whose origins are as rich as their taste. Finally, explore the world's oldest demarcated wine region of the Douro Valley, which produces some of the finest table wines in Portugal.

Highlights

  • Tour the cellars of a port winery in Porto
  • Visit a fairy-tale castle in the clouds at Sintra
  • Experience the spooky Chapel of Bones in Évora
  • Sample wines in the enchanting Douro Valley

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon & Enjoy the City Lisbon
Day 2 Guided Walking Tour of Lisbon Lisbon
Day 3 Explore the Seaside Resort of Cascais & Castles of Sintra Lisbon
Day 4 Visit the Ancient Roman City of Évora Lisbon
Day 5 Drive to Porto via Óbidos, Nazaré, Batalha, Coimbra, or Aveiro Porto
Day 6 Porto Walking Tour & Wine Tasting Porto
Day 7 Discover the Wine Country of the Douro Valley Douro Valley
Day 8 Drive to Lisbon & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon & Enjoy the City

The colorful buildings of Lisbon
The colorful buildings of Lisbon

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at the Lisbon Airport, pick up your rental car and head into the capital to explore this fascinating place on your own time. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and its remarkable history can be seen and experienced all over.

Explore more of the city with the iconic tram 28, riding it from Graça to the end of the line of Estrela Basilica. For a more off-the-beaten-path ride, try tram 24! Take a stroll through one of the many museums, such as the Museu do Oriente, the National Museum of Ancient Art, or the Berardo Collection Museum. For those looking to get into Lisbon's food scene, head to Rossio Square for a drink or the Bairro Alto for an authentic Portuguese meal.

Day 2: Guided Walking Tour of Lisbon

Enjoy a Pastéis de Belém and coffee in Lisbon
Enjoy a pastéis de Belém and coffee in Lisbon
This morning starts with a guided walking tour around Alfama. This quarter is a labyrinth of narrow and hilly streets, intricately tiled sidewalks, and some of Lisbon's most famous monuments like the 12th-century Sé Cathedral and the 11th-century Castelo de São Jorge, which offer panoramic views of the city. After working up an appetite, taste some of the local must-try dishes like bacalhau à brás (shredded codfish with fried potato, onion, and scrambled eggs), bifanas (pork sandwich), or the beloved favorite of grilled sardines and bread.
 
Get to know the Belém quarter next, filled with monuments from Europe's Age of Discovery. Its most famous landmark is the Belém Tower, a 16th-century structure that served as the point of embarking and disembarking for sailors. Visit the Jerónimos Monastery, a prime example of Portugal's Gothic style, and stop for a taste of pastéis de Belém, the area's delectable custard dessert. As night falls, you also have the option of experiencing the haunting traditional music of Portugal with a live fado dinner show. 

Day 3: Explore the Seaside Resort of Cascais & Castles of Sintra

The magical Pena National Palace
The magical Pena National Palace
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Explore the picturesque countryside and coastline around Lisbon at your own pace today. Start with a visit to Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, which is next to the luxurious seaside resort of Estoril. Continue past the sweeping vistas of Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe and once believed to be the end of the world.

End the day with a trip to the fairy-tale village of Sintra. Set among the lush mountains and forests of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to fantastical palaces and manor houses. These include the iconic yellow and red Romantic style of the Pena National Palace, the imposing medieval stone walls of the Castle of the Moors, and the mysterious inverted Knights of Templar tower of Quinta da Regaleira.

Day 4: Visit the Ancient Roman City of Évora

Visit the Ancient Roman City of Évora (With Road Book)
The impressive Évora Cathedral

Leave the capital behind today and drive to the historic city of Évora, located in the Alentejo region. One of Portugal's oldest cities, this UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the Roman era and offers an abundance of beautiful architecture and sights.

Marvel at the Gothic apostles and medieval architecture of the Évora Cathedral, go back in time with a visit to the 2000-year-old Templo Romano (Roman Temple), and experience one of the most fascinating (and morbid) structures in the world with a trip to the 16th-century Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones). End your visit with a bite to eat, and a drink in the bustling city square of Praça do Giraldo.

Day 5: Drive to Porto via Óbidos, Nazaré, Batalha, Coimbra, or Aveiro

Traditional ovos moles from Aveiro
Traditional ovos moles from Aveiro

Today takes you north to Porto, stopping at some of the many hidden treasures along the way. First up is Óbidos, a medieval fortified village filled with picturesque houses and streets. Continue to the small fishing town of Nazaré for fresh seafood and epic waves, or stop in nearby Batalha to marvel at its 14th-century Gothic monastery.

Discover the rich history of Coimbra, whose university is one of the oldest in Europe, or detour to the picturesque Aveiro. Known as the "Portuguese Venice," explore its system of canals with a traditional moliceiro boat or sample local sweets known as ovos moles or "soft eggs" before continuing to Porto.

Day 6: Porto Walking Tour & Wine Tasting

A view of Porto and the Douro River
A view of Porto and the Douro River

Begin the day with a morning guided walking tour, which ventures through the colorful neighborhoods and rich history of Portugal's second city. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district and admire the Baroque style of the Igreja dos Clérigos and the Gothic architecture of the Church of São Francisco. Wander the bustling stalls of world-class food markets and grab a francesinha, Porto's famous and very delicious take on a croque-monsieur, before climbing to breathtaking views over the Douro River.

Spend the afternoon taking a guided tour of the wine cellars of Casa Ferreirinha, which is the producer of Barca Velha, one of Portugal's most famous wines. Casa Ferreirinha also produces excellent port wines, all of which can be sampled in this immersive tasting experience. You could also join a culinary tour of five family-run locations to enjoy a hand-selected tasting menu of classic Portuguese dishes and drinks. Sample flavorful offerings, meet local purveyors, and learn about the remarkable culinary renaissance that Porto is experiencing.

Day 7: Discover the Wine Country of the Douro Valley

Visit some of Douro Valley's best vineyards
Visit some of the Douro Valley's best vineyards

Drive to the Douro Valley, home to the grapes of Porto's legendary port wine and some of the best table wines in the country. Wine has been produced in the Douro region for over 2000 years, which was declared as a production region for port in 1756, making it the oldest demarcated region in the world.

In this beautiful and dramatic landscape, vines cling to terraces carved by hand into the steep, rocky hillsides along the river. Quintas or vineyards are all over the valley, particularly between Régua and Pinhão. Stop by a quinta to see how the grapes are grown and to sample the fantastic wines cultivated in this historic and significant region of Portugal. Spend the night in the Douro Valley and enjoy all this location offers.

Day 8: Drive to Lisbon & Depart

Trolley in the cobbled Ribierta district of Porto
Trolley in the cobbled Ribierta district of Porto
Drive south to Lisbon today and enjoy any last sights and tastes before returning your rental car to the Lisbon Airport. Continue to your next destination and bom viaje!

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Map

Map of Portugal's Food & Wine: Lisbon, Porto & the Douro Valley - 8 Days
Map of Portugal's Food & Wine: Lisbon, Porto & the Douro Valley - 8 Days