Forget timetables and logistics—on this 9-day itinerary you can sit back and focus on the beauty of Portugal's cities, countryside, and coast. With a private driver to whisk you between locations, you'll get lost in Lisbon's authentic alleys, spend a night among the romantic palaces of Sintra, tour Porto's riverside wine cellars, escape to the cork forests of Peneda-Gerês, and finish up on the golden beaches of the Algarve.

Highlights

  • Get to the heart of Lisbon on a walking food tour
  • Discover the fairy tale village & forests of Sintra
  • Taste Porto's famous fortified wines
  • Explore Peneda-Gerês National Park by mountain bike
  • Wind down on the world-famous beaches of Lagos

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon, Gourmet Food Tour Lisbon
Day 2 Half-Day Tour of Lisbon & Fado Night Lisbon
Day 3 Transfer to Sintra via Cascais & Estoril  Sintra
Day 4 Transfer to Porto, City Tour & Port Tasting Porto
Day 5 Mountain Biking in Peneda-Gerês National Park Porto
Day 6 Self-Guided Exploration of Porto & Northern Portugal Porto
Day 7 Transfer to Lagos & the Algarve Lagos
Day 8 Explore Lagos & the Greater Algarve Region Lagos
Day 9 Transfer to Lisbon Airport & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, Gourmet Food Tour

Hop on one of Lisbon's iconic trams to start exploring
Welcome to Lisbon! Upon arrival, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city center. After checking in, you can unwind after your long journey or head out for a stroll. You'll find Lisbon to be an unheralded gem of a European capital. Hilly waterfront neighborhoods are dotted with grand plazas and pastel-colored buildings, many of which date back hundreds of years. Old cable cars lurch up winding cobbled roads, and medieval castles sit perched atop the highest points in the city.
 
Acquaint yourself with Lisbon's culture through its traditional cuisine this evening with a gourmet food tour. Wear a good pair of walking shoes because you, along with your guide, will meander through a series of authentic winding alleys tasting the incredible flavors of Portuguese gastronomy. Over the course of four hours, you will visit seven delicious spots that brilliantly link tradition with modernity, and discover classics like pastéis de bacalhau (cod fritters), grilled sardines, and pastéis de Nata (egg custard tarts).

Day 2: Half-Day Tour of Lisbon & Fado Night

Statue at Praca do Comercio
A statue of King Joseph I at Lisbon's central Praça do Comercio
Today you'll discover Lisbon in-depth with a half-day tour of key sites and some well-kept secrets. Soak up the city's unique atmosphere and authenticity as you explore via the famous yellow tram system broken up with relaxed strolls. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes! Along the tour, you'll enjoy the lively bohemian district of Bairro Alto, visit the "new city" of Baixa built after the devastating 1755 earthquake, wander the traditional market square of Praça da Figueira, and climb to Portas do Sol for breathtaking views of the historic Alfama district.
 
Afterward, you will have the rest of the afternoon to explore the city on your own. In the evening, head back into the Bairro Alto to enjoy a night at one of the city’s best fado restaurants, where good food, the perfect setting, and the melancholic tones of Portugal's beautiful fado music come together for a truly authentic night in Lisbon.

Day 3: Transfer to Sintra via Cascais & Estoril

Sintra's hilltop setting near Lisbon
Sintra's fairytale Pena Palace

Today you'll meet your driver and head out of Lisbon for an incredible trip through a trio of picturesque locales. After a scenic stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of not only Portugal but all of mainland Europe, you'll visit the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, then continue to Estoril, known for its casino and beautiful gardens.

Your last stop of the day will be 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 grand palaces, imposing monuments, and great eateries in the area; armed with these tips, explore Sintra on your own and have dinner amid the local splendor. 

Day 4: Transfer to Porto, City Tour & Port Tasting

Porto's colorful Foz neighborhood
Arise and Shine! This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Porto—Portugal's second-largest and most populous city. After you've checked into your hotel and had lunch, it's time for a half-day tour. Start in the UNESCO-listed center to admire its renowned Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, and Bolhão Market.
 
After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, head to the banks of the immense Douro River for views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge. The tour culminates at one of the most famous port wine cellars near the riverbank. Here you will learn more about the origins of Portugal’s fortified wine production and partake in a tasting or two. In the evening, explore Porto's dining scene on your own and ask your guide for suggestions before parting ways!
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Day 5: Mountain Biking in Peneda-Gerês National Park

An ancient Roman road in the forests of Peneda-Gerês National Park
After breakfast in Porto, you'll take an active day trip to Peneda-Gerês National Park for a guided mountain bike tour. While there are many listed natural parks within Portugal's borders, Peneda-Gerês is the only official national park and takes up a whopping 436 square miles (703 km2) in the north near the Spanish border.
 
The well-maintained trails capitalize on the park's scenery, history, and wildlife, making it a great place to go for a ride. During the adventure, you'll encounter a range of spectacular views, including granite massifs, deep valleys, and lush forests of cork oaks and pines, as well as deer and golden eagles. If time allows you can pay a visit to a few nearby highlights like the spa town of Gerês or the traditional village of Lindoso with its medieval castle and stone granaries. At the end of the excursion, return to your hotel in Porto.

Day 6: Self-Guided Exploration of Porto & Northern Portugal

The beautifully-tiled Chapel of St Francis in Guimarães 
After breakfast in Porto, you'll have a free day to discover more of the city on your own. You can also opt to explore further afield, where you can hit the beach, go wine tasting, or visit some noteworthy towns and historic sites. Within easy reach, you'll find the charming cities of Braga, home to the oldest cathedral in the country, and Aveiro, nicknamed the "Venice of Portugal" for its colorful canals.
 
History buffs can head to Guimarães to see the medieval Guimarães Castle and the birthplace of the country's first king. Just a quick half-hour drive away, Esposende offers white sand beaches and picturesque dunes for a relaxing retreat, while a little further north lies the beautiful beach town of Viana do Castelo, the perfect spot for sampling some excellent seafood.

Day 7: Transfer to Lagos & the Algarve

Explore Lagos' historic center on foot
It's time to head to the beach! After breakfast, you'll be picked up at the hotel for a private transfer to Lagos, a seafaring town on the western side of the Algarve region, situated along Portugal's southern coast. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and take 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, and 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. 

Day 8: Explore Lagos & the Greater Algarve Region

Take the wooden walkway to Praia do Camilo in Lagos
Today is free for you to enjoy the Algarve at your leisure. Spend some more time discovering the 16th-century city of Lagos and its cobblestoned streets, inviting squares, and great restaurants. Near the city center are a number of dreamlike beaches, with plenty of watersports and boat excursions on offer. Pinhao Beach is a peaceful cove known for its secluded setting, while Ponta da Piedade offers more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water. Praia do Camilo is a gorgeous spot accessed by walking down 200 wooden steps to a sheltered sandy cove. 
 
You could also head further east for more beautiful sights and attractions, ranging from bustling resort towns to white-washed villages offering mouth-watering cuisine and exhilarating coastal scenery. Lovers of peace and quiet should explore more of the massive Costa Vincentina Natural Park, which extends all the way north to Odeceixe. The park covers a whopping 182,857 acres (74,000 ha) of protected land including beaches, cliffs, rolling hills, and marshland, with more than 750 species of flora and 200 species of birds.

Day 9: Transfer to Lisbon Airport & Depart

Sunrise over Praia do Camilo

After a final morning in Lagos, you'll say your goodbyes and transfer back to Lisbon Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels and boa viagem!

More Great 9-Day Portugal Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal? Check out these other 9-day Portugal itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.  

Map

Map of Relaxed Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra, Porto & Lagos -  9 Days
Map of Relaxed Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra, Porto & Lagos - 9 Days