This 9-day itinerary combines the culture and cuisine of Portugal's two largest cities with the rural countryside and golden beaches of the Algarve. Immerse yourself in Porto's thriving gastronomy scene with a food tour and cooking class, then head into the vineyards of the Douro Valley for a day of wine tasting and river cruising. Transfer south to Lisbon to tour the capital's streets by tuk-tuk, then continue to the Algarve to hike coastal trails and explore hidden beaches by catamaran.


  • Take a flavorful journey through Porto's vibrant culinary scene
  • Tour the wineries of the beautiful Douro Valley
  • Explore the steep streets of Lisbon by tuk-tuk
  • Experience the mournful beauty of a fado show
  • Discover the vineyards, villages & beaches of the Algarve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon, Transfer to Porto, Evening Culinary Experience Porto
Day 2 Explore Porto, Afternoon Cooking Class Porto
Day 3 Day Trip to the Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise Porto
Day 4 Transfer to Lisbon, Tuk-Tuk City Tour, Evening of Fado Lisbon
Day 5 Sintra Heritage Hike Lisbon
Day 6 Transfer to the Algarve, Explore Lagos Algarve
Day 7 Discover the Rural Algarve Algarve
Day 8 Hiking on Rota Vicentina, Algarve Sunset Experience Algarve
Day 9 Transfer to Lisbon & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, Transfer to Porto, Evening Culinary Experience

Twilight in Porto's Ribeira Square
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at the Lisbon Airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you north to Porto. After settling into your hotel, you can get to know the city and its cuisine with a 3.5-hour walking tour of the historic downtown. Guided by a local expert, this small-group excursion offers a first-hand look at the culinary renaissance Porto is experiencing, including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants that are adopting old methods.

You'll take part in several distinct tasting locations that harken back to an era of simple, quality products. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of Porto's gastronomy. Along the way, you'll witness the revival of Portuguese cuisine while you explore local restaurants, cafés, and stores offering the best of Porto. End the evening with an introduction to the region's most famous export: port wine. Taste three different versions, including one vintage, as you learn about the history of this timeless drink.

Day 2: Explore Porto, Afternoon Cooking Class

Fishing boats along Porto's riverfront
Explore more of Porto today and learn about the city's history, heroes, and battles on a private tour. Start in the UNESCO-listed center to admire its renowned Romanesque, Gothic, baroque, and neoclassical 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 and its surroundings, you'll finish the tour along the banks of the Douro River for sweeping views over the city from the Miradouro da Vitória.

In the afternoon, head downtown for a laid-back private cooking class with a top Portuguese chef. This hands-on workshop introduces you to the flavors of Porto's traditional cuisine and the techniques used to cook them up. After preparing several dishes made from locally-grown, seasonal products, you'll sit down and enjoy a memorable meal paired with dynamic local wines and spirits.

Day 3: Day Excursion to Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise

Vineyards overlooking the Douro River
Your private driver awaits today to whisk you into the mountains and valleys of the famous Douro Valley wine region, where you'll visit traditional wineries accompanied by your expert guide. After a wine tasting, you'll enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the valley's famous quintas (estates). 

After lunch, it's time to hop aboard a riverboat for an hour-long cruise down the tranquil Douro River. Relax and admire the beautiful scenery of the valley and the rolling hills along the riverbanks. At the end of the day, your guide will return you to Porto, where you can spend the evening at leisure in the city's lively Ribeira area.

Day 4: Transfer to Lisbon, Tuk-Tuk City Tour, Evening of Fado

Lisbon by Tuk-Tuk
Colorful tuk-tuks lined up in Lisbon's Praça da Figueira 
After breakfast this morning, you'll leave Porto behind and transfer south to Lisbon. Get checked into your hotel, then spend the afternoon exploring the "City of Seven Hills" by electric tuk-tuk. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you'll zip through the capital's modern and historic districts, from the neoclassical avenues of Baixa to the cobblestone alleys of the bohemian Bairro Alto. Discover the city's fascinating history and hidden corners along the way, and stop at stunning panoramic viewpoints like São Pedro de Alcântara, Parque Eduardo VII, Senhora do Monte, and Santa Luzia.

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As night falls, you’ll head back into the Bairro Alto for an evening at one of the city’s best fado restaurants. Here good food, an atmospheric setting, and the melancholic tones of Portugal's distinctive fado music come together for a truly authentic night in Lisbon.

Day 5: Sintra Heritage Hike

The Pena Palace peeks through the clouds around Sintra
Located just outside of the capital, Sintra's lush hills dotted with fairytale palaces and extravagant villas have enchanted visitors for centuries. Today you'll hike through these remarkable landscapes of dense forest and exotic flora as you discover the best trails and viewpoints of this mystical region. Reach the incredible 8th-century Moorish Castle, then continue to the mountaintop Pena Palace. Towering above the clouds, this Romantic-era national monument is full of historic treasures and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Day 6: Transfer to the Algarve, Explore Lagos

Lagos is famous for its world-class beaches
Today you'll transfer to the Algarve region, located on Portugal's sun-soaked southern coast. En route, stop to enjoy a winery visit, tasting, and a magnificent Portuguese lunch at one of the area's landmark vineyards. Gather under a 2,000-year-old tree that overlooks old Negramole vines or settle into the warmth of the main house, and share a simple menu paired with a flight of four of the estate's wines. Finish with a stroll through the vineyard before getting back on the road and continuing to the coast.

Upon arrival in the lively, seafaring town of Lagos, check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring at your own pace. 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 7: Discover Rural Algarve

A rural road in the Algarve's far west

Get off the beaten path today as you discover some of the western Algarve's most remarkable landscapes. Following remote and off-road routes, you'll get a glimpse of the region's slower way of life, where locals produce honey and medronho (fruit brandy) with traditional methods.

Head up to Foia, the highest peak in the Algarve to enjoy breathtaking 360º views, then stop for lunch high in the mountains, where you'll finish the meal with a sampling of typical deserts and a cup of medronho and melosa (honey liqueur) while learning about the Algarve's rural traditions. On the way back, you'll stop to discover one of the region's most beautiful hidden beaches.  

Day 8: Hiking on Rota Vicentina, Catamaran Cruise & Algarve Sunset Experience

Sail to the famous Benagil Caves 
The Rota Valencia trail network runs for 280 miles (450 km) through the western Alentejo and western Algarve and is one of the most scenic ways to explore the rural countryside of southern Portugal. Starting from Bordeira today, you'll set out on a self-guided hike along a portion of the epic trail, following a circular route through pine forests, sweeping beaches, and vast sand dunes. This peaceful setting is also home to remarkable biodiversity and is an important habitat for many migratory birds.
In the afternoon, you can see the coast from a different perspective with a catamaran cruise from Portimão to the world-famous Benagil Caves. Along the way, you'll pass the famous beaches of Carvoeiro, Algar Seco, the Alfanzina Lighthouse, Benagil, and Praia da Marinha’s stunning views. Relax on the catamaran's twin sunbathing nets and enjoy the gentle breeze as you cruise along this unforgettable coastline, then anchor in the lovely coves of João de Arens for some swimming, paddleboarding, or snorkeling. 

Back on dry land, witness a breathtaking sunset from the most southwesterly point in continental Europe. As twilight approaches, your guide will transfer you to the spectacular Cabo de São Vicente of Sagres, where you can watch the sun sink into the Atlantic Ocean while you sample Portuguese wine and bread with chorizo.

Day 9: Transfer to Lisbon & Depart

Sunset over Cabo de São Vicente

After a final leisurely breakfast, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to the Lisbon Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels and boa viagem!

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Map of Ultimate Portugal: Lisbon, Porto & the Algarve - 9 Days
Map of Ultimate Portugal: Lisbon, Porto & the Algarve - 9 Days