Brimming with culture, history, gastronomy, and a dash of outdoor adventure, this 13-day itinerary has something for everyone. Start in Porto for food tours, wine tasting, and day trips into Portugal's unspoiled north, then continue through Coimbra and Évora for a look at stately cities and the sweeping plains of the Alentejo. End in Lisbon to explore the capital and its surrounding countryside—home to seaside villages, fairytale castles, and nature parks.


  • Take a flavorful food tour through Porto's best local haunts
  • Taste the terroir of the Douro Valley on a wine tasting excursion
  • Hike to hidden waterfalls & ancient villages in Peneda-Gerês National Park
  • Take a hot air balloon over the Roman ruins & rolling plains of the Alentejo
  • Escape to the romantic hilltop palaces of Sintra

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Culinary Experience Porto
Day 2 Tour Historic Porto, Join a Portuguese Cooking Class Porto
Day 3 Wine Tasting Experience in the Douro Valley Porto
Day 4 Explore Porto & Northern Portugal Porto
Day 5 Peneda-Gerês National Park Adventure Porto
Day 6 Transfer to Coimbra, Portugal's Medieval Capital Coimbra
Day 7 Transfer to Évora & the Alentejo Évora
Day 8 Explore the Alentejo: Neolithic History, Hot Air Balloons & Medieval Villages Évora
Day 9 Transfer to Lisbon, Discover Lisbon's Authentic Neighborhoods Lisbon
Day 10 Day Trip to Nazaré & Fátima Lisbon
Day 11 Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 12 Explore Lisbon's Surroundings: Sesimbra, Óbidos & Arrábida Natural Park Lisbon
Day 13 Depart Lisbon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Culinary Experience

Porto's stunning setting along the Douro River

Welcome to Porto! Upon arrival, you'll be met at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in the city center. Spend the rest of the afternoon settling in, or head out to learn more about Porto and its cuisine with a walking tour of the historic downtown. Guided by a local expert guide, this small-group excursion offers a first-hand look at the city's culinary renaissance, 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 and recipes created by people who love what they do. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so impressive. The evening, of course, would not be complete without an introduction to the region's most famous drink: port. Taste three different versions, including one vintage, as you learn about the history of this timeless fortified wine.

Day 2: Tour Historic Porto, Join a Portuguese Cooking Class

Colorful houses in Porto's Ribeira neighborhood
Explore more of Porto today with a private guided excursion, learning about the city's history, heroes, and battles as you make your way through the trendiest and most cultural areas of town. Start in the UNESCO-listed city center to admire its renowned 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 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.
After lunch, the rest of the day is free to explore. A good place to start is the Ribeira neighborhood, which sits alongside the river and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Famed for its narrow and colorfully-tiled dockside houses, as well as its views of the iconic double-decked Dom Luís Bridge, this UNESCO-listed area is a must-see. You could also join a private cooking class for an introduction to the flavors of Portuguese cuisine. After preparing dishes made from locally-grown products, you'll sit down and enjoy a memorable meal paired with dynamic wines and spirits.

Day 3: Wine Tasting Experience in the Douro Valley

Douro Valley
Vineyards overlooking the Douro River
Today your private driver will be waiting 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. Learn about the history and process of wine-growing in the region, and discover the varietals that thrive in the valley's unique terroir.
After a leisurely wine tasting, you can enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the valley's famous quintas (estates). Your return to Porto will be just as memorable, as you follow one of the most beautiful roads in the world—winding along the Douro River and past terraced vines and steep mountain hillsides. 

Day 4: Explore Porto & Northern Portugal

The beautifully-tiled Chapel of St Francis in Guimarães 
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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 5: Peneda-Gerês National Park Adventure

An ancient Roman road in the forests of Peneda-Gerês National Park
Escape the city for a full day of adventure in the wilds of Peneda-Gerês National Park. 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 km) in the north near the Spanish border.

Surrounded by unspoiled mountain landscapes, you'll take a short hike to reach a lookout point with breathtaking views over the park. Go wild swimming in crystal clear lagoons, discover waterfalls straight out of a fairytale, and travel back in time to see how the locals lived in centuries-old villages. After working up an appetite in the fresh air, finish today's excursion with a traditional lunch and a glass or two of Vinho Verde at a local restaurant. 

Day 6: Transfer to Coimbra, Portugal's Medieval Capital

Coimbra's Largo da Portagem Square

Meet your driver this morning for the transfer south to Coimbra. This former medieval capital wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity and pride, witnessed by its multicolored collage of buildings that span nearly a millennium. The historic core cascades down a hillside to create a lovely setting along the east bank of the Rio Mondego.

Upon arrival, you'll meet with a local guide for a private tour of the city. The 13th-century University of Coimbra remains the star attraction, with a tremendous amount of history and knowledge accumulated within its walls. A must-see is the Baroque library, home to an incredible collection of over 200,000 books stored in carved and gilded bookshelves. The Chapel of Saint Michael next door is also worth the visit, and make sure to take a stroll through the atmospheric medieval streets of the historic center

Day 7: Transfer to Évora & the Alentejo

Évora's medieval architecture
Évora's grand medieval architecture
Continue south today with a transfer to Évora, capital of Portugal's Alentejo province. Get settled in, then set out to discover the city's most impressive treasures with a private tour.
Explore the compact, UNESCO-listed historic center and visit its main monuments, including the well-preserved ruins of the 2,000-year-old Templo Romano and many landmarks of the golden age of Portuguese maritime discoveries. This tour is especially perfect if you're interested in gaining an overview of the city's major events, which have always been linked to the most significant moments in Portuguese history.

Day 8: Explore the Alentejo: Neolithic History, Hot Air Balloons & Medieval Villages

Take a day trip to the hilltop village of Monsaraz

Today is free for you to explore more of Évora and its surroundings at your leisure. Don't miss a trip into the surrounding countryside to discover some of Europe's most remarkable megalithic monuments. Dating back to the Neolithic period (5500-4500 BCE), these sites are located on the outskirts of Évora, where great river basins converged and the last communities of hunter-gatherers thrived on the Alentejo plains. Explore the mysterious stone circles, dolmens, and funerary monuments, including the great Cromeleque dos Almendres—built 2,000 years before Stonehenge.

See the great plains of the Alentejo from a different perspective with a hot air balloon flight that takes in the magnificent city of Évora and offers a bird's eye view of the Templo Romano and Cromeleque dos Almendres. If you feel like visiting some of the region's famous hilltop villages, join a guided tour to picture-perfect Monsaraz, located overlooking Europe's largest reservoir. Explore the compact, medieval center, then climb to the castle for panoramic views across the Alqueva Dam.

Day 9: Transfer to Lisbon, Discover Lisbon's Authentic Neighborhoods

Statue at Praca do Comercio
A statue of King Joseph I at Lisbon's central Praça do Comercio

Your driver will be waiting this morning to transfer you south to Portugal's lively capital. When you're ready, discover Lisbon in-depth with a half-day tour of key sites and some well-kept secrets. Soak up the city's atmosphere and authenticity as you explore via the famous yellow tram system broken up with relaxed strolls.

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. 

Day 10: Day Trip to Nazaré & Fátima

Nazaré's clifftop fort and lighthouse
Discover the many wonders outside Lisbon today with a day trip to some of the region's highlights. Your first stop will be Nazaré, a traditional fishing village famous for its long, sandy half-moon-shaped beach along the Atlantic. Keep an eye out for the village's iconic wooden fishing boats with curved prows and fishmongers who still wear the traditional seven skirts. More importantly, beware of the coastline's massive waves that can achieve world-record heights, hence why Nazaré attracts advanced surfers from all over the world.

Continue to Fátima, home of one of the largest and most important Catholic shrines in the world. The site dates back to 1937 when the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to three shepherd children. You'll have time to absorb the shrine's mystical atmosphere and admire its imposing architecture before heading back to Lisbon in the afternoon.

Day 11: Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Sintra's hilltop setting near Lisbon
Sintra's hilltop setting near Lisbon

After breakfast, meet your driver for today's adventure in Sintra. Located just half an hour east of the city, this resort town in the Sintra Mountains is known for its forested hills, upscale villas, and Moorish palaces. Start with a visit to the Palacio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace). This 19th-century Romanticist castle mixes Moorish and Portuguese late-Gothic architectural styles with distinct features like gargoyles, ornate battlements, and colorful terraces. 

After touring the palace you'll have a break for lunch, at which point you can also stroll through the historic village of Sintra and do some shopping and/or sightseeing. Then it's off to Sintra Cascais Natural Park. Some can't-miss locales in this area include the dramatic coastal cliffs of the Cabo de Roca, the wide and inviting Guincho Beach (a popular surf spot), and the glamorous towns of Cascais and Estoril.  After a day of sightseeing, you'll return to Lisbon for the evening. 

Day 12: Explore Lisbon's Surroundings: Sesimbra, Óbidos & Arrábida Natural Park

Fortress walls surrounding the whitewashed village of Óbidos

If you've seen enough of the city and are anxious to explore other areas, you'll find countless day trips within easy reach today. Stop at Sesimbra to stroll along the beach and explore the village's hilltop castle, while adorable Óbidos is a must-visit for its labyrinth of cobblestoned streets, riotous flowers, and whitewashed houses livened up with dashes of vivid yellow and blue paint. Heading inland, the villages of Constância and Tomar hold intriguing stories of the Knights Templar. 

For something more active, take a kayaking trip into Arrábida Natural Park and admire the gorgeous views from the water as you paddle through its tranquil river systems. You’ll have the chance to discover numerous hidden caves and secluded beaches; bring along a packed lunch for a memorable picnic en route. Back in Lisbon, head into the Bairro Alto for dinner at one of the city’s best fado restaurants, where good food, the perfect setting, and the melancholic tones of the fado come together for a truly authentic final night in Portugal.

Day 13: Depart Lisbon

Sunset over Lisbon's Abril Bridge

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!

More Great 12-Day Portugal Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal? Check out these other 12-day Portugal itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.  


Map of Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Coimbra, Évora & Lisbon: 13 Days
Map of Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Coimbra, Évora & Lisbon: 13 Days