From the north's winding rivers and wine country to the stunning southern coast, this epic 15-day itinerary gives you an in-depth look at Portugal's many wonders. Sample local wines and gastronomy in Porto, see the cobbled streets of Lisbon by foot and tram, and head into the Alentejo countryside for ancient history and medieval grandeur in Évora. After a busy schedule of tours, day trips, and excursions, settle into a slower pace of life amid the golden cliffs and sweeping beaches of the Algarve.


  • Explore the historic neighborhoods of Porto by vintage car
  • Spend a day wine tasting at the Douro Valley's traditional "quintas" 
  • Experience the haunting melodies of fado music in Lisbon
  • See medieval Évora & the Alentejo plains by hot air balloon
  • Take your pick of the Algarve's spectacularly scenic beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Culinary Tour Porto
Day 2 Porto Vintage Car Tour & Port Wine Tasting Porto
Day 3 Wine Tasting Experience in the Douro Valley Porto
Day 4 Explore Porto & Northern Portugal Porto
Day 5 Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra Lisbon
Day 6 Get to Know Lisbon, Evening of Fado Lisbon
Day 7 Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 8 Explore Lisbon's Surroundings: Sesimbra, Óbidos & Arrábida Natural Park Lisbon
Day 9 Drive to Évora, Capital of the Alentejo Évora
Day 10 Free Day in Évora: Neolithic History, Hot Air Balloons & Medieval Villages Évora
Day 11 Drive to Lagos & the Algarve Lagos
Days 12-13 Free Days in the Algarve Lagos
Day 14 Drive to Lisbon Lisbon
Day 15 Depart Lisbon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Culinary Tour

Twilight in Porto's Ribiera Square
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Porto's airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel in the city center. After settling in, get to know the city and its cuisine with a 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 integral to 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. Taste three different versions, including one vintage, as you learn about the history of this timeless drink.

Day 2: Porto Vintage Car Tour & Port Wine Tasting

Porto's colorful Foz neighborhood

Today's glamorous tour—half on foot, half by vintage car—is one of the most memorable experiences that you can encounter in Porto. Discover the city's most important highlights and hidden corners in style, then take a drive toward the fishing village of S. Pedro da Afurada or head to the city's colorful Foz neighborhood to get a glimpse of local life, Porto-style. End the excursion with a visit to a port cellar to taste the area's famous fortified wine.

After lunch, you can explore some of Porto's characterful neighborhoods at your own pace. A good place to start is the Ribeira area, which sits alongside the Douro River and is one of the city's oldest parts. Famed for its narrow and colorfully-tiled dockside houses and views of the iconic double-decked Dom Luís Bridge, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is simply a must-see. For a true taste of Porto, be sure to also explore the warren of winding streets behind the riverside. 

Day 3: Wine Tasting Experience in the Douro Valley

Douro Valley
Riverside terraced vineyards in the Douro Valley

Today, your private driver will be waiting to whisk you into the mountains and valleys of the famous Douro Valley, 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

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: Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra

A fountain Coimbra's city center
A fountain in Coimbra's city center

Today, after breakfast and check-out, you'll meet your driver for the transfer south to Lisbon. About halfway through the trip, stop to spend some time exploring 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 a visit, and make sure to take a stroll through the atmospheric medieval streets of the historic center before getting back on the road and continuing to Lisbon.

Day 6: Get to Know Lisbon, Evening of Fado

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 distinctive 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 Old Town of Alfama.

The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Lisbon 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 melancholy tones of Portugal's traditional fado music come together for a truly authentic night out.

Day 7: Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Sintra's hilltop setting near Lisbon
Sintra's hilltop Pena Palace
Plan your trip to Portugal
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

After breakfast, your private driver will pick you up to start 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 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 the tour, a private transfer will take you back to your hotel in Lisbon.

Day 8: 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 can pick up your rental car today and explore the capital's surroundings on a day trip. 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. At the end of your adventure, return to Lisbon for the evening.

Day 9: Drive to Évora, Capital of the Alentejo

Évora's medieval architecture
Évora's medieval architecture

Pick up your rental car today (if you haven't already) and leave Lisbon behind as you drive east to Évora, the capital of Portugal's Alentejo province. Get settled in, then set out to discover the city's most impressive treasures with a private, guided tour.

Explore the UNESCO-listed compact 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 an overview of the city's major events, which have always been linked to the most significant moments in Portuguese history.

Day 10: Free Day in Évora: Neolithic History, Hot Air Balloon & Medieval Villages

Escape 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 city's outskirts, where great river basins converged, and the last communities of hunter-gatherers thrived. Explore the mysterious stone circles, dolmens, and funerary monuments, including the great Cromeleque dos Almendres—constructed 2,000 years before Stonehenge.

For more of an adventure, take to the skies to see the great plains of the Alentejo from a hot air balloon—soaring over the magnificent city of Évora and getting 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, start with picture-perfect Monsaraz, located overlooking Europe's largest reservoir. Stroll the compact, medieval center, then climb to the castle for panoramic views across the Alqueva Dam.

Day 11: Drive to Lagos & the Algarve

Explore Lagos' historic center on foot

It's time to head to the beach! Hit the road today and head south for the sun-soaked coast of Portugal's Algarve region. 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 retains its distinctive character and laid-back charm. 

Days 12-13: Free Days in the Algarve

Visit some of the spectacular beaches near Lagos

The next two days are free for you to discover the many wonders of the Algarve at your leisure. Spend some more time in the 16th-century city of Lagos for its cobblestone streets, inviting squares, and great restaurants. Near the city center are several dreamlike beaches, with plenty of watersports and boat excursions on offer. Pinhao is a peaceful cove known for its secluded setting, while Ponta da Piedade offers 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 whitewashed villages offering mouth-watering cuisine and exhilarating coastal scenery. Lovers of quiet should explore more of the massive Costa Vicentina Natural Park, which covers 182,857 acres (74,000 ha) of protected land, including beaches, cliffs, and marshland, with more than 750 species of flora and 200 species of birds. 

Day 14: Drive to Lisbon

Sunrise over Praia do Camilo
Spend a final morning at the beach, then bid the Algarve farewell and get back on the road toward Lisbon. After returning your rental car and settling into your hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free. Catch any of the capital's highlights you might have missed earlier in the trip, or browse some local shops for souvenirs. As evening falls, toast your final night and savor some Portuguese specialties in one of the city's charming neighborhood restaurants.

Day 15: Depart Lisbon

Sunset over Lisbon's Abril Bridge

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal! At the designated time, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels and boa viagem!

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Map of Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, Évora & Lagos - 15 Days
Map of Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, Évora & Lagos - 15 Days