Make the Most of Your Time in Portugal

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Foz, Porto's Old Town
How Many Days to Spend in Portugal

Portugal’s compact size means you can pack a lot into a short trip—a few days allows for exploration of Lisbon and Porto, along with a few excursions beyond city limits. With a week, enjoy a more comprehensive route, detouring to the coast and countryside. Those with two weeks can plan a full north-to-south trip, and maybe even tack on a visit to Portugal's lesser-explored islands or neighboring Spain.

View over Lisbon, Portugal
Map of 5 Days in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you only have five days in Portugal, you can pair two major cities—Lisbon and Porto, for example—or choose one region for an in-depth experience. Explore the dreamy Algarve coast, head to the wine-famous Duoro Valley, or stick to Lisbon and its surrounds. The itineraries below offer unique options that appeal to all kinds of travelers, from Portugal first-timers to foodies and wine enthusiasts to sun worshipers.

Aerial of Odeceixe Beach on Portugal's west coast
Map of 6 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
6 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Six days in Portugal will leave you wanting more. The good thing, however, is that the country's small size relative to other popular European countries works in your favor, allowing you to pack in a diverse range of cities and scenery in under a week's vacation. You'll have time to see the highlights of Lisbon and Sintra, spend time on the beaches of the Algarve, get to know the Azores, or discover the country's Jewish heritage.

Lagos, Portugal
Map of 1 Week in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With a week in Portugal, you can see the highlights of Lisbon and Porto, or enjoy a deeper exploration of a specific region like the Algarve. You can also let your interests inform your trip: History buffs can enjoy private guided tours of palaces and pilgrimage sites, foodies can taste Douro Valley wines and take hands-on culinary workshops, and active travelers can enjoy day hikes to cliffs, forests, gardens, and mansions. Read on to get inspired by these unique trip plans for every type of traveler.

Explore the Douro Valley and sample wines as you go
Map of 8 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With a week and a day, there's ample time to plan a relaxing or action-packed trip to one, two, or even three regions of Portugal. Plan a gourmand's self-drive adventure in historic Lisbon, Porto, and the Douro Valley wine country. Immerse yourself in the magnificent volcanic landscapes, misty forests, and golden beaches of the Azores or Madeira. Or lace up your boots for an in-depth hiking experience of the Algarve coast, including the fairy-tale palace at Sintra.

Sanctuary of Christ the King overlooks Lisbon
Map of 9 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Nine days is enough time to travel the length of Portugal, from the neoclassical skyline of Porto in the north to the crescent beaches of Albufeira in the south. In between, there are adventures to be had at the palaces of the Sintra Mountains, the windswept cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente, and of course, all the culture, cuisine, and history you can handle in Lisbon. You can also embark on an off-the-beaten-path road trip to some of the most beautiful villages in the country.

Vibrant houses in Porto
Map of 10 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Spend ten days exploring all Portugal has to offer with these unique itineraries. If it’s your first time in the country, visit Lisbon, Porto, and the Western Algarve’s beaches. You can take a more relaxed approach to the country’s highlights or choose to add in a number of charming towns and sights as you work your way down the coast. Or, choose one specific area—like the Douro Valley—to see the country through the lens of regional culture, food, and wine.

Enjoy quality time with your family as you tour Portugal
10 Days in Portugal - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Ten days in Portugal allows you to cover the highlights with a family-friendly food and cultural itinerary. Try pastéis de nata in Porto, take a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon, and relax on the many beaches in the Algarve. Add two days in Nazaré to your itinerary to see record-breaking waves, or opt for a more relaxing holiday in the Serra da Arrábida region. Swap the coast for visits to Coimbra and Óbidos to explore the Buçaco Forest and the thrilling Mira De Aire Caves.

Scenic Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Lisbon
Map of 11 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In 11 days, you can get to the heart of Portugal as you travel from the northern wine country to the sun-kissed southern coast. Along the way, you'll spend ample time in its historic coastal cities, like Lisbon and Porto, and the medieval mountain towns of its interior. And if you're still thirsting for more, jet off to exotic islands like the Azores or hop the border to Spain for more fun times in Madrid and Barcelona.

Madeira Island
Map of 12 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Twelve days is ample time to hit the major cities in Portugal, plus enjoy off-the-beaten-path excursions. Plan an ultimate adventure in historic Porto and the Douro Valley wine country from behind the wheel of a classic car. Then head south to the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve coast and the fairy-tale palace at Sintra before jet-setting to stunning Madeira Island. And don't forget delicious food tours and unforgettable city walks of Lisbon's historic enclaves and medieval buildings.

Lisbon's oldest church, the Lisbon Cathedral
Map of 13 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 13 days in Portugal, there's almost nothing you can't do, whether that's hitting the highlights of major cities or going off the beaten path on the northern and southern coasts. It's enough time to experience Lisbon and Porto's culture and history while embarking on road-trip adventures to medieval mountain towns and secluded coves on the golden Algarve coast. There will also be time leftover for wine tours, jetting to offshore islands, and even an excursion to neighboring Spain for more fun.

Ponta do Poiso waterfall on the north coast of the Madeira, Portugal
Map of 2 Weeks in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Portugal - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in Portugal gives you ample time to enjoy the highlights at a relaxed pace. Spend time in both Lisbon and Porto — complete with private guided tours and gorgeous day trips — while also adding time further afield, on the beaches of the Algarve or on an island like São Miguel in the Azores. Take a road trip, explore the Douro Valley, or tour the broader Iberian Peninsula by combining Portugal with neighboring Spain in one vacation. Read on for more unique itineraries.

Take the kids to the Alejento countryside to explore olive groves and medieval villages
2 Weeks in Portugal - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in Portugal, you can embark on an ultimate family-friendly itinerary ticking off the country's highlights from top to bottom, or take a more relaxing approach and split your time between Porto, Lisbon, and the Algarve coast. Families with older kids will enjoy a trip that mixes the cultural splendors of Porto and Lisbon with a five-night stay on São Miguel Island, whereas families with younger children can combine Spain and Portugal for a highlights tour.

A trail leading toward Ponta da Madrugada, Sao Miguel, Azores
Map of 15 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in Portugal - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Fifteen days in Portugal offers travelers a range of options for adventure and leisure. Visit the highlights on a cross-country sightseeing trip, or opt to see more of the Iberian Peninsula by splitting your time between Portugal and Spain. Adventure travelers love to explore the natural landscape of the Azores on an island-hopping tour, including a hike up Portugal's tallest mountain. Or eat and drink your way through Portugal on a foodie tour that introduces you to the best of Portuguese cuisine.

Take your kids to Portugal and discover Porto's delights together
Map of 1 Week in Portugal - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Portugal - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

In one week, you can explore three to five destinations in Portugal, opting for a fast-paced itinerary that leads you and the family from Porto to Lisbon with added excursions to Peneda-Gerês National Park, Sintra, and Tomar. Swap out Porto for a family getaway to the Algarve to swim, snorkel, cruise with dolphins, and board a catamaran to explore Benagil Cave. Alternatively, for a more relaxed itinerary, opt for a food tour in Porto, a day trip to the Mira de Aire Caves, and a tuk-tuk tour in Lisbon.