- Walk (and tram) through cool historic districts in Lisbon like Alfama and Bairro Alto
- Spend a day in the fairytale village of Sintra followed by the coastal area of Cascais
- Make a detour in Tomar to see the UNESCO-listed Convento de Cristo
- Tour Porto’s photogenic streets and culinary scene with a local guide
- Spend your last few days beach hopping and dining on seafood in Lagos
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon – Culinary Excursion||Lisbon|
|Day 2||Half-Day Tour of Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 3||Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril||Lisbon|
|Day 4||Transfer from Lisbon to Porto, via Tomar||Porto|
|Day 5||Get to Know Porto||Porto|
|Day 6||Day-Trip to Douro Valley||Porto|
|Day 7||Transfer from Porto to Lagos||Lagos|
|Days 8-9||Explore Lagos & the Algarve Region||Lagos|
|Day 10||Transfer from Lagos to Lisbon – Depart Portugal|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon – Culinary Excursion
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon’s airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring.
When evening hits, you’ll take part in a gourmet food tour in Lisbon—a great way to experience the city for the first time! Wear a good pair of walking shoes because you, along with your English-speaking guide, will meander through a series of authentic winding alleys tasting the incredible flavors of Portuguese gastronomy, especially in the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique—practically a city within the city—that sets the food culture and gastronomic trends of Lisbon.
Over the course of four hours, you will visit seven spots that brilliantly link tradition with modernity. Experience ways that locals have reinvented restaurant concepts, including a market and hotel school while getting a taste of culinary recipes that have become world-famous.
Day 2: Half-Day Tour of Lisbon
Today you’ll get to discover Lisbon on a half-day tour visiting key sites and some well-kept secrets, exposing the city’s unique atmosphere and authenticity. This will be a fun adventure as you travel around the city utilizing the yellow tram system broken up with relaxed strolls. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes.
The tour includes the following:
- Praça do Comércio: the largest of Lisbon’s plazas
- Baixa: the ‘new city’, built after the devastating 1755 earthquake
- Praça da Figueira: Lisbon’s traditional market square
- Rossio: the heart of downtown Lisbon
- Iron Lift Viewpoint: a stellar 360º view over the downtown district
- Largo do Carmo: the setting for the democratic revolution of 1974
- Carmo ruins: the only Gothic monument of the city
- St. Roque Church: a Baroque extravaganza
- Bairro Alto: the lively bohemian district
- Chiado: the city’s most elegant shopping area
- Portas do Sol: a breathtaking view over Alfama (the Old Town)
In the evening, you’ll dine at one of the best Fado restaurants in Lisbon for traditional Portuguese cuisine interspersed with authentic singing and music.
Day 3: Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
The area surrounding Lisbon offers an incredible variety of architecture and scenery, from fairytale palaces to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. Today’s guided excursion is the ideal way to experience some of these attractions.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will deliver you to the first stop on the tour: 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 British poet Lord Byron in the 18th century. You will have free time to explore on your own and have lunch, and your guide can recommend some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that are worth a visit.
Your next stop will be the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal and mainland Europe. Enjoy the gorgeous views across the Atlantic Ocean as waves crash onto the shore. On the return trip to Lisbon, you will have time to appreciate the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and nowadays an excellent spot for surfing. You’ll also be able to visit the luxury entertainment town of Estoril, known for its casino (the largest in Europe) and attractive gardens.
After the excursion, you’ll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Lisbon any way you’d like.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Transfer from Lisbon to Porto, via Tomar
Today you’ll be picked up at the hotel for a private transfer to Porto—Portugal’s second largest and most populous city.
Along the journey, your driver will stop in the city of Tomar to visit the Convento de Cristo, which forms a beautiful backdrop from almost any vantage point. Eight-and-a-half centuries after its founding, this venerable headquarters of the legendary Knights Templar is a rambling concoction of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architecture that bears extravagant witness to its integral role in centuries of Portuguese history. You will need at least 1.5 to 2 hours to visit the monastery (self-guided).
After departing Tomar, it’s time for one more stop at Almourol Castle, a fortress located on the top of a small rocky island in the middle of the Tagus River. Despite its nearly 2,000-year-old age, the castle is well-kept and has long controlled the waterway along the Tagus. It is widely accepted that the name comes from the Arabic word almorolan, which means ‘high rock’, and, indeed, this definition perfectly describes the wonderful location of the castle. Take some time to explore (self-guided) before getting back on the road.
You’ll then continue the route to Porto where you’ll have the evening to explore the romantic streets, chock-full of beautiful buildings—especially in the UNESCO-listed city center—and great restaurants.
Day 5: Get to Know Porto
Today is a great introduction to Porto! After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll join a half-day tour of the city with a local guide. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city as you travel from place to place in a comfortable private vehicle.
Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of the city. Here you’ll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city’s most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most important museums and modern local treasures.
Next, you’ll head to the city center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to admire the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, and Bolhão Market, to name a few.
After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you will finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
But that’s not all: In the evening (after some time to rest), it’s time for another tour—this time centered on the city’s exciting food scene. This is your chance to get off the well-worn tourist path for a side of Porto that travelers rarely see. You’ll be welcomed by local families in their small, authentic restaurants, cafés, and bars as you taste a range of traditional dishes, local pastries, and, of course, Portuguese wines.
Day 6: Day-Trip to Douro Valley
After breakfast in Porto, you will be picked up at your hotel for a full-day excursion in the Douro Valley, one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world!
To kick it off, you can learn about the production process of Port wine at one of the most notable vineyards in the Douro Valley, while partaking in several Port wine tastings. If you are not particularly fond of Port wine, you can alternatively visit a table wine vineyard and producer. The tour also includes a visit to a local olive oil producer since this is one of the most beloved products of the region.
In the mid-day, you’ll have lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant where there will be more time to learn about the area and ask your guide questions. Next, is a relaxing and scenic boat trip along the valley with photo ops at several magnificent viewpoints along the Douro River.
Following the boat trip, you’ll return to Porto in time for dinner on your own.
Day 7: Transfer from Porto to Lagos
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, you’ll check-in to your hotel and have 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, 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.
The best way to start is by walking around!
Days 8-9: Explore Lagos & the Algarve Region
Today, you’ll have the entire day to explore the incredibly scenic area in and around Lagos, its nearby beaches, and the larger Algarve Region any way you’d like.
If you haven’t spent much time in the port city of Lagos yet, it’s definitely worth some time to wander through its 16th-century inner walls for cobblestoned streets and inviting squares. You’ll also find a great range of restaurants and nightlife options both inside and outside the walls (not surprisingly, outside is more modern).
If beaches are high on the list, you’ll find a number of dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, watersports, and boat excursions. For example, there’s Pinhao Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another option is the Ponta da Piedade, which offers more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo enjoys a memorable view from the top while 200 wooden steps lead to a sheltered sandy cove.
The scenery doesn’t stop there: If you have a car, the surrounding Algarve region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.
Day 10: Transfer from Lagos to Lisbon – Depart Portugal
It’s time to say goodbye to Portugal! At the designated time, you’ll be picked up at your hotel by a private driver and begin the drive to Lisbon’s airport for your departure home. Safe travels!