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The perfect Portugal Itinerary from 7 to 14 days

Combining history and natural scenery, Portugal is a destination that you must include in your Europe trip. The traditional Mediterranean cuisine, the culture, and the friendliness of the Portuguese people are just as attractive as the landscape itself. Besides, because it is a small country, it is easy to program a Portugal itinerary through several cities and natural attractions. In this post, I have put together the perfect 14 days Portugal Itinerary and some variations to help you plan your trip.


After some in the shadow, Portugal has recently gained a lot of attention and has become one of the most sought-after countries in Europe. Thousands of tourists from all over the world flock here daily.

And who can blame them? Overall, it is a fascinating land with stunning natural landscapes, some of the best wines in the world, unparalleled cuisine, charismatic and welcoming people. In addition, every corner speaks about a little piece of its history and cultural heritage.

Located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal also offers one of the best climates in Europe, with temperatures ranging between 47°F and 83°F.

Porto Portugal overview

It is also one of the least expensive travel options in Europe, and relatively safe.

All in all, Portugal is the perfect place for all sorts of travelers, including women traveling alone.

With that in mind, I laid out a 10-day Portugal itinerary through the country including some incredible attractions and beautiful places that you simply cannot miss when visiting the land of Fado music and Porto wine.

Two weeks Portugal Itinerary Map

Portugal Itinerary map
Click on the picture to open the Map

14 days Portugal itinerary

To make the best out of your Portugal trip, I organized this itinerary as a road trip which implies a rental car. Although it is also possible if using trains and buses, renting a car will give you the flexibility to travel at your own pace and in comfort and reach those destinations where public transportation won’t go.

I also considered Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, as both the starting and ending points.

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Day 1 – Lisbon

Lisbon is a beautiful city, with kind people, interesting attractions and spectacular food and wine and there are many reasons why it has become one of the most popular destinations even among expats and Digital Nomads.

I have packed these two days in Lisbon with the best things to do in quaint Portugal Capital.

You don’t actually need a car to explore the city, so you can start your rental car from day 3 of your Portugal Itinerary.

It is in fact worth exploring the central districts of the Portuguese capital on foot to be mesmerized by every detail of its architecture and demonstrations of urban arts.

You can also mix it up a bit and take one of the famous Lisbon’s electric streetcars (or trams).

Lisbon’s centennial public transports are an attraction in the city (there is even a museum dedicated to them!). Besides all their interior and exterior charm, they make interesting and very valuable routes for the traveler.

So, to start your first day in Lisbon, take the streetcar 28 to the Miradouro do Recolhimento and enjoy a nice walk through the Alfama neighborhood to the Castelo de São Jorge, built on the highest point of the city.

Lisbon Portugal tramcar

Then walk to the Sé de Lisboa, an imposing cathedral built in 1150. Walk down admiring the buildings until you reach the Praça do Comércio, the most important square in Lisbon home to the beautiful Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta.

Go up Rua da Prata until you reach the 148 ft high Elevador de Santa Justa, the best and most charming means of transportation to go from Baixa to Chiado.

Finally, at night, I suggest having dinner at the Time Out Market, in Cais do Sodré, a large gourmet market with some of the best restaurants in Lisbon.

As far as accommodations go, Lisbon has a wide range of options and since you have only two days I suggest staying in Bairro Alto, Chiado, or Alfama.

With that in mind, Hotel Santa Justa is a very comfortable and accessible accommodation in Baixa-Chiado and 9Hotel Mercy is in one of the many old buildings in Bairro Alto that have been restored and adapted as a luxury hotel. But, if you are looking for a cheaper option, Alface Hall Hostel & Bar in Chiado is a great option for those who are willing to share a hostel room.

Lisbon portugal streets

Day 2 – Lisbon

The second day in your Lisbon itinerary should be dedicated to getting to know Belém, a more remote neighborhood that boasts some of the city’s most interesting attractions.

Most of the monuments open from 10 am, and the best way to get there is with the tram 15E, a streetcar that leaves from Praça da Figueira and goes to the Mosteiros dos Jerônimos. The monastery dates from 1496, and each of its columns was carved by hand. It is a knockout.

LISBON CITY

When it is time for lunch, the tip is to go to Jardim Vasco da Gama, an area full of typical restaurants and cafes. Try the restaurant Adega de Belém, with plenty of seafood options.

Leave dessert for the famous Pastéis de Belém from the cafeteria named after the sweet (also called pastel de nata) and located in the same block. Although the place is crowded, the waiters are quick, and you won’t waste any of your precious time.

After refueling your body with Gods’ food, it is time to move on to Belém’s main monuments. There is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, the landmark of Cabral’s departure in 1500 to the new world.

If you want to enjoy a view of the city, climb to the top of the monument (the price is 5 euros per person).

Lisbon  Portugal Overview

Continuing your visit along the waterfront, you will see the Torre de Belém from afar, built to protect the entrance to the Tagus River.

On your way back to the center of Lisbon, stop by LX Factory, a former industrial area that today is occupied by dozens of studios, bars, stores, and art workshops. I recommend going up to Rio Maravilha bar, perfect for dinner or wine with an incredible view of the Ponte 25 de Abril.

In Lisbon, you can also join a free walking tour or other interesting tours created by locals to show you Lisbon’s gems

Day 3 – Cascais

Now, it is time to get in the car and head to Cascais. The small town is home to Lisbon closest beaches.  So save the morning to check out Praia do Guincho and Praia da Arriba, the most beautiful beaches near Lisbon.

Also, the colorful city center is full of little shops, restaurants, and charming cafes. It is worth wandering around to discover some very pleasant spots and enjoy a scrumptious lunch and enjoy the local cuisine.

Walk towards Cascais Marina, the place where the boat tours leave for the region. Then take the opportunity to visit the Cidadela de Cascais, a fortified structure in the city that currently houses shops and museums.

CASCAIS PORTUGAL OVERVIEW

The next stop is a visit to the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum, where you can have a panoramic view of the city from the top of the 1868 lighthouse. 

Finally, the last stop is the spectacular Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth), where strong powerful Atlantic Ocean waves crash against the massive rocky walls, creating surreal scenery.

Before heading to Sintra, where I recommend you spend your next night, stop by Cabo da Roca for a memorable sunset at this which is known as the westernmost point of Europe.

PAMELA PALACE CASCAIS

Day 4 – Sintra

Sintra is one of those mountain towns that seem like a trip back in time. With castles and palaces, the place preserves a lot of its original architecture. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra has a lot to offer which is why I suggest you should spend the night there so you can enjoy at least one full day in the village.

Start your visit with Pena Palace with its playful colors presenting a mixture of architectural styles and a beautiful garden.

Nearby is the Castelo dos Mouros, one of the most popular Sintra Castles, an incredibly fortified structure built in the 9th-century when the Moors occupied the region.

Sintra aerial view

Finally, go down the hill to the National Palace of Sintra, which served as the residence of the Portuguese royal family until the end of the monarchy.

Finally, if you have time, have a coffee at the traditional Doceria Piriquita, and try the famous and delicious “travesseiros” and “queijadas”.

Depending on how early you got up if you have extra time in the afternoon I recommend walking to Quinta da Regaleira. This huge space, which served as residence to many nobles is filled with mysterious symbolism and gothic architecture among gardens, lakes, towers, and trails. 

Day 5 – Óbidos

One of the most graceful and interesting spots on this Portugal itinerary, the town of Óbidos is a small, fortified town that can be explored in just one day on foot. However, the experience of spending a night in a medieval town is super worthy and makes it a perfect stop on your drive north to Porto.

The Porta da Vila, the very entrance to the town, is already an attraction in itself and displays a beautiful mosaic of 18th-century tiles. Walk down Rua Direita, the main street in town and where the main shops and restaurants are.

Obidos

From there, take a detour and access places such as Santa Maria Church, the city’s main church, built in the 12th-century. Also, to complete the medieval experience, it is worth walking on the stone walls that surround Óbidos for more than a mile.

Finally, get to the Óbidos Castle, considered one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal, where the luxurious Hotel Castelo de Óbidos offers privileged views of the city.

Day 6 – Porto

Now, onwards we go. Continuing north, halfway between Óbidos and Porto, I suggest a stop in the traditional village of Nazaré. And after discovering the giant waves of the famous “Nazaré Canyon“, you have made it to Porto, one of the most visited cities in Portugal and the wine region.

Undeniably, the city is very charming with many cafes and handicraft shops and the minimum stay in Porto is 2 days if you want to fully appreciate the city.

Start by visiting the 250 ft high Torre dos Clérigos, one of the great baroque icons of the city. Also, a few steps away is the centennial Lello Bookstore, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Afterward, head to Praça da Liberdade, the most important square in town, and continue along Avenida dos Aliados, passing by great places like the traditional Café Guarany, founded in 1933.

Go to the São Bento Railway Station to appreciate the immense tile panels that decorate its walls. Then, make a stop at the Porto Cathedral, which began to be built in the 12th-century. Next to it, there is a beautiful belvedere with a panoramic view of the whole city.

Go to the Stock Exchange Palace and admire its neoclassical architecture. Finally, go down to the Cais do Ribeira and enjoy the sunset and the view of the Douro River in the Douro Valley from one of the many open-air restaurants scattered around the area.

RIbeira walls porto

Day 7 – Porto

On the second day of your Porto itinerary, cross the Ponte Luís I Bridge, which will give you a new perspective of the region and beautiful views. Go to the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, where there is a wonderful viewpoint to see the city from above.

Even if you do not visit the Monastery, take a ride down in the Vila Nova de Gaia Cable Car to see the entire riverside area of Porto.

Porto overview

Arriving in Vila Nova de Gaia, at the end of the cable car, take the opportunity to visit the Port Wine Cellars, an unmissable tour. There are several establishments where you can do tastings and guided tours to better understand the production process of this famous wine.

You can also have lunch there and walk through the streets to see the incredible manifestations of urban art that color the city’s walls.

Porto is not so big, but it has several attractions to enjoy throughout the city. The main recommendation is to stay in the city center, around Bolhão and Clérigos, close to the old part of the city.

The Editory Artist Baixa Hotel is a great example of classical and cozy accommodation near many historical places such as Café Majestic and Coliseu do Porto.

However, there are several good options a bit further away near subways or other sights, such as around Zona da Ribeira and Casa da Música, where you can find the minimalist Casa do Conto.

Porto Tiles

Day 8 – Braga e Guimarães

From Porto, there are many other trips worth considering such as a visit to Vale do Douro, which you can include if you have extra days to add to your Portugal itinerary.

GUIMARES CITY VIEW

In this case, I suggest a day trip to the cities of Braga and Guimarães, instead. You will certainly fall in love with the attractions of these two cities, which are 35 miles from the city of Porto and 12 miles from each other.

Braga is one of the oldest cities in the country its highlights include the steps of the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Guimarães has a beautiful historic center, besides important and classic tours. No doubt your journey to Portugal will be perfect with these attractions.

Braga by night

Day 9 – Coimbra e Fátima

Now, it is time to start driving south again considering your next days will be spent in the Algarve region.  However, with such a long drive from Porto to Lagos (approximately 5h), I suggest making a road trip out of it stopping along the way.

Your first stop, Coimbra, is known as the city of students, as it is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. In fact, the university is the city’s main tourist attraction and well worth a visit.

Coimbra university overview

Around the university, the historic center is like a maze of narrow medieval streets, steep slopes, stairways, and buildings with reddish roofs. With a rich and preserved historical heritage, Coimbra is the perfect city to get lost in between its alleys.

Meanwhile, your second stop, Fátima, is all about religious tourism with the Shrine of Fátima as its main attraction. The whole complex includes the chapel of the apparitions and the shrine itself. In half a day you can visit everything at a slow pace, including attending a mass, if you want to.

Day 10 – Lagos

Now that you have finally made it to the Algarve, know that seven days is the ideal period to get to know the region which is very rich in landscapes, beaches of different types, markets, and restaurants. However, 4 days allow you to visit the main Algarve beaches and some of its historic sites.

Although the city of Lagos is not as big as the capital of Algarve, Faro, it is the main town and best strategically located. It is also home to some of the best beaches in Portugal, so I highly recommend staying there for two nights.

Also read | Where to stay in Lagos, a guide to the cutest hotels

Lagos portugal beach

On this first day in Lagos, check out Praia Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo. The first is one of the most common postcards in the Algarve and the second is perfect for spending some time relaxing. The third destination of the day is Ponta da Piedade, with an indescribable view and a perfect option to watch the sunset.

As in other cities in this itinerary, in Lagos, it is also worth staying in the central region, close to everything and even the beaches. Some of the best options are The Salty Lodge and the more traditional Marina Club Lagos Resort and Hotel Mar Azul.

Lagos Algarve town

Day 11 – Lagos

Close to Lagos, Lagoa is also worth including in your Algarve itinerary. A short drive away from Lagos, it is where you will find Marinha Beach, which was once voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

Take the opportunity to also visit Benagil Beach. From there, a boat trip will take you to Benagil Cave, known as the most beautiful cave in the world.

And if you are more adventurous, you can go on the 7 Hanging Valleys Trail. The hike is 3.5 miles long (one way) and guarantees some of the best landscapes in the Algarve.

Another interesting point to include in this day is the Carvoeiro Village, with colorful houses perched on the cliffs. If you have time, enjoy eating at some of the typical restaurants you find there.

Sagres lagos

Day 12 – Sagres

Finally, you have made it to the last stop in your two weeks trip around Portugal. The small coastal town of Sagres is the perfect base to explore Costa Vicentina, also known as the West Coast of the Algarve.

With some of the most dramatic and wild cliffs, the options of Algarve beaches on the Costa Vicentina are numerous. This is why the first day in Sagres is reserved for a breathtaking road trip starting at Amoreira Beach and driving back to Sagres, stopping along the way.

Some of the highlights include the drive from Amoreira Beach to Fateixa Beach, passing through the lovely fishing village of Monte Clérigo with its little white houses sitting in between the cliffs. I suggest stopping at O Zé for a coffee break.

Once you have made it to Bordeira Beach, take the alternative route of Estrada da Praia along the cliffs to Amado Beach. Another spot I recommend checking out is the Cordoama Lookout. The view from up there is indescribable and you get to see Castelejo Beach as well.

Sagres beach

Day 13 – Sagres

After so much exploring and driving, you might want to take it easier at the end of your trip. And if you want to vary a bit, it is worth taking an excursion to the Sagres Fortress. Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, Sagres Fortress is a must-see in the region.

Besides its undeniable historical value, the site also provides a privileged panoramic view of the entire coast and its incredible cliffs.

After stopping for lunch at Beliche Beach, finish your historic day with a sunset at Cabo São Vicente, which is just around the corner. A little away from the tourist crowds, the cape is the most southwestern point in Europe.

Think of a spectacular place, full of giant cliffs surrounded by an intensely blue sea. There is also a charming red lighthouse and the sunset there will go head to head with the sunset from Cabo da Roca!

Regarding where to stay in Sagres, Memmo Baleeira Hotel Sagres is a short walk from the main restaurants and The Lighthouse Hostel Sagres is a great option if you are traveling alone.

SAGRES - PORTUGAL BEACH

Day 14 – Drive back to Lisbon

Unfortunately, we have come to the end of the best Portugal itinerary. I always use the last day of travel itineraries to enjoy what we do not take advantage of in the most interesting spots. So, if you could not visit all the beaches or towns you wanted before, this is your chance.

Or even if there was something you did not get the chance to discover in Lisbon, you can head back early morning and enjoy the rest of your day there.

Keep in mind, this Portugal itinerary is just a suggestion, an idea of how to enjoy the country in a week or two. Of course, you can make changes, add, or remove elements of it so your trip will be even more enjoyable, depending on what are your priorities and main interests.

cascais street

7 days Portugal itinerary suggestion

But what to do if you don’t have that much time in Portugal?

In case you only have a week, I suggest focusing on the most famous cities in Portugal (Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto).

Unfortunately, this means removing Braga, Guimarães, Coimbra, and Fátima. You would also not have the time to truly explore the Algarve, so I advise not wasting your time driving there.

However, consider keeping Cascais in your Portugal 7 day itinerary, so you get to visit at least a couple of the beautiful Portugal beaches out there.

10 days Portugal itinerary suggestion

On the other hand, if you have 10 days in Portugal, you can have a nice mix of the most popular cities with smaller and historic places, such as Óbidos, Braga, Guimarães, Coimbra, and Fátima.

This means that from the 14-day itinerary I suggest removing only the Algarve to make this a 10-day trip. Once again, the reason behind this is that it is not worth driving to the Algarve to spend less than 4 days.

If you have the Algarve region as your priority, you can check out my amazing Algarve Itinerary which focuses on the destination.

FATIMA

Unmissable places to visit in Portugal

Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon – The 11th-century Moorish castle is located on top of Castle Hill and is, nowadays, one of Lisbon’s main attractions. The castle was built during the medieval period to be a fortified citadel.

The castle complex consists of the castle itself, some auxiliary buildings, ruins, gardens, and a large square with a terrace, from where you can get an incredible view of Lisbon.

Castelo de Sao Jorge Lisbon

Sintra – Located high up in the mountains, Sintra is surrounded by lots of greenery, narrow little streets, historic palaces, and the cutest little center you will see in all of Portugal. It is well worth spending a day there, even considering an overnight stay, and explore the amazing Sintra castles.

Óbidos – Located 50 miles from Lisbon, Óbidos can be visited in just one day. Its streets have medieval buildings that remind us of the 12th-century, so you will find an architecture of walls made of stones and a village with a Middle Ages look. It is, to say the least, a different experience for the tourist who likes history.

Livraria Lello, Porto – The Lello Bookstore is one of the obligatory stops for those visiting Porto. The bookstore became famous for being an inspiration for the Harry Potter series and has now entered the list of tourist attractions in the city. The Lello Bookstore also stands out for the architecture of its building. On the facade, of neo-Gothic style, two figures stand out, symbolizing Art and Science.

Benagil cave beach

Algarve – Between picture-worthy beaches, incredible caves, imposing rock formations, and historical heritage sites, the Algarve offers many things to do.

Located between Spain and the Alentejo region, the Algarve is a European paradise full of history and modern amenities offering something for everyone.

With an average of 300 sunny days per year, the Algarve beaches represent one of the main touristic destinations in summer.


Useful Portugal Travel tips

When is the best time to visit Portugal

Portugal is much more enjoyable if you visit in the warmer months. With the warm weather, beach time, boat trips, and city tours are certainly more enjoyable. Not to mention being able to enjoy the bars and restaurants on the sidewalk.

But of course, during the winter the country is also beautiful and is worth considering if you are planning a winter getaway. In fact, the country is in the south of Europe it has a very mild climate, the temperatures do not drop that much, so you can go all year round.

However, I think autumn and spring are the best periods because you get away from the intense heat and the crowds of summer vacation.

Read more about the best time to visit Portugal


Is Portugal safe

Portugal was voted the 4th safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index 2021. Of course, like anywhere else in the world, more touristy places require a little more attention to your belongings. But, in general, there is not much to worry about safety in Portugal since the existing problems are punctual.

In any case, having travel insurance is always a smart choice. You never know what can happen and stay protected will give you peace of mind.

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Travelling around Portugal

Most tourist cities have adequate public transportation. Sintra, Porto, and Lisbon for example offer the double-decker tourist bus that stops at all attractions. From one city to another some buses or trains are convenient and affordable.

However, to visit some of the cities in this itinerary renting a car will definitely provide more freedom and comfort.

So, I recommend renting a car and doing a 10-day driving tour of Portugal through beautiful landscapes. Driving around the country is easy and very economical.

Remember that the distances are very short between one city and another, as it is possible to cross the whole country from north to south in about 6 hours by car. So, take advantage of this recommendation and go on an amazing Portugal road trip through the major cities of Portugal!

Lisbon Castel overview Portugal

How many days to spend in Portugal?

To get most of the basics you need at least 7 days of travel in Portugal. In one week, it is possible to walk calmly through the streets of Lisbon and make some short trips to nearby destinations, such as Sintra and Cascais. Besides visiting Porto, of course.

But there is still a lot more to see. From the Alentejo and the Algarve to the country’s rural interior, not to mention the islands of Madeira and Azores. But you have to make choices and with a 10-day itinerary, you can see the main cities without being in a hurry.

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About the author

camila portrait

I’m Camila, an Oceanographer from Brazil which is where my journey began. My studies have taken me to unique places around the world since I was a teenager. I found in my academic career the chance to come across different cultures and languages while working as a scientist. By having lived in several countries I have been able to share my experiences as a travel content writer for the last 4 years and I still have plenty more to tell. I have a great passion for the outdoors and animals, especially dogs and seals (which, let’s be honest, are basically sea dogs!).