Looking to plan the perfect Portugal itinerary? We have you covered!

Portugal is by far one of our favorite places in the world! We spent three weeks adventuring through Portugal’s picturesque cities, coastal gems, and historical sights.

From the bustling streets of Lisbon to the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve and the vineyard-covered hills of the Douro Valley, this itinerary will guide you through the best of Portugal’s diverse offerings.

3 week Portugal itinerary

Overview of Portugal Trip Itinerary

A few notes about this itinerary:

  • This trip will either require a rental car or a private driver. While the country has an excellent transportation system to and from the major cities we will reference throughout, some smaller towns are harder to reach by train and will require a car. We booked our car rental through RentalCars, as they compare a wide range of rental options.
  • This itinerary starts in Lisbon- You will fly into Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon’s International Airport).
  • Our itinerary ends in Porto, allowing you to fly out or take a 3-hour drive back to Lisbon.
  • Our itinerary is spread out over 3 weeks. However, you can adjust the time spent in each town depending on the length of your trip.
  • Lisbon and Porto are fantastic starting points for your Portugal adventure. Both cities have convenient access to international airports. If you decide to start your vacation in Porto, you can navigate our itinerary in reverse.
  • We opted to book Airbnb and other guest houses for accommodations, with a few occasional hotel stays. This approach proved cost-effective for our group of 4 individuals. We have also included hotel recommendations in this itinerary based on our previous experiences traveling throughout Portugal.

Lisbon (Days 1-4)

Your journey through Portugal will begin in Lisbon, the dynamic and lively capital city!

Prepare to indulge in irresistible delights, including Pastéis de Belém (egg custard tarts), Vinho Verde (Portugal wine), Ginjinha (sour cherry liqueur), and the famous Portuguese salted cod.

beautiful city picture of lisbon, the Portuguese capital city with cobbled stone streets and bright yellow cable car in the background.
Pink Street in beautiful city of Lisbon. Girl has her hand up in the air. The street below her has bright pink paint. Their are rainbow color umbrellas hanging over the streets
Santa justa lift in the capital city of lisbon

You’ll witness breathtaking sunsets from the many Miradouros and explore renowned historical landmarks, including the Castelo de Sao Jorge, The Belem Tower, Santa Justa Lift, the lively Bairro Alto, and the winding streets of the Alfama District.

Transportation From Airport

From the airport in Lisbon, you can easily reach the city center by taxi/Uber, public transportation, or pre-arranged private transfer to your accommodation.

Note: Lisbon has excellent public transportation, inexpensive taxis, and Ubers. We opted to use taxis in Lisbon and pick up our rental car on the 5th day of our itinerary, saving us 4 days of rental car costs.

Lisbon Activities

Where to Stay in Lisbon

When choosing where to stay in Lisbon, it’s important to consider your preferences and the atmosphere you’re seeking.

The neighborhoods of Baixa, Chiado, and Rossio are all in a central location with easy access to major attractions, shopping, and dining. Alfama, known for its winding streets and traditional charm, is ideal for those seeking a more authentic and historic ambiance.

the san francisco lookalike bridge in Lisbon on our sailing adventure on day 2 of our portugal itinerary

Bairro Alto is perfect for those looking for a lively nightlife scene, while Belém offers a tranquil setting with its waterfront location and iconic landmarks. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and the type of experience you wish to have in Lisbon.

Best Airbnbs & Hotels Lisbon

Excellent location, close to Marquês de Pombal Square, breakfast included.

Elegant hotel, with stained glass windows, antique furniture, and a terrace overlooking the Tagus River.

Ajuda District - clean rooms, breakfast, private parking, a terrace

Top Pick!

Excellent location, close to Marquês de Pombal Square, breakfast included.

Elegant hotel, with stained glass windows, antique furniture, and a terrace overlooking the Tagus River.

Ajuda District - clean rooms, breakfast, private parking, a terrace

buy tickets for this sailing with Nigel tour. image shows a man standing in front of a sailing boat

Book: Sailing With Nigel

Algarve Region | Lagos (Days 5-8)

Next, you’ll head down to the Algarve Region, the most southern point in Portugal, where you will spend a few days relaxing on warm, beautiful beaches, kayaking through famous sea caves, and enjoying sunset walks along the towering limestone cliffs.

boating by beautiful beaches and exploring caves like the benagil cave while visiting Portugal.
beach time in the algarve with two men standing on the beach
explore portugal sea caves on Kayak tour in algarve

Transportation

After checking out of your Lisbon accommodation, you’ll pick up your rental car in Lisbon. Compare prices with Expedia Rental Cars and RentalCars.com for the best budget-friendly car rental deals.

Car, Train & Private Transport

Driving: Lisbon to Lagos (Algarve Region) is a 3-hour drive.

Private Transfer: You can book a Lisbon to Algarve Private Transfer here.

Lisbon to Lagos by Train: The fastest train route from Lisbon to Lagos is around 3 hours and 30 minutes and costs between 23-30 Euros. This route requires 1 transfer once you arrive in the Algarve region. Train Tickets can be purchased here.

Lisbon to Lagos by Bus: The bus from Lisbon to Lagos is 3-4 hours and costs between 17 to 20 Euros. You can book bus tickets here.

Algarve Activities

Algarve Highlights Include:

Where to Stay in The Algarve Region

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in the Algarve region, there are several enticing options to consider, including Carvoeiro and Albufeira. Our recommendation is to choose accommodations within the captivating city walls of Lagos!

man and woman spending time kayaking to some of Portugals most beautiful beaches

Staying within the city walls of Lagos allows you to immerse yourself in the enchanting old town’s historic town center, where charming cobblestone streets lead to picturesque squares, quaint cafes, traditional Portuguese restaurants, and lively bars.

Check out our Favorite Lagos Restaurants!

Recommended Guest Houses & Hotels Lagos

Our Top Pick!stylish bed and breakfast in city center, walkable. Rooms book up quickly. 

Great location. Close to shops and restaurants. Guest house with breakfast delivered to rooms or your balcony. 

Hostel, directly in front of the Marina. Private and mixed rooms are available. Great location!

Guest House with onsite parking, 13-minute walk from Praia da Forte da Bandeira and 0.7 miles from Meia Praia Beach

Great Location in Old Town Lagos. Basic rooms, clean, and walkable!

Top Pick!

Our Top Pick!stylish bed and breakfast in city center, walkable. Rooms book up quickly. 

Great location. Close to shops and restaurants. Guest house with breakfast delivered to rooms or your balcony. 

Hostel, directly in front of the Marina. Private and mixed rooms are available. Great location!

Guest House with onsite parking, 13-minute walk from Praia da Forte da Bandeira and 0.7 miles from Meia Praia Beach

Great Location in Old Town Lagos. Basic rooms, clean, and walkable!

narrow cobbled stone street in Lagos city center. Image shows peri peri shop in the background
man and woman smiling at camera from caves that are walking distance from hotel in lagos

Évora (Days 9-10)

Today you will check out of your hotel in Lagos (Algarve Region) and head straight to Évora, a university town known for its rich historical and cultural heritage.

This charming city, located in the Alentejo region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and captivates visitors with its well-preserved medieval walls, narrow cobblestone streets, and impressive architectural landmarks like the Roman Temple of Evora, Chapel of Bones, Evora Cathedral, and Silver Aqueduct.

Read Now: 7 Top Things To Do in Évora Portugal!

unesco world heritage site Roman Temple of Evora
Evora city center on day 8 of Portugal Itinerary visiting the cathedral of Evora

Transportation

Driving: Lagos (Algarve Region) to Evora is a 2-hour and 42-minute drive. 

Lagos to Evora by Train: The fastest route by train from Lagos to Evora is 4 hours and 25 minutes. This route requires transfers. You can book train tickets here.

Évora Highlights

Our Évora highlights include:

  • Private Walking Tour Evora Highlights
  • Chapel of Bones
  • Roman Temple of Evora
  • Optinal Side Trip To Elvas: Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graca

Don’t miss the Top Things to Do in Evora + Best Restaurants

Where to Stay in Évora

When choosing accommodations in Évora, Portugal, the historical city center is highly recommended for an authentic experience. Here, you’ll find charming boutique hotels and guesthouses tucked within beautifully restored buildings, immersing you in the medieval ambiance.

Staying within the city walls grants easy access to attractions like the Roman Temple and Cathedral. The historic center also offers a variety of delightful restaurants, cafés, and shops where you can savor Alentejo cuisine and discover unique souvenirs.

Hotels: Our Evora Itinerary and Guest House Review

Recommend Guest Houses and Hotels in Évora

Our Pick!
 
 

Our Airbnb was a 5-minute walk from the Cathedral of Evora Se and greja Real de Sao Francisco, and 1,500 feet from the Chapel of Bones and 600 feet from Praca do Giraldo! The home is very close to Évora's main square with a private terrace for your morning coffee.

ECORKHOTEL Evora is a unique 4-star hotel, with its main building coated with cork. The certified eco-hotel includes a state-of-the-art Spa & Wellness Center, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, Turkish bath and massages.

Travel Sustainable Property

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this 5-star Luxuriously furnished hotel is 2.5 mi from Évora city center and housed in a renovated 15th-century convent. It offers a piano bar and free parking.


Our Pick!

Our Airbnb was a 5-minute walk from the Cathedral of Evora Se and greja Real de Sao Francisco, and 1,500 feet from the Chapel of Bones and 600 feet from Praca do Giraldo! The home is very close to Évora's main square with a private terrace for your morning coffee.

ECORKHOTEL Evora is a unique 4-star hotel, with its main building coated with cork. The certified eco-hotel includes a state-of-the-art Spa & Wellness Center, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, Turkish bath and massages.

Travel Sustainable Property

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this 5-star Luxuriously furnished hotel is 2.5 mi from Évora city center and housed in a renovated 15th-century convent. It offers a piano bar and free parking.


evora the city center in central portugal where they once had a slaughter house
woman walking through the old town of Evora with a small red door behind her

Nazaré + half-day in Obidos (Days 11-12)

On Day 10, you will check out of your Evora Hotel and start your drive to the coastal town of Nazaré.

On your way to Nazaré, we recommend a half-day stop in the cutest fairy town village of Obidos. This town is so beautiful that Queen Isabel of Portugal was gifted the town as her wedding gift- therefore giving Obidos the nickname ‘the wedding gift town’.

Spend half the day walking through the charming town, walking the Obidos medieval castle walls, and enjoying a delicious Portuguese lunch.

READ: Ultimate Guide To Visiting Obidos

stop at Medieval castle in Obidos along our Portugal Itinerary
fresh juices in window openings while visiting portugal
man standing next to a small European door druing portugal trip to Obidos in central portugal

Once you’ve immersed yourself in the charming town of Óbidos, your journey continues along the captivating Portuguese coast to the world-famous surf town of Nazaré. Here, you can indulge in beachside cocktails, witness famous surf lookout points, savor delectable fresh seafood, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

visit portugal surf town of Nazare. photo taken from top of the funicular down to the ocean

Transportation

Driving to Obidos

Evora to Obidos is a 2-hour drive. There are two parking lot options in Obidos: Estacionamento Óbidos Parking or Estacionamento Caixa Geral de Depósitos Óbidos (Free). We recommend that you arrive early to Obidos, especially in high season, in order to secure parking and avoid the massive crowds.

Driving to Nazaré

Obidos to Nazaré is a 35-minute drive. View your train and bus transportation options here.

Obidos & Nazaré Activities

Where to Stay in Nazaré

When it comes to accommodations in Nazaré, Portugal, you’ll find a variety of options that cater to different preferences and budgets. For a truly immersive experience, consider staying near the beachfront, where you can wake up to stunning ocean views and easy access to the sandy shores.

We stayed at the cutest beachfront condo (with free parking!)

    Alternatively, the charming historic center offers a cozy and authentic atmosphere, with its narrow streets, traditional houses, and local shops and restaurants.

    Lastly, if you prefer a quieter ambiance, you can opt for accommodations in the surrounding hills, offering peaceful retreats and panoramic views of the town and coastline.

    Best Guest Houses and Hotels in Nazaré

     
     
    Best Guest House on the Beach!

    great location, short walk to shopping, restaurants, and the beach

    Hotel with indoor roof top pool overlooking ocean, great breakfast, and comfortable rooms

    Our Top Pick! Updated 2 bedroom apartment with rooms overlooking the water, secure parking underground.

    great location, short walk to shopping, restaurants, and the beach

    Hotel with indoor roof top pool overlooking ocean, great breakfast, and comfortable rooms

    Best Guest House on the Beach!

    Our Top Pick! Updated 2 bedroom apartment with rooms overlooking the water, secure parking underground.

    Exploring Nazare beach towns in Portugal. took funicular to top and ordered pastel de nata pastry
    beach front restaurants in Nazare walking distance from city center and airbnbs

    Coimbra & + Batalha (Days 13-15)

    On Day 13, you will leave the coastal town of Nazare and head north to Coimbra!

    As you journey from Nazaré to Coimbra on day 13 of your Portugal itinerary, make sure to make a stop for a few hours in the charming town of Batalha.

    Batalha is renowned for its awe-inspiring masterpiece, the Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site!

    We stopped for 2 hours in Batalha to tour the Monastery and have a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes that line the streets of the Monastery.

    Also Read: 11 Amazing Things to Do in Coimbra Portugal

    stop at Batalha monastery along our 3 week portugal itinerary.
    man outside of the Batalha monastery on Portugal Roadtrip. The entrance doors are incredibly fine detail
    historic center of Monastery of Batalha

    After stopping in Batalha, you’ll continue to Coimbra, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. There are rumors that the 13th-century Coimbra University inspired JK Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts’ black-capped students. With its abundance of historical landmarks, scenic parks and gardens, Fado performances, and vibrant nightlife, you’ll find plenty to see and do in Coimbra.

    cobbled stone street in Coimbra, a town in central portugal
    statue in the town center of Coimbra

    Transportation

    Driving to Nazaré to Batalha

    Driving: Nazare to Batalha is a 28-minute drive. There is plenty of free and metered parking near the Batalha Monastery.

    Driving: Batalha to Coimbra is a 52-minute drive. Most hotels and guest houses within Coimbra do not offer parking. If your accommodation does not offer a parking space, we recommend parking in this lot which is an 8-minute walk from downtown. Most parking lots in Coimbra do not take credit cards, and very few take larger bills. Be sure to have a small coin Eruo on you for payment.

    View your train and bus transportation options here.

    Coimbra Activities

    Be sure to read our 11 Amazing Things To Do in Coimbra, Portugal!

    Coimbra highlights include:

    Where to Stay in Coimbra

    Coimbra presents a range of accommodation options to cater to the preferences of visitors, including hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and apartments. We recommend staying in the vibrant old town district known as Baixa.

    Baixa, Coimbra’s downtown area, features Rua Ferreira Borges as its main pedestrian street, lined with charming cafes, lively bars, enticing shops, and vibrant evening entertainment. This central location allows convenient walkable access to most of the city’s attractions.

    During our recent visit to Coimbra, we had the pleasure of booking this remarkable 3-bedroom Penthouse that overlooked the lively Rua Ferreira Borges and the majestic Mondego River.

    Coimbra Accommodations You’ll Love 

    tour day to costa nova and aviero from Coimbra. boat in the water in aviero with colorful building in the background
    day trip to Aviero and Costa Nova with an organized tour. Shows girl in a green dress reaching up to touch colorful ribbons hanging across the buildings in Aviero Portugal

    Taking a day trip to Aviero? Book our favorite Boat & Walking Tour With Katerina!


    Douro Valley (Days 16-17)

    On day 16 of your Portugal Itinerary, it’s time to say goodbye to Coimbra and embark on a journey to the magnificent Douro Valley. This picturesque region awaits with its sprawling wine vineyards, terraced hillsides, and charming riverside towns.

    one of our favorite hidden gems of the Douro Valley - The Shoe maker wine collection
    easily spend a day relaxing in the hotel pool like this one that overlooks the Douro River
    image of vineyards that span from Porto to the East coast of Portugal

    Douro Valley is famously known for its production of fortified wine known as Port.

    The region is the only place globally where port wine can be legally produced! The Douro River spans 60 miles from Spain to Porto.

    Transportation

    Driving: The drive from Coimbra to Douro Valley is between 2 and 4 hours (depending on which wineries and accommodations you choose).

    Note: If you find the narrow and winding roads along the Douro River challenging to drive, we suggest considering an alternative option for this part of your Portugal itinerary.

    One option is to extend your stay in Porto and arrange for a driver or join a wine-tasting and boat ride tour to explore the Duoro Wineries. This allows you to enjoy the stunning scenery and visit the wineries without the stress of navigating the challenging road conditions.

    Douro Valley 

    Top Things To Do In Douro Valley:

    There are a variety of wineries for you to visit in the Douro Valley that you can book tastings with on your own. If you prefer an organized tour, you can book a river or private transfer from Porto with these recommended tours:

    Where to Stay in Douro Valley

    Regarding accommodations in the Douro region, we highly recommend staying in one of the Quintas or vineyard estates. These charming and picturesque properties offer a unique experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vineyards’ beauty and the valley’s serene ambiance.

    Many of these quintas offer comfortable rooms or cottages, stunning views, and the opportunity to sample their wines. Additionally, staying at a Quinta provides easy access to the wineries, scenic walking trails, and the chance to unwind in the tranquil surroundings of the Douro Valley.

    incredible sunset overlooking the Douro Valley, the wine area of Portugal that spans from Portugal, all the way to the east coast of the country

    We added the Duoro Valley Region to our Portugal itinerary last minute so our winery hotel options were limited.

    Hotels: We booked BH Douro Guest House!

    The BH Douro is an incredible guest house with a pool overlooking the Douro River.

    Top Rated Hotels in Douro Valley

     
     
     
     

    Boutique wine hotel slightly north of the Douro River, along the Corgo River organized visit to the cellar with wine tasting sessions, hotel books up quickly

    2 bedroom hidden gem Guest House in the Douro Valley

    Guest house with pool overlooking the Douro River. Breakfast is included, owners speak french and English

    View all top-rated Douro Valley Hotels

    Boutique wine hotel slightly north of the Douro River, along the Corgo River organized visit to the cellar with wine tasting sessions, hotel books up quickly

    2 bedroom hidden gem Guest House in the Douro Valley

    Guest house with pool overlooking the Douro River. Breakfast is included, owners speak french and English

    View all top-rated Douro Valley Hotels

    cute table set up at BH Douro Hotel overlooking the valley and the pool
    francesinha dish near the quinta da regaleira

    Porto (Days 18-21)

    On day 18 of your Portugal itinerary, you’ll leave the Douro Valley to spend your last few days in Porto, a vibrant town filled with captivating sights, fascinating history, and culinary delights.

    You’ll have the opportunity to wander the winding streets of the Ribeira district, marvel at the stunning architecture and waterfront sunset walks, and soak in the picturesque views of the Douro River.

    Read the ultimate guide to Porto – Activity & Restaurant Guide

    Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the city’s famous port wine cocktails (so tasty!) and savor the famous Francesinhas meal.

    early afternoon bike ride tour in Porto Portugal
    overlooking the Douro River along our 10 day portugal itinerary
    historical sights centrally located to the towns center

    Transportation

    Directions to Porto

    Driving: The trip from Douro Valley to Porto typically takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the specific starting point in the Douro Valley. You will follow regional roads and eventually merge onto the A4 highway, directly to Porto.

    Porto by Train: The main train station in the Douro Valley is the Pinhão Station. You can search routes to and from the Pinhão station using Omio. The train is 2 hours and 24 minutes.

    Train tickets range from 11 to 13 euros.

    Porto by Bus: The bus from Douro to Porto is around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Train tickets cost between 15 and 25 Euros. You can book bus tickets here

    Getting Around Porto

    Porto is a highly walkable city, although it’s important to note that certain areas can be quite hilly, so pack comfortable walking shoes. In instances where our feet were tired, or we needed to cover longer distances, we found Uber to be a convenient transportation option.

    Additionally, Porto offers a well-connected public transportation system, including the metro and the funicular railway, which provide efficient ways to get around the city.

    Explore Porto by Metro: The Porto metro consists of six lines, each distinguished by a different letter and color:

    • Line A (blue)
    • Line B (red)
    • Line C (green)
    • Line D (yellow)
    • Line E (purple)
    • Line F (orange)

    Porto Metro lines offer convenient access to various parts of Porto, making it easier to reach your desired destinations. These lines connect the entire city from the north to its south. The most popular stop is Trinadade Metro where all 6 lines of metro lines stop.

    View your train and bus transportation options here.

    Porto Activities

    For a complete Porto list, read our detailed guide: 11 Top Things To Do in Porto!

    Our Porto highlights include:

    Where to Stay in Porto

    The 4 most popular neighborhoods in Porto are Ribereira, Cedofeita, Boavista, and Vila Nova de Gaia. We have outlined each neighborhood and the top accommodations for each below.

    1. Ribeira:

    Riberira is the historic center of Porto, and it’s a great location for those who want to be within walking distance of the main tourist attractions.

    2. Cedofeita:

    The Cedofeita neighborhood is known for its trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great option for those who want to experience the local lifestyle.

    3. Boavista:

    Boavista is a residential neighborhood that is ~10 minutes from the center of town. The Boavista neighborhood is a good option for those who want to stay in a quieter area, away from the crowds.

    4. Vila Nova de Gaia:

    This neighborhood is located across the Douro River, and it’s famous for its port cellars. It’s a great option for wine lovers who want to taste different types of port wine. This neighborhood is a short walk to Porto via the Dom Luis Bridge.

    beautiful gardens overlooking the boat ride tour on the Douro River from the get your guide tour
    Bike ride on get your guide vising Porto city center, Train Station, Porto Cathedral and other historic sights

    Portugal Itinerary Wrap-Up & Final Thoughts

    • If you followed this Portugal Itinerary, you will have started in Lisbon and ended in Porto.
    • If you booked a round-trip ticket out of Lisbon or Porto, you can easily book tickets from the Porto Train Station to the Lisbon Train Station through Omio.
    • Prefer a 10-Day Portugal Itinerary? Follow our guide or build your own Portugal Vacation itinerary using our individual City Guides below!

    Visit Portugal: All City Guides


    Portugal Transportation Tips

    • Renting a car: The easiest way to explore Portugal is by self-driving. We recommend booking a rental car through RentalCars.com  or Expedia Rental. Other car companies may advertise lower prices, but do not be fooled. Most no-name car companies tend to be much higher in price once you factor in all the hidden fees!
    • Train & Bus: Book on Omio! You can book your train and bus tickets at the Train Station. However, we recommend booking your tickets ahead of time on a platform like Omio to guarantee your ticket.
    • Private Transfer: We recommend booking a private transfer for day trips or routes within Portugal that do not offer convenient train or bus routes. You can book private transfers through travel partners like Viator, Get Your Guide, and booking.com.
    Cable car in Lisbon Portugal

    This post is all about planning your next Portugal itinerary!


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    Pinterest Pin of Portugal vacation. Link shares itinerary showing the best of Portugal including  Porto, the coastal town of Portugal, as well as Nazare, a famous beach town for surf and beach front restaurants.

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