As one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal has a culturally rich history, stunning beaches, as well as quality wine and cuisine. Increasingly, millions of tourists travel to Portugal every year. If you are looking to explore as much of Portugal in a two-week time frame, our 14-day itinerary has got you covered.
This itinerary starts in Porto, rather than in Lisbon as flights are commonly cheaper from the United States and the United Kingdom to Porto airport. This way, you will get to see Portugal from North to South. However, there are plenty of other cities further North but unfortunately, you won’t have time for all that in 14 days.
The first week of your trip will be filled with activities in major cities, while as you drive further south for the last week, you will be relaxing on beaches and exploring small villages. This way, you get to experience all that Portugal has to offer.
If you want to visit as much as possible of Portugal within a two-week time frame, we recommend renting a car. You will get some of the best views, especially along the coast, and get to stop at places where public transport is pretty much nonexistent. When renting your vehicle, you can select to pick up the car at Porto airport and return it at the end of your trip at Faro airport, where this itinerary ends.
For everything you need to know before traveling to Portugal, check out our Portugal Survival Guide.
A 20-minute drive from Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport, Porto should be your first stop. The breathtaking city of Porto lies along the Douro river and is home to Port wine, street art, and “francesinhas". One of the oldest in Europe, Porto’s old town in the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996 so we recommend exploring it as soon as you get there. Head to the Clérigos Tower where after climbing the steps you can enjoy a 360 view of the city.
Livraria Lello is also close by, one of the oldest bookstores in the country, founded in 1906. Entrance to Livraria Lello used to be free, but they were getting 4,000 visits a day with long lines and less than 5% would buy a book. Now the tickets cost €5. Kids under 3 years old have free entrance.
If you're hungry for dinner, check out our favorite restaurants in Porto. We recommend Antiqvvm for a Michelin star experience. If a francesinha in a more relaxed environment is what you are looking for, head to Casa Guedes or Tasquinha Ze Povinho.
After dinner, head to a Fado house to listen to the iconic style of Portuguese music. Most fado houses offer you a Port wine glass to enjoy with the live show. Book this Fado Live Show in Porto for an intimate setting in Casa da Guitarra near Sé.
Best Hotels in Porto
- NH Hotel Porto Jardim: This four-star hotel feels like its five stars. It has a 70 cm deep outdoor people, a spa a few meters away, and a gym. It is located within walking distance of main attractions like Bolhão market, Aliados Avenue, and Ribeira. If you have a dog or cat, this hotel is pet-friendly.
- Vila Gale Porto: Vila Gale is a well-known chain of hotels in Portugal and is always a safe option. This one was built in 1999 and recently renovated. The hotel has a spa with an indoor pool, a gym, a restaurant, and two bars.
- Hotel Premium Porto Downtown: Located in the old town, this modern 4-star hotel has a sun terrace with views of the city of Porto, the perfect place to enjoy some port wine. You’ll be close to everything you need, Santa Catarina street, Aliados Avenue, and the cathedral.
Day 2: Discover the Port wine region of Douro
Start the day with breakfast at Confeitaria Cristal in Cedofeita, a pastry shop. We recommend the courgette and ginger cookies, as well as the classic pastel de nata with an espresso.
After breakfast, head to Estiva Quay to board a top-rated full-day river cruise to discover the Regua and Douro, a famous Port wine region. The cruise includes a large breakfast, as well as lunch while you admire the Douro valley and goes through the 14-meter Crestuma-Lever Dam and the Carrapatelo Dam. Audio guides are also included in four different languages. The cruise stops at Regua where you can enjoy the town with friends. The route back is done by train.
For dinner, head to Vila Nova de Gaia for dinner at the 5-star hotel the Yeatman. 15 minutes away from Porto, across the Dom Luis Bridge. You get a full view of Porto across the Douro river and get to try some of the best food in the country as the Yeatman has 2-Michelin stars. Before heading back to Porto, explore the city center of Vila Nova de Gaia. Enjoy one last night in Porto, before heading to Peneda-Geres National Park in the morning.
Day 3: Explore the Peneda-Geres National Park
Many visit the North of Portugal and forget about the hidden gem that is Peneda-Geres National Park, only an hour's drive from Porto. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Peneda-Geres National Park covers over 700 km2 of protected land with stunning mountain trails, river beaches, and historical villages such as Geres.
We recommend arriving at the park early to enjoy your full day here. Start the morning with a hiking trail. One of our favorite trails is the Sao Bento trail (PR7 PBR), a 10-kilometer hike that takes around four hours. The hike stretches along the south-eastern cliffs of the Caldo river and you will get to discover interesting religious sites such as the Basilica of St. Benedict, Portugal’s second-largest sanctuary.
Head for lunch to Taberna da Ti Ana da Eira in Montalegre, one of the most popular restaurants in the region. The dishes are produced from regional products in the village and the restaurant has large windows offering 360 views of the Paradela reservoir.
After lunch, it's time for a relaxing swim. Peneda-Geres National park boasts plenty of natural lagoons. We recommend the Poco Azul, a lagoon with crystal clear waters. However, to get here, you must hike an 8-kilometer trail. If you are too exhausted from the morning hike, head to Arado Lagoa which you can reach by car. The lagoon is formed by stunning waterfalls.
Alternatively, you can choose to stay this extra night in Porto and book a tour from Porto to Geres. Everything will be taken care of for a full day and you do not need to worry about transportation. This tour includes a hiking trail to a waterfall, as well as a trip on a 4×4 Land Rover, and a traditional Portuguese lunch.
Best Hotels in Peneda-Geres National Park
- Secret do Geres: Offering one-bedroom treehouses surrounded by nature, each unit comes equipped with wood balconies, a private bathroom, and a double bed. The property also features a swimming pool, garden, and room service for breakfast in bed.
- Pousadela Village: Pousada Village is located in Vieira do Minho and overlooks the river and valley. The property features a restaurant, bar, garden, and outdoor pool for guests to enjoy. A sauna and indoor pool are also available at Pousada Village
Day 4: One night in Coimbra
A 2-hour drive from Peneda-Geres National Park, Coimbra is your next stop. We recommend leaving early in the morning so you can enjoy your day in the city.
Your first stop should be the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in the world. To get to the university, start from the Almedina Tower, the entrance gate forming part of the wall that surrounded the old city situated in the lower section of the city. Here, you can explore the alleys that date back to the 8th century.
Visit the Joanine Library, a Baroque library situated in the center of the University of Coimbra, by the university tower. The library was built in the 18th century and it is considered a national monument with priceless historical value. For a full experience, book a tour of the university.
For lunch, head to Italia in the Docks of Coimbra, a restaurant serving high-quality Italian food, or Cordel Maneirista, a Portuguese restaurant near the S. Francisco Convent. We recommend the alheira and the Santa Clara dessert.
After lunch, take a walk in the Botanical garden, one of the oldest in Portugal. With 13 hectares of beauty, the garden was established in 1772 by the Marquis de Pombal with the purpose to supplement the study of medicine and natural history at the University of Coimbra.
Next, visit the Santa Cruz Monastery and the Convent of Santa Clara, built in 1314. If you still have time, head to Quinta das Lagrimas. This estate has been the setting for the forbidden romance between King D. Pedro I and Inês de Castro. The gardens have a canal, “Fonte dos Amores”, that according to legend transported love letters between the Estate and the Royal Palace.
Enjoy your night in Coimbra with dinner at Arcadas Restaurante, a fine-dining restaurant with an extraordinary collection of wines and cuisine made of traditional ingredients.
Best Hotels in Coimbra
- Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas: A 5-star hotel, Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas is located in a historic medieval palace that was recently renovated. Featuring botanical gardens and a luxurious spa with views of the city, as well as a 9-hole golf course, this hotel has all the facilities you need and more.
- Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra: Located in the heart of Coimbra, only 400 meters from the University of Coimbra, Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra is a 4-star boutique hotel that features views of the city. A historical building, its traditional architecture has been kept intact, while including all the modern amenities necessary for a comfortable stay.
Day 5: Arrive in Lisbon
Drive South towards Lisbon. If you are looking for places to stop for coffee and a snack we recommend Fatima or Santarem. The drive is around 2 hours.
For lunch, take a look at our favorite restaurants in Lisbon. If you are vegan or just enjoy plant-based food and want to try some Portuguese food, we definitely recommend Ao 26 Vegan Food Project. Located close to Chiado, Ao 26 serves a plant-based version of traditional Portuguese food, every single dish at this place tastes like the real thing – or even better.
Another great option for lunch for the meat-lovers is Alfaia, one of the oldest restaurants in Lisbon that opened in 1880.
After lunch, head to Sao Jorge Castle. The 5th-century palace was restored in 1938 by the dictatorship of Salazar to look the way it is presented now. Tourists can visit the castle complex which consists of the castle itself, the ruins of the royal palace, gardens, and a terraced square with panoramic views of the city. A ticket to visit costs between €5 and €10. You can also pay a little extra to skip the line.
A 5-minute walk away, head to Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and the home of fado. Explore the neighborhood and look out for Fado spots, as well as historical monuments such as the Lisbon Cathedral, the Convent of the Grace, and more.
If you still have time before dinner, take the train to Belem. Belem lies along the Tejo Estuary and is home to two UNESCO sites, Torre de Belem and Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a former monastery in Belém constructed in Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style and you can visit the church for free. A 2-minute walk from the monastery, head to Pasteis de Belem where the traditional Portuguese custard tart was first invented.
Belem has some great dinner spots, particularly for a sunset dinner. Portugalia Cervejaria is a classic franchise restaurant in Portugal that has tasty steak with a variety of sauces.
Alternatively, take the train to Cais do Sodre and enjoy a dinner at Taberna Tosca, a Portuguese restaurant featuring regional cheeses, meats, and wines in a historic building.
After dinner, walk to Bairro Alto, the most popular area for drinking outdoors. Tons of locals and tourists line the streets of Bairro Alto with a beer in hand. We recommend Ze dos Bois Gallery, a musical center that has live music and serves tasty drinks.
Best Hotels in Lisbon
- Inspira Liberdade Boutique Hotel: Awarded the Best Luxury Green Hotel in 2019, Inspira Liberdade provides a relaxing Feng-Shui vibe for its guests. The hotel has a SPA, fitness room, bar, and a restaurant with Portuguese food called Pen Brasserie Mediterrânica.
- Selena Secret Garden: The hostel also has a rooftop deck, CoWork space for professionals, and a movie room. In the heart of Cais do Sodre, you are close to contemporary art galleries, bars with riverfront views, and within walking distance to Chiado.
- Bairro Alto Hotel: This hotel is situated in the best location in Lisbon, between Bairro Alto and Chiado in an 18th-century building in central Lisbon. The hotel features a restaurant with award-winning Chef Nuno Mendes and Executive Chef Bruno Rocha.
Day 6: Tuk-Tuk Tour of Lisbon
Lisbon is a pretty large city, at least to Portuguese standards. Since you only have 14 days to enjoy as much of Portugal as possible, we recommend a guided tour of Lisbon so you get to see as much as you can of the capital. For your second day in Lisbon, here are the best guided tours to explore the city:
- Lisbon 3-Hour Sightseeing Tour by Tuk Tuk: This tuk-tuk tour rides up and down the hills of Lisbon, going through the city's oldest neighborhoods and main attractions.
- Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: Book a 24-hour ticket which includes an audio guide. This affordable ticket allows you to visit different routes and hop in as you would like.
- Lisbon 3-Hour Tour by E-Bike: This tour allows you to cycle through Lisbon on comfortable e-bikes with a guided tour. You will get to visit different viewpoints and historical attractions.
After your tour, we recommend heading to CasaNova in Santa Apolonia for some pizzas, cooked on a wood-burning stove. You can then walk to Terreiro do Paco, the harbor-facing plaza and one of the largest in Portugal. If you are there at sunset time, sit near the river with a beer and enjoy the views.
Day 7: Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais from Lisbon
What makes Lisbon one of the best cities in Portugal is that you are very close to stunning hidden gems that are perfect for a day trip. It would be a waste to not take advantage of its location. Therefore, you should take a full day to visit Sintra and Cascais. We recommend either driving to these locations (both around 30 minutes from Lisbon) or booking a guided tour.
In the morning, head to Sintra for breakfast. Grab a “travesseiro”, a Sintra staple at Piriquita, in the heart of the city. Then walk toward Castle of the Moors, a medieval castle that sits on a hilltop and was built by the Moors in the 8th century.
Palacio da Pena is another must-see. The exterior of this palace is painted in multiple colors and is in a romanticist style. You can also wander around the castle and see the beautiful green area that surrounds it. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale. Tickets cost around €15.
For lunch, drive towards Cascais and stop at a restaurant called Furnas do Guincho. This is one of the best seafood restaurants in the area, but it is quite pricey. For a more affordable alternative, drive to the center of Cascais and eat at Baia do Peixe.
After lunch, discover the town of Cascais, located on the Portuguese Riviera. One of the richest municipalities in the country, it is home to the best hotels and beaches. Head to “Praia da Rainha”, a secluded beach with a wonderful view, perfect for a family photograph.
Then, walk for a minute toward “Frederico Arouca” street. This is essentially the high street with the major stores, as well as smaller vendors selling Portuguese souvenirs.
From there, walk toward the City Hall of Cascais in “Praça 5 de Outubro”. This beautiful building with traditional Portuguese architecture stands in the middle of the commerce square, featuring authentic cobblestone streets.
If you’re still energized and the weather is good, exploring Guincho beach is next. A 10-minute ride from the center of Cascais, Guincho is the of the best beaches in Portugal. Not only is it perfect for swimming and tanning in the summer, but it is also beautiful to walk through in the colder months.
If you prefer a guided tour, this tour of Sintra and Cascais takes you to all the best spots. It also includes a guided ticket to the Pena Palace, allowing you to skip the long lines. You can also pick between a shared or private tour. The tour includes free time and transportation.
Now that you are heading further south, the last few days of your trip are for relaxing on the beach and discovering small villages.
Day 8 & 9: Comporta
Take the 1:30 journey from Lisbon to Comporta, around 120 kilometers away. Comporta is located in the old district of Setubal, at the base of the Troia Peninsula. This is a popular place for vacationing in Portugal, but that is a lot less busy than the Algarve.
The best beaches to visit in Comporta are the classic Praia da Comporta and Praia do Pego. Praia da Comporta is hidden behind pine forests and sand dunes and features a beach bar with a DJ.
We recommend also booking this 4-hour private horseback riding tour through white sandy beaches. You will get to spot some wildlife and stunning views.
For lunch, head to Comporta Cafe on Praia da Comporta. The beach club serves all kinds of food from seafood to meats and tapas. For dinner, Dona Bia is one of the most popular restaurants in Comporta, serving traditional Portuguese food at an affordable price.
Best Hotels & Villas in Comporta
- Spatia Comporta: The 4-star hotel features a restaurant, swimming pool, bar, and shared lounge. You can get a room or a fully equipped villa.
- Quinta da Comporta: The 5-star hotel has a restaurant, swimming pool, and gym, and offers both rooms and suites, as well as a villa with a private pool on the beach.
Day 10 & 11: Vila Nova de Mil Fontes
A one-hour drive from Comporta, Vila Nova de Mil Fontes lies at the mouth of the Mira Riva and is surrounded by the Southwest Alentejo and the Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The town has some of the best beaches in Portugal, as well as a picturesque village and harbor with fishing boats.
The best beaches to visit in Vila Nova de Mil Fontes are Praia da Franquia, Praia das Furnas, and Almograve, 10 kilometers away. Beware that in this area of Portugal, the water is quite cold and the waves can get large.
The town of Vila Nova is great to explore when it gets too hot at the beach. Visit St. Clement Fort, a fort built in the 17th century that is now an exclusive hotel. Discover the great restaurants, artisan shops, and patisseries in the town center and enjoy the Moorish architecture of the buildings.
Some of the best restaurants in Vila Nova de Mil Fontes are Tasco do Celso a family restaurant in the center with fresh seafood and A Portuguesa, a traditional restaurant showcasing Portuguese produce.
Best Hotels in Vila Nova de Mil Fontes
- Raminhos Guest House: Located a 10-minute walk from Franquia Beach, the rooms feature a desk, TV, private bathroom, and luggage storage available.
- Monte da Corca Nova: The 4-star hotel features a swimming pool, bar, garden, and water sports facilities. They offer large rooms in traditional stoned houses.
Day 12 & 13: Tavira
Drive to Tavira, two hours away, to enjoy your last few days in Portugal. Tavira was built alongside River Gilão, in an intricate of narrow roadways and white houses, and features golden beaches with warm water. While the small city is mostly known for its beaches, the quaint town allows you to visit some attractions, as well as explore shops, restaurants, and more.
Our favorite beach in Tavira is Praia do barril. The beach features a wooden path over golden sand which provides a gorgeous contrast with the dark blue waters. Due to the large size of the beach, you will rarely feel like it’s too busy, despite its popularity. Praia do Barril features over 100 rusting anchors in the sand, presented in rows known as the “Anchor Cemetary” to represent the remains of the former tuna fishing village.
Praia de Tavira and Praia da Terra Estreita are also great alternatives in Tavira. If you want to discover multiple beaches this affordable 4-hour boat tour takes you on an octopus tour and stops at multiple beaches.
We recommend taking a walk through Tavira, exploring the chapel of Sao Bras and the hundreds of other churches. The historic center also features a castle and a convent. Book this 100% electric 1-hour tuk-tuk tour if you want a guided tour of the city from a local's perspective.
Best Hotels in Tavira
- São Paulo Boutique Hotel: São Paulo Boutique Hotel is located less than 5 kilometers from the beach and features an outdoor swimming pool, bar, shared lounge, and large garden for guests to enjoy.
- OZADI Tavira Hotel: A 4-star hotel AZADI Tavira Hotel is 3 kilometers away from the beach and features a large outdoor pool, a fitness center, and two restaurants.
- Quinta Dos Perfumes: An 8-minute walk from the beach, Quinta dos Perfumes is an 88-acre farmhouse that features beautiful orange groves and a salt-water outdoor pool.
Day 14: Fly back home from Faro
Since you are already in the south of Portugal, fly back to your home country (or whichever country you are visiting next) through Faro Airport. The airport is a 30-minute drive from Tavira. You can return the car you rented in Porto in Faro airport, just make sure you selected this option when booking the car rental.