7-Day Guide to Portugal

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Advisor - Simona Grinnell
Curated By

Simona Grinnell

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Portugal

  • Coast

  • Relaxation

  • Sightseeing

Colorful buildings in front of a river with sailing boats.
Curator’s statement

Portugal is a country that offers a wide range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From its rich history to its stunning natural beauty, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider spending a week in this beautiful country. Firstly, Portugal is known for its exceptional cuisine. From fresh seafood to hearty stews and sweet pastries, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The country is also famous for its wine, with the Douro Valley producing some of the world's best vintages. As you travel around Portugal, you will have the opportunity to taste and savor the many flavors of this diverse country. In addition to its food and wine, Portugal boasts an incredible coastline with some of Europe's best beaches. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day soaking up the sun or an active adventure in the waves, there is a beach for you in Portugal. The Algarve region is particularly renowned for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. Portugal also has a rich cultural history, with stunning architecture and historic sites to explore. The country has numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the historic center of Porto, the monastery of Alcobaça, and the Tower of Belém in Lisbon. Portugal's history is also reflected in its art, music and literature, making it a fascinating destination for culture lovers.

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Day 1: Lisbon

Light blue, pink and red buildings in a row.

Start your trip in Lisbon, Portugal's vibrant capital city. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the Alfama neighborhood and visit the Sao Jorge Castle for panoramic views of the city. Enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant before exploring the Belem district, where you can see the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery. End the day at the beautiful Park of Nations area, which has many entertainment options such as the Lisbon Oceanarium and the Vasco da Gama Bridge.

For dinner head to Belcanto, Chef José Avillez's two-Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine with must-try dishes like seafood rice and slow-cooked veal cheek.

Day 2: Museum Day in Lisbon

A yellow bus on a street with buildings.

Spend your second day in Lisbon visiting some of the city's cultural highlights, starting with the National Azulejo Museum, where you can admire the beautiful decorative tiles that adorn many buildings in Portugal. Next, head to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which showcases a vast collection of art and artifacts from various cultures and time periods. In the evening, enjoy a Fado performance, Portugal's traditional music, at a local restaurant or at a local's home - message me to learn more about the options.

Day 3: Porto

A yellow and rust building which looks like a castle.

Take a morning train from Lisbon to Porto, a charming city in northern Portugal known for its historic architecture, port wine and scenic Douro River. After arriving, take a walking tour of the historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visit the beautiful Clérigos Tower and the Palácio da Bolsa before stopping for lunch at one of the city's many cafés or restaurants. In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Douro River and sample some of Porto's famous port wine.

Day 4: Explore the Cultural Side of Porto

White buildings with orange roofs in front of sea.

Spend your second day in Porto visiting some of the city's other cultural highlights, starting with the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, which features an impressive collection of modern art. Next, visit the Livraria Lello bookstore, which is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and the São Bento train station, which is famous for its intricate tile work. In the evening, sample some of Porto's famous seafood dishes like grilled octopus at Tapabento.

Day 5: Praia da Rocha in Algarve

A sea with blueish green water surrounded by big rocks.

Rent a car and head from Porto to the Algarve, Portugal's southernmost region known for its stunning beaches, rocky cliffs and picturesque fishing villages. Make sure to visit Praia da Rocha, one of the Algarve's most beautiful beaches. Spend the day lounging in the sun and swimming in the crystal-clear water. In the evening, enjoy a dinner at Vila Joya, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant located in a luxury resort, offering an exquisite tasting menu featuring dishes like lobster with caviar and wagyu beef with truffle.

Day 6: Lagos Village

Boats sailing on sea with greenish blue water.

Spend your second day in the Algarve exploring some of the region's other beaches and towns. Visit the charming village of Lagos, which has a historic center and a beautiful coastline with hidden caves and grottos. Next, head to the stunning Praia do Camilo beach, where you can enjoy a scenic hike and soak in the sunshine. In the evening try a dinner of grilled sardines and other traditional Portuguese dishes at Restaurante O Leão de Porches.

Day 7: Algarve's Benagil Cave

A beach with mountain rocks at sunset.

On your last day in the Algarve, take a boat trip to the stunning Benagil Cave, a natural wonder with a unique lighting system. You can also explore some of the nearby beaches, including Praia da Marinha, which is known for its crystal-clear water and stunning rock formations. End the day with a dinner of grilled fish and fresh seafood before heading back to Lisbon or Porto for your flight home.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Indulge your Senses, Guide to Barcelona.

Advisor - Simona Grinnell

Travel Advisor

Simona Grinnell

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.