A 10 Day Itinerary Through Portugal

Advisor - Juli Hall
Curated By

Juli Hall

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  • Portugal

  • Porto

  • Lisbon

  • Lagos

  • Beaches

  • Active Travel

  • History

  • Beach Town

  • Local Food

Buildings with orange roofs and bridge at the back during daytime.
Curator’s statement

Portugal has quickly become my favorite country in Europe and after three visits in almost as many years, my passion for exploring this special country full of character and charm knows no bounds. Whether you love beaches or cities, wine country or dramatic landscapes, whether you travel to devour new foods or absorb in all the history, Portugal has something for everyone. Perfect for families, couples, solo travelers and group travel, this ten day itinerary through Portugal can be done in a variety of routes and travel plans can be customized based on your personal interests and travel style.

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Where to stay

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Le Monumental Palace

Pampering spa hotel in the heart of Porto where the historic cafe is a locals’ scene not to be missed.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Bairro Alto Hotel

This luxury boutique Lisbon stay combines refined, modern decor with a reverence for Lisbon's colorful heritage.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Valverde Hotel - Relais & Chateaux

Embrace timeless luxury and refined hospitality at Valverde Hotel - Relais & Chateaux, where every stay is a bespoke experience in the heart of Lisbon.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Day 1: Explore Porto

Bridge over city canal during daytime.

This stunning city sitting high above the banks of the Douro river is home to six dramatic bridges. You could truly spend a week here taking in all the sights and sounds, but in the likelihood you only have a couple of days, my recommended stops include the following:

Start at Sao Bento, Porto's famous train station worth a walk through to see the beautiful tiled walls and architecture.

From here, walk over to The Porto Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church located in the historical centre of the city of Porto, Portugal. It is one of the city's oldest monuments and an important local Romanesque monument.

Stop for a drink at Base, an open air bar and eatery located in Clergio Park. Continue your walk to see more sights in central Porto including the Livraria Lello Bookstore or the Igreja do Carmo, the famous twin churches. Wander to St. Catarina Street, the most pedestrian (and shopper) friendly street in Porto.

If you love all things pretty with views, Palacio de Cristal with its landscaped gardens designed in the 19th century offer fountains, paths to wander and views of the Douro River.

Be sure to stop by the Passeio das Virtudes Garden, stay a while as it is the best place to see a sunset in Porto.

Love shopping? Don't miss Floral Street or the shops along the riverfront.

After a long day of walking, enjoy a delicious dinner at Yakuza by Olivier located inside Le Monumental Palace Hotel.

Day 2: Live like a local in Gaia

Boats over city canal with buildings at the shore.

On your second day in Porto, walk down to the waterfront and grab a water taxi over to Gaia.

Gaia is Porto's sister city and should not be missed. Start your day off with breakfast at 7g Roasters, a locally owned coffee shop serving fresh coffee and healthy eats.

From there, get lost on the side streets, walking around the alleys (just be careful for cars!), you will find street art, secret staircases and masterpieces by artists like Bordallo II. His giant art pieces are made of trash and remnants that depict animals of all kinds.

If you need a break, stop by World of Wine and enjoy some wine or sangria in one of the restaurants, enjoy at tasting at one of the local winery storefronts or stop by the Mercado, the famous pink building along the water to sample your choice of local cuisines.

Before you head back to Porto, jump on the Teleférico de Gaia for views from above. If you happen to time it well, stop by the Jardim do Morro for views of Porto that are especially popular at sunset.

From there, walk over the bridge (go for the higher level) for the best views and enjoy dinner in Porto.

Day 3: Lisbon Bound

An off white building with pillars and orangish brown roof during daytime.

As you continue your ten day journey through Portugal, it's time to head towards Lisbon. There are a number of way to get to Lisbon, including train, bus, plane or car. If time allows, I recommend renting a car on the morning you leave Porto and driving south. This will give you a chance to see most of Portugal in ten days and see more cities and landscapes along the way.

For a mix of history and coastal views, I recommend stopping in Coimbra for a tour of the famous university, walking the colorful city center and enjoying an early lunch at Tapas Nas Costas.

From there, you can head southwest to Nazare, the beach town famous for its giant waves. If you wanted to spend a night near the water, you could stay in Nazare or Torres Vedras to soak up all the beach vibes before heading to Lisbon.

Short on time? These stops make for a very manageable day trip to Lisbon. With only three hours from Porto to Lisbon, if you leave early, you'll certainly arrive in the city before dark.

Day 4: First full day in the city

Bridge in Porto

In Lisbon, the city of seven hills and tiled buildings, there is charm and character in every neighborhood of Portugal's capital city. Like most cities, you won't be able to see it all, but in three full days here you can see a lot, as long as you have a good plan.

I recommend staying in Old Town, so you can walk to most places and get a true sense of the most popular neighborhoods.

For me, the best way to learn a new city is to take a tour, but not your average tour. Jump on a sidecar tour that can take you through all the neighborhoods or do a food tour, where you can walk and eat your way through the Lisbon and learn more about the neighborhoods with a local guide.

If weather is good, enjoy dinner in the secret garden of Valverde Hotel or if you are staying at Bairro Alto Hotel, dine al fresco at their restaurant Bahr.

Day 5: Exploring more of Lisbon

 A yellow and teal tram between city buildings during daytime.

On your next day in Lisbon, spend the day exploring the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Chiado.

Visit the São Roque Church. This church is one of the most beautiful churches in Lisbon and is worth seeing for its intricate Baroque interior.

Take a walk down Rua Garrett. This street is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and is a great place to wander around and explore.

In Bairro Alto, you can also see the sights from above by going to Santa Justa Lift, be sure to walk the streets of Bairro Alto if you love supporting local boutiques and local makers, including authentic pottery.

For dinner, consider Palacio Chiado, for an memorable dinner in a restored palace.

Day 6: Historical sights and river views of Lisbon

Baked yellow tarts.

If you love to be near the water, a day in Belem is highly recommended. Here you can take in sights such as the Belem Tour, walk along the Tagus river and enjoy views of the April 25th bridge.

Other notable spots in the Belem Neighborhood include the Maritime Museum, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Garden Vasco da Gama . For a delicious treat, stop by Pastéis de Belém to enjoy the original Pastel de Nata but here they are called Pastel de Belem. This bakery is famous for its custard tarts, which are a must-try for any visitor to Lisbon.

If you visit Belem in the afternoon, a sunset boat tour on the Tagus may be the perfect way to end the night. If dinner and drinks is your speed, Sala de Corte is highly recommended.

Day 7: Southbound with a stop in Comporta

Sublime Beach Club

After three days in the city, you might want a little break from the hustle and crowds to add balance to your ten days in Portugal. If that's the case, I recommend going to Comporta. A sleepy but growing beach town just south of Lisbon. Heading out in the morning, you'll be in Comporta in just over an hour. If the weather is warm, head to the Sublime Beach Club for lunch and a day of surf and sand. Be sure to order their sangria!

On this night, you can stay at Sublime Comporta, relax in the pools, get a spa treatment and enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel's restaurant. Retreat to your zen like room and recharge before heading to the Algarve.

If you prefer to stay in Lisbon an extra day, you can easily enjoy a day in Sintra or take in sights such as the National Tile Museum, Eduardo Park, Botanical Gardens or the Alfama neighborhood.

Day 8: A leisurely drive to the Algarve

A beach with rocky cliffs.

Just two hours south, you'll be in the Algarve, which is home to some of the most unique and awe-inspiring scenery in Portugal. Think dramatic coastlines, endless ocean views and home to the southern most point of Portugal.

On your drive down, be sure to stop in Sines and have lunch at the Magic Cactus for a cocktail on the beach. If you have extra time and want to stretch your legs, you could stop at Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park for grand views or a quick hike.

After arrving at your hotel, you could grab your suits and start relaxing or go into Lagos for a great dinner at a local restaurant like The Garden Restaurante.

Day 9: Sun, sand and surf in the Algarve

People lounging on a beach with beach umbrellas.

Make today all about the beaches. There are so many interconnected beaches to explore, all have their unique personalities. Some are family friendly, some require a descent of 200 steps, others are rocky and some are surrounded by cliffs for a dramatic feel. No matter how many you get to, they will all create a special day.

If sitting on the beach all day isn't your style, there is a great seven mile hike you can do to, from and above the beaches that is truly one of the best hikes I've ever done. You end at one of the most incredible viewpoints in the Algarve, making all the sweat and uphill climbs worth it!

Lagos comes alive at night with open-air eateries, street music and locals and tourists walking around enjoying life. If you want to take in the Marina, you could eat dinner at Quay.

Day 10: Do not miss Sagres

Ocean with rocky cliff shore.

If you are in the Algarve, a day trip to Sagres is a must. A quick drive from Lagos, you will be to see the viewpoints from the southern most tip of the Portugal. Here you can also walk around the fort and have lunch in the town of Sagres. Before heading back, stop in Luz, here you can rent chairs for the day on the beach, walk the boardwalk, grab some ice cream and enjoy this sleepy beach town.

Enjoy dinner at Latitude | Wine and Tapas in Luz.

Overview of additional days

Buildings with orange roofs during daytime.

If you have extra days, I would recommend extending your stay in Comporta to get the most out of Sublime Comporta or, if you wanted to experience more of the interior landscapes of Portugal, spending a few days in Alentejo would be an excellent choice. Just two hours northeast of Lagos, this could be a way to slowly (because it's not a direct route) make your way back to Lisbon to catch a flight home.

As you can tell, there are truly endless ways to explore Portugal in ten days and plenty of unique and inspiring places to see. Any combination of locations will truly make for a memorable trip and while you cannot see everything in one trip, you will have a great excuse to come back and visit again. 

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Relax in the Douro Valley; Escape to Portugal’s Wine Country.

Advisor - Juli Hall

Travel Advisor

Juli Hall

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