20 February 2024

When embarking on a journey to Portugal, one of the many advantages you will discover is the remarkable diversity packed into this small yet captivating country. Despite its size, Portugal offers a rich tapestry of landscapes, cultures and experiences that make it truly unique.

In the north, you will be enchanted by the lush greenery of the Douro Valley and the historic villages of Guimarães and Belmonte. As you head southward, the Alentejo region beckons with its rolling hills, vineyards and relaxed pace of life.

Along the coast, cities like Porto, Lagos, and Setúbal offer a glimpse into Portugal's maritime heritage, while the rugged cliffs and golden beaches of the Algarve provide endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

With two weeks to explore, you will be free to immerse yourself fully in Portugal's diverse landscapes, cultures and cuisines, creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, sit back, relax and get ready for the trip of a lifetime in this fascinating country!


Days 1 to 3 - Explore the neighbourhoods of Lisbon & Sintra

Explore the neighbourhoods of Lisbon & Sintra

Welcome to Portugal! As soon as you arrive at your hotel, you will witness the bustling streets echoing with the chatter of locals and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air. Once settled in, venture out and explore the vibrant "baixa" (downtown) area. Here, pastel-coloured buildings line the cobblestone streets, inviting you to meander through narrow alleys and uncover hidden treasures. Grab a seat at a quaint café, sip on a rich espresso, and watch as trams adorned in bright yellow trundle past, adding to the scene's charm.

The next day, lace up your walking shoes for a guided tour of Lisbon's historical wonders. Follow the winding streets of Bairro Alto, Chiado and Alfama and reveal the hidden tales and long-kept secrets that have shaped the soul of this capital. As you ascend the hill towards the Castelo de São Jorge, the panoramic views of the city spread out before you like a living tapestry, painting a picture of Lisbon's rich heritage. In the afternoon, delve into the maritime history of Portugal with a visit to Belém, where the Jerónimos Monastery stands as a testament to Portugal's golden Age of Discoveries.

Lisbon, Belém

As night falls, prepare for the unforgettable soul-stirring melodies of Fado music. Let the haunting strains of the guitar and the emotive vocals transport you to a world of longing and melancholy, a quintessential expression of the Portuguese spirit.

And finally, no stay in Lisbon would be complete without a detour to the enchanting town of Sintra. Nestled amidst verdant hills, Sintra exudes an otherworldly charm where every corner reveals a new delight, from the whimsical Sintra Nacional Palace to the fairy-tale towers of the Pena Palace. And be sure to indulge in the local confectionary, a sweet treat that will leave your taste buds longing for more.


Day 4 - Heading North

Heading North

Today you will embark on a scenic drive to Porto, with alluring stops along the way. Your adventure starts with picking up your rental car in Lisbon, and gearing up for a memorable road trip!

Your first stop is the enchanting town of Óbidos, where time seems to stand still amidst its medieval charm. As you wander along the ancient walls, adorned with cascades of vibrant bougainvillea and fragrant honeysuckle, you will surely feel yourself whisked away into a bygone era.

Next, make your way to the coastal gem of Nazaré, renowned for its traditional cuisine and jaw-dropping views. Treat yourself to some delicious seafood of fresh fish at one of the quaint restaurants. Afterwards, ascend to the summit of “Sítio” via the funicular railway, where panoramic views of the azure sea and sweeping coastline await, providing a truly unforgettable experience.

Before reaching Porto, make one last stop in Alcobaça, home to the first and largest Gothic church in Portugal, a symbol of the country's rich heritage. Explore the magnificent monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and pay homage to the legendary love story of D. Pedro and D. Inês de Castro, whose tombs reside within its halls.


Days 5 to 7 - Porto and Douro Valley


Welcome to Porto, the "Unvanquished City", where the Douro River meets the Atlantic Ocean, marking the gateway to the north of Portugal. With our knowledgeable local guide, you will dive directly into the historic centre of Porto and its rich heritage.

You can start by exploring the city's iconic landmarks, such as the awe-inspiring Sé Cathedral, the intricately tiled São Bento train station and the Gothic splendour of the São Francisco Church. Lose yourself in the winding streets of Ribeira, a picturesque district that exudes old-world charm.

In the afternoon, cross the D. Luís Bridge and learn about the fascinating history and production of port wine, an integral part of Porto's identity for centuries. Witness the iconic Rabelo boats lining the riverbanks and savour the distinct flavours of port wine as you learn all about its past, dating back to the Age of Discoveries.

Douro Valley

Do not miss out on driving further into the Douro Valley, famous for its breathtaking beauty and for being recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. You will pass by some amazing cities that are definitely worth a visit! First is Guimarães, known as the "cradle of Portugal", where the first King of Portugal is believed to have been born. Explore Monte Sagrado, home to the majestic Castle of Guimarães and the historic Palace of Duques de Bragança.

Continue your journey towards Amarante, a quaint town steeped in tradition, renowned for its São Gonçalo monastery dedicated to the local match-making saint.

In Pinhão, at the heart of the wine-producing region, immerse yourself in the lush landscapes and take a boat trip along the Douro River, marvelling at the terraced vineyards that cascade down to the water's edge.


Days 8 & 9 - Beautiful villages of Central Portugal

Beautiful villages of Central Portugal

Welcome to the hidden gems of Central Portugal, where history, culture and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience! Start in Viseu and explore its charming streets, adorned with coats of arms sculpted from granite. You should visit the magnificent Cathedral and the Grão Vasco Museum, with a collection dedicated to the 16th-century painter Vasco Fernandes.

Later, head towards Belmonte, a quintessential Portuguese historic village, and learn about the rich history of the Marranos, who practiced their Jewish faith in secret for centuries. Today, you can visit the synagogue and castle to better understand Belmonte's secret past.

As you drive southward, pass by the wondrous Serra de São Mamede Natural Park, where nature's beauty unfolds before your eyes. Stop in Castelo de Vide, a charming town that boasts an ancient Jewish Quarter and quaint whitewashed houses.

Continue your trip to Marvão, where the silhouette of its majestic castle emerges on the horizon. Wander through the labyrinthine streets, where each corner reveals picturesque nooks and crannies. Step inside the Santa Maria Church, transformed into a museum to get insight into the town's rich history and artistic heritage.


Days 10 & 11 - Into the Alentejo region

Into the Alentejo region

Now that you are staying in Alentejo, it is time for you to get lost in the timeless beauty of Évora, often considered a living museum and proudly designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Begin your exploration on foot, marvelling at iconic landmarks such as the majestic Roman Temple, the grand Cathedral, the bustling Giraldo Square and the exquisite São Francisco Church, home to the intriguing Bone Chapel, adorned with thousands of human bones.

It is also important to relax and unwind, and what better place to do so than Alentejo with its art of slow living? Take some time to delve into its renowned gastronomy and wine production. Estremoz is the ideal location, with fantastic vineyards and the imposing castle as a backdrop. Pay a visit to a local wine estate and indulge in delightful wine tastings accompanied by regional food, perfectly complemented by the idyllic vineyard setting. A true feast for the senses!


Days 12 to 15 – Go south to the Algarve and back to Lisbon

Go to south to the Algarve and back to Lisbon

Bid farewell to the enchanting landscapes of Portugal's inland regions as you embark on a new chapter towards the enthralling Algarve coast!

One of the mandatory destinations is Lagos, a charming seaside city recognized for its stunning vistas and rich history. From the terrace of the fort, gaze upon panoramic views of the bay and marina, or venture down to Ponta da Piedade to marvel at the dramatic rock formations and marvellous sea views. The best way is to participate in a boat trip to explore the mesmerizing natural grottoes, which offer a unique perspective of the coastal landscape.

Another city you should include in your itinerary is Sagres, known for being the most southwestern point of the Algarve and continental Europe. For centuries, it was believed to be the end of the world due to its dramatic cliffs and windswept beaches, where the crashing waves create a symphony of sound and motion. Go up to the iconic Sagres Fortress, perched dramatically atop towering cliffs, and uncover its fascinating past as a strategic naval stronghold, which made it closely associated with the Portuguese overseas discoveries.


After a few days in the glorious Algarve shoreline, drive northward towards the Serra da Arrábida, a majestic mountain range adorned with lush vegetation that cascades down to the sea. Drive along winding roads, admiring the beauty of the Natural Park and the spectacular views overlooking the Troia Peninsula. Go to Setúbal, nestled at the foot of the mountains, where you can indulge in the local speciality of fried cuttlefish and purchase bottles of Moscatel wine to savour at home.

After a delectable lunch, cross the iconic bridge over the Tagus River and drive back to Lisbon, where you will return your rental car to the designated desk. The following day, our driver will be waiting to escort you from your hotel to the airport, ensuring you arrive with ample time to check in for your flight.

If you liked what you have read and are already picturing yourself strolling through winding cobblestone streets, savouring delectable local cuisine and soaking in wondrous coastal views, then make sure to click here to see the tour details and request a quote.

Can I make it custom?

We believe that your journey should reflect your own interests and desires and that is why all of our tours are fully customizable, allowing you to tailor your itinerary to suit your preferences.

Whether you want to add more days to explore a particular location, see additional destinations, or even venture off the beaten path to find more hidden gems, our team of travel consultants is here to make it happen. Simply share your interests, expectations and any specific requests with us and we will work together to craft the perfect itinerary for your dream vacation.

Your journey is your to shape and we are here to ensure that every moment is filled with unforgettable experiences tailored just for you. You can schedule a meeting with our local travel consultants to personalize your trip, call us directly or request a quote - just click here. Let us know how we can customize your tour to create memories that will last a lifetime!


Topics: portugal, portuguese travel agency, visitportugal, lisbon, travel agency, self-guided, Algarve, Alentejo, history, gastronomy, culture, tourtailors, tourism travel, architecture, Douro Valley

We are a local tour operator specialized in custom Self-Guided Tours in Portugal, Spain & Italy

Our local team will craft a tailor-made trip plan with an itinerary and a selection of hotels, activities and transportation based on your interests and budget. We offer a turnkey package and take care of all the logistics. While you are travelling, our local team is available by phone 24/7, so that we make sure you have a hassle-free vacation.


We also want to guarantee you have all you need when you are on tour. You will get a personalized roadbook with your day-to-day planning designed especially for you and an exclusive guidebook with additional information written by our team. This information will also be featured on our exclusive mobile app, which also have maps connecting to your phone’s navigation apps. To ease the driving, you will receive a pre-programmed GPS with preloaded coordinates for all of the above.


We know sometimes life gets in the way, so all our tours are fully-refundable until 5 working days prior to your arrival – money back guarantee, no questions asked.


After we receive your enquiry, we will send you a free proposal, that can be changed as many times as necessary until meeting your expectations. Start planning your trip today!


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