Portugal Itinerary (10 Days) – The Best 2023 Route & Map
A relatively small chunk of Europe, most travelers think it’ll be easy to tackle a 10-day Portugal itinerary. But don’t let its size fool you – there is a lot of ground to cover when you’re visiting Portugal. If you don’t plan the perfect Portugal itinerary, you could very well miss things or waste valuable time.
Even though there are a ton of places to visit in Portugal, it’s 100% possible to concoct an itinerary that covers the whole country. I spent a month getting to know Portugal and developed an efficient route that only takes 10 days, but hits all the best spots.
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10 Day Portugal Itinerary
👉 Pro Tip: On a quick 10-day trip you have to use absolutely every minute wisely, starting with where you’ll fly into. Instead of heading straight to Lisbon Airport like most people, fly into the Faro Airport. This allows you to start your Portugal adventure from the southern tip of the country and work your way up bit by bit.
Day 1 – The Algarve (Faro)
On your first day in the Algarve region of Portugal, you’re going to put its beach reputation to the test.
Start with a full breakfast spread from Padaria Urbana in Faro City. Then, spend the morning relaxing away your jetlag on the beaches of Praia da Rocha Baixinha or Praia de Vilamoura just outside of the city.
After a healthy dose of dips in the water and snoozes in the sand, it’s time for some traditional Portuguese food at Restaurante Chefe Branco. Make sure you order the bifinhos de porco and don’t you dare leave without trying one of their picture-perfect desserts, like Tarte de Natas.
Since it’s only your first day in Portugal, we’ll take it easy tonight. Finish with a visit to the historic Igreja do Carmo, a church made out of bones. For dinner, have a plate of grilled fish or sirloin steak from Tasquinha Cruzeiro before turning in early for the night.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: AP Eva Senses (excellent location), Hospedaria Frangaria (yummy restaurant on-site, accommodating staff)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Restaurante Chefe Branco ($), Tasquinha Cruzeiro ($)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Columbus ($$), LAB Terrace ($$)
Day 2 – The Algarve (Lagos)
It’s day two in the Algarve region of Portugal, and today, it’s all about Lagos.
This area is home to some of Portugal’s most recognizable (and gorgeous) natural attractions. To start, fuel up with a breakfast bagel from Goldig Cafe & Takeaway and an artfully prepared latte.
Then, take a boat tour around the staggering rock formations of Punta de la Piedad. The waters around this famous spot are filled with different tours. Out of all of them, I’d highly recommend this Boat Trip to Ponta da Piedade from Lagos because it’s super affordable and informative. After the tour, slip into a swimsuit and trek the narrow steps down to Praia do Camilo beach.
By now, your stomach is probably rumbling. Indulge in the area’s exquisite seafood at the teenie restaurant of Casinha do Petisco. Their shrimp cataplana for two is to die for.
Wrap up lunch just in time for an afternoon tour to the famous Benagil Sea Caves, like this 2-Hour Boat Trip. You’ve probably caught a glimpse of this place on an influencer’s Instagram and now you can capture your very own shot here. Wind down with some tapas and drinks at Bon Vivant and call it a day. Tomorrow, we head north.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Marina Club Lagos Resort (very fancy, near the historic center), Lagos Atlantic Hotel (stunning facilities and views)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Casinha do Petisco ($$), A Petisqueira ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Bon Vivant ($$), Amuras Bar ($$)
Day 3 – Setubal
It’s been fun taking in the beachy vibe of the Algarve region, but on day 3, we’re headed a few hours north up to the fishing city of Setubal. If you’re hankering for a glass of Portuguese wine, this is the first stop (of many on this itinerary) that will cure that desire. For brunch, grab a colorful plate of healthy munchies at Turquesa Setúbal in the city center. Then, make a stop at the seaside São Filipe Fortress for a bit of 16th-century history and beautiful ocean views.
Much like its southern cousin, Setubal is also known for its natural beauty, particularly around the huge Arrábida Natural Park. Spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know this giant park by hanging out on the remote Galapos and Plage de la Figueirinha beaches.
For a pre-dinner sugar rush, grab a miscellaneous sweet treat at Confeitaria d’Arrábida and just take a little stroll around the city. It’s been a busy couple of days already. So, treat yourself to a meaty dinner of sirloin steak at Carnes do Convento followed by a glass of sweet Setubal wine at Baco da Ribeira.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Rio Art Hotel (affordable prices, near the waterfront), Hotel Cristal Setúbal (amazing staff and yummy breakfast)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Casa do Mar ($$), Carnes do Convento ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Beco da Ribeira ($$), Decibel Live Music Bar ($$)
Day 4 – Lisbon
📍 Google Maps | Things To Do In Lisbon | Where To Stay In Lisbon | Day Trips From Lisbon
Ah, yes – the Portuguese capital city that everyone around the globe knows. It’s fair that Lisbon is so famous. Lisbon has that certain ‘zhuzh’ that makes the city sparkle and today, you’re going to find out exactly what I mean by that.
There is a smattering of top-quality breakfast places, but you should start the day with a benedict from Dear Breakfast in the Chiado neighborhood.
Then, head to the historical hallmarks of the city. The UNESCO-listed Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. You can knock both out in a couple of hours by joining a tour, like this Belém and Jerónimos Monastery Guided Small-Group Walking Tour. This will also give you a good overview and insight into Lisbon from a local. After the tour, try out the beloved Portuguese custard tart at local go-to Pastéis de Belém.
Grab a heartier bite to eat and do a bit of unique souvenir shopping at LxFactory, an artsy complex housed in the remains of an old manufacturing plant. Then, make a quick trip to Castelo de Sao Jorge right before sunset to watch the sun fade away below Lisbon.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: EPIC SANA Marquês Hotel (centrally located, gorgeous rooftop pool), Hotel da Baixa (very homey and comfortable rooms)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Cervejaria Ramiro ($$$), Solar dos Presuntos ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Pensão Amor ($$), Foxtrot ($$), 146 Bar ($$$)
Day 5 – Sintra
The picturesque, romantic mountain town of Sintra is less than an hour outside of Lisbon and is one of the most popular day trips from the capital city. It’s actually so magical that many famous Portuguese writers and artists say it has powers of inspiration.
Understand their love by visiting all of Sintra’s unique castles in the morning. Including Quinta da Regaleira Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pena Palace.
Then, munch down on a late breakfast at Café Saudade. Make sure you try the ‘Saudade coffee’ to give you the energy burst you need halfway through your Portugal vacation itinerary. Next, go to the slightly creepy, but also cool, Initiation Well. Taking a picture down its winding, stone staircase is a necessary souvenir from a day in Sintra.
Spend the rest of the day just wandering around the adorable, little town. There are lots of hidden gems to discover for such a small place and it’s a good workout. For dinner, we’re going to get fancy with a decadent feast at Incomum.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Sintra Boutique Hotel ($$$, very modern style and central location), Hotel Sintra Jardim ($, affordable prices and historic grounds)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Incomum ($$), A Raposa ($$), Bacalhau na Vila ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Casa do Fauno ($$), Bar Saloon Cintra ($$)
Day 6 – Nazare
📍 Google Maps | Where To Stay in Nazare | Things To Do In Nazare
Nazare is a personal favorite for me, and probably just about anyone who’s ever visited this dreamy, beachside town on Portugal’s coast.
You’ll want to spend as much time near the beach as possible here. So, upon arrival, head straight to the Village Brunch and Coffee, grab some bites to go, and check out the town’s main feature: Nazare Beach.
Hang out at Nazare Beach for a while, have an ice cream cone or two, and then make your way to the Nazare Funicular. This cable car will pull you up to some winning views overlooking the entire city. Once you’re up on the elevated section of town, stop by the massive Praia do Norte. This beach is known for having some of the biggest waves in the world.
Make sure you get back to Nazare Beach as the sun sets to watch the natural show, then check out Nazare’s food scene. Eat fresh seafood that was caught in the ocean right next to you at O Casalinho. I can vouch for the Pescada A Casalinho.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Hotel Mar Bravo ($, prime beachfront location), Hotel Magic (beautiful rooms, friendly staff)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: O Casalinho ($$), Sitiado ($$), Bontà – Bistro Italiano ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Nbar Café Concerto ($$), Inn Bar ($$)
Day 7 – Aveiro
We’re nearing the end of your Portugal excursion, but we saved some of the best things in the whole country for last. On day 7, it’s Aveiro, also known as “the Venice of Portugal”. Begin the day by taking in a bit of the local culture at the Aveiro Museum located in a former monastery.
Next, take a walk or even a ride in a traditional Moliceiro boat, down the canals of Aveiro. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, have a glass of red wine and some eye-catching dishes at Restaurante O Bairro.
After a week of constant exploring around Portugal, it’s time for good night’s sleep, so you can get the most out of your last three days. Catch a live performance at the Piano Bar if you can, then go catch some ZZZs.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Hotel das Salinas ($$, tasty breakfast in bed), Hotel Alfonso V ($, clean and cozy)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Restaurante O Bairro ($$$), A Nossa Casa ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Piano Bar ($$), Maria Lounge Bar ($$)
Day 8 – Douro Valley
After seeing a lot of Portugal’s beaches and tons of its mountains, the Douro Valley will be a completely different experience. Here, in the northern region, you’re diving head first into the natural beauty and rich wine culture of Portugal. In the morning, learn about the area’s significance at the Museu do Douro.
Afterward, give the wines a taste for yourself at the esteemed Quinta do Seixo winery. The grounds are in the heart of the Douro Valley’s softly patterned landscapes. The winery offers world-class wine experiences for an affordable price tag. For dinner, spoil yourself a little extra with a luxurious meal at DOC by Chef Rui Paula.
- 👉 Pro Tip: It can be difficult to find places to stay in the Douro Valley. To save time and effort, you may want to just join an organized day tour of the area. Such as this Douro Valley small-group tour that comes with wine tasting, lunch, and even an optional Douro River cruise.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Quinta Do Bosque ($$, incredible views by the outdoor pool), The Vintage House ($$$, luxury galore in an old wine estate)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: DOC – Chef Rui Paula ($$$$), Castas e Pratos ($$$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Quinta do Seixo ($$$), Foz do Távora Bar ($$)
Days 9 & 10 – Porto
Porto is such an intriguing city that we’re going to slow down a little bit and spend the last two days in Portugal soaking it all in. Start your mornings with mimosas at Zenith or an overflowing egg plate from Do Norte Café. If there’s one thing Porto has in spades, it’s good breakfast spots.
Start getting to know the city with a visit to the Porto Cathedral and the tile-filled São Bento Station. Both of these historical emblems of the city are located right near each other, so you can visit one right after the other.
Catch a glimpse of Luís I Bridge over the Douro River in the heart of the city. Or, wander the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal victorian garden.
Mosey over to the Vila Nova de Gaia area for a wine tasting of the world-known Port at Caves Ferreira. For an afternoon pick-me-up, get a beautifully-made cup of ice cream or a chocolate-y crepe from Amorino. On the second day, try an intricate, pretty pastry from Mademoiselle for dessert.
Another thing you’ll find a lot of in Porto is flavorful food and since you’re almost at the end of your trip, eat up! Get the Iberico ham from A Despensa that’s been aged for 24 months. On the last night of your adventure, eat an extravagant final meal at Muu Steakhouse. Finish the trip off with a few last glasses of Portuguese wine from Capela Incomum.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Zero Box Lodge Porto ($, central location and unique rooms), Torel Avantgarde ($$$, award-winning 5-star hotel)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Tapabento S.Bento ($$), Muu Steakhouse ($$$), A Despensa ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Capela Incomum ($$), Base Porto ($$)
Portugal Itinerary Map
Here is a Google Map with all the stop, attractions, and hotels mentioned in this post. You can click star to save to your own maps.
How to Get Around in Portugal
🚗 Rental Car – Visitors over 18 years old can rent a car in Portugal with a valid license. A car rental can be helpful if you’re planning on visiting far-out, rural destinations. But, if you’re sticking to major cities, driving through the narrow Portuguese streets is nerve-wracking and parking is a nightmare.
For travelers who do plan on renting a car, make sure you’re getting the best rate by utilizing Discover Cars to compare rental prices.
🚖 Hiring A Driver – If the thought of driving in Portugal stresses you out, there is a simple solution. Just hire a driver! It’s one of the more expensive transportation options, but it’s also the fastest.
🚂 Taking The Train – For travelers on a budget in Europe, the train is the quickest and cheapest way to get around. It goes to major cities and some towns, but it might be more difficult to reach far-off destinations in Portugal.
🚌 Catching The Bus – The bus is the cheapest way to explore Portugal with Rede Expressos being the main company people ride with. One-way tickets for the bus are usually a couple of Euros and almost always under $20. This is also the best way to get around within a big city, like Lisbon or Porto.
Portugal Itinerary Planning Tips
Spend at Least 10 Days in Portugal
Most travelers automatically plan for a week-long vacation. Seven days to spend in Portugal gives you enough time to see some of the country, but you’ll probably miss a lot of things when you only have a week.
Extending your vacation even a few days to a 10-day trip in Portugal offers a lot more wiggle room than it sounds like. Even three extra days provide more opportunities to do things and gives you extra time to travel between different cities around Portugal.
Eat All The Portuguese Food Staples
A trip to Portugal is packed with much more than beach days and historical sites – it’s also full of delectable Portuguese food. Get your fill of all the local specialties like pastel de nata, bifanas, piri piri chicken, and of course, Port wine.
Get Good, Comprehensive Travel Insurance
According to the Global Peace Index, Portugal is ranked as the 6th safest country in the entire world as of 2023. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break your leg, lose a bag, or miss a flight in Portugal. Lower your chances of a trip-ruining mishap by protecting yourself with reliable travel insurance.
Personally, my go-to travel insurance is always World Nomads. It covers tons of stuff that most travel insurance companies won’t touch with a 10-foot pole, like skydiving and rock climbing. Plus, it’s affordable and comes with a 24/7 travel assistance line, so you always have someone to call and get help from if needed.
Bring Lots of Casual Beachwear And Light Cover-Ups
Portugal is a sunny, beach vacation heaven and you’ll want to spend at least 40% of your time taking advantage of the country’s stunning beaches. The beach-filled days mean you’ll need at least two pairs of casual beachwear and a stylish cover-up.
Pick the Best Time to Visit For Your Preferences
Portugal has a reputation for toasty weather. However, the seasons can drastically change the climate in this western European country.
If you visit in the summer, you need to be prepared for caustic heat waves and lots of days basking on the beach. If you’re coming during the winter months, it will be chilly and wet much of the time, but much cheaper. Before you commit to booking your week-long trip, figure out the best time to visit Portugal for your ideal experience.
Split Up Your Northern Portugal and Southern Portugal Trips
While it’s possible to cover the entire country of Portugal in a week, you will probably feel the pressure of rushing under these time constraints.
To have a more easygoing experience, I’d recommend breaking it up into two trips – one week to explore the north and another for southern Portugal. This split-up itinerary offers a much more leisurely experience and time to discover the details of each region.
FAQs About Planning 10 Days in Portugal
How Many Days in Portugal Is Enough?
10 days in Portugal is enough time to get a strong introduction to the country and explore its most famous places to visit. Portugal isn’t a huge country, but it still takes some time to get around on public transportation and see all the staple sites. Plus, visitors will want enough time to relax on the beach and get into the local cuisine.
Can You Do Portugal In 10 Days?
It’s absolutely possible to do Portugal in 10 days. There are only around 220 miles separating the southernmost Algarve region from the northern area of Braga in Portugal. Thanks to the country’s top-notch public transportation system, getting from place to place doesn’t take that long.
What is the best month to go to Portugal?
The best month to go to Portugal is in May. Despite the good weather during May, visitors won’t be bogged down by the crowds that start trampling through around June. Plus, the prices are usually a little cheaper around this time right before the high season kicks into full gear.
Is Two Weeks in Portugal Enough?
Two weeks is plenty of time to explore Portugal’s regions without feeling like you’re racing against the clock to do everything. It gives travelers the option of splitting the trip into two separate itineraries: north and south. It’s the perfect plan for a leisurely, low-stress trip to Portugal.
Thanks for reading my 10-day Portugal itinerary. Which location are you most pumped to put on your Portugal trip itinerary? If you’re coming to visit this beautiful country, you need to pack the right stuff. Luckily, I’ve got you covered with this comprehensive Portugal packing list.
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