2-Week Itinerary in Portugal

2-Week Itinerary in Portugal

Planning a trip to Portugal and looking for the perfect 2-week itinerary? Look no further! In this article, I will guide you through the best places to visit and must-see attractions in Portugal, ensuring you make the most of your two-week adventure in this beautiful country.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal, during your first two days of the trip.
  • Take a day trip from Lisbon to the coastal town of Cascais and the enchanting town of Sintra.
  • Head to the Algarve for two days of sun, sand, and stunning coastal scenery.
  • Visit the Azores Islands or Madeira for three days of natural beauty and adventure.
  • Discover the medieval town of Óbidos and the coastal town of Peniche on day nine.

Ready to embark on your Portugal vacation? Let’s dive into the details of each day and explore the best destinations this country has to offer!

Days 1 & 2: Lisbon

Spend the first two days of your trip exploring Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. Wander through the charming streets, visit museums and art galleries, and enjoy the local cuisine. Don’t miss popular attractions like the Pink Street and the historic neighborhood of Alfama. Consider using the Lisbon Card for unlimited public transportation and discounted entry to attractions.

  • Explore the historic neighborhood of Alfama with its narrow winding streets and colorful houses. Get lost in the maze-like alleys and discover hidden viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of the city.
  • Visit the iconic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Marvel at the intricate Manueline architecture and immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich maritime history.
  • Indulge in the local cuisine at the vibrant Mercado da Ribeira. Sample traditional dishes like bacalhau à brás (codfish with scrambled eggs and potatoes) or try the famous pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts).
  • Explore the vibrant Bairro Alto neighborhood, known for its lively nightlife. Enjoy a drink at one of the many bars and experience the city’s vibrant music scene.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the Tagus River promenade and admire the beautiful views of the city. Stop by the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) for a dose of contemporary art and design.

Recommended Museums and Galleries:

Name Description
National Museum of Ancient Art Discover a vast collection of Portuguese and European art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles.
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) Experience cutting-edge contemporary art and design exhibitions in a unique waterfront building.
Gulbenkian Museum Explore a diverse range of art from ancient Egyptian artifacts to European paintings and decorative arts.

With two full days in Lisbon, you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture, indulge in delicious food, and admire its stunning architecture. Lisbon is the perfect starting point for your Portuguese adventure.

Day 3: Day trip to Cascais & Sintra

On day three, I recommend taking a day trip from Lisbon to the coastal town of Cascais and the enchanting town of Sintra. These two destinations offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and cultural experiences.

Exploring Cascais

Start your day by driving or taking a train to Cascais. This charming coastal town, located just 30 minutes from Lisbon, is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant atmosphere.

While in Cascais, I highly recommend visiting the Cascais Citadel. This fortress, located by the sea, offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the town’s history. Don’t miss the Boca do Inferno, a natural wonder where the waves crash against the rocky cliffs, creating an impressive spectacle.

Witnessing the beauty of Cascais is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Highlights of Cascais Description
Cascais Citadel A historic fortress with stunning sea views
Boca do Inferno A natural coastal formation with crashing waves
Beaches Relax and soak up the sun on Cascais’ beautiful beaches

Discovering Sintra

After exploring Cascais, drive to Sintra, a town that seems straight out of a fairy tale. Sintra is famous for its romantic palaces and lush greenery, creating a magical ambiance.

The highlight of Sintra is the iconic Pena Palace. This colorful palace, perched on a hilltop, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a must-visit attraction that will transport you to a different era.

Another gem in Sintra is the Quinta da Regaleira, a magnificent estate that hides secret passages, beautiful gardens, and even an initiation well. It’s a truly enchanting place that showcases the mystical side of Sintra.

Highlights of Sintra Description
Pena Palace A colorful palace with panoramic views
Quinta da Regaleira A mystical estate with secret passages and gardens
Sintra’s Historic Center Wander through the charming streets and explore the local shops and cafes

Both Cascais and Sintra offer a unique and captivating experience, showcasing the diversity and beauty of Portugal. Make sure to book your tickets in advance for the Pena Palace to avoid long queues and fully immerse yourself in the enchantment of Sintra.

Days 4 & 5: The Algarve

Head south to the Algarve for two days of sun, sand, and stunning coastal scenery. The Algarve is a vacationer’s paradise, offering beautiful beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and charming towns.

During your stay, I recommend keeping your rental car to explore the region at your own pace. One of the must-visit destinations in the Algarve is Salema, a quaint fishing village known for its breathtaking beach and authentic atmosphere. Stroll along the promenade, savor fresh seafood at the local restaurants, and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe of this charming village.

Lagos is another town worth visiting in the Algarve. With its striking coastline, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites, Lagos offers something for everyone. Explore Ponta da Piedade, a famous rock formation with stunning caves and grottoes, and take a boat tour to fully appreciate its beauty.

Spend some time at Cape Sagres, located at the southwestern tip of Portugal. This rugged peninsula offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and is home to the iconic Sagres Fortress, a historic site that played a significant role in Portugal’s maritime history.

Don’t miss the opportunity to relax and unwind on the beautiful beaches that line the Algarve coast. From secluded coves to wide stretches of golden sand, there is a beach for every preference. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant beach with water sports or a peaceful spot to soak up the sun, the Algarve has it all.

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Days 6, 7 & 8: Azores Islands

After exploring Lisbon, it’s time to venture to the breathtaking Azores Islands for three days of natural beauty and adventure. These stunning islands, located in the mid-Atlantic, offer a unique and diverse ecosystem that will leave you in awe.

To start your journey, fly back to Lisbon and then catch a flight to one of the main islands in the Azores archipelago. Once you arrive, rent a car at the airport for easy exploration.

Start your Azores adventure by visiting Furnas Lake, a volcanic crater filled with crystal-clear waters and surrounded by lush greenery. Take a leisurely walk around the lake or relax in the natural hot springs that dot the area. The contrasting colors and tranquility of this place will make it a highlight of your trip.

Next, make your way to Sete Cidades, a pair of beautiful twin lakes nestled in a volcanic crater. The lakes, one blue and the other green, are set against a backdrop of majestic cliffs, creating a truly breathtaking sight. Hike along the trails that surround the lakes, or simply sit back and take in the awe-inspiring views.

As an alternative to the Azores Islands, you can choose to visit Madeira, another Portuguese archipelago known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. Madeira offers diverse hiking trails, beautiful gardens, and dramatic coastal cliffs that will leave you speechless.

Whether you choose to explore the Azores Islands or Madeira, both destinations offer an escape to natural wonders that will make your Portugal trip truly unforgettable.

Day 9: Óbidos & Peniche

After exploring the beautiful Azores Islands, it’s time to return to mainland Portugal and continue your adventure. On day 9, I recommend driving to the charming town of Óbidos and the laid-back coastal town of Peniche.

Óbidos

Located just a short drive from Lisbon, Óbidos is a well-preserved medieval town that will transport you back in time. As you wander through its cobblestone streets and admire the historic center, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Don’t miss the impressive Óbidos Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Take your time to explore the town’s shops and taste the famous Ginjinha, a cherry liqueur served in edible chocolate cups.

Peniche

From Óbidos, make your way to Peniche, a coastal town that is popular among locals and surfers. Peniche is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, and relaxed atmosphere. Spend some time at Praia da Consolação or Baleal beach, where you can enjoy the sun and take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re a surfing enthusiast, make sure to catch some waves at Supertubos, one of the best surfing spots in Europe.

To make your day even more memorable, I highly recommend taking a boat trip to the Berlengas archipelago. This group of islands is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and offers stunning views and crystal-clear waters. Explore the caves and enjoy snorkeling or diving in this natural paradise.

Soak in the beauty and history of Óbidos and the coastal charm of Peniche on day 9 of your Portugal itinerary. It’s a day filled with exploration, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences.

Day 10: Nazaré, Coimbra, Aveiro

On this day, I drove to the picturesque fishing village of Nazaré, famous for its high waves and stunning coastline. The beach in Nazaré is absolutely breathtaking, with crystal-clear waters and golden sand. As I strolled along the shore, I couldn’t resist trying the local seafood, which was fresh and delicious.

After spending some time in Nazaré, I continued my journey to Coimbra, a city steeped in history and home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The highlight of my visit to Coimbra was undoubtedly the renowned Baroque Library, a mesmerizing sight filled with ancient books and intricate architecture.

From Coimbra, I made my way to Aveiro, which is often referred to as the “Portuguese Venice” because of its picturesque canals and charming Art Nouveau architecture. I took a leisurely boat ride along the canals, admiring the colorful houses and beautiful bridges that lined the waterways.

Nazaré Highlights

  • Experience the thrill of watching surfers ride massive waves at Praia do Norte.
  • Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, a Portuguese pilgrimage site with stunning ocean views.
  • Explore the narrow streets of Nazaré’s historic center, filled with traditional houses and local shops.

Coimbra Highlights

  • Marvel at the stunning architecture of the University of Coimbra, including the Joanina Library and the University Tower.
  • Take a walk through the historic center of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Enjoy a traditional fado music performance in one of Coimbra’s atmospheric venues.

Aveiro Highlights

  • Take a scenic boat tour along the canals of Aveiro and admire the colorful moliceiros boats.
  • Visit the Aveiro Museum to learn about the history and culture of the region.
  • Indulge in some local delicacies, such as ovos moles (sweet egg pastries) and tripas (a traditional meat dish).

With a heart full of beautiful memories from Nazaré, Coimbra, and Aveiro, I was excited to continue my journey and explore more of Portugal’s wonders.

Location Recommended Activities
Nazaré 1. Watch surfers ride massive waves at Praia do Norte.
2. Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré.
3. Explore the historic center.
Coimbra 1. Marvel at the architecture of the University of Coimbra.
2. Take a walk through the historic center.
3. Attend a fado music performance.
Aveiro 1. Take a boat tour along the canals.
2. Visit the Aveiro Museum.
3. Enjoy local delicacies such as ovos moles and tripas.

Days 11 & 12: Porto

Porto is the final destination of your two-week itinerary in Portugal. This vibrant city is known for its historic center and its famous port wine. Spend two days immersing yourself in the charm and culture of Porto, exploring its architectural wonders and indulging in the local delicacies.

Start your visit with a trip to Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Marvel at the intricate woodwork and stained glass windows as you browse through a wide selection of books. Don’t forget to capture a photo on the iconic red staircase that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Next, take a relaxing boat tour on the Douro River. Enjoy stunning views of the city’s colorful buildings and historic bridges as you glide along the water. Learn about the history of the port wine trade and sample some of the region’s finest wines.

If you have an extra day, consider taking a day trip to the Douro Valley, the oldest wine region in the world. Experience the breathtaking landscapes of terraced vineyards and picturesque villages as you indulge in wine tastings at traditional wineries.

Recommended Activities in Porto:

  1. Visit Livraria Lello
  2. Take a boat tour on the Douro River
  3. Explore the historic Ribeira district
  4. Visit the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge
  5. Indulge in the local cuisine, including Francesinha and Pastéis de Nata
  6. Discover the contemporary art at the Serralves Museum
  7. Enjoy panoramic views from the Clérigos Tower
Hotel Name Location Price Range
InterContinental Porto Baixa $$$
Royal Porto Hotel Ribeira $$
Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel Rua das Flores $$
The Yeatman Vila Nova de Gaia $$$$

Conclusion

A 2-week itinerary in Portugal offers a diverse and memorable travel experience. From the historic cities of Lisbon and Porto to the stunning coastal towns, natural landscapes, and rich culture, Portugal has something for everyone. Whether you choose to rent a car for flexibility or rely on public transportation, you’ll be able to explore the country’s top attractions, including the iconic Pena Palace, the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, and the picturesque Douro Valley wine region.

Throughout your journey, savor the delicious cuisine, meet friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the captivating scenery that Portugal is renowned for. Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Lisbon, indulging in fresh seafood in Lagos, or sipping port wine in Porto, Portugal offers a multitude of unforgettable experiences.

With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality, Portugal is the perfect destination for a 2-week adventure. So pack your bags, prepare your itinerary, and get ready to create lasting memories in this captivating country.

Experience the best of Portugal in 2 weeks – a country that seamlessly combines history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant cities, relaxing on pristine beaches, or discovering hidden gems off the beaten path, Portugal will captivate you at every turn. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary journey!

Practical Information

Before your trip to Portugal, it’s important to be aware of some practical information that will help you have a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Visa Requirements: Make sure to check the visa requirements for your country of residence before traveling to Portugal. Ensure that you have any necessary visas or permits well in advance of your departure.

Currency: The official currency in Portugal is the Euro. It’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases, but credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments.

Language: English is spoken by many locals in tourist areas, so you should have no trouble communicating. However, it’s always helpful to know a few basic Portuguese phrases to enhance your interaction with the locals.

Travel Insurance: It’s strongly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. This will give you peace of mind during your trip.

Safety Guidelines: Stay updated on safety guidelines and travel advisories issued by your government or relevant authorities. Be aware of any potential risks or precautions necessary for your journey.

By keeping these practical considerations in mind, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip to Portugal. Now, let’s move on to our recommended accommodations for your stay.

Recommended Accommodations

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, choosing the right accommodations can enhance your overall experience. Here are some recommended options:

Lisbon

When staying in Lisbon, I suggest choosing an accommodation in the city center. This will give you easy access to all the major attractions and allow you to immerse yourself in the vibrant city life. Alternatively, you can opt for the charming neighborhoods of Barrio Alto or Alfama, known for their picturesque streets and historic charm.

Lagos

If you’re looking to explore the stunning coastline of the Algarve, consider staying in Lagos. This coastal town offers a range of accommodations, from hotels to hostels. Choose a place near the beach to enjoy breathtaking views and convenient access to the crystal-clear waters and golden sands that the Algarve is famous for.

Évora

For a taste of medieval charm, head to Évora. This historic city is known for its well-preserved architecture and rich cultural heritage. Look for a hotel located in or near the historic center to fully immerse yourself in the city’s enchanting atmosphere. Explore the narrow streets, visit ancient landmarks, and indulge in the local cuisine.

Porto

When visiting Porto, consider staying in the Ribeira neighborhood for a riverside view. This area is famous for its colorful townhouses, traditional cafes, and stunning views of the Douro River. Alternatively, you can opt for accommodations near Igreja do Carmo, which offers hillside views and is surrounded by trendy restaurants and lively nightlife.

Douro Valley

If you want to experience the heart of Portugal’s wine country, staying in the Douro Valley is a must. Consider booking a stay at a quinta, a traditional wine estate. This will allow you to immerse yourself in the vineyard landscapes, enjoy wine tastings, and indulge in the tranquility of the region. It’s a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Remember to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the peak travel seasons, to secure the best options that suit your preferences and budget. Whether you choose to stay in the city or by the coast, Portugal offers a range of accommodations that will make your trip memorable and comfortable.

FAQ

What is the best 2-week itinerary for Portugal?

The best 2-week itinerary for Portugal includes exploring Lisbon for days 1 and 2, taking a day trip to Cascais and Sintra on day 3, spending days 4 and 5 in the Algarve, visiting the Azores Islands or Madeira for days 6, 7, and 8, exploring Óbidos and Peniche on day 9, visiting Nazaré, Coimbra, and Aveiro on day 10, spending days 11 and 12 in Porto, and returning to Lisbon for departure.

What are the must-see attractions in Lisbon?

Must-see attractions in Lisbon include the Pink Street, the Alfama neighborhood, museums and art galleries, and popular landmarks like the Lisbon Cathedral and Belém Tower.

How can I get around Lisbon and explore Cascais and Sintra?

You can use the Lisbon Card for unlimited public transportation in Lisbon. For the day trip to Cascais and Sintra, renting a car is recommended, but you can also take a train to Cascais and explore the towns on foot.

What should I do in the Algarve?

In the Algarve, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches, visit picturesque towns like Lagos and Cape Sagres, and try fresh seafood in the fishing village of Salema.

Should I visit the Azores Islands or Madeira?

Both the Azores Islands and Madeira offer stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities. If you prefer a more remote and untouched destination, choose the Azores Islands. If you prefer a subtropical climate and lush landscapes, opt for Madeira.

What should I see in Óbidos and Peniche?

In Óbidos, explore the well-preserved medieval town, walk along the cobblestone streets, and visit the historic center. In Peniche, enjoy the laid-back coastal atmosphere, take a boat trip to the Berlengas archipelago, and try some fresh seafood.

What can I do in Nazaré, Coimbra, and Aveiro?

In Nazaré, enjoy the picturesque fishing village, spend time on the beach, and try the local seafood. In Coimbra, visit the historic university and the renowned Baroque Library. In Aveiro, explore the canals by boat and admire the Art Nouveau architecture.

What are the highlights of Porto?

The highlights of Porto include the historic center, Livraria Lello, the Douro River, and the port wine cellars. Consider taking a day trip to the Douro Valley for wine tasting and scenic views.

Is renting a car necessary for this itinerary?

Renting a car is recommended for maximum flexibility, but public transportation in Portugal is reliable and can be used for most of the recommended destinations.

What practical information should I know before my trip to Portugal?

Before your trip, check the visa requirements for your country, the currency (Euro), and the accepted form of payment (credit cards). English is spoken by many locals, so language should not be a barrier. Have travel insurance and stay updated on safety guidelines and travel advisories.

Can you recommend accommodations in Portugal?

Sure! In Lisbon, choose accommodations in the city center, Barrio Alto, or Alfama neighborhoods. In Lagos, stay near the beach for easy access to the coast. In Óbidos, look for hotels near the historic center. In Porto, consider staying in Ribeira for riverside views or near Igreja do Carmo for hillside views and trendy restaurants. In the Douro Valley, experience a unique stay at a quinta (wine estate).

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