Rough Draft: 1 Week Itinerary for Portugal
Due to the COVID quarantine, I am creating rough draft, “off the shelf” travel itineraries for when travel resumes normal operations so we do not waste any time getting out and exploring!
As requested by you (yay!) for a week long get away to Portugal. While the EU has restricted US citizens from visiting on their July 1 opening, Portugal has been vocal in attempting to attract tourists. So perhaps Portugal could be one of the first countries in Europe to permit US travelers. Time will tell! I have been using Reopen EU to track updated status. Can you tell I am read to go?
Anyway, back to the trip. Portugal has quite a diversity that can cater to a variety of trips. Those who travel for history and architecture will love the major cities and the smaller preserved towns. Wine lovers will enjoy the wine regions throughout the country, most famously the port in Douro Valley. Outdoor enthusiasts have access to numerous hiking trail and parks, not to mention miles of coastal beach. I built the itinerary to have a sampler of everything but you can easily change to fit your needs. Have more time? Tack on the Azores or continue east into Spain. I will be flying into Lisbon and taking public transit around the country. While you can rent a car, this itinerary is built for the flexibility without one. Train and bus system is extensive to get you were you need to go.
What is there to do?
It is very easy to fill two or three week itineraries here! I really wanted to capture a bit of everything so this itinerary will travel to Porto, Lisbon, and Lagos.
Porto – the northern most city of the itinerary. If you are like me an have to travel through Lisbon, there are trains and buses that regularly go to Porto but there is also an airport located a half hour from the city. Add these locations as stars to your Google Maps as must see spots:
- San Bento Station
- Livraria Lello
- Igreja dos Clerigos and Tower
- Luis I Bridge
- Funicular dos Guindais
- Bolsa Palace
- St Francis Church
- Garden of Morro
Treat yourself to a day tour port and wine tasting in Douro Valley. There are many companies that organize day trips to the region – this one was noted by many bloggers and well rated. Do not want to spend a day wine tasting or want more? There are spots in town where you can visit tasting rooms including Churchill Graham, Ferreria, Caves Calem, Taylor Port.
Lisbon – the capital city of Portugal and there is a lot going on. Take a train or bus from Porto into Lisbon. Add these locations as stars to your Google Maps as must see spots:
- Praca do Comerico
- Santa Justa Lift
- Praca Dom Pedro IV
- Make sure to visit LX Factory and Time Out Market as well
- Get ready to climb! Visit the following for sweeping views of the city:
- Miradouro da Garca
- Castel de S Jorge
- Miradouro das Portas do Sol
- Miradouro de Santa Luzia
There are plenty of opportunities for half a full day trips from Lisbon.
- Belem is a short distance from the city center and you should see Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and Padrao dos Descobrimentos. Add a stop at Pasteis de Belem for Pastel de Nata- Portugese Egg Tart dessert.
- Sintra is an hour train or bus ride away and offers a completely different side to Portugal. You will find several castles including Castelo dos Mouros, Pena Palace and Sintra National Palace. Then take a hike through Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais to the coastline to Cabo da Roca. If you have more time, travel south to Cascais and visit Boca do Inferno or further north to Azenhas do Mar.
Lagos – now that you have a taste of the coastline if you visited Sintra, time to dive in by traveling to Lagos. From Lisbon you have the choice of bus or train once again but it appears bus is quicker and more direct. Time to relax and explore the area.
- Walk along the trail easily accesiible from downtown to hit Praia do Pinhao, Praia dos Estudantes and Praia da Batata
- Head west to the popular Praia do Amado
- Boat tour or kayak tour to Benagil Caves (note this is a tide dependent activity so plan accordingly)
- Hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail (Trailhead: Praia da Mariha, 11.4km return, 6 hours) – complete route is Praia da Marinha – Praia de Benagil – Alfanzina Lighthouse – Carvalho Beach – Praia de Vale Centianes
Where to eat?
Oh goodness – as with all these itineraries there is just more food to experience than time! Note I tried so hard to cut the Lisbon list down and it is down right impossible – in fact, the list kept growing! Here are some of the spots I look forward to checking out.
If you have to travel a distance, leave Friday after work on a red eye arriving in Portugal on Saturday afternoon then depart the following Sunday. Ends up being a nine day trip in exchange from one week off. Here is how I would structure a one week trip to Portugal!
|Day 1||Afternoon||Arrive in Lisbon
Train to Porto
|Day 2||Morning||Douro Valley Wine Tour|
|Day 3||Morning||San Bento Station
Igreja dos Clerigos and Tower
|Afternoon||Luis I Bridge
Funicular dos Guindais
St Francis Church
|Evening||Garden of Morro
In town wine:
|Day 4||Morning||Travel to Lisbon|
|Afternoon||Miradouro da Garca
Castel de S Jorge
Miradouro das Portas do Sol
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
|Day 5||Morning||Day Trip to Sintra
|Day 6||Morning||Praca do Comerico
Santa Justa Lift
Praca Dom Pedro IV
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
|Day 7||Morning||Travel to Lagos (bus or train)|
|Afternoon||Ponta da Piedade|
|Day 8||Morning||Benagil Caves
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
|Day 9||Morning||Travel to Lisbon|
If you have been to Portugal, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!
Don’t forget to check out all DESKRIB itineraries here!