Is Portugal in your bucket list? This post is for you!

We visited Lisbon few years ago and we absolutely loved it! So, a roadtrip in Portugal was under our radar for a long time. This country is well-known mostly for Lisbon, Sintra and Algarve, but trust us, Portugal hides a few gems that you absolutley need to see.

On a road trip in Portugal you can have a good mix of everything – from the attractive life in portuguese cities, to the charming towns of Alentejo, to the breathtaking cliffs of the Algarve.. and a few relaxing days on the endless beaches as well.


START – Porto | END – Faro

DURATION – 15 days


HIGHLIGHTS – Hiking in Algarve, relaxing in a Quinta in Douro Valley, swimming in the ocean in Sagres


1 -2 Porto

3 – Douro Valley

4 – Coimbra and Obidos

5 – Sintra

6 – 7 Lisbon and sorroundings

8 – Evora and Alentejo

9 – Alentejo coast

10 – 11 Sagres

12 – Lagos

13 – 14 Carvoeiro and beaches

15 – Tavira and Faro


Porto is a city best enjoyed slowly by foot, book a room near the city center and start strolling without a map discovering little treasures in this colorful and beautifully authentic city.

Things to do to in Porto:

#1 SPOT PORTO’S AZULEJOS: probably one of the things that makes Portugal’s northern city so special! Best spot to see Azulejos: Igreja de Carmo, São Bento Railways station, Porto Cathedral, Iglesia de San Ildefonso (Church of Saint Ildefonso), The Chapel of Souls.

#2 EXPLORE RIBEIRA AND BAIXA DISTRICT: lose yourself walking though the cobbledstone streets and take a walk on Douro riverside with its row of colorful houses and vibrant cafes and restaurant. In this districts you’ll find the majority of Porto best attractions.

#3 DON’T MISS THE VIEWS FROM THE DOM LOUIS I BRIDGE: From here, you have postcard-perfect views over the Ribeira District.

#4 WATCH THE SUNSET FROM MIRADOURO DA RIBEIRA: just a short walk from the bridge our favourite miradouro in town! This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset bathe the Ribeira district, Dom Luis I bridge, and Douro river in golden tones.


Douro valley is often skipped from itineraries, bad choice! It was actually one of our favourite places in Portugal.

You can explore the valley by boat, train or car. If you want to be totally independent car is the best choice, you’ll drive on stunning routes between vineyards and breathtaking viewpoints on Douro river.

Things to do in Douro Valley:

#1 VISIT LAMEGO: on your way from Porto you’ll encounter this charming town located at the base of an immense blue and white tiled flight of steps leading to the Shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Don’t be scared by the 686 to reach the sanctuary, it’s worth it!

#2 HAVE A LOOK AT PINHAO TRAIN STATION: Need more azulejos? Stop at Pinhao train station, The station’s façades are decorated with 25 azulejo panels, that portray work in the vineyards and local landscapes.

#3 RELAX IN A QUINTA: this is actually the best part 🙂 Quintas in Douro Valley are just a daydream. Choose one with a winery and a pool with vineyard view and…relax!


Have you ever heard of Coimbra? To be honest, we hadn’t even heard of Coimbra prior our road trip in Portugal and we were suprised when we saw that it is actually a cool place!

Things to do in Coimbra:

#1 LOSE YOURSELF IN THE HISTORICAL CENTER: first of all wear comfy shoes, you’ll have to climb quite a bit uphill and downhill on cobbledstone streets. All the main attractions are within walking distance so dont’ panic! Do not forget to visit Coimbra University and the Old Cathedral.

#2 ENJOY THE VIEW FROM UNIVERSITY TOWER: if you like views do not miss the one from the tower of the Coimbra University.


How to describe Obidos? A picturesque medieval city with a castle, white house, cobbled street and a lot of colorful flowers.

Things to do in Obidos:

#1 WELL, JUST STROLL AROUND THE CITY: have a walk along the city walls and then simply get lost searching for the best spots in town. Flowers and white house will make this search very easy though!


Sintra is probably on everybody’s Portugal itinerary and for good reasons! It is not only the famous Pena Palace but has other gorgeous palaces and a picturesque old town that you cannot miss. If you have only a day in Sintra make sure to arrive early in the morning.

Things to do in Sintra:

#1 VISIT PENA NATIONAL PALACE: this is the most popular attraction in Sintra hands down, the bright colors of this palace are the main reason why people visit Sintra every year.

#2 VISIT MONSERRATE PALACE: often overlooked, Monserrate is one of the more unique palaces in Portugal, it blends a series of gothic, Arabic, and Indian architecture together. Take a relaxing stroll in the park, this is usually not crowded since it is located further away from the historical center.

#3 VISIT MOORISH CASTLE: just a short walk from Pena Palace you can find Castelo dos Mouros, you can walk along the crumbling walls and also grab the best views over Sintra from here.

#4 VISIT QUINTA DA REGALEIRA: this eccentrically decorated palace has hidden tunnels, towers, and passageways. Do not miss the famous Initiation well.

#4 EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN: if you have extra time in between palaces make sure to explore Sintra historical Center, you’ll not regret it!

Of course one day only is not enough to see everything, our suggestion is to see at least Pena Palace and Monserrate Palace or.. add another day in Sintra!

Our tips:

How to get there: You have two options: train from Lisbon or drive your own car. We have tried them both and we can say we prefer the car option. Yes, you have to drive a little to find a parking spot but we find it more convenient. If you want to go by train, no problem! This is very easy too. Take the train from Lisbon to Sintra (40 minutes journey) and then use Sintra buses. There are two buses that run different loops to the castles, we recommend deciding which castles you plan on seeing the day before your visit.

How to skip the lines: With long lines even during low season we recommend to buy your ticket online. There are usually discounts if you buy online!


Probably our favorite city in Europe, Lisbon is such an incredible place with plenty of things to do and see. From cobblestoned charming streets to the stunning red roof vistas.

Things to do in Lisbon:

#1 EXPLORE BARRIO ALTO AND ALFAMA: both neighborhoods are older parts of the city with plenty of tiled houses and colorful streets. You won’t need a map here, just walk and explore.

#2 VISIT MIRADOUROS: in a city with many hills as Lisbon, there are no shortages of beautiful vistas. You can find a great one in every neighborhood. Our favourites: Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol near Alfama, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara in Barrio Alto.

#3 VISIT IGREJA DO CARMO: a roofless church? Ok, let’s go! The ruins of this gothic church are a reminder of the devastation left by the 1755 earthquake. This is just a unusual place.

#4 VISIT LX FACTORY: this is an old, abandoned industrial site that has been converted into a creative hub. You’ll find tons of artisans selling their creations, cute restaurant, cafes and art studios. Must see: Livraria Ler Devagar (the coolest bookstore in town).

#5 EAT PASTEL DE NATA: don’t leave Lisbon without trying these! And yes, we also have a vegan option. This is not a dream, vegan pastel de nata really exists! VeganNata is not in the city center but if you really want to eat a Pastel de Nata and you’re vegan… go for it!

#6 SPENT HALF A DAY IN BELEM: speaking of Pastel de Nata.. you should definitely go and visit Belem. Pasteis de Belem is the most famous place to eat the portoguese pastry but Belem has a lot to offer. Do not miss Belem Tower and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.

#7 VISIT PRACA DO COMERCIO AND ARCO DA RUA AUGUSTA: you certainly can’t miss the iconic Praca do Comercio. If you want to see it from a bird’s eye view go on the top of the Arco da Rua Augusta, on sunset the vista is just magical!


Just half an hour drive from Lisbon you will find this charming seaside town. Cascais’ postcard views make it one of the most cute little town in Portugal.

What to do in Cascais:

#1 WANDER AROUND THE OLD TOWN: we went early in the morning and the atmosphere was magical. It felt like we had all the town for us.. Loose yourself in the alleys full of flowers and in the cute little squares of Cascais.

#2 GO THE BEACH: if you need some relax you can lay down in one on Cascais beaches. They are quite crowdy though, if you like more privacy is better to move away from the city and go on the coast.


There are a few cool places that you can visit on the coast in a day trip from Lisbon. After visiting Cascais in the morning you can add a few stops.

What to do on the coast:

#1 PRAIA DO GUINCHO: Guincho is perfect for travellers who appreciate nature’s raw power and not for turists who simply want to bask under the sun and swim. Why? Big waves and strong wind! But promise that the landscape will steal your heart: big sandy beach, dramatic scenery on the back and surfers, we loved it!

#2 CABO DA ROCA: no need of presentations for the westernmost point of continental Europe. These cliffs were believed to be the edge of the world in the 14th Century. This place is amazing but be ready for strong winds!

#3 AZENHAS DO MAR: this sleepy fishing town offers a beautiful beach and amazing views. Have you ever seen a natural pool on a beach?


Alentejo is still a destination that lies off the beaten path, so don’t expect to meet loads of tourists there. We spent only one day in this region but if you have more time you’ll find loads of things to do.

The Alentejo region is known for picturesque, small villages, beautiful beaches with stunning rock formations and delicious wines.

Thing to do in Alentejo:

#1 VISIT EVORA: this is the biggest city in Alentejo. Wander through the narrow streets with yellow & white coloured houses, visit the impressive Sé (the big cathedral) and the macabre Capela dos Osos.

#2 VISIT MONSARAZ: a small medieval village full of charm with its cobblestone streets, whitewashed cottages, and impressive views. Don’t miss the many shops selling locally produced wine.

#3 STOP AT PRAIA DA GALE-FONTAINHAS: this beach is really unique: long (very long) sandy seaside, cold water and a stunning red cliff on the back. The most relaxing place in Portugal!

#4 TAKE SOME TIME TO STOP IN ZAMBUJEIRA DO MAR: do not expect anything fancy in this side of Portugal. Here the key word is “simple life” and we liked it a lot! Zambujeira do Mar is a small town but it offers several great beaches, spectacular views and a fantastic tiny white church (Capela de Nossa Senhora do Mar). You should spend a few hours here!


Probably our favorite part of Portugal, Sagres is a small coastal town known for its great surf beaches and located at the most western point of the Algarve once thought of as “the edge of the world”.

Thing to do in Sagres (if you are not surfing):

#1 GO TO THE BEACH: is this obvious? Yes, but the beaches in Sagres area are the most beautiful and relaxing in the Algarve coast. If you are looking for a relaxing day at the beach you should choose Sagres sorroundings. Praia do Beliche is our favourite, hands down!

#2 WATCH THE SUNSET AT THE LIGHTHOUSE: the lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente is one of the main attractions in Sagres. The views from there are breathtaking! If you want to see the sunset try to go there in advance.. This spot is quite crowded during high season.

#3 SPEND A DAY IN PRAIA DE CORDOAMA: if you like remote, rough and wild beaches you have just found the right place. This is a big beach and is surrounded by impressive cliffs. This beach is so big, long and remote that you’ll find only a few people here.. If you need relax and privacy this is for you!


And here we are in the heart of the Algarve! Beaches in Lagos are probably the most famous in Algarve, you could spent a whole week here and still not be able to see all of them. We’re going to suggest our favorite to help you with the decision 🙂

Things to do in Lagos:

#1 PRAIA DO CAMILO: with its glorious scenery and crystal clear water is one of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos. Remember to check tide times, high tide makes this beach really tiny.

#2 PONTA DA PIEDADE: without a doubt the main attraction in Lagos. The beautiful golden rock formation and the crazy blue water is simply impressive. There are two ways to see Ponta da Piedade: by sea and by land . We made our way to the long set of stairs that takes you to one of the coves.

#3 PRAIA DE DONA ANA: probably the most popular beach in Lagos (very close to the city center). We suggest to go early in the morning cause it can get very busy. The scenery from the clifftop is beautiful.

#4 EXPLORE LAGOS OLD TOWN: in the heart of Lagos you will find the old city. We didn’t have enough time so we went for a night walk only, but if you have more time you should definitely spend a few hours there.


The other half of the heart of Algarve is based in the Carvoeiro area. This area has dozen on beautiful beaches, there is really spoilt for choice..

Things to do in Carvoeiro:

#1 GO HIKING ON THE SEVEN HANGING VALLEYS TRAIL: if we have to choose one thing only in this area there is no competition.. The Percurso do Sete Vales Suspenso is our chosen one. This 12km (roundtrip) hike is the real essence of the Algarve, you’ll see beaches, coves, caves, geology, sunsets.. It starts from Praia do Vale de Centeanes and it ends at Praia da Marinha, hiking this trail you’ll also encounter the well known Praia do Carvalho and Praia de Benagil (with his caves).

#2 SEE THE ICONIC BENAGIL CAVE: if you search for Algarve online you will see pictures of the Benagil Cave pop-up everywhere. You can reach the cave by boat tour or renting a kayak, they do not recommend swimming there. If you do the Seven Hanging Valleys hike you get to see the cave from above!

#3 TAKE A STROLL ON ALGAR SECO BROADWALK: looking for an easy walk? This is for you! This wooden walkway leads you from Carvoeiro to the Algar Seco rock formation. Algar Seco is a nature site featuring hundreds of meters of fascinating coastlinewith weird rock formations, grottoes and amazing views.

#4 SPEND A FEW HOURS ON THE BEACH: relax a few hours in one on the stunning beaches of the area, you’ll have plenty of choice. Marinha, Carvalho, Vale de Centeanes, Albandeira. Our suggestion is to skip Praia do Benagil, this is the starting point of nearly all boat tour in Algarve… Too much chaos.


Looking for a less-touristy spot in Algarve? Tavira is the place for you! You’ll be charmed by his cobblestone streets, hilltop castle and abundance of churches

If you have time you should head out of town to the Ria Formosa Nature Park, it seems to be amazing but we didn’t have enough time.

Things to do in Tavira:

#1 EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN: it’s worth spending few hours wandering through the cobbled streets of the old town of Tavira. White houses, flowers, azulejos.. Photo opportunity in every corner!

#2 ENJOY THE VIEW FROM CASTELO DO TAVIRA: you can visit the pretty courtyard garden, walking on the walls and enjoy a fantastic view over the town and down towards the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.. Free of charge!

#3 ADMIRE THE IGREJA DE SANTA MARIA DO CASTELO: right next to the castel you’ll see the most iconical church in Tavira. The architecture is a blend of styles – from the original gothic to elements of baroque, we loved it!

#4 VISIT THE PINK PALACE IN ESTOI: on your way to Faro you can stop in Estoi to visit the unique Pousada Palácio de Estoi. The palace is now a luxury hotel but it is open to public. Lose yourself in the garden and don’t forget to see the stunning blue azulejo staircase.


Faro is often overlooked by tourists who use it only as a gateway to the Algarve coast but this town has a lot more to offer than just an airport. There is an overall sense of calm here, take your time to visit the city by foot and enjoy the atmosphere.

Things to do in Faro:

#1 VISIT CAPELA DOS OSSOS: from the outside Igreja do Carmo is a lovely white and yellow church. Inside the church you’ll find the famous Chapel of Bones: walls of skulls perfectly aligned are covering the walls of the chapel. The skeletons belong to monks who once lived in Faro. This is an unusual things to do for sure!

#2 EXPLORE THE CIDADE VELHA: some of the most important Faro attractions can be found within the old city walls. Wandering through the old town you’ll find the Igreja de Se, which stands as the centrepiece of a beautiful courtyard surrounded by orange trees.

#3 LOOK FOR STORKS NESTING: stop to admire the storks nesting above the main gateway to the old town, there are hundreds of them nested all over the Algarve. Arcos and churches are their favorite places.