Dubbed the West Coast of Europe, Portugal never ceases to captivate. Home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you will relish in the cultural and gastronomic experience of Portugal, as you explore Lisbon and Porto in this 8 day itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon
Welcome to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Overlooking the Tagus River, Lisbon has charmed visitors for centuries. You will be greeted at the airport upon your arrival and transferred to your accommodation for check-in.
Enjoy your stay at Pestana Palace for three nights, one of the best hotels in Lisbon. Delight in the gardens of the 19th-century palace, which are classified as national monuments of Portugal. Located just some 10 minutes away by car, make the most of your time at leisure to visit the most splendid city monuments such as Centro Cultural de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Centro de Congressos.
Stay: Pestana Palace
Day 2: Lisbon
Renowned for its historic traditional neighbourhoods, be mesmerised by the quaint districts of Chiado, Bairro Alto and Alfama. Climb the maze of narrow streets and steep hills of Alfama towards St. George’s Castle, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city in the good company of roaming peacocks. Head over to Chiado and Bairro Alto for lunch and chic shopping. Its picturesque streets and elegant district of theatres, bookshops and cafes add to the blend of classic and alternative culture in Lisbon.
To truly immerse yourself in the Portugese lifestyle, don’t forget to try Pasteis de nata for breakfast, a custard tart well-loved by locals, or dive into a steaming bowl of caldo verde at a fado club for dinner.
Stay: Pestana Palace
Day 3: Collection of rental car, Sintra and Estoril Coast
Once a popular destination for Portuguese royalty, Sintra is raved as one of Portugal’s most gorgeous destinations. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its plush greenery and 19th-century Romantic architecture are not to be missed. Fill up on regional sweet treats such as queijadas and travesseiros as you get lost in the myriad of majestic castles and royal retreats including the medieval Sintra National Palace.
Advance to the pristine beaches of Cascais and Estoril Coast along the Atlantic Ocean. From imposing 17th century fortresses to dramatic coastal cliffs, Cascais boasts a variety of charming attractions. You may fancy a stroll along the Estoril Coast with fine sand tickling between your toes, or care for a leisurely bike ride.
You may like to savour the fresh seafood in an alfresco fish restaurant by the coast and end your meal with a satisfying Portuguese red from the region of Carcavelos.
Stay: Pestana Palace
Day 4: Porto, Fátima and Coimbra
Say farewell to Lisbon and head to the city of Porto.
Stop by Fátima, one of the most important shrines in the Catholic world since the apparitions of Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children here in 1917. We recommend visiting the sacred sites of the apparitions and attend the religious ceremonies between May and October, in the months when the visions took place.
Visit Coimbra, famed for being home to the oldest university in Portugal and a marvellous assortment of cathedrals, churches and monasteries. Once the capital of Portugal, many of its historical buildings are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Apart from the 18th century Baroque Library as one of the highlights of the city, Coimbra also prides itself as a bustling commercial hub with a tantalising array of shops, boutiques and restaurants. Be sure to try licor beirao, a national sweet liquor drink born and made in the region.
You will stay at The Yeatman for the next three nights, an ambassador for top Portuguese wines. A wine lover’s haven located in one of the wine capitals of the world, you will surely appreciate The Yeatman’s extensive collection of Portuguese wines. Each room flaunts a large private balcony with a stunning view across the River Douro to the historic centre of Porto.
Stay: The Yeatman
Day 5: Porto
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, the city of Porto is internationally renowned for its fortified port wine. Its historical centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to the abundance of well-preserved monuments from the Baroque period. The Porto Cathedral, the Church of Saint Francis and the Clérigos Tower are architectural beauties not to be missed.
The Cais da Ribeira area is the medieval heart and soul of Portugal, one of the numerous UNESCO World Heitage Sites in the historically rich country. Abuzz with activity, narrow streets and alleyways weave between archaic homes of granite and tiles by the waterfront. Like the locals, you may enjoy the view of the traditional wine barrel-carrying boats anchored just off the riverbank and the photogenic wrought iron bridge.
You may care for the gastronomical specialities of Porto, such as a francesinha – a sandwich filled with cured ham, sausage and steak, enveloped in a layer of molten cheese and a hot tomato and beer sauce. You cannot leave Porto without a taste of the city’s dessert wine, famously known as port wine.
Stay: The Yeatman
Day 6: Minho region: Braga, Guimarães and Ponte de Lima
Lavish with emblematic Portuguese traditions, the Minho region’s principle districts include Guimarães and Braga. Dotted with Neolithic, Medieval and Modernist monuments, Braga is abound with cultural heritage. The multitude of churches is telling of its rich historical legacy dating back to the 3rd century. The historical centre Guimarães is distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Aside from the traditional Minho cuisine, locals in Guimarães also adore Toucinho Do Céu, translated literally as Bacon from Heaven, a delectable almond cake perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Nestled by the banks of the Lima River, Ponte de Lima is the oldest village in Portugal. The exquisite historical centre is furnished with grand manor houses and palaces. Enjoy one of the largest country markets in Portugal held every second Monday, in sight of its finest medieval bridge. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the locally produced Vinho Verde.
Stay: The Yeatman
Day 7: Alcobaça and Óbidos
Drive to Alcobaça, home to the brilliant 12th-century Alcobaça Monastery, one of Portugal’s prominent UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The tombs of Pedro I of Portugal and his mistress Inês de Castro lie within this magnificent gothic monument. Its artistic and historical importance has played a crucial role in shaping Portuguese culture.
Next, head south to Óbidos, a medieval village situated on a hill top, enclosed with a fortified wall. The traditional whitewashed houses with blue and yellow trims around doors and windows add a touch of colour. Take a walk on top of the castle walls, and find a well-preserved castle within them. Try ginjinha from a chocolate cup, one of the favourite liqueurs of the Portuguese, typical to the region.
Spend your last night in Portugal at Areias do Seixo in Santa Cruz, a luxury hotel thoughtfully crafted to provide supreme comfort. Just a 10-minute walk from Praia da Mexilhoeira beach, Areias do Seixo is surrounded by pine trees, dunes and the sea, seamlessly blended into the natural landscape.
Stay: Areias do Seixo
Day 8: Departure
After checking out of your hotel, you will be taken by private transfer to the airport to drop off your car, in time for your flight home.
|Day 1:||Arrival in Lisbon||Pestana Palace|
|Day 2:||Lisbon||Pestana Palace|
|Day 3:||Collection of rental car, Sintra and Estoril Coast||Pestana Palace|
|Day 4:||Porto, Fátima and Coimbra||The Yeatman|
|Day 5:||Porto||The Yeatman|
|Day 6:||Minho region: Braga, Guimarães and Ponte de Lima||The Yeatman|
|Day 7:||Alcobaça and Óbidos||Areias do Seixo|
- 3 night accommodation in Lisbon: Bairro Alto Hotel in Superior Room OR Pestana Palace Hotel in Garden View Room
- 3 night accommodation in Porto: The Yeatman Hotel in Superior Room OR Intercontinental Porto Hotel Palácio das Cardosas in Executive Room
- 1 night accommodation in Santa Cruz or Cascais: Areias do Seixo (Santa Cruz) in Land Room
- 7 Full Breakfasts
- 5 days rent-a-car with CDW and TP insurance & unlimited kms
- Personalised itinerary to Portugal
- Travel Consultancy Service
- Local phone support in Portugal (24 hours)
- 24 hour emergency contact
- Activities mentioned in the itinerary
- City tax in Lisbon
- International and domestic airfares
- Visa fees and/or visa authorization
- Tips and gratuities
- Entrance Fees on the Monuments
- Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
- Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)