Portugal Itinerary Ideas

If you’re lucky enough to have unlimited time for exploring the Old Continent, few European pleasures can match getting completely and delightfully lost in Portugal. Not many of us have that luxury, however, so planning ahead and coming up with a good itinerary can make the difference between having a blast in Republica Portuguesa and an experience that falls short of the mark. Start by taking advantage of Inspirock’s free Portugal trip planner, and use the following suggested itineraries to get your imagination going.

The Grand Tour Portugal Itinerary

Palácio Nacional da Pena, Sintra by: Paulo Valdivieso (CC)
Palácio Nacional da Pena, Sintra by: Paulo Valdivieso (CC)

Let’s start with the mother of all itineraries—the Grand Tour. This 2-week trip lets you discover the best of what Portugal has to offer relatively quickly, from must-see Lisbon to the lesser-known Vicentine Coast Natural Park. (You can make your sleeping arrangements easily in both of these destinations using Destination Hostels.) Avoid the temptation to spend too much time in Lisbon, and remember to take a side trip to Sintra, a World Heritage Site boasting several 19th-century palaces and parks. Your Grand Tour can also include pretty Evora and delightful Porto, known equally for its wines and celebrated soccer club.

Check out more Grand Tour-worthy sights on this 2-week Portugal itinerary:

The Wine Route Portugal Itinerary

Bodega Sandemann, Lisbon by: Guillen Perez (CC)
Bodega Sandemann, Lisbon by: Guillen Perez (CC)

If you’ve already been to Italy, you may be thinking you’ve seen all of the world’s best vineyards and tried all of Europe’s finest wines. Think again! Portugal produces outstanding wines (including port from the aforementioned Porto), so it’s no surprise that some visitors opt to spend their entire trip following the country’s wine routes. Consider starting your viniculture adventure in Alentejo, home to some of Portugal’s top wineries. Wherever you go from there, make sure your journey includes Viana do Costelo: it’s the country’s center for vinho verde, an effervescent type of young wine not allowed to fully mature, and consumed almost immediately after bottling. Nothing but picturesque views and chilled booze for a week—can you think of anything better?

More wine, anyone? Browse this Portugal itinerary to get the juices flowing:

The “Life’s a Beach” Portugal Itinerary

Porto Covo by: Katie (CC)
Porto Covo by: Katie (CC)

Here’s another way you can spend a week in Portugal—go to the beach! Which one? Well, here’s the great thing about Portugal: it boasts hundreds of beaches and bays, so you really shouldn’t have any trouble finding one with your name on it. You can follow the crowds and head to Algarve, which offers almost 200 km (125 mi) of impeccable sandy spots. The only drawback to Algarve is that nearly 10 million people choose to vacation there every year, so it’s not likely you’ll find much privacy or seclusion. For something less hectic, go for Alentejo, where you’ll discover Porto Covo and other nearly deserted coastal spots tailor-made to “get away from it all.” If planning to spend much of your vacation in Lisbon, you can always take a day trip to nearby Caparica, home of surfing, jet skiing, and all-night parties.

Look for more beaches on this 7-day Portugal itinerary:

A Trip to Remember

Regardless of whether you have just a few days, a week, or longer to spend in Portugal, the country offers a range of attractions and activities guaranteed to make you want to stay longer. The secret to having a trip to remember is actually no secret at all—it’s all about starting with an itinerary suited to your interests. Before impulsively packing your bags and hopping on the next flight, consider the suggested itineraries, or create one of your own from scratch using Inspirock’s free Portugal trip planner.

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