16 Days/ 15 Nights. This itinerary was designed to offer a tour that covers all of Portugal from North to South. We include some stays of just one night to balance with stays of 2 or 3 nights for a total of 15 nights. On this self-drive package you will experience most of Portugal. You will also meet different lifestyles, cultural diversity and local cuisine with an opportunity to interact with the Portuguese people from many locales.
Day 1 - Lisbon
Arrival in Lisbon and accommodation for 3 nights.
Day 2 - Lisbon
Day to explore the city of Lisbon on your own (if you wish a guided tour, please consult us).
Day 3 - Lisbon
Day 4 - Coimbra
Departure to the north. You may wish to visit the walled city of Obidos, Monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha (both UNESCO World Heritage) and Fatima (world famous Catholic shrine) on your way to Coimbra. Accommodation in Coimbra for 1 night.
Day 5 - Porto
Time for morning sightseeing in Coimbra. Continue to Porto and visit the city in the afternoon. Accommodation for 2 nights in Porto.
Day 6 -Porto
Day free to explore the city of Porto.
Day 7 - Vidago
Hotel check-out. Visit the region of Minho: Braga and Guimarães. Accommodation in Douro Valley for 1 night.
Day 8 - Douro Valley
Continue you itinerary along the Douro Valley. We suggest that you visit a winery and enjoy this region that was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Accommodation for 1 night.
Day 9 - Douro Valley
Morning at leisure to enjoy the hotel. Turn south, stopping in Viseu, Guarda and Belmonte. Accommodation for 1 night.
Day 10 - Belmonte
Hotel check-out and proceed to Marvão and Évora (UNESCO World Heritage) visits. Accommodation in Evora for 2 nights.
Day 11 - Evora
Day to visit a couple of colorful towns in the Alentejo: Monsaraz, Vila Viçosa and return to Évora. If you wish to visit a winery in Alentejo and tast its excellent wines, this day is ideal. Please consult us for suggestions.
Day 12 - Evora
Departure to the south and the Algarve region for a leisurely and relaxing stay of 3 nights in a seaside.
Day 13 - Algarve
Free day in the Algarve.
Day 14 - Algarve
Free day in the Algarve.
Day 15 - Algarve
Hotel check-out in late morning and return to Lisbon. Accommodation in Lisbon for 1 night.
Day 16 - Lisbon
Hotel check-out and departure to Lisbon Airport. Return rental car at Lisbon Airport.
Places you will be visiting:
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, located at the mouth of the Tagus River - where the Portuguese boats set sail overseas in the 15th and 16th centuries towards East. At that time, the Maritime Discoveries period, the city became the center of a large empire, still visible in the monuments of Belém section. Lisbon is well known for its historic traditional neighborhoods, you'll be delighted with the the Chiado, Bairro Alto and Alfama as well as the Castle of Saint George and the gorgeous views from the top of its hill.
Sintra and Estoril Coast, are some of the sites you should not miss in Portugal. Sintra was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for its great natural beauty and architecture with fairy tale palaces and lush vegetation.
Cascais and Estoril Coast are places of charm and aristocratic traditions that you'll meet along the Atlantic Ocean.
Evora is a beautiful small town in the Alentejo region. It is surrounded by the old walls and it is also a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It will charm you with its medieval appearance, the narrow streets, the historic center and for the kindness of the locals. Among several interesting monuments, you should not miss the Roman Temple from the 1st century, a unique sight in both Portugal and Spain. This is also the perfect place for a local cuisine and wine experience in one of the city's restaurants, famous in Portugal.
Marvao has a fabulous mountain top location which has given it the nickname of "eagles' nest". The town walls, located at almost 1,000 meters in elevation, encompass old whitewashed houses overlooking the rolling hills of the Alentejo.
Belmonte is the most active Jewish center of Portugal and it stills preserves some of the old traditions that were allowed to Jews to practice in secret. Besides Lisbon and Porto, this is the only place in Portugal with a Jewish community and synagogue that still function. The village was also the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discovered Brasil in 1500.
Castelo Novo was built on the route of the Historical Villages of Portugal. In this village you will discover the charm of the castle endowed with a modern virtual viewpoint of the local houses and manor houses, all complemented by the purity of the water that flows from the granite of their fountains and from the natural landscape of Gardunha Mountain.
Viseu is a developed small town, where a very wealthy medieval and Baroque past is still visible in the main streets. Among the main attractions are the Cathedral and the Grão Vasco Museum with some paintings from the 16th century by the master Vasco Fernandes and his fellow artists of the Viseu School.
Monsaraz is an ancient medieval village surrounded by high walls with narrow streets and beautiful monuments made with whitewashed schist stone. From the castle you can see the marvelous landscapes with the rural fields and the Alqueva Lake, the largest man-made lake in Europe.
Vila Viçosa stands out for the majestic Ducal Palace from the House of Bragança (a family that ruled in Portugal between 1640 and 1910 and used this palace as summer residence and hunting lodge). A great part of the buildings in this beautiful village are made up of marble from local quarries.
Algarve is the most famous summer retreat in Portugal with the best beaches. From the magnificent white sandy beaches to the rocky coastline and steep ocher-tinged cliffs, the Algarve has a diverse and gorgeous coastal landscape. Nightlife and activities are some of the attractions you can enjoy in this region too. There are opportunities to play golf on world class courses.
Batalha is famous for the monastery of great dimensions and exquisite Gothic architecture, built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Its construction was due after a vow made by the future king John I to the Virgin Mary, before a battle against the Spaniards: the Aljubarrota Battle (1385). For its artistic value, this monument was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
Fátima is one of the most important shrines in the Catholic world since the apparitions of Our Lady to three little shepherds in this small town in the year of 1917. Since then, many thousands of pilgrims have been coming to Fátima every year to visit the sacred sites of the apparitions and to attend the religious ceremonies, chiefly between May and October, where the visions of the Virgin Mary occurred.
Coimbra is the city of the students because it was here that the first university in Portugal was created in the 13th century. Today, it is the oldest and one of the most important universities in the country and in Europe. You should not miss a visit to the Baroque Library from the 18th century that is one of the highlights of a visit to Coimbra. In its city center you'll wander among Romanesque and Manueline churches while strolling across its commercial busy area.
Porto is both the name of a city and a fortified wine, one of the most famous in the world, aged at the wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south bank of the Douro River. Its historical center has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO and it preserves many beautiful monuments built during the Baroque period with the wealth achieved with the trade of Port Wine. You should also visit the Cathedral (Sé), the Church of Saint Francis and the Clérigos Tower.
Guimarães is the cradle of Portugal as this is where our first king, Afonso Henriques, was born and where he began the nation. Be sure not to miss a visit of the Ducal Palace, the Castle and walking along the narrow streets of the historic center (also declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO) until you get to the charming Praça da Oliveira (Oliveira Square).
Braga is known for its religious past, due to the importance and power of the church. It is still visible in the numerous churches and other religious buildings near the Cathedral (the oldest of Portugal) and the monumental Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga with its ornate stair case cascading down a mountain.
Douro Valley is where the terraced hill slopes hide one of the country's most valuable treasures: the beautiful vineyards from where the worldwide famous Port wine is produced. While driving through Marão Mountain range get prepared to enjoy one of the most wonderful landscapes in the world with endless rows of vines hugging the steep slopes of the Douro River. We advise you to visit one of the wineries in the region and a river cruise.
Guarda is considered to be the highest city in the country with one of the highest mountain in Portugal (2000 meters high). You can explore the narrow streets of the historic center (which keeps also some vestiges of the Jewish heritage) and the beautiful Gothic cathedral.
Vidago Palace, a magnificent hotel, surrounded by mountains and 247 acres of forest and park, is the perfect place to relax and revive. The small town of Vidago is also known for its spring waters with therapeutic properties. Nearby Vidago you can also visit the town of Chaves, in the surroundings of the Tâmega River and with some treasures from the Roman Period that can be seen in the local museum.