From the coastal capital of Lisbon to the sunny cliffs of the Algarve, venture along Portugal’s stunning shoreline. Discover the charms of Lisbon. In Evora, step inside a medieval city with Roman ruins. Enjoy a leisurely 3-night stay in the Algarve region. Explore the soft sandy beaches and classic fishing villages. Take advantage of a free day to soak in the Portuguese sunshine and savor local flavors. See the dramatic cliffs at Cape St. Vincent plummeting into the crashing waves below. Encounter picturesque resort towns, winding cobblestone streets, oceanfront promenades, and quaint villages of perfection.
- Itinerary Type : Standard
- Activity Level : 3
- Number of Days:10
- Number of Meals:12
- Hotels:Hotel Vila Gale (Cascais), Hotel Vila Gale Lagos (Algarve), Turim Marques Hotel (Lisbon), Vitoria Stone Hotel (Evora)
- Experiences:Spend the night in Evora, known as the "Museum City of Portugal."
Enjoy a leisurely 3-night stay on the sunny coast of the Algarve.
Take advantage of a free day in the Algarve.
- Must Sees:Tour Lisbon, Portugal's capital overlooking the Tagus River.
Venture to Lagos, where Prince Henry the Navigator began his explorations.
Admire the stunning Cape St. Vincent, where 200-foot cliffs plunge into the ocean.
- Culinaries:Taste the wines of the Alentejo region during a winery tour.
Savor the flavors of the Algarve with a tasting menu featuring iconic local dishes, liquors and pastries.
Itinerary (9 days)
Cascais, Portugal - Tour Begins
Say hello to the Portuguese Riviera, your home for the next three nights. With mansions scattered about Cascais and Monte Estoril – all hinting at its history as a haven for exiled European royals and nobility – embrace the feeling of luxury. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.
Cascais - Lisbon - Cascais
Embark on a panoramic Lisbon city tour and uncover the city’s most famous sights. You’ll see the Alfama District – Lisbon's oldest quarter – along with the Belem Tower (UNESCO World Heritage site), and the Monument to the Discoveries. Step into the past at the 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery (UNESCO) and Lisbon’s Maritime Museum, which offers a glimpse into the country’s naval achievements. Enjoy some time to discover the narrow cobblestone streets, meandering past seaside cafés or pausing to shop for ceramics, lace, and hand-woven works. You’re on your own for the remainder of the day. You may choose to join an optional experience to savor Portuguese cuisine and wine while local artists perform traditional Fado (UNESCO).
Cascais - Obidos - Sintra - Cascais
Explore the picture-perfect city of Obidos, where white-washed houses sit snug within medieval city walls. Continue on to Sintra (UNESCO), a breathtaking coastal hub that served as the summer residence of Portuguese kings for six centuries. Then, it’s your choice! Explore this quaint hilltop village independently and wander through the winding streets lined with cork products and pastries -OR- venture into the National Palace of Sintra.
Cascais - Arraiolos - Evora
Make your way through Portugal’s charming countryside. Visit Arraiolos, known as the “village of rugs,” and delve into the history and art of Portuguese tapestries. Visit a local cork factory, where you’ll learn about the product’s importance to the local economy and why Portugal is the world’s top cork producer. Your journey then takes you to Evora (UNESCO) – the “Museum City of Portugal.” In addition to Evora’s 2nd-century Roman temple to Diana, this medieval walled city is also the home to the mysterious 16th-century Chapel of Bones. Indulge in full-bodied wines from the Alentejo region during a winery tour and tasting.
Evora - Monsaraz - Lagos
Journey to the stunning coasts of the Algarve – the southernmost region of Portugal. On the way, pause to take in the dramatic vistas from the village of Monsaraz. Then, explore the historic resort town of Lagos, where Moorish and Renaissance influences meet towering seaside cliffs. From this bustling port city, many celebrated voyagers began their explorations and it was the home to the first school of the navigators. Stroll through the fortress and historic buildings as you take in the surrounding views of the Atlantic.
The entire day is yours to experience the incomparable Algarve on your own. Geraniums, camellias, and oleanders grow alongside fig, orange, and almond trees, while brightly colored fishing boats bob on the seas. Protected by hills to the north and warmed by the sea, the Algarve’s mild climate and beautiful beaches attract visitors from all over the world.
Lagos - Faro - Tavira - Lagos
Journey to Faro, the gateway to the Ria Formosa lagoon landscape. Explore the city’s historic center and see the 9th-century Roman walls and its sought-after golden coastline. During lunch, discover the flavors of the region as a local chef highlights Algarve gastronomy during a cooking demonstration. Enjoy a tasting menu featuring iconic dishes of the region complete with local liquors and pastries. Continue to Tavira, an ancient Moorish city that blends traditional architecture with sandy beaches and a modern atmosphere. Return to Lagos for an evening at leisure.
Lagos - Sagres - Lisbon
Discover the secrets of the 16th-century fortress at Sagres, home of Prince Henry’s School of Navigation and the “compass rose.” Stand in awe before the stunning Cape St. Vincent, where 200-foot cliffs plunge into the Atlantic at the most southwesterly point of Europe. Bid Portugal goodbye during a dinner in Lisbon and celebrate the end of your unforgettable journey.
Lisbon - Tour Ends
Your tour ends today.
The Riviera stretches from Lisbon and Cascais. The coastline has become a place where the elite vacation between September and October, and a popular tourist destination for its chic look. Removed from the city, the Lisbon coastline is easy access to all the culture that Lisbon offers. It has become a major hotspot for major international celebrities from the world of fashion, sport, and entertainment. The Riviera is also known for is world class conditions for surfing.
Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon offers all the delights you’d expect of Portugal’s star attraction, yet with half the fuss of other European capitals. Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums are all part of the colorful cityscape, but the real delights of discovery lie in wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets. The Lisbon experience encompasses so many things, from enjoying a fresh pastry and bica (espresso) on a petite leafy plaza to window-shopping in elegant Chiado. It’s mingling with Lisboêtas at a neighborhood festival or watching the sunset from the old Moorish castle.
Obidos is a small town located on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal. The town’s origins can be traced back to an early Roman settlement. The area of the town is located on a hilltop, surrounded by a fortified wall. From its streets, squares, fortified wall and castle, the town remains as a well preserved example of medieval architecture. It is because of this that the town is a popular tourist destination.
With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. Its Unesco World Heritage–listed centre, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic. The jewel on the crown lording ominously over the picturesque town center is the National Palace, once the summer retreat of the Portuguese monarchy.
Choice on Tour
In Sintra, you can choose to explore the quaint hilltop village independently, taking some time to wander through the winding streets lined with cork products and delicious pastries. Sintra is known for being one of the best resort towns in the “Portuguese Riviera,” so there is no shortage of places to explore. Or, for a deeper look into Sintra’s history, join a guided tour of the National Palace of Sintra, a medieval royal palace considered the best-preserved royal palace in Portugal.
Visit the picturesque village of Arraiolos, known throughout Portugal as the “village of rugs.” Delve into the history and art of these intricately embroidered Portuguese tapestries, made in the village since the middle ages.
Visit a local cork factory, where you’ll learn about the product’s importance to the local economy. Harvested from the cork oak, or sobreiro as it’s known in Portuguese, cork is transformed into hundreds of different products.
One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, Évora’s narrow, winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: an elaborate medieval cathedral and cloisters; the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano (near the intriguing Roman baths); and a picturesque town square, once the site of some rather gruesome episodes courtesy of the Inquisition. Aside from its historic and aesthetic virtues, Évora is also a lively university town, and its many attractive restaurants serve up hearty Alentejan cuisine.
Travel across the famous Alentejo region of southern Portugal, known for three things; pottery, wine, and cork. Sparsely populated, the Alentejo region is rolling green hills, orchards of sobreiro trees, and vineyards.
The town lies along the bank of the Rio Bensafrim, with 16th-century walls enclosing the old town’s pretty, cobbled streets and picturesque plazas and churches. Beyond these lies a modern, but not overly unattractive, modern sprawl. The town’s good restaurants and range of fabulous beaches nearby add to the allure. With every activity under the sun (literally) on offer, plus a pumping nightlife, it’s not surprising that people of all ages are drawn here. Aside from its hedonistic appeal, Lagos has historical clout, having launched many naval excursions during Portugal’s extraordinary Age of Discoveries.
The Algarve is alluring. Coastal Algarve receives much exposure for its breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, scalloped bays and sandy islands. But the letter 'S' (for sun, surf and sand) is only one letter in the Algarvian alphabet: activities, beach bars (and discos), castles (both sandy and real), diving, entertainment, fun. Coastal Algarve is not all there is to the region. The enchanting inner Algarve boasts pretty castle towns and historic villages, cork tree– and flower-covered hillsides, and birdlife.
Algarve’s capital has a more distinctly Portuguese feel than most resort towns. It has an attractive marina, well maintained parks and plazas, and a historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes. Its student population of 8,000 ensures a happening nightlife, and its theatre scene is strong. Marvellously preserved medieval quarters harbour curious museums, churches and a bone chapel. The lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and nearby beaches, including the islands of Ilha de Faro to the southwest and Ilha da Barreta (aka Ilha Deserta) to the south, add to Faro’s allure.
Venture to Tavira, an ancient Moorish city set on the Algarve coast that blends traditional architecture with a modern atmosphere. Built straddling the River Gilão, the two halves of the city are linked by a Roman-era bridge.
Sample the different full-bodied wines from the prolific Alentejo wine region, during a winery tour and tasting. Some wines are even made using the ancient Roman method, using huge clay pots instead of barrels.
5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Heritage is the legacy of the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. A World Heritage Site is a place of special cultural or physical significance and is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To be nominated a site must meet at least one of the 10 cultural and natural criteria. UNESCO World Heritage sites included on your tour are Jeronimo’s Monastery, Tower of Belém, Evora, Sintra and Fado music.
Overlooking some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery, the small, elongated village of Sagres has an end-of-the-world feel with its sea-carved cliffs and empty, wind-whipped fortress high above the ocean. Its appeal lies mainly in its sense of isolation (refreshing after the hectic Algarve), plus access to fine beaches. It has a laid-back vibe, and simple, cheery cafes and bars. Sagres has milder temperatures than other parts of the Algarve, with Atlantic winds keeping the summers cool. A highlight is a visit to the Fortress and its interesting compass rose.