Julie Itinerary, Portugal 4 Comments

For first timers to Portugal, Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve typically top the “must-see list.” With 10 days in Portugal, you have enough time to visit these three places and add on a day trip to Sintra.

In this guide, we lay out a detailed Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve itinerary. We cover the best things to do, how to get around, and more, to make your travel planning easier.

About This Portugal Itinerary

This itinerary is written 2 different ways: as a loop starting and ending with Lisbon and point-to-point, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon.

The second itinerary is more time efficient, in that it eliminates the travel day between Lisbon and Porto. However, for people flying to Portugal from outside of Europe, it can be more challenging and sometimes more expensive to fly into Porto and out of Lisbon. Most likely, you will find a lot more flight options in and out of Lisbon.

When you do your flight research, look into both: (1) round trip from Lisbon and (2) into Porto and out of Lisbon. If the second option is possible, then follow the second itinerary.

Both itineraries move very fast, so if you can, add another day or two, which gives you more time in Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve, depending on your preferences.

Both itineraries can be done by public transportation and with a rental car. I’ll give the details on how to do this throughout the itineraries.

For more ideas on how to spend 10 days in Portugal, take a look at our Portugal Itinerary guide, which lists 5 itineraries for mainland Portugal.

10 Days in Portugal Itinerary Version 1

Lisbon, Porto & the Algarve

Lisbon, Porto & the Algarve Itinerary

Day 1: Lisbon
Day 2: Lisbon
Day 3: Sintra day trip from Lisbon
Day 4: Travel to Porto
Day 5: Porto
Day 6: Porto or Douro Valley day trip
Day 7: Travel to Algarve
Day 8: Algarve
Day 9: Algarve
Day 10: Return to Lisbon

Portugal Map Lisbon Porto Algarve

10 Days in Portugal Map: Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and return to Lisbon

Portugal Itinerary Day 1: Lisbon

Arrive in Lisbon, ideally as early in the day as possible. This gives you almost 2 full days to visit the main sights in the city.

I recommend spending your time in the heart of the city. Get started at Praça do Comércio, visit the Lisbon cathedral, stroll through the picturesque Alfama neighborhood, and tour São Jorge Castle. End the day in the Bairro Alto neighborhood with dinner and sunset views from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara.

For a full list of things to do, read our Lisbon Bucket List. In our Lisbon Hotel Guide, find the perfect place to stay in Lisbon.

Praca do Comercio

Praça do Comércio


Miradouro das Portas do Sol | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

The view from Miradouro das Portas do Sol in Alfama

Portugal Itinerary Day 2: Lisbon

In the morning, head to Belém. There are a few big sights to see here: Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, and the amazing views from the Monument of Discoveries. Top it off with a sweet treat, snacking on Pastel de Nata from the restaurant with the original recipe.

Start at Jerónimos Monastery, getting here at or a little before opening time. This monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Lisbon so lines can be very long. Then visit Belém Tower, the Monument of Discoveries, and Fabrica de Pasteis de Belém.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloister | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Jerónimos Monastery


Belem Tower | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Belém Tower | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Have a late lunch in the nearby LX Factory. This trendy spot is a revitalized textile industrial complex in Lisbon. This collection of warehouses has been renovated and converted into space for more than 50 shops, restaurants, and bars.

In the afternoon, head back to the Lisbon city center. Watch or ride the Bica Funicular climb the hilly streets (this is one of Lisbon’s most famous photography locations), take a photo at Pink Street, and have dinner at the Time Out Market or one of Lisbon’s long list of fantastic restaurants.

Bica Funicular Lisbon Portugal

Bica Funicular

Portugal Itinerary Day 3: Sintra Day Trip

Visiting the palaces and castles in Sintra is the #1 day trip from Lisbon. In one day, you can visit 3 to 5 palaces and castles, or split your time between the palaces and the coastal sites. Sintra is easy to visit using public transportation, so there is no need to rent a car.

From the town of Sintra, you can visit:

  • Pena Palace
  • Quinta da Regaleira
  • Castle of the Moors
  • The National Palace of Sintra
  • Monserrate Palace

This area is also home to a gorgeous stretch of coastline. Places to visit here include Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of continental Europe), Azenhas do Mar, Praia da Ursa, and Praia das Maças.

For the full list of things to do, plus many more photos, refer to our article Best Things to Do in Sintra.

Initiation Well Sintra Portugal

The Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary


Pena Palace Sintra Portugal | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Pena Palace

 Castle of the Moors Sintra Portugal

Castle of the Moors


Praia da Ursa Sintra Portugal | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Praia da Ursa

In our Sintra Day Trip Guide, we list multiple ways to plan your day trip, whether you just want to focus on the palaces and castles or split your time between the palaces and the coast.

If you prefer to do this by tour, this tour includes Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace and this tour includes Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais.

Tonight, sleep in Lisbon.

Portugal Itinerary Day 4: Travel to Porto

Porto is located 300 km north of Lisbon. It is smaller than Lisbon, home to hilly scenic streets and amazing views of the Douro River. Porto is where port wine is aged. Visiting the wine lodges for port wine tastings and tours is one of the most popular things to do in Porto.

You can get to Porto by car and by train. In about 3 hours, the high-speed train (the Alfa Pendular) connects Lisbon and Porto. You can travel directly to Porto using this train, which gives you time in the morning for Lisbon or time in the afternoon for Porto.

By car, it takes just over 3 hours to drive to Porto. As with the train, you can drive directly to Porto, or stop at a handful of historical sites or landmarks on the journey.

It is possible to visit some of these places below using the train or buses, but luggage storage becomes an issue. In my research, Coimbra train station has a luggage storage facility. I could not find any luggage storage options in Óbidos, Nazaré, or Fátima. So, if you want to visit any of the places listed below, with the exception of Coimbra, it is best to rent a car.

Top Places to Visit between Lisbon and Porto

Óbidos. This small, walled medieval town is super fun to explore. Walk the castle walls, go shopping, and have lunch. A few hours are all you need. Plan your visit with our Guide to Óbidos.

Things to do in Obidos


Nazaré. This seaside town is famous for its giant waves. The best time to see these waves is between October and March. It’s only worth adding on Nazaré if you will be in Portugal in the winter, when you have the best chances of seeing these waves. Learn more in our Guide to Nazaré.

Nazare Waves | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Nazaré | R. M. Nunes/shutterstock.com

Alcobaça Monastery, Batalha Monastery and Fátima. These three sites are located relatively close to one another, just east of Nazaré. To visit Alcobaça and Batalha Monastery, you’ll need a car.

Alcobaca Monastery | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Alcobaça Monastery

Coimbra. Coimbra is an ancient Roman city and it is famous for its university, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is easy to add on to the journey between Lisbon and Porto by train and rental car.


Coimbra | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Of the places listed above, Óbidos is the most interesting, in our opinion. If you are interested in historical sites, you could also quickly visit Alcobaça Monastery or Batalha Monastery. However, I think it is worthwhile to get to Porto by early to mid-afternoon, so you have enough time for dinner and see a little bit of the city.

Once in Porto, check into your hotel. We have hotel and restaurant recommendations in our Porto Travel Guide. You will spend 3 nights in Porto.

If you have any free time in the afternoon or evening, stroll along the riverfront, watch the sunset from Dom Luis I Bridge (where the header photo for this guide was taken), and have dinner.

Portugal Itinerary Days 5 & 6: Porto

On this itinerary, you have two full days in Porto. There are two ways to spend your time.

Option #1 would be to spend all of that time in Porto. With 2 days in Porto, you have plenty of time to see the highlights plus spend half to a full day port tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia. Learn how to do this in our 2 Days in Porto Itinerary.

Porto Itinerary | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary



Vinum Restaurant Porto

Lunch or dinner at Vinum is one of the best dining experiences in Porto


Porto Cathedral View | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

View from the Porto Cathedral

Option #2 is to spend one busy day in Porto and one day on a day trip to the nearby towns of Guimarães and Braga OR the Douro Valley. We have a detailed one day Porto itinerary that covers the highlights of Porto.

Day tripping to Braga and Guimarães is a good option for those who don’t have a big interest in port wine tastings and those who like the idea of strolling through a lovely historic town (Guimarães) and visiting Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga. We cover this day trip option in our Guide to Guimarães and our Guide to Braga and Bom Jesus do Monte.

Padrao do Salado Guimaraes

Guimarães | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary


Bom Jesus do Monte | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Bom Jesus do Monte

Day tripping to the Douro Valley is perfect for wine aficionados, as long as you don’t mind giving up the port tastings in Porto. To day trip to the Douro Valley, you can do it independently if you have a rental car. If not, the best option is to take a tour, such as this highly rated tour from Porto that includes wine tastings, a boat ride, and lunch in the Douro Valley. We cover exactly how to do this in our article How to Day Trip to the Douro Valley from Porto.

National Highway 222 Douro Valley | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Douro Valley

If you decide to take the day trip option, learn how to plan your time in Porto with our 1 Day in Porto Itinerary (coming soon).

Portugal Itinerary Day 7: Travel to the Algarve

Today is a big travel day. You have three options for getting to the Algarve: car, train, or plane.

The train is fast, budget friendly, and eco-friendly. It takes about 6 hours to travel from Porto to Albufeira and Faro on the high-speed train. Once in the Algarve, you can rent a car for the next three days or get around using public transportation.

It’s possible to stay in one convenient location (such as Albufeira or Lagos) and use the buses and Uber (or another ride share app) to get around, negating the need to rent a car. There are also a lot of tours that leave from these towns, which also make it easy to spend a few days in the Algarve without renting a car.

Flights are relatively cheap. There are direct flights between Porto and Faro. If you account for travel time (direct flights take just over one hour) and airport check in time, it takes about 4 hours to get to Faro. It’s the fastest option but it has the highest carbon footprint.

Finally, you can drive to the Algarve, which takes about 5 hours. You have the option to stop at one of the places listed on day 4 of this itinerary but I recommend heading directly to the Algarve. If you leave early, you can spend late afternoon on the beach, giving you a little more beach time.

You will spend 3 nights in the Algarve. For suggestions on where to stay (both the best towns and the best hotels), take a look at our Algarve Hotel Guide.

Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal Itinerary Days 8 & 9: The Algarve

Spend two wonderful days in the Algarve. Relax on the beaches, take a boat tour of Benagil Cave, walk the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail (one of the most beautiful walks in Europe), and/or visit Ponta da Piedade.

Camilo Beach Best Algarve Beaches

Camilo Beach

 Algar Seco Algarve Portugal | 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary

Algar Seco


Marinha Beach Algarve Portugal

Marinha Beach

Portugal Itinerary Day 10: Return to Lisbon

Today, return to Lisbon for a flight home or to travel to your next destination.

It is roughly a 2.5-hour drive or a 3-hour train ride from Faro to get to Lisbon. Spend the day on the beach and then drive/take the train to Lisbon in the evening, if you want more beach time. Or make the drive first thing, if there is more you want to see and do in Lisbon.

If your flight leaves from Lisbon today, either leave the Algarve very early in the morning or travel to Lisbon the night of day 9.

It’s also worth researching flights home from Faro, as this could give you more time in the Algarve, versus driving back to Lisbon.

10 Days in Portugal Itinerary Version 2

Porto, the Algarve & Lisbon

Porto, the Algarve & Lisbon Itinerary

Day 1: Porto
Day 2: Porto
Day 3: More Time in Porto or a Porto Day Trip
Day 4: Travel to the Algarve
Day 5: The Algarve
Day 6: The Algarve
Day 7: The Algarve
Day 8: Lisbon
Day 9: Lisbon Day Trip
Day 10: Lisbon

Portugal Itinerary Map

10 Days in Portugal Map: Porto, the Algarve, and Lisbon

This second itinerary starts in Porto and ends in Lisbon. If you prefer this itinerary, checking flight options should be your first step in your travel planning process.

The big difference in this itinerary is that you eliminate the day of travel between Lisbon and Porto. That’s both good and bad, depending on your preferences.

It’s bad because it eliminates the possibility of visiting Óbidos and other places as you travel from Lisbon to Porto.

It’s good because gives you an extra day, which you can use in the Algarve or in Lisbon. I put that extra time in the Algarve, which still gives you a day and a half in Lisbon, plus the day to visit Sintra.

If you prefer to do a second day trip from Lisbon (there are a lot of great day trip options, with Óbidos, the Sintra coastline, Cascais, Fatima, and historical sites such as Mafra National Palace and Alcobaça Monastery), the take a day from the Algarve and return to Lisbon on day 7.

Below is a brief overview of the itinerary. Many of these days are provided in more detail in the first itinerary.

Days 1, 2 & 3: Porto

Arrive in Porto. You have almost two full days to explore Porto and an additional day to day trip to the Douro Valley OR Braga and Guimarães.

Day 4: Travel to the Algarve

Travel to the Algarve by train, car, or plane. The specifics of this are listed in day 7 of the first itinerary.

Days 5, 6 & 7: The Algarve

On this itinerary, you have three full days in the Algarve. The evening of day 7, you can travel to Lisbon, to give you more time in Lisbon, if you prefer that option.

Day 8: Travel to Lisbon

First thing in the morning, check out of your hotel in the Algarve and travel to Lisbon by car or train. Spend the afternoon in Lisbon, following recommendations from day 1 of the first itinerary.

Day 9: Sintra Day Trip

Today, day trip to Sintra from Lisbon, following suggestions of day 3 in the first itinerary.

Day 10: Lisbon

This itinerary ends with one full, busy day in Lisbon. Get recommendations on what to see and do in our Lisbon Bucket List and day 2 of the first itinerary. Of course, you can switch the order, spending day 9 in Lisbon and day 10 on a day trip to Sintra.

Portugal Itinerary: With Less Time

If you have less time, it gets very hard to shorten this itinerary. Because of the travel times between Lisbon and Porto and Porto and the Algarve, it gets tough to take a day from either Porto or the Algarve, and still make it worth the travel time to get to them.

How to Get Around Portugal

There is a very handy network of buses and trains in Portugal. You can get to most towns and cities using public transportation. There are a few areas where having a car is ideal, such as the Douro Valley, the Algarve, and eastern Portugal, where the public transportation network is not as extensive.

There are two types of trains in Portugal: the high-speed Alfa Pendular trains and the slower regional trains. The Alfa Pendular train is a great way to connect cities that sit far apart, such as Lisbon to Porto, Lisbon to the Algarve (Albufeira and Lagos), and Porto to the Algarve.

Learn more about the trains on the official website (which is very easy to use) and Rail Ninja (which has a lot of useful information about using the trains in Portugal).

The regional buses are very useful for day trips from Lisbon and Porto as well as getting around the Algarve if you don’t have a car.

Having a rental car is great for exploring the areas outside of Lisbon and Porto. These two cities are challenging to drive in, and a car is not necessary to get around these cities, so if you will be spending most of your time in Lisbon and Porto, there is no need to rent a car.

Having a rental car is beneficial if you plan to visit the Algarve, the Douro Valley, and eastern Portugal.

For information on renting a car, including rental car fees, drop fees, and things to know ahead of time, take a look at our article Important Things to Know Before Renting a Car in Europe.

Praia da Falesia Algarve

Praia da Falésia, Algarve

Average Trip Costs

Here are some estimated costs per person (all prices are in USD during peak travel times).

Hotel Costs:

Budget Hotel, double room with two people: $50 – $150
Mid-Range Hotel, double room with two people: $150 – $250
Luxury Hotel, double room with two people: $300+

These are the prices for standard double rooms for each hotel class. Many hotels offer suites, rooms with a view, or apartments, and these will be more expensive than the price for a double room.

More Trip Costs

Train Travel: To travel from city to city, train fares range from $30 to $125, depending on the distance traveled and the speed of the train. Regional trains can take twice the length of time to cover the same distance as a high-speed train, and cost half as much, but you will be sacrificing sightseeing time.

Meals: Meals cost $8 to $25 per dish, depending on the restaurant. To save money, stay in a hotel that offers breakfast, put together picnic lunches, and skip the drinks at dinner.

Miscellaneous: Factor in approximately $50 USD per day per person for miscellaneous fees, such as a short taxi, souvenirs, etc.

Designing Your Own Portugal Itinerary

This Portugal itinerary is a great starting point for designing your own custom itinerary. If you haven’t seen it yet, we also have a 10 Day Portugal Itinerary that lists 5 ways to plan a trip through Portugal. For more tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect trip, consider reading this article:

7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe

To see all of our articles about Portugal, take a look at our Portugal Travel Guide. For more great itineraries in Europe and around the world, visit our Travel Itineraries page.

If you have any questions about this 10 days in Portugal Itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Portugal

BEST OF PORTUGAL: In our article Best Things to Do in Portugal, we list 25 amazing things to see and do in Portugal.

LISBON: In our Lisbon Bucket List, we list 40 highlights and hidden gems to visit in Lisbon. Plan your time with our one day in Lisbon itinerary and 2 day Lisbon itinerary. Here are 14 amazing day trips to take from Lisbon. Find the perfect place to stay in our Lisbon Hotel Guide.

SINTRA: In our article Best Things to Do in Sintra, we cover the top sights to see in Sintra. In our article One Day in Sintra, we provide three different ways to plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.

CASCAIS: In our Guide to Cascais, we cover the best things to do and how to plan a day trip from Lisbon.

ALGARVE: Get started with our Algarve Bucket List, which lists the best things to do in the Algarve and learn how to plan your time with our Algarve Itinerary Planner. Learn how to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, one of the most beautiful walks in Europe. Don’t miss our guides to Benagil Cave and the best beaches in the Algarve. Find out where to stay in our Algarve Hotel Guide, get a list of the best restaurants in Albufeira, and learn why October is the perfect time to visit the Algarve.

PORTO: Get started with our Porto Travel Guide, which lists where to eat, where to stay, and has lots of helpful tips for visiting Porto. We cover the best things to do in Porto in our Porto Bucket List. In our Guide to the Wine Cellars in Gaia, get recommendations on which wine cellars to visit and how to plan your time. See the best of Porto in our One Day in Porto Itinerary and 2 Days in Porto Itinerary.

We have TONS more information about Portugal in our Portugal Travel Guide, including Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, the Algarve, and the Douro Valley.


Portugal Itinerary Lisbon Porto Algarve


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Comments 4

  1. Avatar for Veranika

    Hi Julie! Thank you for your great itineraries. We are using a slightly modified version of the above since we are flying to Spain from Portugal, and Porto has more options that Algarve. We are going Lisbon->Algarve (Lagos)->Porto. Thinking of taking a train from Lisbon to Lagos, what station do you recommend taking a train from (I see at least four available), and not sure what is the fastest since we would have to switch trains in Faro looks like. We are staying in Baixa in Lisbon. Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You can use a website like Rail Ninja to check timetables. Trains leave from the Santa Apolonia Station and Oriente Station. Santa Apolonia is closer to Baixa and you can get to the station by metro or Uber/Bolt. There will be a train transfer in Tunes. You can book your tickets on the official website (that would be my first choice) or Rail Ninja. Have a great time in Portugal and Spain! We just got back from Spain last week and will be adding lots of new content to our website (we have some new articles on Seville) so if you have any other questions please let me know. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Veranika

        Thank you, Julie! Have you had any experience with train transfer in Tunes? I am a little nervous since we arrive in Tunes 10:52 am and our train Tunes-Lagos is 11:06 am (that seems to be the only option they have). Is it fairly easy to find the transfer train? Looking forward to your Spain itineraries!


        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          We had a rental car so we did not use the train in Portugal (but we have used trains all over Europe). If that is your only option, then that’s what you should do. Just keep your fingers crossed that the first train runs on time. Cheers, Julie

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