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With kilometers of golden coastline, world-acclaimed wines, and a fascinating historical heritage, Portugal is one of the most visited countries in Europe. To fully enjoy its natural diversity, from Algarve beaches to wild Douro Valley, we suggest a trip to Portugal lasting between one week and 10 days. Visit the sunny towns of Lagos and Sagres for some of the best surfing spots in Europe, or discover Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in the world, and the narrow streets of Alfama. The central region of Portugal is the most untouched—lush nature and rural landscapes make it the perfect destination for keen hikers. Up north, you’ll find some of the best Porto wines and vinho verde from local producers. Embrace the relaxed Portuguese lifestyle and slow traveling through this top-notch destination.

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How much time should I spend in Portugal?

We recommend at least a week to 10 days in Portugal. This timeframe will let you fully experience the best of Portugal and still go beyond tourist cities to explore the country’s natural beauty. For a shorter trip, Lisbon and Porto are ideal destinations for a quick taste of the country. Generally, there are plenty of affordable restaurants and walking tours within the cities, so it’s easy to make the most of a long weekend in Portugal if that is all the time you can afford. Lagos, easily reachable by train or bus from Faro’s airport, is another good option for beach lovers.

Beautiful beach in Carvoeiro Algarve Portugal
The scorching temperatures in Portugal in July make for the perfect reason to visit the many beautiful beaches, like the ones in Algarve.
View of Santiago Lake from Miradouro Boca do Inferno in Sao Miguel Island
The Miradouro da Boca do Inferno is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Azores that doesn't require much effort to get to either.

The ideal 5-day trip to Portugal should focus on one specific area or activity to avoid rushing between sightseeing. A road trip through the Algarve is a great way to see the sunny coastline and visit the resort towns of Portimão and Albufeira, and the fishing villages that dot the coast. You can stop along the way to spend a day hiking the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, an accessible route from Praia da Marinha in the east to Praia de Vale Centeanes on the west coast that runs through golden beaches, cliffs, and typical Algarvian vegetation.

Wilderness lovers could instead opt for a 5-day stay in the Azores. Landing in São Miguel, spend the first three days hiking around the iconic green and blue lakes of Sete Cidades, enjoying the natural hot springs of Caldeira Velha, and visiting the thermal town of Furnas. The following two days can be spent on Pico Island, only an hour's flight away. The hike up to the top of Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal, takes about 4 hours to complete. It’s also possible to camp overnight—enjoy the magical view of the Atlantic sunset.

For further ideas and inspiration, check out our guide on spending 5 days in Portugal.

A colorful European town with a river running next to it with boats
Porto packs a punch despite its humble size, making it a popular destination in Portugal.

If you have more time and prefer the city, arts and culture, a 7-day trip could touch all the major cities of Portugal. Starting from the fado bars of Barrio Alto and the hilly landscapes of Lisbon, move north to the university city of Coimbra and reach Porto for a wine degustation on the banks of the Douro River. Porto is home to a picturesque harbor, impressive architecture, and magical back-streets; there are so many things to do in Porto to keep your days full. Then complete the trip by visiting the towering church of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga and spending the day exploring the colorful gardens and bustling narrow city streets.

North Portugal is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts, making it worth spending the entire 7 days. Serra de Gerês National Park, just outside Braga, offers some of the most breathtaking hikes in Portugal, such as the Trilho da Cascata do Arado with its hidden natural waterfalls perfect for a summer dip. Arouca Geopark, located east of Porto, is ideal for kayaking, visiting fossil sites, and exploring ancient villages accessible via walking path only.

For inspiration, check out our guide on spending one week in Portugal. Find more ideas and itineraries in our list of 7-day Portugal tours.

A seaside town with white-washed houses warmly lit up in the evening.
Catch a stunning view of the whitewashed houses and coastline in Portugal.
A rocky coastline town with white-washed houses and a strip of sandy beach with people.
Check out the rock formations while you stroll the sandy beaches of Albufeira.

With 10 days to spare you can let loose and explore everything from cities to vineyards and islands on your Portugal trip. Better yet, you can choose to take your time discovering every destination. 

Consider starting your travels in Lisbon where you can dine on fresh seafood delights, climb the Tower of Belem, and ride the famous yellow trams around the city. From here head to Evora, Obidos, and Coimbra where you can visit the oldest university in the country, learn about medieval history at the gothic monastery of Santa Clara, and take a walking tour over the Pedro e Ines Bridge for panoramic views of the city. Continue to the Douro Valley, Porto and on to Sintra where you’ll finish with a bang as you enjoy Portuguese delicacies at any of the city’s popular restaurants. Throw in a trip to Madeira Island in the mix of all the beautiful cities in your itinerary.

If you'd like to take a slower pace and enjoy driving, a road trip is a great way to travel through Portugal in 10 days. You will be able to hit all the major cities and perhaps even slip in a short hike in Peneda-Gerês National Park.

More ideas are available in our guide for 10 days in Portugal. Browse through our list of 10-day Portugal tours for more ideas.

Portugal in 2 weeks or more

A white-walled church amidst white-washed buildings with tiled roofs against a naked hill
If you're a hiking enthusiast, take it to the trails of Mount Pico in Portugal.

Portugal itineraries that are two weeks or longer in duration allow you to arrive and depart the country without feeling rushed and ensuring you have plenty of time to enjoy the destinations you visit. 

After checking out all the sensational cities and wine-hopping in vineyards, the extra days available with two weeks in Portugal is a great opportunity to explore the Azores. Spend your time hopping from one paradise-like island to the another! Your time on the islands can be spent hiking, biking and sailing your way from one attraction to the next including the Sete Cidades Crater, the Sao Jorge Cliffs, and Angra do Heroismo. With 14 days or more available for the trip, we recommend spend a couple of days in each destination, exploring their nuances and really drinking in the atmosphere. Our guide on "how many days to spend in the Azores" will come in handy.

Check out our collection of 2-week tours in Portugal for more inspiration.

Planning a trip to Portugal?

If you need more help planning your trip or working out the best Portugal itinerary, contact one of our Portugal travel experts today. If you’d like to book a package or join a group tour, check out our Portugal tours page for more ideas.

Published by Lisa Hopp, updated on May 20, 2024

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