4 Portugal itineraries for exciting road trips

written by
Matthew Hancock

updated 17.04.2024

Creating fascinating Portugal itineraries has never been easier. You can now fly to Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve. So your only dilemma is what to do first. Take a look at four road trip itineraries to start with.

1. Portugal itineraries for urban explorers

Porto is famous for Port wine. Its historic centre is a World Heritage site. And it's ideal as the start of a north-south road trip.

  • Tour Porto's medieval Ribeira district.
  • Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia Port wine lodges.
  • Hop to Braga, Portugal's vibrant religious capital.
  • Drive to World Heritage Guimarães. The country's first ever capital.
  • Then head south to Coimbra. Don't miss Biblioteca Joanina.
  • Make for Lisbon, one of Europe's best city break destinations.
  • Then take the road inland to Évora. Another handsome university town.
  • Finally drop down south to lovely Lagos in Western Algarve.
  • Spend some time on Algarve beaches and fly home from Faro.

Feel like spending a few days in Porto? Torel Avantgarde makes a good city centre base.

Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, Braga, Portugal

Braga is a good fit for northern Portugal itineraries © LucVi/Shutterstock

2. The easiest itinerary for maximum beach time

Portugal has over 1500km of coastline. Much of it stunning beaches. Make the most of them.

  • Travel west from Porto to Foz do Douro for a first taste of Atlantic coast.
  • Then head south to Figueira da Foz or Peniche for more serious surf.
  • Nazaré is the place for world record breaking waves.
  • Head to the Sintra coast for calmer beaches.
  • Try Cascais for soft sand and handsome houses.
  • Estoril is another lovely beach. And Estoril town inspired Casino Royale.
  • Head to the Alentejo coast for tucked away coves.
  • Then go south to Sagres. Henry the Navigator trained his sea captains here.
  • Discover loveliest Algarve beaches round Lagos and Albufeira,
  • Then drive slowly east along the coast to Faro for the flight home.

Try a midway breather on the Sintra Coast. Stay at Hotel Lido close to Estoril's famous casino.

Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Beachy road trips should include Figueira da Foz © John Copland/Shutterstock

3. The perfect road trip for wine enthusiasts

Portugal produces Madeira wine and Port. But its reds and whites are worth getting to know too.

  • Start in northern Porto. The city that grew on the back of Port wine.
  • Drive down the spectacular Douro Valley. Leaving time for wine estates.
  • Drop in on Peso da Régua to visit various wine quintas.
  • Then go north to tour Palácio de Mateus. The Baroque mansion on Mateus Rosé wine labels.
  • Stop over and try lightly sparkling vinho verde. It's a warm summer evening staple.
  • For lesser known wines explore Alentejo.
  • The Alentejo Wine Route begins in historic Évora. Also home to an impressive Roman temple.
  • From Évora, it's an easy drive back to Lisbon.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Portugal or Portugal Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Portugal expert.

Wine barrels in Madeira, Portugal

Wine barrels in Madeira, Portugal © Kristina Stasiuliene/Shutterstock

4. Portugal itinerary for all-round exploring

Find quintessential Portugal off the beaten track, an itinerary suitable for all seasons.

Spend a few days exploring Lisbon. Stay at Browns Boutique Hotel between Chiado and Bairro Alto.

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Add Pena Palace Sintra to Portugal itineraries © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Top image: Ribeira Brava, Madeira © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Ready for a trip to Portugal? Read more about the best places to visit and best things to do in Portugal. For inspiration use the Portugal Itineraries from The Rough Guide to Portugal and created by our local travel agents in Portugal. A bit more hands on, check out the map of Portugal and learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay in Portugal once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Matthew Hancock

written by
Matthew Hancock

updated 17.04.2024

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