Portugal Road Trip



This 2-week itinerary in early September of 2022 was part of a longer 5-week road trip from Lisbon to Marseille, France. For more information on the northern Spain and southern France parts of the trip see the Spain, French Pyrenees and South of France pages.

Highlights in Portugal included Lisbon and the nearby sights in Sintra, kayaking in the Algarve, visiting historic Evora and the small towns and monasteries of central Portugal, catching the wave action in Nazaré, a tour through the Douro Valley wine region and finally a short stop in picturesque Porto.

I used the Rick Steves’ itinerary as a starting point for creating our route.

Lisbon – 3 Nights

Sights of Lisbon
Post includes walking tours of Lisbon as well as a day trip to Sintra to see the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.
Sleeping and Dining

Carvoeiro, Algarve – 2 Nights

Kayaking the Algarve with Secret Algarve
Post includes other sights around Carvoeiro as well as sleeping and dining.

Evora – 1 Night

Post includes a walking tour of Evora with its many remnants of Roman civilization. Not on the tour but not to be missed is the Chapel of Bones. The chapel is crammed full of bones artistically arranged to create a thoughtful if somewhat macabre design.

Nazaré – 2 Nights

Nazaré is a fun mix of tourist beach hangout and local working town. The town is known for its super waves, sometimes reaching 80ft high at a nearby point in winter.
Post also includes sleeping and dining.

Small Towns of Central Portugal
The towns and monasteries covered in this post are easily reached on the way to or leaving Nazaré. Post includes Obidos, Alcobaça Monastery, Batalha Monastery and Tomar.

Coimbra – 2 Nights

Sights of Coimbra
The old town of Coimbra, home to Portugal’s most important university, winds up a hill with the university capping the summit. The university houses Coimbra’s top sights including the exquisite baroque library.
Post also includes sleeping and dining.

Douro Valley – 1 Night

Douro Valley
The Douro Valley, known for the production of port, is an extensive wine region east of Porto along the Douro River and its side valleys. The steep hills of the region, covered in terraced vineyards, make a lovely destination to spend the night and enjoy the scenery.
Post also includes the best dinner of the trip.

Porto – 2 Nights

Sights of Porto
Post includes walking tours of Porto. Some of the best views not included on the walking tour are from the high bridge that connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. The post also includes a day trip to Guimarães, a cute medieval town and Sleeping and Dining.