HomeTravelHow to Plan a Trip to Portugal | PORTUGAL TRAVEL GUIDE

How to Plan a Trip to Portugal | PORTUGAL TRAVEL GUIDE

You’re planning on traveling to Portugal? Well, I just got back from a ten-day trip to Portugal with my mom, and she said it was the best trip she’s ever been on. In this article, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know to plan your own trip to Portugal. Let’s go with it.

How to Get To Portugal?

First things first. How do you get to Portugal? We took a direct flight from Washington Dulles to Lisbon Airport. Super easy, and super streamlined. It got us there.

How To Get Around Portugal?

The best way to get around Portugal is by renting a rental car we rented with avis. It was really great. It got us everywhere we needed to go.

One thing to note about renting cars in Portugal is that if you can drive manually, then you’ll probably be saving a lot of money on rental car prices. We can’t. And so we rented an automatic car, and it was a little bit more expensive but definitely worth it.

How Long Should You Stay In Portugal?

I would recommend ten days. This fits in perfectly with a corporate PTO schedule where you can take a week off and include two weekends. This gives you an adequate amount of time to see all the top spots in Portugal and even fit in some relaxation. But this is definitely more of an adventure itinerary. This small country. Although it’s small, it has so much to see and explore.


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Portugal is seriously so underrated. As someone who grew up on the east coast in Virginia, all I ever heard of was Spain, France, Italy, and England. I never heard of Portugal, but Portugal is such a beautiful country with so, so much to explore. I was so blown away. The landscapes are so diverse and beautiful.

The culture is fun and amazing. The people are kind and friendly. The food is delicious. Overall, an amazing, amazing country.

What Time Of Year Should You Visit Portugal?

So summer. So June, July, and August are the peak. That’s when tourism is at an all-time high. The weather is sunny, the weather is at its best, but it’s also going to mean a lot of crowds in a lot of places and more expensive prices on just about everything. And so if you can, the best would be to visit in the shoulder seasons, like the spring and the fall.

You might need a jacket because it can get chilly there, especially since Portugal is along the coast and there can be a lot of coastal winds. That would be a great time to get less expensive prices and avoid a lot of the crowd. That being said, our trip was in June, which was a lot of tourists, and a lot of people everywhere.

But honestly, that adds to the fun, and it was a great trip anyway. The thing I would recommend, though, is to bring a jacket or a layer because we were actually blown away almost literally by the winds and how cold it got sometimes, so be sure to bring your layers.

What Should You Pack?

So, as I mentioned in the previous point, layers, and good walking shoes are perhaps the most important. So if you’ve traveled to Europe before, or maybe you haven’t, it’s your first time. The streets everywhere are like these cobblestone sidewalks and paths. It’s just cobblestones everywhere and just forgetting your things around.

If you pack a large 50-pound suitcase, you’re going to regret it so much. Please learn from my experience. I would strongly recommend taking a backpack and then a small carry-on. Even with the small carry-on, I’m like, oh my gosh, I wish it wasn’t so heavy because you are going to be dragging that around everywhere with you. So make sure it’s as light and efficiently packed as possible.

So good walking shoes, because you’re going to be walking a lot. Layers because it can get windy and the temperature can change quickly. And then whatever you want to enjoy your summer vacation in Portugal or winter vacation, it can be any time of year. The other thing that I would so strongly recommend is getting an air tag for your luggage. The Europe travel system right now is very overwhelmed, and bags are being lost left and right.

One of my bags was lost when I was flying from Portugal, laying over in Amsterdam, and going to Italy. Luckily, I had an air tag so I could tell the airline where my bag was. But I would strongly recommend getting an air tag.

What Should You Do When You’re In Portugal?

Well, I’ve got the full itinerary. Let’s dive into it. Now. This is for a ten-day adventure trip where you want to see as many of the highlights of Portugal as possible, and this will cover almost all of them. Of course, you could spend an unlimited amount of time seeing as much as you wanted, but this is a ten-day itinerary for the first couple of days. I would recommend flying into Lisbon, staying centrally in the city, and exploring the city.

This is a great way to help fight off jet lag and also just stroll around, enjoy the city, go to restaurants, walk around boutiques and shops, and get to see the culture and the beautiful architecture of the city. I was so blown away. Lisbon is such a clean and beautiful city. We stayed at Hotel Lis Baiksa and we found that it was a perfect, centrally located spot. By the way, I speak Spanish, not Portuguese.

I’m going to do my best with all these pronunciations, but please excuse me if I pronounce anything incorrectly. These are some of my favorite spots that we went to in Portugal. We went to pink street. The Miraduro Das Portal do sol. Miraduro d’grazia Castello de Saint George. Elevador DA Bika. We had seafood at Uma Prasha Luis de Chamois. These are all awesome spots that we loved exploring in Lisbon. It was absolutely beautiful.

So we stayed in Lisbon for two days, and then we went back to the Lisbon airport and took a 90 minutes flight over to Madeira. Madeira is such a hidden gem. I hadn’t heard of it until a couple of months ago, but once I started seeing pictures and videos of Madeira, I was like, oh my gosh, we have to go. As I started researching more, I learned that Madeira is known as the Hawaii of Europe, and rightfully so. When we were there, we felt all the Hawaii vibes mountains and waterfalls, and nature and coasts.


And it’s truly so stunning, it’s so amazing that I’m going to make an entire article on what to do in Madeira. I so strongly recommend visiting and fitting at least four days of your schedule into Madeira. There’s also the Azores Islands, which are also very, very beautiful and also nicknamed the Hawaii of Europe. If you can fit that into your schedule as well, those are absolutely incredible. Also for Madeira, I would recommend staying in Fun Chao and doing an epic adventure tour with Brave Landers.

We absolutely loved our adventure tour with them. It was the perfect first introduction to Madeira because they took us all around the island. We were toured by a local, and really that’s the best way to get to experience a new place. Next, you’re going to fly back to Lisbon, pick up your rental car, and then go down and explore the Algarve Coast. This coast is known all around the world for its beautiful cliffs, the bright blue waters, and it is truly, truly stunning.

There are a lot of really beautiful coastal towns down here as well. One of them is Lagos. That’s where we stayed during our time on the Algarve Coast, and we absolutely loved it. We stayed at the nature guest house that we found on booking.com, and we thought it was absolutely adorable and such a great place, centrally located. Stay in Lagos allowed us to explore all around.

So the best thing to do down here on the Algarve Coast is to beach Hop. So go explore all the different beaches. You have a rental car. It provides you the perfect flexibility to drive all around and explore all the different beaches. Some of our favorite beaches that we went to were as follows praya del Camilo, Ponta de Piadade barahe Beach is a secret beach on the west side that’s perfect for sunset.

Praya Dotres irmahos praya del brynja. And we also did a get-your-guide experience where we went to the Benagil Cave, and saw dolphins. It was absolutely amazing. So strongly recommend this experience. And marina beach and alban dira beach.

These were all incredible spots. We loved seeing the Algarve Coast, and I will say, when we went in June, the water was icy. It was icy, but it felt really good because it was so hot outside. So it was wonderful to be able to cool off in the water. But yeah, prepare for that.

Portuguese Food

Portuguese food is world famous and it is so delicious at night. We decided to scroll around Lagos and we went to Castle de Perego it is one of the best restaurant experiences I’ve had in my life. We have the cheese, the wine, and then the main dish with the grilled tuna. I’m not normally a huge tuna fan, but oh my gosh, this was so delicious.

Mouthwatering incredible experience. And then we walked around, got ice cream, and explored all the shops and boutiques, and restaurants afterward. It was absolutely amazing. After you spend a few days beach hopping on the Algarve Coast, you’re going to hop into your rental car and drive up to Porto. Porto is also a very popular, very beautiful tourist destination.

It’s a very cute city. You can stroll around, with similar vibes. It’s so aesthetic and beautiful to look at. We stayed in a centrally located place in Porto. The main things to do here are to do a sunset cruise on the river.

So basically what we did is we walked right up to the dock, booked the ticket, and had the boat cruise that went all up and down the river. We got to see the beautiful homes and the architecture and absolutely love the experience. The Luis Bridge is a very cool and beautiful place to see and walk around for sunset. Here you’re going to have all the restaurants and shops and live music and concerts in the summer. It’s very, very fun.

The Jardim do Moto is absolutely beautiful as well. You can explore Clairvios Tower, Livaria Leo Bookstore, and the Bolhau area. All awesome places to see in Porto as well. We absolutely love stopping by Porto and on your last day, if you have time, fit in a visit to Sintra National Palace. This place will make you feel like you’re walking around in a storybook and definitely worth a visit.

But be prepared for a whole lot of walking. There are so many different castles and architecture and history that you can walk around and see here. The Pina Palace is perhaps the most popular spot that you can visit here. And there’s also the Quinta de Regaleria that you can see here as well. It’s very beautiful and very charming.

So that’s all that you should do in Portugal. Obviously, this is a list to get you started. There are unlimited things that you could do, see and explore. And although this country is small, like I said before, it has so much to see and experience within the country. We were seriously so blown away.

The people were all so friendly and kind. And we don’t speak Portuguese. Like I said earlier, we were able to communicate in English and some Spanish, and we were able to get by everywhere. Everyone was so kind and friendly and welcoming. And as female travelers, we felt very safe in Portugal as well.

Where To Stay?

So, how to find places to stay in Portugal? I booked everything off of booking.com. Typically I use Airbnb when traveling, but I found that the best options were available on booking.com. I would basically put on the filter for where I’m going, and when I’m going, mark available properties only, and then I would see what the reviews were. If it was clean and safe and in a good location, then I would book it. And now the foods to try in Portugal.

Like I said earlier, the food in Portugal was so delicious and amazing. Perhaps the most famous food or pastry that you will hear about is Pastel de nata. This is a Portuguese custard tart. It’s basically a little circle and make sure you go to one of the authentic places to get this. It is so delicious. I’ve never really tasted anything like it. It was so unique and just so good. Strongly recommend trying that when you’re in Portugal. And then the other thing to try in Portugal is seafood.


Portugal is located all along the Coast, so obviously you’re going to find an abundance of delicious seafood from cod to sardines. They love their sardines there. It’s actually pretty funny. They have souvenirs of sardines and all these keychains and things and magnets and all of them are sardines. They have a sardine festival. It’s very amazing. They love sardines. But that’s also the thing to try there. All the seafood.

And then something else that I was blown away by in Portugal as well as the wine and the cheese. Those were both very delicious as well. So there you have it. Overall, that is my entire guide for traveling to Portugal. Hopefully, you add Portugal to your list. We are so grateful and happy that we went. The culture in Portugal is absolutely amazing. It’s really great for digital nomads as well.

If you’re someone who wants to work remotely, I found the WiFi speeds and the Airbnbs, and the bookings that I stayed at were wonderful. So if you want to work remotely as a digital nomad, that’s a great option as well. It’s wonderful for a family trip, a couple’s trip, or solo travel. It felt very safe.

So strongly recommend adding Portugal to your travel bucket list. And hopefully, you enjoyed this article. Comment down below if you have any questions and what you’re excited to see in Portugal, and I will see you in the next article.



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