10 Days in Portugal

by shortgirlontour

I love Portugal! If you are a regular reader or know me personally, you have probably heard me say this many times before! In my opinion, Portugal is such an underrated country with so much to explore. I have now visited Portugal twice and have visited some of its best cities and attractions. This post covers what you can see and do and what cities you can visit if you have 10 days in Portugal.

Notes on the Itinerary

There are 3 main airports on this itinerary. They are Lisbon, Faro and Porto. If you draw a line on this itinerary, these airports are in the middle, south and north respectively.

You may decide to fly into one airport and fly out of another. This is the most ideal state. Especially if you fly in to Faro and out of Porto or vise versa. But, I think it is safe to assume that most people will fly in and out of Lisbon. The good news is that it only takes around 5 hours to drive from Porto to Faro or about 7 hours on public transport. So, even if you fly both in and out of Porto or both in and out of Faro, you can still make the reverse journey back without an issue (you could also fly from the north to the south in 1 hour 15 minutes).

This itinerary takes you from the south to the north of Portugal but you can also do it in reserve.

If you are flying in to Lisbon, you could first go north and then go south or vise versa. With this option, you could visit Lisbon:

  • At the start and head north or south
  • In the middle, as you go from north to south or south to north OR
  • At the end of the trip

Given that your start and end will depend on where you fly in and out of, I will call out the number of days I think you could spend at each location instead of a traditional itinerary.

How to Spend 10 Days in Portugal

Algarve – 2 Days

Portugal’s southernmost Algarve region is a popular holiday spot for the beach, sun and sand. Two full days in this region was more than enough time for me to cover the highlights of Algarve. If you like to relax and catch some rays then you may need more than 2 days.

Places Not to Miss

  • Benagil Caves
  • Lago
  • Marinha Beach
  • Praia do Camilo
  • Ponta da Piedade

See HERE for more on these sites.

Where to Stay

There are lots of tiny little towns scattered all over Algarve. Some of the popular places are Faro, Lagos, Albufeira,
and Portimao. I stayed in Lagos and it was great! Lagos had lots of restaurants and accommodation options.

Lisbon – 3 Days

No trip to Portugal is complete without a visit to its capital city Lisbon. Even if you don’t follow my recommended number of days in each place according to this post exactly, you should probably spend more days in Lisbon during your 10 days in Portugal than in any other city. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe! Even older than Rome (by 4 centuries), Paris and London. You could visit some of Lisbon’s best neighborhoods, historical landmarks and amazing lookout points during these 3 days.

Places Not to Miss

  • Rossio Square
  • Alfama
  • Belèm
  • Many lookout points
  • Santa Justa Lift and other funiculars
  • Carmo Convent

See HERE for a detailed guide on how to spend 3 days in Lisbon.

Where to Stay

Stay in one of Lisbon’s central neighborhoods. I stayed close to Rossio Square both times as it was central and was accessible to public transport but Baixa, Chiado, Alfama, Barrio Alto, and Belèm are all popular neighborhoods to stay.

Sintra and Cabo da Roca – 1 Day

Sintra is my favorite day trip from a big city and a must visit location on this 10 days in Portugal itinerary. The town of Sintra is located at the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, about an hour northwest of Lisbon. This region is dotted with hilly forested slops, fairytale palaces and villas.

Cabo da Roca is the western most point in continental Europe and a great place to catch a stunning sunset or see some amazing cliff views. Highly recommend this side trip from Sintra if you have time after exploring the site in Sintra.

Places Not to Miss

  • Pena Palace
  • Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle)
  • Quinta da Regaleira
  • Sintra National Palace
  • Cabo da Roca

See HERE for a complete guide on visiting Sintra

See HERE for a detailed guide on how to visit Cabo da Roca from Sintra

Notes on Lisbon and Sintra

If you are visiting Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon, then you can break up the 3 days in Lisbon and mix in Sintra. Meaning you could explore Lisbon for 2 days, visit Sintra the 3rd day and continue in Lisbon the 4th day.

Where to Stay

Depends on when you decide to visit Sintra. If you are visiting as a day trip, then stay overnight in Lisbon. If you are visiting Sintra in the middle of Lisbon (as discussed above), then you should come back to Lisbon for the night. If you are following the sequence of this itinerary exactly, you could either go back to Lisbon and stay the night in Lisbon before heading out to Obidos the next day or stay overnight in Sintra and head out to Obidos early next morning from Sintra.

Obidos – 0.5 Days

The tiny hill town of Obidos, with its whitewashed houses and its narrow, cobblestoned streets is a popular day trip from Lisbon, however, you can add it to your 10 days in Portugal itinerary on your way to Coimbra. Obidos is tiny and can easily be visited in a few hours. Skippable if you are running out of time.

Places Not to Miss

  • The walls
  • Climb to the castle
  • Porta da Vila
  • Wander the narrow streets

Click HERE for more places to visit in Obidos.

Where to Stay

Drive to Coimbra in the afternoon and stay overnight in Coimbra.

Coimbra – 1 (split in to 2 half days)

Coimbra is home to Portugal’s oldest university. It used to be Portugal’s leading city while the Moors controlled Lisbon and used to be the country’s capital for over 100 years. In this itinerary, you will still get one day in Coimbra but it will be split in to two half days. An afternoon and the next morning .

Places Not to Miss

  • Stroll Through the Main Drag and Town
  • Manga Cloister Fountains
  • Old and New Cathedral
Next Morning
  • University – Science Museum, Library, Royal Palace and Saint Michael’s Chapel
  • Santa Clara Bridge (on your way out)

See HERE for a full list of things to do in Coimbra in a day.

Where to Stay

Drive to Porto during the afternoon and stay overnight in Porto

Porto – 1.5 Days

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and is located in the north side of the country. Some people say Porto is like a small Lisbon. While that is true in some sense, I think Porto is still unique on its own and deserves some time on this 10 days in Portugal itinerary.

Places Not to Miss

  • Ribeira district
  • Dom Luís I Bridge
  • Vila Nova de Gaia
  • São Bento Train Station
  • Churches with tiled facades (see my link below to a list with names)
  • Porto Cathedral

See HERE for a list of 18 things to see and do in Porto.

Where to Stay

Stay close to the attractions so you can walk. I stayed along Avenue dos Aliados and it was a central location.

Douro Valley – 1 Day

Douro Valley makes for a wonderful day trip from Porto. This valley is the birthplace and source of port wine and where the grapes are grown. You can visit several wineries, learn about and taste port wine, cruise down the Douro river, and in general enjoy some spectacular valley and mountain views.

You can visit the Douro Valley on your own if you have a car or through an organized tour. If you are going to visit on your own, I recommend that you reserve visits to wineries and port tastings in advance.

Tours to the Douro Valley from Porto

Where to Stay

Overnight in Porto will give you the most options and also easy access to depart the next day.

Flying Out

  • Flying out of Porto is the easiest since you are already there
  • Flying out of Lisbon – You could take an easy train ride to Lisbon or fly
  • Flying out of Faro – All things considered, taking an internal flight to Faro is the easiest but driving or public transport is not impossible.

With More Time


Évora is a beautifully preserved medieval town with ancient walls, narrow lanes and even Roman ruins.

Photo by Ryan Miller on Unsplash


Nazaré is a fishing village that has recently risen to fame as a world class surfing destination with over 100 foot waves.

Photo by Helio Dilolwa on Unsplash


Dubbed the venice of Portugal, Aveiro is famous of its canal system that is navigated by colorful boats (barcos moliceiros), traditionally used to harvest seaweed. 

When to Visit

I have now visited Portugal in the winter and summer. Both times were great and and I enjoyed my time. If you are looking to lay out in the sun in Algarve, then summer might be more suited. Overall, winter temperatures are “relatively” mild.

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About Me

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting! Believe it or not this blog is not my full time job! I work 8-5 in Supply Chain and run this blog after work!  I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since I was a child and at 44 countries and counting, I am so grateful to get to live that dream.

To say travel is my passion is truly an understatement! What I love most about travel is that I get to connect with locals and meet with fellow travelers from around the world. In addition, travel also enables all my other interests like photography, architecture, art, music and food! Please feel free to share any posts or leave me feedback on how I can improve. Thank you and happy travels!


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