If you’re planning to spend two weeks in Portugal, but aren’t exactly sure where to go or what to do, you’ve come to the right place!
After years of wanting to go to Portugal, this summer I had the opportunity to spend 14 days in Portugal, road tripping across the whole country, and I was ecstatic to say the least.
Portugal is home to many gorgeous natural landscapes, stunning architecture, a rich history, great surfing beaches and delicious food. In short, it has everything I could possibly want from a trip.
In this Portugal two-week itinerary I have included everything you need to know to plan the perfect Portugal trip. Including must-see highlights as well as hidden gems, where to stay, where to eat and how to get around.
It’s a very varied itinerary, which includes culture, history, nature and beaches in equal measure. This 14-day Portugal itinerary is perfect for those who want to get a flavour for Portuguese culture, and see as much as possible in two weeks.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the day-by-day breakdown of your future Portugal trip!
- 1 Do you need travel insurance for two weeks in Portugal?
- 2 How to get around Portugal in two weeks
- 3 14-Day Portugal Travel Itinerary – Day-by-Day breakdown
- 3.1 Day 1 in Portugal: Arrive in Porto
- 3.2 Day 2 in Portugal: Explore Porto
- 3.3 Day 3 in Portugal: Day Trip to the Douro Valley
- 3.4 Day 4 in Portugal: Road trip to Coimbra
- 3.5 Day 5 in Portugal: Drive to Nazare
- 3.6 Day 6 in Portugal: Explore Obidos & surf in Ericeira
- 3.7 Day 7 in Portugal: Explore the castles of Sintra – expand this!
- 3.8 Day 8 in Portugal: Explore Lisbon
- 3.9 Day 9 in Portugal: Belem & Cascais
- 3.10 Day 10 in Portugal: Evora & Mertola
- 3.11 Day 11 in Portugal: Drive to Algarve
- 3.12 Day 12 in Portugal: Benagil Cave & Praia do Marinha
- 3.13 Day 13 in Portugal: Explore the beaches in Lagos & Ponta do Peidade
- 3.14 Day 14 in Portugal: Surf in Sagres
- 4 Portugal 14-day itinerary – beyond mainland Portugal
Do you need travel insurance for two weeks in Portugal?
After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.
You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your travel insurance with Heymondo.
Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).
Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.
Plus, as a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance!
How to get around Portugal in two weeks
The easiest way to travel around Portugal and see every stop on this itinerary is to rent a car and drive. Renting a car will give you the most flexibility both in terms of destinations and timings.
Portugal has a good public transport system, with trains connecting all the major cities and cheap buses that can get you almost everywhere.
However, if you want to visit some of the off the beaten track towns of this itinerary, a car is the easiest way to get there.
You won’t necessarily need it all the time, for example in the bigger cities like Porto and Lisbon it’s easier to get around on foot, or there are places you can visit on organised day trips and avoid driving in traffic.
But overall, a car will give you the most freedom.
14-Day Portugal Travel Itinerary – Day-by-Day breakdown
Deciding which region to visit, what to do, and where to stay can be a challenge when you’re on the road. But if you follow this guide, you simply can’t go wrong.
This Portugal 2-week itinerary isn’t the exact one I followed, but it’s still based on my trip.
If I were to do the trip again, this is the itinerary I would follow. After wasting lots of hours driving back and forth, I can confidently recommend this itinerary as the most time efficient.
Here’s exactly what you should be getting up to during your 2 weeks in Portugal.
Day 1 in Portugal: Arrive in Porto
On your first day in the magnificent country, you should have one goal. And that’s to get to the magnificent coastal city of Porto.
Depending on where you’re arriving from, and your time of arrival, you may even have some time left over to explore the quaint cobbled streets and pop into a cafe or two.
The city is known for the famed wine that the region produces. So it’s just about essential that you sip on a glass of Porto while enjoying a decadent dessert on your first night in Portugal.
Where to stay in Porto
In Porto I stayed at Hotel do Norte. The hotel itself isn’t particularly grand, but it’s very affordable, the position is extremely convenient, and it even has great views over the azulejos of the Chapel of Souls just across the street.
It’s located right in the centre of Porto, and will be a great starting point for your Porto walking tour on day two of this itinerary.
If you want something a bit fancier, I have listed below other accommodation options for higher budgets.
Mid-range – Vera Cruz Porto Downtown Hotel – This modern hotel is perfect for those who want something night, without breaking the bank. Centrally located, it has an epic terrace with Porto views.
Luxury – Oporto Home – River Front: If you want to treat yourself, this wonderful apartment is the place to do so. The huge windows provide plenty of light, as well as epic views over the river and Porto.
Day 2 in Portugal: Explore Porto
The second day of your Portugal trip itinerary is dedicated to getting to know the exquisite town of Porto a little better. Just follow my Porto itinerary and you will hit up all the highlights that Porto has to offer.
The Chapel of Souls
If you’re staying at Hotel do Norte, the Chapel of Souls is the perfect place to start your itinerary.
The Chapel of Souls has become increasingly popular over the years as influencers and social media gurus have made it a must-see on every traveller’s list.
The entire exterior of the building is covered in blue and white azulejos tiles which make it an incredibly captivating site.
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
Just a short walking distance from the Chapel of Souls, you’ll come to Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, which is a popular shopping and dining street in the area.
Here there are more buildings covered in the signature white and blue tiles. But this area is best enjoyed at one of the street cafes, so you’ll certainly want to stop for a bite to eat.
Igreja dos Clérigos
This Baroque church is perched on a hilltop, making it rather easy to find. The church has a beautiful bell tower, an iconic sight that can be seen from just about anywhere in the city.
If you’re up for climbing the Torre dos Clerigos, then you’re in for a real treat as the views from the top are simply unbeatable. Make sure to book your Torre dos Clerigos entrance online beforehand, so you can avoid the queues!
While books aren’t on everyone’s list of things to see, this library is something that just about everyone can appreciate. It recently became famous for being JK Rowling’s inspiration for Harry Potter.
But aside from that, it’s actually the oldest bookstore in Portugal – often being described as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
You have to book online to visit the inside of the bookstore. The ticket is 5 EUR but it’s discountable from a book purchase.
Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
To escape the hustle and bustle of the town for a while, head to Jardins do Palácio de Cristal.
These landscaped gardens were designed in the 1800s and contain winding paths and tranquil fountains. You can also take in views over the Douro River before continuing with your Portugal trip.
From the Jardins do Palacio de Cristal head to Porto Cathedral. You’ll cross some of the main streets of the city, exploring the cute architecture of Porto.
The cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church, as well as being one of the oldest monuments of the city and an important local Romanesque monument. You can visit the interior for 3 EUR, or just stick to the imposing exterior and stunning views.
From the cathedral head down to Ribeira neighbourhood, Porto’s famous riverside quarter. Here you will truly get a feeling for Porto’s quaint and cobbled streets, as well as its colourful houses.
Douro River Cruise
If you’d like to enjoy Porto from a different perspective, then take some time out of your day to enjoy a relaxing Douro River cruise. You can spend time in a typical Rabelo boat while taking in views of the town’s shoreline.
Sunset at Kittie Rock Viewpoint
Once you return from your Douro River Cruise, you can cross the famous Ponte Luis bridge and get ready to enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
Most people stop at a viewing point just across the river, but if you want to avoid the crowds and see a truly stunning spot, head over to Kittie Rock viewpoint.
From here you can enjoy romantic views of the city, the Ponte Luis bridge, and the Douro River, without the huge crowds. It’s the perfect place to end your first full day in Portugal.
After enjoying the sunset you can head back to Ribeira, to taste some delicious Portuguese cuisine at one of the many riverfront restaurants.
Day 3 in Portugal: Day Trip to the Douro Valley
Day 3 of your trip to Portugal should be an adventure to the Douro Valley. It’s a renowned wine region that is scattered with vineyards and wineries. But, the lush area has more to offer than a mere day drinking excursion.
To get there you can either drive, take the train or join a tour. It’s easier to join a tour or take the train from Porto to Pinhao, which is the main town in the Douro Valley (especially if you plan on indulging in a few glasses of vino).
This also allows you to take in scenic views of the area en route during the 2 hour and 20-minute train ride.
Hiking in the Douro Valley
If you plan to take full advantage of the scenic beauty of the area, doing a hike in the Douro Valley is a wonderful way to do it.
While many of the hiking trails have unreliable markings, many of the wine farms offer visitors a map that outlines the farm’s layout so you can enjoy the walking trails without the stress.
If you’re not confident in your ability to navigate the area, it may be best to hire a guide or take a tour of the area to ensure you don’t get lost.
Wine Farms in the Douro Valley
Visiting a wine farm is going to be exactly what the doctor called for after a hike or walk exploring the area. You can enjoy views of the lush Douro Valley while sipping on some of the region’s finest wines.
Whether you opt for an exquisite tasting or you indulge in a boozy lunch alongside a sought after bottle of wine, you’ll be having a wonderful afternoon.
Some of the most famous and best wine farms to visit in the Douro Valley are; Quinta da Pacheca, Quinta da Roêda, Quinta das Carvalhas, Quinta de La Rosa and Quinta do Crasto.
To make things easier for you, you can also join a Douro Valley wine tour with cruise and pick up in Porto. That way you don’t have to worry about getting there, and they’ll take you directly to all the best wineries!
Day 4 in Portugal: Road trip to Coimbra
And after thoroughly exploring Porto and its surroundings, it’s time to hit the road! Day 4 of your Portugal 2 week itinerary will be spent driving to Coimbra from Porto.
Coimbra is located in central Portugal and used to be the capital city. It’s known for its historical and medieval architecture and its river-facing views.
The drive takes around an hour and 15 minutes, but there are plenty of spectacular stops that you can take along the way.
This is a small city in Portugal that sits along the shore of the Ria de Aveiro lagoon. It has some beautiful art nouveau buildings and the stunning Cathedral of Aveiro.
The lagoon is littered with colourful boats, and the canals make for a quaint atmosphere.
Even if your stop in the town is brief, it’s worth popping by for a stroll along the lagoon to stretch your legs and take in the quaint feel of the city.
Bucaco National Park
Your next stop en route to Coimbra should be Bucaco National Park. It’s a walled arboretum that goes back to ancient times. It’s a stunning place to go for a nature walk and even has one of the best dendrological collections in Europe.
I can confidently say it’s one of the places on this Portugal itinerary that amazed me the most. I hadn’t heard much about Bucaco National Park before visiting it, and I was surprised at how gorgeous it is.
While not being entirely off the beaten path, it’s extremely underrated and well deserving of a visit. You can spend a few hours walking around the lush green forest, taking in the stunning views and admiring the ruins dotted around the park.
If you want someone explaining the history of this gorgeous park, you can also join a guided tour of Bucaco National Park.
Once you’ve had your green fill, it’s time to drive to your final destination for the day, the beautiful city of Coimbra.
Although you might want to relax, it’s a town worth exploring, if only briefly. So before settling down at one of the charming diners lining the river, be sure to pop into some of the best attractions in the city.
Start by strolling through the University of Coimbra, one of the main attractions of the city. The university is home also to Biblioteca Joanina, a gorgeous Baroque library, and the Chapel of São Miguel, a Manueline chapel founded in 1290.
In the medieval old town of Coimbra you will also find many churches, as well as the Old and New Cathedrals. You can easily spend a few hours wandering around Coimbra, taking in the picturesque city sights and history of the town.
Make sure to head also to the Machado de Castro National Museum and the Monastery of Santa Cruz. If you want to make sure you’ve seen everything, you can join a guided city tour.
That way you will not only see all the attractions, but also have a guide tell you about the fascinating history of Coimbra.
After your explorations, be sure to have a restful night as you’ll be setting off for Nazare the very next day.
Where to stay in Coimbra
I listed below some accommodation options for every budget in Coimbra.
Budget: NN Guest House – This guest house is close to all the attractions and a very affordable place to stay.
Mid-range: JR Studios & Suites – Located on the opposite side of the river to Coimbra, this hotel has modern renovated suites and an epic view over the river and Coimbra. If you’re driving it’s also going to be easier to park and continue your road trip the following day.
Luxury: Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra – If you want to stay somewhere truly unique and treat yourself, this is the place to do so. Located in the heart of the old town, this hotel offers deluxe suites with exposed bricks for a rustic feel.
Day 5 in Portugal: Drive to Nazare
After waking up in Coimbra, you’ll be taking a one hour and ten-minute drive to Nazare. There are a couple of stops you should make along the way to break up the drive and keep your travel interesting.
Batalha Monastery is a Dominican convent in the town of Batalha. It’s a gorgeous building with stunningly intricate architecture that combines Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance styles.
I’m not usually a museum or church person, but I loved visiting Batalha. If you only visit one monastery during your time in Portugal, make sure it’s this one.
Entrance is 7.50 EUR and includes the church, cloisters and unfinished chapel. You can easily spend an hour just wandering around the monastery, taking in the beautiful architeture and learning about its history.
While Alcobaca monastery is not as beautiful as Batalha, it’s a nice stop if you’re looking to break up the drive with one more activity. It’s not a must-see, but certainly makes for a splendid visit if you enjoy monasteries.
Personally we only visited the free section of the monastery, without going in to see the cloisters and museum. Even without seeing it all, you’ll get a feeling for this imposing building.
Once you get to Nazare, there are a few more places to visit before calling it a day.
Faro de Nazare
The Faro da Nazare is an absolute must-visit. It’s a viewing point with a lighthouse where you can see the whole coastline and watch some of the biggest waves in the world rolling in (during the winter months).
They turned the lighthouse in a surf museum, showcasing the boards and personal stories of the big wave surfers who have surfed in Nazare. There is also a section explaining why the waves that form here are so huge.
It’s a really interesting place to visit, even if you’re not a surf fan.
Old Town Nazare
From the Faro de Nazare you can walk on to Nazare old town, or O Sitio, located high on the cliffside. Amble between the houses or walk along the cliffside walkway to enjoy views of the beach and a portion of Nazare down below.
Miradouro do Suberco
Located high on the cliffs of O Sitio, Miradouro do Suberco is a viewing point that gives you stunning views of the town and the beach below. This is a particularly beautiful viewing point for sunset watching.
The funicular connects the fisherman’s district to O Sitio, which is located high on the hillside.
Although you can drive to O Sitio, taking the funicular is a far more scenic way to make the journey as you look out over the rooftops and shoreline of quaint Nazare.
Bairro dos Pescadores
Bairro dos Pescadores is the fisherman’s district in Nazare and feels as if nothing has changed about it in hundreds of years.
It’s where many of the locals stay in little white houses with narrow streets. It’s a fun place to explore as it gives you insight into how the locals really live.
From there you can also walk along the beach of Nazare, enjoying the sunset and tasting delicious Portuguese cuisine at one of the many seafront restaurants. We had an amazing octopus dinner at Pangeia By the Sea.
Where to stay in Nazare
In Nazare we stayed at Paz & Amor Guest House. This guest house is very cosy and affordable, plus it offers a huge rooftop terrace with views over Nazare and the sea.
It’s not located right in the heart of Nazare, but it’s in a convenient position close to the main street, so that you can easily find parking and then continue your road trip the following day.
If you want something a bit fancier, I have listed some options for other budgets below.
Mid-range: Hotel Mar Bravo – Located right on the beachfront and by the main avenue of Nazare, this hotel is perfect if you want something nice and conveniently located, without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Miramar Hotel Spa & Apartments – If you want to treat yourself, this gorgeous property is the place to do so. With their spacious rooms and stunning pool with sea views, it’s the perfect place to relax after a long road trip day.
Day 6 in Portugal: Explore Obidos & surf in Ericeira
After a restful overnight stay in Nazare, you’ll be on the road again in the morning. On the way to Ericeira, there are a few pit stops you can make along the way.
After just a 35-minute drive you will reach the town of Obidos. Obidos is an adorable medieval town that has quaint and well preserved pedestrian streets lined with white houses.
Walking down the streets of Obidos will feel like stepping back in time. One of the must-do activities in Obidos is to visit the old town walls and see the views of the town from above.
From here you can see the contrast of the white houses with the red roofs, and the Portuguese countryside surrounding you.
Make sure to visit also Igreja de Santa Maria. Unlike most of the churches you will have seen in Porto, this one seems nondescript from the outside, but actually hides a marvelous interior decorated entirely with azulejos.
You can also do a guided tour of Obidos, to make sure you see all the highlights!
If you want to do one more stop on the way to Ericeira, Peniche has the most beautiful beaches with clear turquoise waters. It’s a great spot to stop for a dip in a tidal pool or stroll along the shore during the warmer months.
You’ll find also many surf schools here, although it’s not as famous a surf spot as Ericeira.
Surf in Ericeira – Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas
After you spend the morning exploring the medieveal town of Obidos and relaxing in Peniche, make sure to arrive in Ericeira by early afternoon at the latest.
That way you’ll be able to spend a full afternoon enjoying the beaches, and maybe getting some surfing in!
Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas is known for being one of the ultimate surf spots close to town. A post-drive surf to cool off will be an absolute treat.
There are surf schools located on the beach so you can arrange a surf class or rental on the moment, or you can book one online beforehand if you want to be sure it will fit in your schedule.
Explore the Old Town of Ericeira
After spending an afternoon surfing head back to your accommodation, shower, relax and get ready to explore the actual town of Ericeira. WIth its quaint streets and sidewalk cafes, the Old Town of Ericeira is definitely worth exploring.
We had an amazing seafood dinner at Mar d’Areia, then spent some time wandering around the cute streets of the old town.
Where to stay in Ericeira
In Ericeira we stayed at Casa Branca. This accommodation offers both dorms and private rooms, both ensuite or with shared bathroom. The rooms aren’t particularly fancy, but the place itself is incredible.
The hotel is in a historical building, and has a huge outdoors area. It’s located just outside the old town, so you can relax away from the crowds at the end of the day, but without being too far from all the action
If you’re looking for something different, I have listed below other options for other budgets.
Mid-range: Reserva FLH Hotels – The rooms in this hotel are spacious, modernly decorated and have terraces with epic views over Ericeira and the sea. It’s perfect if you want something nice without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Vila Gale Ericeira – This seafront hotel is perfect if you want to treat yourself after a long day of road tripping and surfing. Pair the great sea views with spacious rooms and you have a winner!
Day 7 in Portugal: Explore the castles of Sintra – expand this!
On day 7, you’ll wake up bright and early for your 30-minute drive to Sintra. Located at the foot of the Sintra Mountains, the forested landscape makes for a completely unique experience during your road trip.
The town itself of Sintra is also unlike anything I have ever seen. Sintra has been a longtime royal sanctuary, and is home to a high number of villas, castles and palaces.
It’s one of the most popular destinations in Portugal, so make sure to buy tickets to the castles you want to see online beforehand.
I was visiting Portugal in August and I was honestly shocked at the queues for the in person ticket office or machines. Your Portugal itinerary only has time for one day in Sintra, and you don’t want to spend it queueing!
Here are the castles and places you must absolutely visit during your Sintra day trip.
Palacio Nacional da Pena
Pena Palace was home to the Portuguese royal family in the 19th century. With its colourful walls and a view of the surrounding landscape that stretches on for miles, it’s not hard to see why it’s amongst the most popular sights in Sintra.
If you want to visit the interior of the palace there is an additional queue, which can get very long in high season. Personally we only visited the courtyard and castle walls, and found it to be enough to enjoy this unique palace.
Castle of the Moors
This 8th and 9th century Moorish Castle is very underrated. It receives a quarter of the visitors of Pena Palace, and actually offers much more interesting views.
With its unique architecture and historical significance, you can’t miss it. It was once used as a strategic point in medieval wars, but now you can visit the well preserved ruins and enjoy the view over the stunning surrounding landscape.
Quinta da Regaleira
This is an incredible Romantic palace and chapel with a beautiful park. The lush garden contains grottos, fountains and lakes, all worth exploring.
Quinta da Regaleira is also home to the famous Initiation Well. You have probably seen photos of the iconic spiral staircase, winding down to the tunnel system of Quinta da Regaleira.
At the end of a long day of exploring Sintra, hope in the car and drive 30 minutes on to Lisbon, where you will spend the night.
Sintra Old Town
Sintra Old Town is a cute-as-a-button town that is easily explored on foot. Be sure to take a quick break to try some delicious pastel de nata while you’re there.
If you want to make sure you hit all the main highlights of Sintra, while also not having to worry about moving from one palace to the next or queuing at the entrance, you can also join a Sintra guided tour.
Where to stay in Lisbon
In Lisbon I stayed at This Is Lisbon Hostel. They offer dorms and private rooms, both with ensuite or shared bathrooms. They also have a huge terrace where you can sit in the morning to enjoy your breakfast and sweeping views over Lisbon.
It’s also in a great position, located close to Alfama, central Lisbon and many of the beautiful Lisbon viewpoints.
If you don’t fancy a hostel, I have included other accommodation options below.
Mid-range: Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is perfect for those who want something nice, centrally located and cosy, without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Lisboa Pessoa Hotel – If you want to treat yourself, this is the perfect place to do so. With their spacious rooms and gorgeous rooftop terrace, it’s the perfect place to relax after a Sintra day tour.
Day 8 in Portugal: Explore Lisbon
After waking up in Lisbon, you’ll have plenty to do for the day, so it’s best to get an early start. This Lisbon itinerary is what you should be getting up to on day 8 of your itinerary for Portugal.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
This is a quaint viewing point that allows you to look out over the city and enjoy views all the way to the ocean. It’s a relaxing spot where you can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the sleepy city slowly awaken.
Just a 20-minute walk from the viewing point, Rossio Square has been one of the main squares in Lisbon since the middle ages.
Shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars surround the square, so it’s a good place to stop for breakfast or a quick cup of coffee.
Located right next door to Rossio Square, Rua Augusta is one of the best shopping streets in the city. It’s lined with eateries and shops, making it a great place to do a bit of shopping, or window shopping at the very least.
Santa Justa Lift
Just a 4-minute walk from Rua Augusta, the Santa Justa Lift connects central Lisbon’s lower streets to the much higher Largo do Carmo.
Although there are many lifts throughout the hilly city, this is a particularly magnificent one because of its French Eiffel style architecture.
Praca do Comercio
Just a few minutes walk from the lift, Praca do Comercio is a big square that overlooks the river and harbour.
Spend some time wandering around the square, taking in the beautiful architecture and pop into one of the restaurants for a bite to eat while you’re there.
Rua Nova do Carvalho or Pink Street is only a 10-minute stroll from Praca do Comercio.
The aptly named street’s floor has been painted bright pink, and it revolutionised the area. It has become one of the trendiest places in Lisbon (especially in the evenings).
Time Out Market
The Time Out Market is a great place to rest your legs after a long day of exploring.
They serve everything from burgers to sushi, and traditional pastel de nata if you’re up for a treat. The food is prepared fairly quickly, which is exactly what you need when you’re on a tight schedule.
Elevador Da Bica
This funicular railway, built in 1892, has become an iconic sight in the city.
Although getting into the fantastic yellow tram is a great experience, you can simply walk alongside it if you don’t want to pay. And this is where you get the best photos anyway.
This Roman Catholic cathedral is just a 20-minute walk from the funicular and is the oldest church in the city.
It contains many architectural styles as pieces of it have been renovated and restored over the years. If you’re a fan of churches, you can meander the inside and learn about the history of this cathedral.
Alfama is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and filled to the brim with traditional shops and quaint cafes. Take the tram 28 that winds its way through the area, offering you the perfect sightseeing experience.
If you want to be sure you see all the main sights in Lisbon, you can also join a Lisbon guided tour. That way you will also have a guide tell you about the history of the Portuguese capital.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
This is the last stop of the day and one that holds magnificent views. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun setting over Lisbon and bathing everything in golden light – one of the best ways to see Portugal is while the sun is setting.
This viewing point can get rather busy, so be sure to get there early to claim your spot.
Day 9 in Portugal: Belem & Cascais
When you’re planning a trip to Portugal, you need to visit all the best locations.
Admittedly, moving on from Lisbon central can be hard as it’s really a city that captures your heart. But don’t worry, there are plenty of places with just as much charm in this Portugal tour itinerary.
I recommend that you explore Belem before you head to Cascais. It’s a wonderful neighbourhood, known for its colourful houses, seafood restaurants and scattering of famous landmarks.
The Tower of Saint Vincent, or the Belem Tower as it has come to be known, is a fortification that was built in the 1500s and served as a ceremonial gateway to the city.
The tower is built in typical Portuguese Manueline style and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So it’s definitely a not to be missed activity on your 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary.
This was once the monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome, built in typical Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline architectural style. It boasts such intricate detailing that you could wander the monastery for hours.
Make sure to purchase your ticket online beforehand, so that you can skip the queue and head straight to exploring the beautiful monastery. The cloisters are without a doubt the highlight of the monastery.
Eat a pastel de nata at Pasteis de Belem
Pasteis de Belem is a pastelarias in Belem that serves arguably the best pastel de nata in Portugal. While you’re sure to eat plenty of pastel de nata while you’re in Lisbon, these are a must-try.
This tasty treat is one of the best in Lisbon, a city that leaves a great taste in your mouth!
After exploring Belem and refuelling on pastel de nata, it’s time to head to Cascais, just a 20-minute drive away.
Old Town Cascais
Cascais is a fishing village turned quaint and fairly wealthy town. The old town is covered in narrow cobbled pathways and colourful houses, perfect for exploring on foot.
There are also lots of cute shops, bars and restaurants. There are also a few famous sights like the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace, a former royal retreat.
You can easily spend an hour while simply wandering around the quaint streets of this town.
When you’ve had enough of the old town, head down to the harbour to enjoy views of the open ocean.
Relax at a beach in Cascais
Cascais is littered with some of the best beaches on the Portuguese coastline. You can go for a pleasant walk along the coast, admiring all the best beaches and choosing one to spend the afternoon.
It’s worth seeing them all, but because you’re on a time crunch, you may want to choose just one or two to actually sit, tan and go for a dip in the sea.
Some of the most famous beaches in Cascais are; Praia da Rainha, Praia da Duquesa, Praia da Conceição, Tamariz Beach and Praia de São Pedro do Estoril.
Once you’ve had your fill of sun and beach, it’s time to hop back in the car and take the one hour and 40-minute drive to Evora, where you’ll be spending the night.
Where to stay in Evora
In Evora we stayed at Burgos Guest House. The guest house isn’t particularly fancy, but it has clean and spacious rooms and is located in the heart of Evora.
For an affordable price you can stay close to all the attractions, as well as to convenient parking spaces.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, here are other accommodation options for other budgets.
Budget: Heaven Inn Suites & Terrace – This hostel offers a great option for budget travellers. It’s conveniently located in the centre of Evora, has spacious dorms and a terrace with views of Evora.
Luxury: M’AR De AR Muralhas – Located just outside the old town walls of Evora, this beautiful hotel with pool is the perfect place to treat yourself and rest after the long drive from Lisbon.
Day 10 in Portugal: Evora & Mertola
After waking up in Evora, you’ll want to explore the town before moving on for the day. These are the must-see sights in Evora to add to your Portugal vacation itinerary.
Evora Cathedral sits on the highest point of the city and is one of the most important monuments in the area. The Roman Catholic church is absolutely beautiful inside and out, but the cloister and the rooftop are particularly awe-inspiring.
From the rooftop you can get an incredible view over the rooftops of Evora, as well as the surrounding countryside. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you will enjoy wandering around the cloisters, as they will give you very strong Hogwarts vibes.
Entrance to the cathedral is 1.50 EUR, or 3.50 EUR with the rooftop and cloisters.
Chapel of Bones
But the most famous attraction in Evora is whtout a doubt the Capela dos Ossos, also known as the Chapel of Bones. It’s one of Evora’s most famed monuments, and it’s easy to see why.
The interior walls, columns and ceiling of the small chapel are decorated with human bones. It took an estimated 5000 corpses that were exhumed from the medieval cemetery to adorn the chapel.
While it’s without a doubt an eerie, and slightly macabre sight, it’s an interesting place to visit, where you can learn more about its history.
The Roman Temple
Another unique sight is the Templo de Diana, or the Roman Temple of Evora. It’s part of the historical centre of the city, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to make sure you hit all the sights, while also having a local guide tell you about the local history, you can join a guided tour of Evora.
Old Town Centre
Before heading to the next stop in your Portugal itinerary, be sure to amble through the old town centre of Evora.
The narrow streets are lined with white houses with colourful yellow window frames – making for an absolutely picturesque scene.
After exploring the old town, hop in the car and get ready for the one hour and 40-minute drive to Mertola. But there is at least one stop you should be making along the way.
There are many pretty towns on the drive from Evora to Mertola, but if decide to visit only one of them, then make sure it’s Monsaraz.
Monsaraz is located en route to Mertola and is a beautiful medieval town perched on a hilltop. Just like many other towns in the region, it’s complete with cobbled streets lined with white houses and a medieval castle.
From the castle walls and various spots of the town you will get epic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s an incredibly picturesque sight and a must on any Portugal itinerary.
If you’re looking for other stops to make along the way, consider stopping at the towns of Moura and Serpa.
When you get to this scenic medieval town, be sure to do a little exploring. The town is perched on a hill, with the Castle of Mertola sitting on the highest point.
You can spend some time wandering through the cobbled streets and white houses of Mertola, but make sure to dedicate some time to the castle.
From the castle you’ll be able to appreciate views of not only the town, but also the river and surrounding countryside. There are also panels that tell you about the history of the town.
Paired with Monsaraz, it’s one of the most picturesque and unique medieval towns you will see in Portugal.
Where to stay in Mertola
In Mertola we stayed at Casa Amarela and I can highly recommend it. Located on the opposite side of the river from Mertola, all the rooms have epic views over the river, town and castle of Mertola.
It will also be much easier to park, as there isn’t much parking space inside the old town of Mertola. From there you can easily walk across the bridge and into Mertola town in 15-20 minutes.
If you’re looking for accommodation of a different budget, here are other options.
Budget: Mertola Castelo Palace by Eden Lands – This lovely guest house is located in the heart of the old town. Set in a renovated historic building, it’s a great place to stay for travellers who want an authentic experience on a budget.
Luxury: Quinta do Vau – Located on the same side of the river as Casa Amarela, this beautiful property has an infinity pool with views over Mertola, the river and countryside. Do I need to say anything else?
Day 11 in Portugal: Drive to Algarve
Portugal itineraries would be incomplete without the inclusion of Algarve, Portugal’s most famous beach destination. And that’s exactly where you’ll be heading on day 11.
The drive from Mertola to Albufeira, where you will be spending the night, is just a 1.5 hours, but there are a couple of places worth visiting along the way.
This small town and its attractions are definitely worth exploring. It has a long sandy beach, perfect for stretching the legs. There are also salt pans that attract birds like flamingos and spoonbills, which makes for an interesting sight.
The town itself is also worth a visit. Similarly to some of the other Portuguese towns you’ve visited in this itinerary you will find pretty white houses, cobbled streets and a well preserved local castle and church.
Faro is the capital of the Algarve coast, with many landmarks and monuments filled with a rich history. Moorish walls, 13th-century cathedrals, and 16th-century convents are all ready to be explored when you stop at Faro.
I didn’t personally love Faro, but being the capital of the Algarve, it feels like one of those places you should at least briefly stop at. The old town is the prettiest part of the city, with those characteristic white houses and cobbled streets.
This coastal town was once a small fishing village but has now turned into a holiday hub where travellers can enjoy tranquil beaches and buzzing nightlife.
Albufeira is different from other beach towns in the Algarve in that it has an old town perched on top of a hill, overlooking the main beach and new town. Along the beach you will find a strip of bars, restaurants and shops.
You can spend your afternoon exploring the old town, then wandering through the attractions of the new town and then relaxing on the beach. If you want to explore the Portuguese nightlife, this is the place to do it!
Where to stay in Albufeira
I have listed below some accommodation options in Albufeira for every budget.
Budget – Alfagar Cerro Malpique: This residence has lovely studios that are perfect for budget travellers. It’s located a bit outside the centre of Albufeira, but it has a huge pool and epic views over the sea and town.
Mid-range – Casa dos Arcos: This charming guest house is the perfect place to stay for those who want to treat themselves without breaking the bank. You can relax in their lovely courtyard after a long day of exploring the Algarve.
Luxury – Hotel Baltum: If you want to treat yourself, this is the place to do so. This hotel has modern rooms and a huge rooftop terrace with epic views over the white houses of Albufeira and the sea.
Day 12 in Portugal: Benagil Cave & Praia do Marinha
Day 12 of your itinerary for Portugal will see you immerse yourself in the incredible natural features that this area has to offer. It was one of my favourite ideas of the whole itinerary.
Kayak to Benagil Cave
The cave has two entrances facing the ocean and one hole in the ceiling, allowing the perfect amount of light to enter the cave.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in Portugal, so I highly recommend joining a sunrise tour to visit it. We did a kayak sunrise tour to Benagil Cave and loved the experience.
The tour started at 7AM and lasted 2 hours, including around 30 minutes inside Benagil Cave to enjoy the stunning natural rock formations. Besides Benagil Cave we kayaked along the coast and explored a couple more sea caves.
I was afraid it would be one of those Instagram vs reality moments, but I was happy to find it genuinely stunning even in real life.
If you visit later in the day however, when the cave is overrun by boats, kayaks and people, it probably won’t give you the same impression.
Relax at Praia do Marinha
Praia do Marinha is one of the most iconic beaches of the Algarve coastline. After your Benagil Cave tour you can hike to Praia do Marinha, walking part of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail along the coast.
The hike takes around 45 minutes. There are stalls in the parking area above the beach and a bar on the beach itself where you can buy food and drinks.
The beach is famous for its turquoise water, fine sand and the dramatic golden cliffs that surround it. Don’t get a spot too close to the water, since when the tide starts going up you’ll find yourself having to shuffle back up the beach!
Once you’ve relaxed and recovered from the early start it’s time to hop back in the car and head to Lagos, where you will be spending the night. The drive is only 45 minutes, but you can do a few stops along the way to break up the journey.
Some towns worthy of a visit are Carvoeiro and Ferragudo. Lagos itself is also a very cute town, which you can enjoy wandering around in the late afternoon and evenings.
Where to stay in Lagos
In Lagos I stayed at Topcity Hostel & Suites. The hostel is located in the heart of Lagos, with a rooftop pool, spacious terraces for every dorm and a fun atmosphere. It’s a great option for budget travellers, although more on the party side.
If you don’t fancy staying in a hostel, here are some other options.
Mid-range – Hotel Marina Rio: Located in the heart of Lagos, this hotel is perfectly located for your evening wanderings around town. It also has a panoramic terrace and spacious rooms, without breaking the bank.
Luxury – Cascade Wellness Resort: This 5-star resort is perfect if you want to treat yourself. With their epic pool, garden and sea view, you can fully relax after your busy exploring days. It’s also really close to Ponta da Piedade.
Day 13 in Portugal: Explore the beaches in Lagos & Ponta do Peidade
Your Algarve itinerary continues on day 13 with a few more beaches and expeditions.
Praia do Camilo
Start your day at Praia do Camilo, one of the most famous beaches in Portugal. If you’ve seen photos online of a small beach with turquoise surrounded by tall golden cliffs, a wooden staircase leading down to it, this is the beach.
It gets very busy so make sure to get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Once the big tourist crowds start arriving, you can head off on a hiking adventure to Ponta da Piedade.
Ponta do Piedade
At Ponta do Piedade, you can walk along the cliffy coastline, stopping at each viewing point to have your breath taken away from you. It’s easy to see why this part of Portugal features on so many Europe bucket lists.
At Ponta da Piedade you will enjoy stunning views of the turquoise ocean and craggy cliff faces. You can also join a boat tour, which will allow you to see these stunning rock formations from a different angle.
Praia de Dona Ana
Once you’re done hiking and exporing Ponta da Piedade, you can head back towards Lagos and stop at Praia de Dona Ana. This beach is just as scenic as Praia do Camilo, but it’s much bigger.
That means you won’t have to fight with as many tourists, and even if you arrive later in the day you’ll likely still find a spot to lay your towel and relax.
Day 14 in Portugal: Surf in Sagres
For your final day in Portugal, you should drive for 40 minutes to Sagres, and get ready to enjoy unique shops, bars, restaurants and surf spots.
Explore Sagres Town
Although Sagre isn’t as quaint as many of the other towns on your itinerary, it’s worth a visit for its spectacular viewing point, Cabo de São Vicente. The viewing point is best visited at sunset.
It’s also worth strolling through the old quarter of town, where you can find many of the best bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Surf at Praia do Amado
There are many famous surfing beaches in this part of the Algarve. Some of the most famous are Praia do Telheiro, Castelejo Beach and Praia do Amado. Praia do Amado was my personal favourite.
Even if the surfing isn’t good, the beach is beautiful, with cliffs to one side and dunes to the other. You can book your surf class online beforehand, or just wait to get there and see what the waves are like.
Sagres is a great place to end your Portugal itinerary. After spending 14 days on the road, hopping from one place to the next, it’s a great place to sit back, chill and enjoy the vibe.
If you have more than 14 days, you can also stay here longer and enjoy the surf beaches. You can then fly out from Faro airport, which is around 1.5 hours drive away.
Portugal 14-day itinerary – beyond mainland Portugal
If you have more than 2 weeks in Portugal, you should definitely consider heading to the Portuguese islands. Sao Miguel and Madeira are the most famous, but don’t limit yourself just to those.
Final thoughts on my Portugal Itinerary | 14 Days of Exploration
There you have it, the ultimate Portugal 2-week itinerary! Have you been to Portugal before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’re lucky enough to spend a whole two weeks in Portugal, then you need a game plan for your trip. Deciding which region to visit, what to do, and where to stay can be a challenge when you’re on the road.
But if you follow this two weeks in Portugal itinerary, you simply can’t go wrong. This Portugal itinerary takes you to explore everything that mainland Portugal has to offer.
From the main cities to the small medieval towns, from dramatic beaches to green valleys, it’s a perfectly balanced itinerary that touches a bit of everything.
I hope you find this itinerary useful in planning your time in Portugal. I had an incredible two weeks in Portugal, and I hope you do to. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!