Welcome to Portugal, a country known for its beautiful coastlines, charming cities, rich history, and warm hospitality. September is an excellent time to visit, as the summer crowds have diminished, the weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy the vibrant cultural events happening throughout the country. In one week, you can explore Lisbon, indulge in the Algarve’s stunning beaches, and experience the charm of Porto. Here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your time in Portugal.
Day 1-3: Lisbon
Begin your journey in Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal. Spend a couple of days exploring its historic neighborhoods, beautiful architecture, and cultural landmarks. Visit the iconic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Wander through the narrow streets of Alfama, the oldest district in the city, and ride the historic Tram 28 for a scenic tour. Don’t miss out on the lively atmosphere of the Baixa and Chiado districts, where you can shop, dine, and experience the vibrant nightlife. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from São Jorge Castle or the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Indulge in delicious Portuguese cuisine, including pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and fresh seafood.
Day 4-6: Algarve
Head south to the Algarve region, known for its stunning beaches, picturesque towns, and rugged cliffs. Base yourself in Faro, the capital of the Algarve, and explore the surrounding area. Spend your days relaxing on the golden sands of Praia da Falésia or Praia da Marinha, both considered among the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Take a boat tour to explore the dramatic sea caves of Benagil or visit the charming town of Lagos, with its historic center and stunning coastline. For nature lovers, a visit to Ria Formosa Natural Park is a must, where you can observe unique bird species and explore the salt marshes and sandbars. Enjoy fresh seafood dishes and traditional Algarvian cuisine.
Day 7-8: Porto
Travel north to Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover its rich history, medieval architecture, and famous port wine. Explore the historic Ribeira district, with its colorful buildings and narrow streets. Visit the stunning São Bento Railway Station, adorned with beautiful azulejo tiles. Cross the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia, where the port wine cellars are located. Take a tour and enjoy a tasting session at one of the renowned cellars. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Explore the vibrant arts scene and enjoy the traditional gastronomy, including francesinha, a hearty sandwich dish.
Optional Day Trip: Douro Valley
If you have an extra day to spare, consider taking a day trip to the picturesque Douro Valley. Known for its terraced vineyards and scenic landscapes, this region is the heart of the port wine production. Take a relaxing boat cruise along the Douro River, enjoy wine tastings at vineyards, and soak in the stunning views. If time allows, visit the charming town of Pinhão and explore its beautiful tiled train station.
Remember, this itinerary is just a starting point, and Portugal has much more to offer. Consider extending your stay if you have the opportunity to explore other regions such as Sintra, Évora, or the Azores Islands. Embrace the charm, history, and warm hospitality of Portugal, and enjoy a memorable week of exploration and relaxation!