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Portugal Holiday & Vacation - 1 week itinerary and tours

Portugal is a varied and fascinating country that is a great destination for a one-week holiday or vacation. For such a relatively small country there is an abundance of fascinating cities, stunning beaches, and traditional towns. With so many choices it can be overwhelming to select the ideal location or tour route for a 1-week holiday in Portugal. This guide will provide an introduction to Portugal suggests five very different week long itineraries for Portugal. These suggested itineraries are perfectly designed for the independent and intrepid visitor, who wants to fully discover Portugal.

Our one week suggested vacation itineraries for Portugal

Lisbon and central Portugal – Flying into Lisbon Airport

Porto and northern Portugal – Flying into Porto Airport

Tavira and the undiscovered Algarve – Flying into Faro Airport

Lagos and the central Algarve – Flying into Faro Airport

One-week tour of the Algarve – Flying into Faro Airport

Keep it simple

Many guides and websites provide tours that cover the whole of Portugal in just seven days, and in reality this can entail a vast amount of travel, which can be simply exhausting. It much more advisable to stay within one region and fully discover the sights in that area; it is also recommended to stay in a larger city and simply take day trips from there. It is also wise to fly in/out of the same airport to keep costs down, while being based in the same hotel eliminates the hassle of packing and moving luggage. Public transport in Portugal is extensive and inexpensive, so there is rarely the need for a rental car.

Lagos beaches

The Dona Ana beach near Lagos

Portugal is renowned for its beautiful beaches along the southern Algarve Coastline but there are also equally stunning beaches and along the Atlantic Coast, close to Lisbon and Porto. The following section provides five suggested itineraries for a week holiday based in larger towns and following one tour route.

 

Lisbon and central Portugal - 1 week itinerary

Lisbon is the vibrant and charismatic capital city of Portugal. A one-week holiday to this region can combine exploring the city’s iconic sites, experiencing the lively nightlife, relaxing on a beach, and visiting the unique surrounding towns. For this tour it is suggested to spend three days in Lisbon, have three day trips to Sintra, Cascais and Obidos and spend one day relaxing the beach.

Rua Augusta lisbon

The Rua Augusta in central Lisbon

This suggested tour is suitable for couples of all ages but is ideally suited for younger travellers due to the fantastic nightlife of Lisbon, while more mature visitors will appreciate the historic towns of Sintra and Obidos. This tour is ideal year-round. For an in-depth guide to this one week itinerary please click here.

Pena Palace in Sintra

The beautiful Pena Palace in Sintra

Porto and northern Portugal - one week holiday

Porto is the undiscovered northern capital of Portugal, with few tourists even considering Porto as a holiday destination. Porto maybe virtually unknown but it can rival Lisbon for historic sights, varied activities and nightlife. This suggested one-week itinerary includes; two days to discover Porto, three day trips to Braga, Guimaraes, and Aveiro, and then one day spent relaxing on the beaches of Espinho.

The historic centr of Porto

The ancient Ribeira district of Porto

Porto is by far the cheapest of all of the regions of Portugal and is a great choice when the Algarve is fully booked during the summer months. The winter months in Porto can be wet (but mild), so this tour is recommended between March and October. For an in-depth guide to this one week itinerary, please click here.

The historic centr of Porto

The traditional port boats and the Dom Luís I bridge in Porto

Tavira and the undiscovered Algarve for a vacation

The Algarve can often conjure up an image of mass tourism filled with bland inclusive resorts and crowded beaches but surprisingly the beautiful resort of Tavira and eastern Algarve region remains fairly untouched by tourism. Tavira town is a relaxed Portuguese destination that is close to some of the most stunning and deserted beaches of the Algarve.

Tavira portugal

The centre of Tavira

The regional Algarve railway passes through Tavira and it is possible to explore the entire eastern Algarve from this resort, while the beautiful beaches are just a short ferry ride away. This suggested one-week itinerary includes; one day exploring Tavira, two glorious beach days and day trips to Faro, Vila Real and Santa Luiza. Tavira has a slow pace of life and is recommended for visitors seeking a relaxing break, those looking for nightlife are best to visit the central Algarve. For an in-depth guide to this one week itinerary . For the one week Tavira tour please click here.

Praia do Barril beach

The Praia do Barril beach and the anchor cemetery, near Tavira

Lagos and the central Algarve – 1 week itinerary

Lagos is a historic city that has responsibly developed into a popular tourist destination that is close to all of the major tourist attractions of the central Algarve (theme parks, water parks, zoos etc). A one-week holiday to Lagos can combine the beautiful scenery of the Algarve, Portugal’s history and heritage plus a day in a water park.

Lagos portugal

Lagos is on a stunning coastline

This suggested 1-week itinerary includes; two days exploring Lagos and the beautiful coastline, two relaxed beach days, a day trip to a theme park and two day trips to the historic towns of Silves and Sagres or Portimão.

Lagos portugal

The historic town of Silves is an enjoyable day trip

A holiday to Lagos is recommended for families as it provides a good variety of activities to suit everyone. As Lagos is located near the central Algarve region it is the most expensive option and should be booked well in advance to get the best deals. For an in-depth guide to this 1 week itinerary please click here.

beaches of Lagos Portugal

The beaches of Lagos Portugal - ideal for a seven day holiday

Central Algarve – one week itinerary

Whilst the Algarve is less than 200km, the varied coastline consisting of large resort towns, historic villages, picturesque cliffs and stunning beaches makes it an ideal trip.

Albufeira beach

Albufeira beach front still has a traditional appearance....

This suggested one-week itinerary will take tourists through the major sights of this region and includes the historic towns of Faro and Lagos, lively Albufeira and the exclusive Vilamoura. As this tour includes the major resorts of Lagos and Albufeira, it should be booked well in advance. For an in-depth guide to this one week itinerary, please click here.

Albufeira bars

.... but in Albufeira there are lots of places for a long night!

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