Lisbon to Porto, 7 Day Tour of Portugal
This is a suggested tour that combines two of Portugal’s most important cities with the captivating and picturesque central region of Portugal. The recommended tour length is 7 days, with the route beginning in Lisbon and ending in Porto. Both cities have major international airports, served by numerous flights, including low cost airlines. Portugal has excellent public transport and the Lisbon to Porto 7 day tour does not require a rental car.
Day 1-2 Discovering Fascinating Lisbon
Lisbon is a historic yet vibrant city, with a crumbling charm surrounding it. The first day in Lisbon is often spent exploring the Alfama and Baixa districts, which includes the cathedral, the castle and four of the capital’s grand plazas.
One of the grand plazas in the Baixa district
During the second day the pretty Belém district should be visited and tourist sights include, the Torre Belém, the Discovery Monument and the magnificent Monastery de Jerónimos. Evenings in Lisbon are busy affairs, with fine cuisine restaurants in Rossio square, lively bars in Bairro Alto or haunting Fado singing performances in Alfama.
The Belém district of Lisbon
Day 3 Day Trip to Sintra and Cascais
Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon and is a tourist destination that should not be missed. Sintra lies within a series of pine covered hills and hides three unique royal residences, the gothic national palace, the ruinous Moors castle and the flamboyant Pena Palace.
The top of the Moorish castle in Sintra
For those visitors still with energy could combine the visit to Sintra with the pretty fishing village of Cascais, which boasts a selection of grand residences. Lisbon is close to a selection of fine beaches and the best is Praia de Carcavelos only a short train ride from the capital. All of these day trips can be easily reached from Lisbon and there is no need to book different hotels for Sintra, Cascais or the beaches.
Day 4 Fatima, Tomar or Nazaré
The fourth day heads north from Lisbon to one of the following locations; Fatima, Tomar or Nazaré. Fatima is an important religious pilgrimage destination where the Virgin Mary appeared to three young shepherds in 1917.
La plage de Nazaré
Historic Tomar was founded by the knights Templar in 12th century and is one of Portugal’s most fascinating towns. Nazaré is a pretty beach resort that is famed for the largest surfed waved (30m!). All three locations can be easily reached via the excellent coach network.
Day 5 Coimbra
Coimbra is Portugal’s ancient university town and makes for an enjoyable destination on the route to Porto. The town is a blend of historic sightings (like the cathedral, the castle or university) and youthful vigour from the students who dress in their traditional black robes. Close to Coimbra is Conímbriga the largest Roman remains in Portugal.
Pretty Coimbra is set over a steep hill
For those wishing more of a beach tour should instead visit the resort of Figueira da Foz, the location of Portugal’s widest beach and amazing surfing waves. Coimbra is connected to Porto by the express Alfa Pendular train service, which is the recommended means of onward travel.
Day 6-7 – Porto
Porto is Portugal’s second city and is famed for the port drink which is manufactured in the cellars that line the Douro River. Porto is a city that has been rejuvenated, partly due to the increase of mass tourism and cheap flights. The first day should be spent exploring the historic centre while enjoying in the afternoon a leisurely ferry ride down the Douro River into the wine region with the stepped terrace vineyards.
For the second day take a day trip to either historic Braga or charming Guimarães. Guimarães is regarded as the birth place of Portugal while Braga contains the most famous site of north Portugal, the Bom Jesús church. For a guide to the day trips of Porto please click here.