Portugal Itinerary 10 Days: From Lisbon to Algarve
When I started planning my 10 days Portugal itinerary, I immediately realized that I couldn’t see “everything” in such a short time.
I therefore chose to concentrate the trip in the southern area: starting from Lisbon I decided to visit its surroundings, cross the Alentejo and discover the Algarve in a fantastic road trip.
Why did I make you this premise? Simply because if you are looking for an itinerary in the north of Portugal, this article is NOT for you.
If not, this tour will be just what you need to start planning your trip day by day, glancing at the map, following recommendations, and modifying stops to tailor this route to your preferences and travel needs. voyage.
What do you say, are you ready for this new adventure? If it is true that the journey begins by planning it, all I have to do is wish you a good journey!
- The landing and departure airport of this concentric itinerary is Lisbon.
- This road trip is approximately 800 km: the best way to move freely is to pick up the car upon your arrival at the airport;
- If you want to follow this itinerary in Portugal, make sure you have at least 10 effective days available.If you have less, consider landing in Lisbon and leaving Faro by changing the order of the stages.If you have more, even 14 or 15, you can still take advantage of this itinerary, increasing the time you spend in places that particularly inspire you and spending a few days sprawled out on the beach.Also consider moving further north, perhaps reaching Peniche and the Berlengas Archipelago ;
- The best period for a trip to Portugal are the months from April to October: spring and the end of summer, however, are the best seasons in which to enjoy a climate that is not too hot;
- Bring some light windproof sweatshirts or jackets with you even in summer, the wind can make the climate quite cool.A hat or a bandana for the hottest days: the sun in the Algarve is really tough (and places in the shade are as scarce as water in the desert).If you follow this itinerary, trekking shoes will be essential.
Portugal itinerary of 10 days
Small villages with pure white houses but with colored edges, cliffs, incredible sunsets, cities that seem to come out of fairy tale books, golden sand beaches, white and red lighthouses positioned on high cliffs under which the waves of the Atlantic Ocean break, barren and arid areas and cork trees that will accompany you along (almost) every road you take.
Following my 10-day itinerary in Portugal you will discover the westernmost point of Europe, from where the explorers of past eras left without knowing if and when they would return; you will visit Lisbon, Sintra and the capital of the Algarve.
In all likelihood you will leave your heart in front of a sunset, the one that will become a fixed appointment on this trip, you will discover ravines in the rock that you can visit aboard a kayak, you will eat lots of pastel de nata almost until you burst, but you will compensate by going on wonderful treks.
Here’s what this adventure has in store for you!
Below you will find the map of the itinerary I am about to show you (don’t worry about saving the map now, you will find the link at the end of the article).
Premise: even if it may seem senseless despite landing in Lisbon, I decided to leave the visit of the city and its surroundings for the last few days of my stay in Portugal.
The reason is actually very simple: I left some places for last which in my opinion are the most beautiful of the trip.
Ok, now let’s stop chatting: here is the 10 days itinerary in Portugal.
Day 1: Vila Nova de Milfontes
Arrival in Lisbon during the day.
Departure towards Vila Nova de Milfontes (where you will spend the night).
The journey lasts approximately 2:20h, in which you will cross entire expanses of cork trees, the green gold of Portugal.
Vila Nova de Milfontes is a small town with white houses with yellow and blue profiles, where walking in the evening through its small historic center (Bairro Monte Vistoso) can be very very pleasant.
But not before doing one thing: admiring the sunset from Praia do Carreiro da Fazeda and reaching its lighthouse.
Day 2: Zambujeira do Mar
The next morning, before leaving Vilanova De Milfontes, pay a visit to the small and typical Mercado da Freguesa.
Here you can find fruit, vegetables and fish, but also a pasteleria where you can buy the first pastel de nata of the trip (puff pastry cakes filled with cream).
After breakfast, it’s time to leave Vila Nova de Milfontes and head to Zambujeira do Mar, where you will spend the night.
However, the first stop of the morning is the Faro Do Cabo Sardão, but not for the lighthouse itself (which doesn’t have much to offer), but for the paths on top of wonderful cliffsthat start right there.
You can choose whether to go north or south and how long to continue, but if you plan to enjoy a nice morning of trekking, my advice is to wear comfortable shoes (although it would be feasible to walk this route even with flip flops).
The route is made up of sand and stones at times that offer views of the cliffs, the ocean and the waves crashing on the dark colored rocks.
For lunch head to the oldest and most authentic part of Zambujeira do Mar, where you will see small fishermen’s houses with nets in the courtyard and you will find the A Barca restaurant: this is where they used to eat after a fishing trip, so if you want to eat good fish cooked in a local way, this is definitely the place for you.
Then follow the main road (by car) which will take you to the liveliest part of this small village: walk through its tiny center on foot, strolling among small shops, stalls and family-run clubs, until you reach the beautiful city beach dominated by a small church with light colors and blue edges and take a dip in the ocean if you like.
In the evening, eat in one of these places and stroll through its illuminated streets.
Day 3: Aljezur, Carrapateira, Sagres, Cabo de São Vicente
Departure in the morning from Zambujeira do Mar towards Aljezur, a small town with an ancient castle (of which only part of the walls remain) to protect it from above.
Visit the old part of the city and have lunch in a local restaurant before setting off again towards Carrapateira, a place with beautiful cliffs and waves, which is why it is mostly frequented by surfers.
Follow the coast (on foot or by car) to Praia do Amado and then get back on the road heading towards Sagres, famous for its surfing and large fortress on the cliff – can be visited for a €3 ticket although as a fortress it doesn’t have much to offer, you may enjoy some nice coastal views.
Before evening, head to Cabo de São Vicente, where you can enjoy the last sunset (for now) of this 10-day Portugal itinerary on the west coast.
Then return to Sagres in the evening.
Day 4: Ponta da Piedade
Day dedicated to Ponta da Piedade, its cliffs and its beautiful ocher stacks, used in spring by herons to nest.
Head to the “Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos” lighthouse, where you can leave your car in the large parking lot and take a nice path (or a more comfortable walkway) that starts to the right of the lighthouse.
During the journey, 6 km long in total, you will be able to enjoy wonderful views of the cliffs and beaches bathed by the blue waters of the ocean, following the direction of Luz.
It is not necessary to travel all the way and arrive in Luz, when you have had your fill of glimpses (and I assure you that a few meters could be enough), cross the road and return to the lighthouse from the opposite bank: from here you can admire thePonta da Piedade illuminated by sunlight and go down the ladder that will take you down to its waters.
What I recommend is to split the two paths and take shelter in the shade for at least an hour and have lunch, because shaded areas are practically non-existent during the trek (bring a water bottle full of fresh water, especially in the hottest periods! !).
You will find a restaurant near the port and Praia do Camillo.
In the afternoon, give yourself the opportunity to admire the stacks from the water with a pleasant kayak tour, which will take you inside the hidden caves located at the base of the cliffs.
After the trip it will be a pleasure to stroll through the streets of Lagos in the evening which are filled with stalls and a maritime atmosphere.
Day 5: Route of the Seven Suspended Valleys
Another pleasant trek that I suggest you do during this 10-day travel itinerary in Portugal is the 7 hanging valleys route : the departure is at Centeanes beach and the final destination is Praia da Marinha.
During this approximately 6 km trek (in which I recommend you to wear hiking shoes and bring plenty of water with you, especially in the summer months), you will be able to admire incredible views of the Algarve coast.
You will see stacks, crystal clear water, lighthouses, caves in the rock carved by erosion and you will walk on walkways on the top of the cliffs and on the old seabed still adorned with fossil shells.
The route is well signposted by red and yellow lines drawn on wooden stakes, so you won’t have the slightest problem walking here for the first time (DO NOT follow the paths marked with the red and yellow X).
If you want to be more relaxed, I suggest you download the Maps.me App where you will find the well-signposted route, which will take you to admire these panoramas.
On the way you will also reach Praia de Benagil, from where you can reach the famous Benagil cave strictly by water.
During the walk you will be able to see the upper hole of the cave, but beyond that you will see nothing more.
The cheapest solution to reach it is to rent paddle surf equipment (from €20) and reach the cave independently.
Take the whole day for this route stopping on some beautiful beach from time to time avoiding walking in the hottest hours of the day and, in the evening, reach Faro where you will spend the night.
Attention!!!! – in the Google Maps map the route of the 7 suspended valleys is not well marked: use it only to take into consideration the starting and finishing points.
Day 6: Faro and Évora
Visit the capital of the Algarve in the morning following my Faro walking itinerary, walk through the arches and get lost in the alleyways of the old town, admire the cathedral and stroll in Faro Marina, where you will also find the most photographed sign of the city “LOVE FARO” .
After a lunch in the alleys of the old part of Faro, set off towards Évora, stopping in small and isolated villages that seem to strike you right from the road.
Of Portal, for example, you can’t help but admire the great castlefrom the street.
Once you arrive in Évora, you must know that you will find yourself in a UNESCO World Heritage city of Roman origin, still endowed with medieval walls today.
Wander around the streets that are very different from what you may have become accustomed to until now: in fact, here are the best preserved Roman remains in all of Portugal.
Pause to visit the remains of the Roman Temple, visit the Cathedral shortly after and climb the tower to admire the city from above (cost €3.50 per person); then continue the visit reaching the singular (and rather macabre) Capela dos Ossos, where the skeletons of about 5000 humans are cemented.
In the evening, dinner in its refined and peaceful historic centre.
Overnight stay: in Évora at Casa das Arcadas in the central square of Évora, but equipped with a very convenient private parking.
Day 7: Lisbon
In the morning you leave Évora and reach the capital in about 1:30 h.
Make sure you buy the Lisbon Card, valid for 48h to travel unlimited on public transport (even if you have a car, forget you have it for these two days: the public transport service will not disappoint you).
Start your Lisbon itinerary from Commerce Square, cross Rua Augusta, stop atFábrica de Pastéis de Nata to start the day with the right dose of sugar in the body, visit the “church without a roof” (the Convento do Carmo ), go full circle on the famous Tram 28, enter the Castle of São Jorge and climb on the tower of the castle church.
At the exact sunset time, be at the Miradouro de Santa Luzia to see the houses of Alfama, the historic district of Lisbon, turn orange and in the evening watch a traditional Fado show .
Why am I in one of the most beautiful areas? Simply because they offer incredible views of the historic center of Lisbon with the castle that dominates from above (not to mention the fact that the location is really strategic for visiting the city).
In the itinerary just above, I have put the route I recommend you follow in Lisbon in black and white, but pay attention because Google Maps is not always collaborative!
The “Tram 28” stage is the stop where you will have to get on the tram, but at the next stage you will not have to get there on foot, but on board the tram.
Read more in the article dedicated to what to do in Lisbon to also find the itinerary to open on Google Maps.
Day 8: Lisbon and Cabo da Roca
On this eighth day of your 10-day itinerary in Portugal, visit the Belém district (Lisbon) located on the bank of the Tagus River, but not before having approached the red Ponte 25 de Abril to admire it at close range and buy some pastels de born in Pastéis de Belém (where it is rumored to have been invented!).
Visit the Jerónimos Monastery and nearby Praça do Império on your own.
Then continue towards the Monument to the Discoveries and finally reach the Tower of Belém.
Alternatively, if you want to discover tidbits and anecdotes, book a free tour of the Belém district with an Italian-speaking guide.
For the sunset go to Cabo da Roca (the journey will take just over half an hour): the most westerly point of Europe.
Take some time to relax, some time for yourself and stop to contemplate the Atlantic Ocean.
Watch the waves crash on the shore just below you, lose yourself in the flutter of birds or the details of fishing boats returning home after a long day.
Enjoy this spot and marvel at man’s discoveries – this was believed to be where the world ended.
It probably was a suggestion, but the energy I felt here made me cry.
Listen to this place with the deepest chords of your soul (despite the exorbitant number of tourists that may be there), trust me.
Day 9: Sintra
Even if the first impact with Sintra may not be the best due to the large buildings, it will be enough for you to enter the streets and take a closer look at the houses with arched windows, pointed roofs, hidden corners from which emerge colored fountains or covered with green moss, which characterize the old town.
As the first stop of the day, I suggest the Castelo dos Mouros, to get an overview of the city and the monuments that characterize it on the surrounding peaks.
Then visit the Palacio National da Pena, cross its tree-lined avenue with immense trees, huge ferns and, finally, also the Countess’s Chalet.
In the evening stroll through the slowly emptying streets of Sintra and stop for dinner in one of the restaurants located in the alleys, returning to the accommodation provided for this night on the itinerary: Águamel Sintra , in the center.
Know that to visit Sintra properly you would need at least 2 days: if you have time, consider extending your stay here by at least one day and read more in the article dedicated to what to do in Sintra.
Day 10: Azenhas do Mar
After a hearty breakfast at Saudade’s, it’s time to leave Sintra.
Fill up on wonderful views of the coast, enjoy the day wherever you want, perhaps remaining sprawled out on the beach.
In the afternoon reach Azenhas do Mar, stroll and enjoy the last sunset of this incredible journey, looking straight to the west and having dinner in the Azenhas do Mar restaurant which will give you a front row seat to admire the sun sinking below the horizon line .
The next day you reach Lisbon for the return.
At this point you will have understood very well: choosing to follow this itinerary in Portugal for 10 (or more) days will lead you to the discovery of places so different from each other, wild landscapes where nature reigns supreme and cities where instead it is man who has taken over.
Let yourself be carried away by this land and enjoy your incredible journey in Portugal between Lisbon, the Alentejo and the Algarve.
As promised, here is the itinerary map to open comfortably on your PC or smartphone.
If you have any doubts or questions, leave your comment below the article and I will reply as soon as possible.