Ultimate 14 Days Portugal Itinerary
From seaside resorts to fortified villages and hundreds of kilometers of coastline, a 2-week Portugal itinerary from north to south promises many surprises!
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, the Portuguese territory is home to varied landscapes and a unique terroir.
The advantage of this road trip in Portugal is that the road network is perfectly well laid out. There is little distance between towns and villages, so you will spend less time on the road. Furthermore, it will be an opportunity to explore secret lands untouched by the influx of mass tourism…
Departing from Braga, known for its religious events, head towards Porto, a colorful city with imposing bridges and authentic medieval architecture. Follow the east coast, discovering small picturesque villages before arriving in Coimbra, a river city and former capital…
Figueira da Foz is part of the trip, an ideal territory for recharging your batteries at the mouth of the Mondego river.
If you are looking for an itinerary to cross Portugal, then I suggest you discover this practical guide. In addition to passing on some useful tips, I’ll show you how to reach the city of Faro from Braga as well as the essential places to visit!
From North to South: organize a road trip to Portugal!
Unless you like adventure and spontaneity, a road trip cannot be improvised.
In addition to planning the route, there are other factors to take into account. Among them, booking accommodation, a rental car, activities and above all, preparing the budget!
Set a Budget per Person
For economical and obvious reasons, going on a trip with others allows you to share costs and lighten your wallet. Don’t forget that a road trip by car also includes fuel, a recurring expense throughout your trip.
If you are going as a couple, a budget of between 800 and 1,000 euros per person is more or less sufficient to cover all expenses.
Book Accommodation / Meal Budget
Every arrival in a town or village involves accommodation. As mentioned above, I advise you to spend at least one night at each stage. To save money, choose a youth hostel or a Bed & Breakfast in small towns.
In the case of cities like Porto and Lisbon, you can enjoy slightly more upscale accommodation. One way or another, take care to reserve all accommodation in advance.
When it comes to food, the choice is yours. If breakfast is included in your accommodation, take advantage of it and eat on the go during the day. For a few euros, you can taste many Portuguese specialties, more or less copious, it depends!
Which route to choose for a road trip in Portugal?
As you can probably imagine, there is no single route. For most travelers, departing from Porto is a convenient choice since the city has an airport. From there, it’s easy to pick up a rental car once you arrive to embark on the adventure without delay!
For my part, I advise you to leave from Braga. It is a city to absolutely discover in Portugal and it also has an airport.
Furthermore, it is located in the very north of the country, all of which constitutes an interesting starting point so as not to miss any landscape. By booking in advance, you can find tickets for only €25 /person for a one-way ticket.
As for the duration, 14 days of road trip would really be ideal to see as much as possible without rushing. But by optimizing the trip, between 7 and 10 days is entirely possible depending on the places of interest and cities that interest you.
From North to South: the best route for a road trip in Portugal!
Now it’s time to discover the key stages of your Portugal road trip. Of course, you are free to optimize this route by deleting or adding other places of passage!
Day 1: Departure from Braga
Located in the very north of Portugal, your road trip starts in Braga. This municipality is known for hosting an important historical and architectural heritage so much so that it also witnesses many religious events. There are many religious buildings in the city, including the neoclassical Bom Jesus do Monte church and the medieval Braga Cathedral.
The Gothic style of the Chapel of the Kings and the Museum of Sacred Art are places you should visit before hitting the road. Braga is a great starter, home to many wonders such as the Santa Barbara Gardens and the immense Archbishop’s Palace nearby!
During your visit to Braga, don’t forget to visit the Capela dos Coimbras! This chapel is a must to do in the historic center of Braga. It is the oldest private chapel you can find in the city. Inside, you can admire the architecture of the building, but also sip a drink (included in the entrance ticket). It is also possible to dine there or attend one of the various shows that are regularly organized there. Entrance is €5 for adults, €2.50 for 7-16 year olds and free for under 7s.
Day 2-3: Vila do Conde
Ideal for spending a day, Vila do Conde is a quiet little town with a truly peaceful atmosphere. This destination is little frequented by tourists, unlike its neighbors, but it is definitely worth it. In addition to strolling through the picturesque streets, Vila do Conde is home to some cool places like the Santa Clara Aqueduct and a naval museum.
The Nossa Senhora do Socorro chapel is a small architectural pearl dating from 1559, the interior of which is entirely covered with azulejos. There is also a lace museum, local artisanal know-how, as well as a pretty seafront to stretch your legs and swim!
Day 3-5: Porto and its Surroundings
After just a 35-minute drive from Vila do Conde, you are in Porto. This coastal town located in the northwest is known for its colorful houses and imposing bridges. I also advise you to enjoy the panorama during the cruise of the six bridges on the Douro.
The medieval district of Ribeiro is essential for its merchant houses and its dynamism. If you want to see beautiful buildings, go to the São Francisco church with its baroque architecture.
During your stop in the city, you may be looking for what to do in Porto. The city is full of activities, it is the ideal destination if you are looking to get some fresh air! You can go on excursions in the Douro Valley, do wine cellar tours, tastings, hikes to see the vineyards…
You won’t be bored! However, remember to book your activities in advance so as not to risk being disappointed!
The Palacio da Bolsa is also a must! This is the old stock market, originally built to impress European investors visiting Porto. With this guided tour you can discover this building classified as one of the most important in Portugal.
Depending on time available, explore the surrounding areas of the city. For example, the Douro Valley and the village of Pinhão are nice!
Also visit Vila Cha, Vila Nova de Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira. Don’t miss out on going to the most beautiful beaches in Porto either .
if you’re looking for more details on what to do in Porto , don’t hesitate to take a look at my article on the subject 🙂
Accommodation in Porto
Are you going to visit Portugal and you don’t yet know where to stay in Porto? In the Oporto Wall Apartments you can enjoy the independence of an apartment in addition to an excellent location in the center of the city. In addition, you can visit the Palacio da Bolsa, the Ferreira Borges market and Ribeira square which are close to the accommodation. This establishment offers accommodation from €93 per night. Don’t forget to book in advance!
Want to extend the journey? Go through Sortelha
Sortelha is one of the oldest villages in the country, it is known for its very well preserved medieval center. Sortelha Castle overlooks the village from a rock that rises 760 meters above sea level. All the dwellings in this unique medieval village are built of granite following the uneven terrain and forming an amphitheater around the castle.
To reach Sortelha from Porto, you will have to drive for almost 3 hours and cover a distance of approximately 240 km. On the way, if you wish, you can stop for example at the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede or at Castelo Branco.
Day 6-7: Coimbra – Figueira de Foz
Known and appreciated for its historic university and its baroque Joanina library, the city of Coimbra is a stopover that is definitely worth the detour!
This beautiful river space with a strong medieval character has something to appeal to visitors who are passionate about history and ancient buildings.
While strolling through the streets of the old town, don’t miss the Romanesque Sé Velha cathedral!
If you are a music lover and want to immerse yourself in the history of the city, I advise you to book an evening to discover the sounds of Coimbra fado while tasting Port wine. Allow €12 per person to enjoy a real return to the past!
Then, head to the east coast to discover Figueira da Foz. This Portuguese municipality is the charm of the Coimbra district!
Located at the mouth of the Mondego River, the city has experienced a high population density during the 21st century by the Santa Cruz Monastery.
The Palácio Sotto Maior, Praia da Figueira, Mercado Engenheiro and Núcleo Museológico do Sal are must-sees!
The Town of Nazaré
If you are fond of surfing, you can drive another hour and go to Nazaré. During the summer, Nazaré is a pleasant and family seaside resort, with a particularly relaxed atmosphere and relatively lively at night.
And in winter, Nazaré is the flagship destination for surfers looking for thrills.
You can discover some unique sites in Nazaré, such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazareth, famous for its statue of the Virgin and Child, or the Mirador del Suberco, from which you can observe the spectacular landscapes of the region.
Day 8-10: Lisbon, the Capital!
Unsurprisingly, a visit to the capital of Portugal is obligatory! Lisbon benefits from an advantageous geographical location between vast hills and coastline.
The capital is largely dominated by the São Jorge Castle offering a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The pastel-colored buildings and the historic character of the old town create an exceptional charm.
If you are looking for ideas for activities to do, you can consult the article visit Lisbon in 3 days. You can also discover the highlights of the city during a guided tour to learn the smallest secrets of its history and traditions 🙂
Place du Commerce and the Alfama district are unmissable places. Taking part in the visit to the National Azulejo Museum provides an experience in the history of ceramics!
For a little relaxation, go relax on the most beautiful beaches in Lisbon, take the famous 28E tram line, and if you need a little height, admire the view from the miradouros!
If this is your first time in Lisbon, you will definitely want to discover the city and do several activities and tours.
Between the different cruises on the Tagus, the guided tour of the city, kayak outings, visits to the gardens of Sintra and the Pena Palace, tastings and fado shows, you will have plenty to do and you will not have time to get bored.
However, remember to book your activities in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises, especially during the high season.
Accommodation in Lisbon
Are you going to visit the Portuguese capital and you don’t yet know where to stay in Lisbon? In this quite touristy city, it is interesting to know the good tips! At the Rodamon Lisboa hotel you will have a very good location for visiting Lisbon.
The hotel is close to Rossio, Dona Maria II National Theater and St. George’s Castle. Expect around €130 for one night 🙂 If you wish, you can also sleep in a dormitory for around €50. Don’t forget to book as soon as you have the dates of your stay so as not to risk being disappointed!
To see the availability of the Rodamon Lisboa hotel, click here
A Passage through Evora
After visiting Lisbon, you can eventually reach Évora in about an hour and a half by car. This charming town in the Alentejo region is teeming with places to discover. In the past, the city was an important commercial hub, and a major religious city.
With this day in Evora from Lisbon, you will be able to discover rare buildings, such as a Roman temple which has the particularity of being extremely well preserved, the cathedral-basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption of Évora or even the Palacio de Dom Manuel, the former royal palace of Évora.
Day 11-12: Setúbal – Vila Nova de Milfontes
Heading towards the south of Portugal, this road trip promises the discovery of other wonders such as the city of Setúbal, a port city full of charm.
Between the contemplation of Cape Espichel, the Tróia peninsula, as well as its numerous beaches for relaxing, you will certainly be won over by so much natural beauty.
You can explore Arrábida Park with this relaxing boat trip, which will even allow you to meet dolphins while enjoying magnificent views!
After following the Portuguese coast for two hours, you arrive at Vila Nova de Milfontes. Located on the Alentejo coast, this charming coastal town is an essential stopover in the south.
The seaside resort is ideal for resting after your trip! However, consider exploring the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, a protected natural area of 17,500 hectares.
Day 13-14: Lagos – Faro
Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Portugal, the Algarve, the city of Lagos promises total immersion within its fortified walls.
Dominated by the Atlantic Ocean, beaches and immense cliffs, you will make your way through wooded areas leading to coves.
The cliffs of Ponta da Piedade offer a spectacular view without forgetting the Santo António church!
Before leaving, I suggest you stay a few days in Lagos. In this last stage, discovering the Algarve region is essential!
Of course, this depends on the time you have left and the budget available! But the Algarve is a very popular destination for travelers!
After enjoying Lagos for a few days, take the road towards Faro, capital of the Algarve region.
This neoclassical-style citadel and in particular the Arco da Vila and the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church are unmissable activities.
Coupled with the region’s sunny climate, Faro is a very dynamic student city, bustling with various local festivals and celebrations.
The famous Benagil Caves are located in the southern Algarve, and you can explore this stunning site on this boat tour.
This activity will allow you to discover the Algarve coasts and caves, while observing dolphins along the way. You will also have the opportunity to swim, if you wish!
Allow €35 for this activity, and don’t forget to book in advance so as not to risk being disappointed!
Extend via Albufeira
If you still want to continue your route, you can drive about 40 minutes towards Albufeira. Formerly, it was a very quiet fishing village, but today it is a lively seaside resort which has the advantage of offering many activities and having a rich historical heritage.
This stage will be an opportunity to practice activities such as parasailing, paragliding or even diving.
From the port, you can meet the dolphins that live in the waters of the Algarve, and sail along the coast to discover the region’s superb caves, accessible only from the sea.
Once the road trip is over, you can still extend the pleasure. For example, crossing the Spanish border will take you straight to Andalusia! So, why not visit Seville and take your rental car before taking the plane? Or, fly to Faro airport!
I hope you like this 14-day Portugal itinerary and that it will inspire your next trip to Portugal. Of course, it is entirely possible to follow this route in the opposite direction, leaving from Faro towards the city of Porto or Braga.
And that’s it, that’s it for me and for this guide! Ready to drive to conquer Portuguese territory?
Are you going to Portugal? Read also:
- 10 Days in Portugal: Ultimate 10-Day Portugal Itinerary
- 3 Days in Porto: Ultimate Porto Itinerary of 2 or 3 Days