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A Month in Portugal

I will be flying into Lisbon mid June and am planning on staying a month touring the country. I haven't found any 30 day itineraries and am hoping that someone out there can provide me with great advice. I am up for anything - beaches, hiking, history, relaxing, museums.

Most likely I will be booking Airbnbs over hotels.

I am happy with public transportation, renting a car or a mix.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
244 posts
  1. I have found this https://www.planapple.comm to be useful as a planning/organizing tool.

  2. Book all your accommodations as soon as possible as you are traveling during peak season.

  3. Cities
    a. Lisboa - large city with lots of museums, restaurants, etc.
    b. Faro (and the Algarve) - beaches, beautiful seaside scenery, and English tourists.
    c. Porto - 2nd largest city. Take a trip up the Douro River. Museums, drinking, eating.
    d. Coimbra - the University City. Rick loves Coimbra. Can take a day trip to Conimbriga (Roman ruins) and/or to Figueira da Foz (casinos, beach).
    Aveiro - the "Venice" of Portugal. Halfway between Coimbra and Porto. Has beaches also.

There is not a lot between Lisboa and Faro.
There is not a lot north of Porto.

  1. Try to stay at least 3 nights in a location so you don't spend all your time packing/unpacking/traveling.

  2. Our upcoming 3-week October itinerary is Lisboa (5), Coimbra (4), Aveiro (3), Porto (4), Lisboa (5). we are skipping the Algarve due to travel time. We are also big city people.

Posted by
16996 posts

Obidos (walled), Guimaraes, and Viseu are interesting smaller towns, and Sintra is a must while you're in Lisbon.

Posted by
921 posts

I would encourage you to get a good guide book - RS, and/or one more - to help you decide where you want to go. In a month you can really do the country justice, but I agree with not moving around too much. My 'scouting' trip before moving here was Porto, a week on the Silver Coast and Lisbon. I had a car while on the Silver Coast and visited a lot of places in central Portugal. I didn't do the Algarve until after moving here, but in a month, you can definitely see it, too. My favorite city to stay in the Algarve is Lagos. But, be prepared for big crowds in June, both in the Algarve and Lisbon. Last summer, Lisbon was reportedly more crowded than its ever been.

Don't try to drive in Porto or Lisbon but you really need a car in the smaller places and the Algarve. The trains between Porto and Lisbon then Lisbon and the Algarve work well and are very inexpensive, especially if you book ahead.

Airbnb apartments (and other vacation rentals) are plentiful and inexpensive. Especially in the big cities, air conditioning would likely be a good idea. The markets in Portugal are great with great seafood, fruits and vegetables. Lisbon has many, as do the Algarve and Porto.

Posted by
16781 posts

Starting from the two-week itinerary laid out in Rick's guidebook, our first recommendation with more time would be to slow down. E.g., instead of just 3 days to cover Lisbon and Sintra, you might double your time there. When driving between the areas on that plan, you'd be able to add a scenic detour or stop en-route, reaching the next hotel in the evening (and staying an additional night), instead of rushing to get there.

Posted by
2520 posts

For a unique experience, I'd recommend visiting Foz Coa archeological area southeast of the Duoro wine region near the Spanish border. When visiting Portugal I stayed at Casa Cisterna in the fortified hill town of Castelo Rodrigo. It was one of highlights of my trip. The owner of the B&B offers evening tours to visit the Paleolithic engravings in the park. Arriving just as the sun descends, she has you imagine why people settled in this particular location, bringing you back in time, before entering the park to view some of the carved drawings. Seeing this after sunset is wonderful because the shadows cast by illuminating the drawings, which date to 22,000 BC, with a flashlight makes them very easy to see and Ana's explanations of them are wonderful. I sadly only had one night in the area but hope to return to visit additional Paleolithic sites, the Coa Museum and some of the other small fortified villages that ring the area.
When in Portugal I visited Evora and then drove to Castelo Rodrigo before heading through the Duoro Valley to Porto. Great scenery and wonderful hiking opportunities.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for the great advice! It has all been very helpful as I plan my trip!