Are you looking for the perfect Portugal itinerary? If so, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about traveling through Portugal in 3 weeks. This itinerary is perfect to follow or use as bases to create your own itinerary for Portugal. In 3 weeks we visited incredible places in Portugal. We share all our tips on how to get the most out of your road trip through Portugal. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream vacation to Portugal today!
How many days do you need to travel through Portugal?
We traveled for 3 weeks through Portugal and is ideal to discover the highlights. In 3 weeks you have enough time to soak in the culture of Portugal, you can do many activities, visit Portugal’s most famous cities such as Lisbon & Porto and enjoy the diversity of the country from beaches and parks to mountains and lakes.
This 3 week in Portugal itinerary is based on our trip that you can use as inspiration for your next vacation.
If you want to visit Portugal but only have a limited amount of time, it is best to focus on one area. If you have less than 3 weeks, you will need to be selective about which areas you visit. If you only have 2 weeks, it is better to start in Porto and end in Lagos. If you have 1 week, you can visit Porto, Lisbon, and the highlights that are located in between.
When you have more time you can visit more places in the south or in the mainland like Fatima and Cascais.
How much budget do you need for this Portugal itinerary?
Portugal is a country that can be expensive or cheap, depending on your priorities and budget. Usually, Portugal is comparably cheaper than other Western European countries. However, if you are looking to save as much money as possible while still enjoying your time in Portugal, €30–60 / $30-60 should suffice per day. With that said though, the average person spends between €80-120 / $80-120 per day. If you want more information regarding how much different aspects of trip cost or ways to cut down costs while traveling through Portugal, we have written an article about Portugal trip cost. We also share how much our journey through Portugal cost us.
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What is the best way to get around Portugal? The most common and convenient way to get around is by car. This will give you flexibility in terms of destinations, travel times, and accommodation. Renting a car can be quite affordable if you book it in advance, we always use Rentalcars to find the best deals.
If you don’t want to drive then the bus system is an excellent alternative and budget-friendly option. Buses between cities are frequent and inexpensive. You can also easily reach many rural areas with the bus network in Portugal. Alternatively, you can take a train ride for long-distance journeys between cities. It is important to book transport tickets in advance for popular destinations because they sell out quickly.
Portugal road trip
When you have the option to travel by car or campervan we recommend doing so to enjoy an awesome Portugal road trip. The advantage is that you have more flexibility during your trip. If you travel to Portugal by plane you can pick up the car at different airports. You can rent it through Rentalcars.
If you follow our Portugal itinerary many destinations on the mainland are easy to reach by car. When you use public transport it takes a lot of time to get there. Also at each destination, there is a lot to see in the area so with a car or camper you have the flexibility to discover most of the area. When you travel by camper you can find a lot of camping grounds in Portugal.
Where to stay when traveling through Portugal?
When you visit Portugal, you will have many options for accommodation. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose from a variety of options such as hotels, hostels, camping sites, Airbnbs, and apartments. The best way is to book ahead so that you don’t have any surprises and have more accommodation to choose from.
We wrote an article discussing our favorite accommodations while traveling in Portugal, making it easier for you to decide where to stay. The article includes the best places to stay per destination, so all you have left to do is make a reservation at one of the recommended accommodations.
The perfect Portugal itinerary 3 weeks
The itinerary through Portugal that we recommend has a good mix between nature, culture, city, countryside, activities, and relaxation. The best thing about traveling through Portugal is that every day is different than the day before. You can explore ancient cities and beautiful beaches. You can get lost in the breathtaking landscapes or enjoy the city life and nightlife.
For each destination, we have written an article discussing topics like what to do and where you can stay. You’ll also find a map of the destination that you can use for navigation purposes. Finally, we’ve included some useful travel tips to help make your trip go smoothly.
The map below outlines our recommended 3-week itinerary for Portugal. Although you can start your journey from Lisbon, Porto, or Faro, we recommend starting in Lisbon. One of the benefits of beginning your trip here is that you’ll visit Lagos and the beaches at the end of your trip – a great time to relax! You can also find cheap flights to Lisbon. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map.
All destinations are shown below, including the number of nights and days you will stay at each location.
|Evora||1||Day 1 – 2|
|Monsanto||1||Day 2 – 3|
|Douro Valley||3||Day 3 – 6|
|Peneda Gerês National Park||3||Day 6 – 9|
|Braga||1||Day 9 – 10|
|Porto||3||Day 10 – 13|
|Coimbra||1||Day 13 – 14|
|Obidos||1||Day 14 – 15|
|Lagos||4||Day 15 – 19|
|Lisbon||2||Day 19 – 21|
Of course, you can tailor the number of nights and days per destination to your liking. We think this overview is balanced though, as it provides a good mix between culture, nature, city life, rural areas, activities, and relaxation.
Located about two hours east of Lisbon, Evora has plenty to offer travelers: from its meandering alleys and ancient ruins to the many monuments and open-air museums to its traditional cuisine. Evora is one of the best cities to explore the history of Portugal. With so much to see and do, a visit to Evora should be included in your Portugal itinerary!
Tip: stay 1 night | day 1 – 2 | travel time Lisbon airport – Evora: 1 hour and 20 min.
Elvas is an ancient city that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its architecture and fascinating history. It is brimming with historical sites, churches, monuments, and other attractions that will take you back in time. With its many attractions, Elvas is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore Portugal’s culture. If you’re planning a 3-week itinerary through Portugal, be sure to include Elvas on your list of destinations! Read our travel guide about Elvas to learn more about what to expect and plan your trip accordingly.
Tip: stay 0 nights | day 2 | travel time Evora – Elvas: 1 hour.
Monsanto is an ancient village perched high atop a hill in Portugal’s Serra de São Mamede Natural Park. It offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is a peaceful town full of history and culture. This quaint village has been declared a National Monument due to its unique architecture and cobblestone streets. If you are looking for a place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Monsanto is the perfect destination for you. Discover why Monsanto is so special and why you should include it in your 3-week Portugal itinerary.
Tip: stay 1 night | day 2 – 3 | travel time Elvas – Monsanto: 2 hours and 40 min.
The Douro Valley is a breathtaking region located in northern Portugal that offers travelers an unforgettable experience. From spectacular views of the river valley to picturesque vineyards, this region has something for everyone. The Douro Valley is home to one of Portugal’s oldest wine-producing regions and some of the best wineries in Europe. The Douro Valley is the perfect destination for mini road trips if you’re a wine-lover. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the best things to do in the Douro Valley.
Tip: stay 3 nights | day 3 – 6 | travel time Monsanto – Douro Valley: 2 hours and 45 min.
Peneda Gerês National Park
Peneda Gerês National Park is the only national park in Portugal and is one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. It’s full of lush green landscapes, towering mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, serene lakes, and dense forests. You can discover a wide variety of wildlife and offers plenty of activities such as hiking, kayaking, and more. If you’re looking for an adventure while in Portugal and want some variety in your Portugal itinerary then Peneda Gerês National Park should be at the top of your list!
Tip: stay 3 nights | day 6 – 9 | travel time Douro Valley – Peneda Gerês National Park: 2 hours.
Braga is a beautiful city located in northern Portugal that is often skipped by travelers. Because there are not that many travelers you can get to know the Portugal culture better compared to other cities. In Braga, you can see many old buildings as it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. In addition, the city also offers some amazing natural attractions, including the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary and the Sameiro Mountain. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a city that offers both culture and nature. Get to know all the best things to do in Braga in our article.
Tip: stay 1 night | day 9 – 10 | travel time Peneda Gerês National Park – Braga: 1 hour.
Porto is our favorite city to explore in Portugal. Its incredible history, culture, beautiful architecture, and lively cobbled streets make it a destination that everyone will fall in love with. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure packed with activities, Porto has something for everyone. Porto is a bustling city with plenty to see and do. To get to know the city, you should plan on spending at least 3 days in Porto.
Tip: stay 3 nights | day 10 – 13 | travel time Braga – Porto: 1 hour.
If you’re planning on visiting Coimbra, make sure to also stop by Aveiro. Known as “the Venice of Portugal,” Aveiro boasts stunning canals that are best explored via boat tour. Plus, the town’s historical center is worth a visit. You can easily discover all that Aveiro has to offer in just a couple of hours, making it the perfect pit-stop on your journey to Coimbra – plan to be in Coimbra during lunchtime.
Tip: stay 0 nights | day 13 | travel time Porto – Aveiro: 1 hour.
Coimbra is a charming university city located in central Portugal that has a young, vibrant atmosphere. Coimbra’s history goes back centuries and it’s full of architectural wonders such as the University of Coimbra, the Old Cathedral, and the library. Coimbra will astound you with its beauty, just as it did for us. Read our detailed article about Coimbra to find out why you should include this city on your 3-week itinerary of Portugal.
Tip: stay 1 night | day 13 – 14 | travel time Aveiro – Coimbra: 1 hour.
If you’re planning to visit Obidos, then we recommend also visiting Nazaré in the morning before heading to Obidos in the afternoon. Nazaré is a small fishing village located on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal and it’s known for its huge waves that attract surfers from all over the world. The town is full of colorful buildings and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Tip: stay 0 nights | day 14 | travel time Coimbra – Nazaré: 1 hour and 15 min.
Obidos is a beautiful walled town in the Centre region of Portugal that is considered one of the most romantic places in the country. This stunning medieval village has cobbled streets, white-washed buildings, and an impressive castle at its center. Obidos is perfect for travelers looking for a quaint and peaceful atmosphere. Not only is Obidos beautiful, but it also offers plenty of things to do in Obidos. Read our article for all the details you need to know.
Tip: stay 1 night | day 14 – 15 | travel time Nazaré – Obidos: 40 min.
Lagos is the perfect destination for travelers looking to explore the beautiful coastline of the Algarve. You can stay all your days in Lagos and enjoy the sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, charming streets, and its iconic 16th-century castle. The Algarve has many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. You’ll be amazed by all the sights you can see in this beautiful region. If you’re planning a trip to Lagos, make sure to schedule 4 full days to explore everything the area has to offer! We’ve written a comprehensive article outlining all the best things to do in Lagos.
Tip: stay 4 nights | day 15 – 19 | travel time Obidos – Lagos: 3 hours and 30 min.
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and a must-visit destination for anyone planning to travel around Portugal. With its charming streets, vibrant culture, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals, Lisbon has something for everyone! Whether you’re looking to explore one of Europe’s oldest cities or relax on golden beaches. Schedule 3 days for Lisbon, and use one of those days to take a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon where you’ll find some of Portugal’s most beautiful castles.
Tip: stay 2 nights | day 19 – 21 | travel time Lagos – Lisbon: 2 hours and 50 min.
More tips for Portugal 3 week itinerary
If you’re looking for more tips for your 3-week itinerary in Portugal, here are some tips:
– What tips do you have for making the most of my trip to Portugal?
Planning is key to making the most of your trip. To make the most of your vacation and save time while traveling, we recommend that you follow our itinerary and book the accommodation we mention in this article or at each detailed destination article.
– Are there any special cultural customs I should be aware of when visiting Portugal?
Portugal is a very warm and welcoming country, however, there are certain cultural customs that you should be aware of. For instance, shaking hands is a very common greeting, however, it’s not necessarily expected. Additionally, you should always dress and act respectfully when visiting religious sites.
– What type of food should I expect to eat while traveling in Portugal?
Portuguese cuisine is a fusion of Mediterranean and Atlantic influences. Expect to eat hearty meals comprised of local ingredients such as fresh fish, seafood, meats, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. Portuguese food is renowned for its delicious flavors and you won’t be disappointed!
– What type of climate can I expect during my trip to Portugal?
Portugal generally has a Mediterranean climate with mild temperatures in the winter and hot and dry summers. Temperatures vary from region to region but expect daytime highs of around 20-25°C (68-77°F) in spring and summer and 10-15°C (50-59°F) in winter.
Safety when traveling for 3 weeks in Portugal
Safety should always be your top priority when traveling. Portugal is generally considered a safe destination, but it’s still important to take the necessary precautions. We recommend not displaying costly items in public areas and when you want to do a tour use trusted tour operators like GetYourGuide. Additionally, it’s advised to always carry a copy of your passport.
Do you have travel insurance? It is a good idea to have travel insurance in case something bad happens when you are on a trip. For example, if your phone gets stolen or you break your leg and have to go to the hospital. Travel insurance can help pay for these things.
Travel Guide Portugal
Creating a trip to Portugal is part of the preparation. If you are looking for more information about Portugal in general, we recommend reading our Portugal travel guide. In this travel guide, you can read general information about Portugal like what the best period is to travel to Portugal, what the most popular cities are to visit, and many useful travel tips.
Portugal itinerary FAQ
1: Which hidden gems do we miss in this Portugal itinerary?
Unfortunately, due to restricted travel time, this Portugal itinerary does not include any of its charming islands. However, it is much more economical to explore the mainland than combining your trip with Madeira Islands or Azorean islands.
Madeira is known for its breathtaking landscapes, rugged mountains, lush vegetation, and cliffs. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, visitors can enjoy a wealth of activities such as hiking and bird watching.
The Azorean islands are an archipelago of nine volcanic islands off the coast of mainland Portugal. The Azores has something to offer for every type of traveler, from its unspoiled nature and majestic landscapes to its rich history and culture. With rugged mountains, breathtaking views, beautiful beaches, ancient villages, and unique wildlife, the Azores is a wonder to explore.
Madeira and the Azorean islands can be reached from Lisbon or Porto by plane. There are direct flights available from either airport to Funchal, Madeira’s capital city. From there, here you can take a ferry to one of the other islands.
From Lisbon or Porto, travelers can also fly directly to the Azores islands. The airport at Ponta Delgada, on the island of Sao Miguel, is the main hub for flights to and from mainland Portugal. From there, visitors can take a ferry or rent a car to explore the other islands in the archipelago.
What do you think of our Portugal itinerary? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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