If you had a week in Portugal, where would you spend your time?
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind…
Regions and towns: we recommend keeping your travel time down so choosing 2-3 of the 5 mainland regions and then picking a few cities or town in 6-7 days is a good plan to begin!
Time of year: Outside of Nov to Jan, the weather is nice in most regions, otherwise, stick to the Southern parts unless you want to explore the more historical sites or spas towns of the North (there is 1 ski hill to consider as well)!
Your starting point: On the mainland, you can arrive either in Porto in the North (norte) or Lisbon in the Lisboe region (almost central) or Faro in the Algarve region (south) if you are flying to Portugal. If you are travelling by train or car entering Portugal, there are a few more options.
Norte region: In the Norte, Porto is a must — this is where Portugal originated and the old city blending with the new is a charm. You can then venture to Viana do Castelo which is very scenic along the ocean, head inwards towards the spa towns, or stick closer to Porto and visit the great forests of Serra do Buçaco, and Aveiro — the Venice of Portugal. There is of course the famous wine making Douro Valley to consider as well.
Liboe region: Lisbon is the busy part of Portugal with many shows, and historic features to enjoy. From here, you could also check out Setúbal which has known for its wine, parks and oceanic enjoyments. To the west and north of Lisbon, there are many interesting towns north west such as Sintra that offers an interesting village, palace, parks with great views, historic sites..
In the Algarve region, you could spend your time from the city of Faro enjoying its history, nature reserve… to Portimao where much of the modern develops are with great beaches and entertainment and then over towards Lagos which is a much enjoyed quieter community and also offers easy access to the South west most part of Europe and the great cliffs and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean!
If you had more time, we would recommend, checking out more inland eastern towns. From the 3 main cities mentioned: Porto, Lisbon and Faro, you can take day trips to the smaller towns or stay at each one of them to take in the full cultural experiences.
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