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Portugal in 9 Days

Guest post by kjakubczak

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1: Porto

  • Livraria Lello
  • Chapel of Souls

Flew into Porto and went to the bookstore and Chapel of Souls. Both worth going to. You have to buy tickets to the bookstore – buy the ticket that lets you skip the line.

Day 2: Porto

  • Sao bento
  • Cathedral
  • Stock Exchange Palace
  • Ribeira Porto Centro
  • Ponte Luís I
  • Ferreira

Went to the Porto train station (Sao Bento) – really fancy and old, nice to see. Looked at the Cathedral from the outside, nothing that warrants a lot of time.

The Stock Exchange Palace was worth a stop if you have spare time.

Ribiera

Walked through Ribiera, basically the Old Town of Porto. Lots of restaurants and shops. Continued on foot across the Luis Bridge and took the “6 Bridges” boat tour. Not really worth it, but the quintessential thing to do in Porto.

Last stop for the day was the Ferreira Winery. Did a Port wine tasting – excellent. Lots of Port cellars on that side of the river to choose from, this one was really nice.

Day 3: Universidade de Coimbra

Coimbra

You have to book your entrance to get into the famous University spots (library, chapel) very far in advance. The entrance and exit times are very strict. Very interesting to walk around.

Spent the rest of the day walking around downtown.

Day 4: Evora

  • Cortiçarte – Arte em Cortiça Lda
  • Chapel of Bones
  • Templo Romano Évora

The Cork factory was really interesting. The Chapel of the Bones was a must-see, very cool. Roman Temple was also pretty cool – nothing you can go into, really just ruins, but up high overlooking the city.

Spent the next 2 nights in Portimao.

Day 5: Algarve Region

  • Sagres Fortress
  • Cape St. Vincent
  • Lagos

Sagres and Cape St. Vincent were rather boring. Cape St. Vincent is the southwestern-most point in Europe.

Going to Lagos made the whole journey to the Algarve region worth it. We had a boat tour that took us to the grottos, which was awesome. The rock formations all looked like recognizable things and it was really unique. Lagos was a cute town, good place for lunch and shopping.

Day 6: Lisbon

  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Belém Tower
  • Monument to the Discoveries

The ride to Lisbon took about 3 hours. We had a guided tour to the 3 stops – all worth it. The Monument to the Discoveries is right on the water and a really neat structure with interesting history behind it.

Also, definitely try the Pastel de Nata (custard tart) from Pasteis de belem, right by the tower.

Day 7: Sintra

  • Pena Palace
  • Monserrate
  • Quinta da Regaleira
  • Cascais

Day trip to the castles of Sintra. Pena is the really colorful, fairy-tale one. Very crowded. Could skip Monserrate if short on time. Quinta was my favorite – it’s so large and spread out that it didn’t feel crowded. The initiation well and tunnels were magical.

All the roads are one-way, so getting around can take some time. You should commit an entire day to Sintra. Old Town Sintra is also worth walking around if you have time.

We just stopped for a snack at Cascais but it was a lovely beach town.

Day 8: Lisbon

  • Praça do Comércio
  • Alfama
  • Café do Rio – Hamburgueria Gourmet
  • Praça São João Bosco
  • Bertrand Books And Music
  • Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo

The Praca do Comercio had a lot going on because there was a road race that day, shops, food stands, etc.

Did a walking tour of the Alfama district, went up to some higher viewpoints that overlook the city. Definitely worth exploring the district because of its unique layout. It’s an old Moorish town with windy cobblestone roads.

Had an excellent meal at Cafe Do Rio and went out to the beginning of the Tram 28 line (Praca Sao Joao Bosco). Tram 28 is the most touristy line that takes you through all the highlights of the city. Rode that all the way back in and wandered around downtown.

Riding around Lisbon

Stopped at the oldest bookstore in the world: Bertrand Books and Music. Rua da Bica is the most famous road in Lisbon where you see all the pictures of the funicular with the water in the background.

Weather in October was perfect – upper 60s and 70s and sunny. We did get there right after a major rainstorm, however, so if we were there a week before, we wouldn’t have had such luck.

Day 9: Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Tour

Booked a day tour to the 3 towns – Obidos was my favorite place of the whole trip. A very picturesque walled, medieval town. You have to try the cherry liquor in a chocolate cup.

Obidos Castle

Nazare is where the world’s biggest wave was surfed. Huge waves while we were there, really neat to see from the observation deck.

Traveled in October 2019

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