Introduction – Top 10 Portugal – 1 Week Ideas – Weekend in Portugal – Airports – Lisbon to Porto Tours - Best Beaches
1 Week in Portugal; suggested tours and itineraries
Portugal is a diverse and fascinating country, and is the ideal destination for a one-week holiday. It is a proud country with a rich history, and a welcoming people, which offers an extraordinary variety of sights for you to discover.
There are the vibrant and progressive cities of Lisbon and Porto, the historic towns of central Portugal, or picturesque fishing villages along the Atlantic coastline. The landscapes of Portugal are equally varied, from the glorious beaches of the Algarve, to the lush valleys of the Douro or the arid country side of Alentejo.
With so many wonderful locations and possibilities, it can be challenging to identify the most suitable itinerary for your 1-week Portuguese holiday. As a starting point, this article will provide a selection of varied 1-week itineraries, to help you make the most of your holiday to Portugal.
Note:This guide has been written as an initial resource for your holiday planning, and provides links to further in-depth information. This article would have been simply too long to include all of the relevant information.
Summary of one-week tours of Portugal
The following are our suggested one-week tours of Portugal, and are the routes we recommend to friends and family who wish to discover Portugal. This summary includes the best months to undertake the tours and which airport to fly into.
• The Lisbon region in 1 week – (Mar-Oct) Flying in and out of Lisbon Airport*
• The Porto region in 1 week – (May-Oct) Flying in and out of Porto Airport*
• Lisbon to Porto – (May-Oct) Flying into Lisbon out from Porto*
• Central Portugal – (April-Oct) Flying into Lisbon out from Porto
• The Algarve in 1 week – (Sep-Jun) Flying in and out of Faro Airport*
• The undiscovered eastern Algarve - (Sept-Jun) Flying in and out of Faro Airport*
*These tours can be taken using public transport, and do not need a rental car.
Note: During the peak summer months (Jul-Aug) the Algarve is crowed with package tourists, so it is best avoided for a touring holiday.
Note: links to all of our destination guides are given at the end of this article.
Summary of the suggested tours
Related articles: Lisbon and Porto itineraries
Related articles: Algarve tours.
The following are in-depth destination guides for each of the towns detailed in the tour above:
(please note all links open new tabs)
Keep it simple
Many guides and websites provide tours that cover the whole of Portugal in just seven days, but in reality, this entails a vast amount of travel and is simply exhausting. It is a much better idea to stay within one region and fully discover the sights in that area.
Also, being based in the same hotel eliminates the hassle of packing and moving luggage. Portugal has an extensive network of public transport and it is inexpensive to use, so there is rarely the need for a rental car.It is also wise to fly in/out of the same airport as this reduced the cost of flights.
Lisbon and central Portugal - 1 week itinerary
Lisbon is the vibrant and charismatic capital city of Portugal. A one-week holiday to this region can combine exploring the city’s iconic sites, experiencing the lively nightlife, relaxing on a beach, and visiting the unique surrounding towns. For this tour it is suggested to spend three days in Lisbon, have three day trips to Sintra, Cascais and Obidos and spend one day relaxing the beach.
This suggested tour is suitable for couples of all ages but is ideally suited for younger travellers due to the fantastic nightlife of Lisbon, while more mature visitors will appreciate the historic towns of Sintra and Obidos. This tour is ideal year-round.
Related article: 1 week in Lisbon.
Porto and northern Portugal - one week holiday
Porto is the undiscovered northern capital of Portugal, with few tourists even considering Porto as a holiday destination. Porto maybe virtually unknown but it can rival Lisbon for historic sights, varied activities and nightlife. This suggested one-week itinerary includes; two days to discover Porto, three-day trips to Braga, Guimaraes, and Aveiro, a day cruising along the Douro river and one day relaxing on the beaches near Porto.
Porto is one of the least expensive regions of Portugal and is a great destination during the summer when Lisbon and the Algarve are fully booked. The winter months in Porto can be wet (but mild), so this tour is recommended between March and October.
Related article: 1 week in Porto.
Tavira and the undiscovered Algarve for a vacation
The Algarve can often conjure up an image of mass tourism filled with bland inclusive resorts and crowded beaches but surprisingly the beautiful resort of Tavira and eastern Algarve region remains fairly untouched by tourism. Tavira town is a relaxed Portuguese destination that is close to some of the most stunning and deserted beaches of the Algarve.
The regional Algarve railway passes through Tavira and it is possible to explore the entire eastern Algarve from this resort, while the beautiful beaches are just a short ferry ride away. This suggested one-week itinerary includes; one day exploring Tavira, two glorious beach days and day trips to Faro, Vila Real and Santa Luiza. Tavira has a slow pace of life and is recommended for visitors seeking a relaxing break, those looking for nightlife are best to visit the central Algarve.
Related articles: One week in Tavira
Lagos and the central Algarve – 1 week itinerary
Lagos is a historic city that has responsibly developed into a popular tourist destination that is close to all of the major tourist attractions of the central Algarve (theme parks, water parks, zoos etc). A one-week holiday to Lagos can combine the beautiful scenery of the Algarve, Portugal’s history and heritage plus a day in a water park.
This suggested 1-week itinerary includes; two days exploring Lagos and the beautiful coastline, two relaxed beach days, a day trip to a theme park and two day trips to the historic towns of Silves and Sagres or Portimão.
A holiday to Lagos is recommended for families as it provides a good variety of activities to suit everyone. As Lagos is located near the central Algarve region it is the most expensive option and should be booked well in advance.
Related articles: y please click here.
Central Algarve – one week itinerary
Whilst the Algarve is less than 200km, the varied coastline consisting of large resort towns, historic villages, picturesque cliffs and stunning beaches makes it an ideal trip.
This suggested one-week itinerary will take tourists through the major sights of this region and includes the historic towns of Faro and Lagos, lively Albufeira and the exclusive Vilamoura. As this tour includes the major resorts of Lagos and Albufeira, it should be booked well in advance. For an in-depth guide to this one week itinerary, please click here.