Portugal in 2-3 days
Explore the seven hills of Lisbon and its intricate laneways, marvel at its blue and white ornate tiles, ride a tram up to the old quarter and visit the Sé Catedral, the Moorish castle ruins and listen to fado by night.
Visit Costa Azul for a day and take a boat out to watch the bottle-nosed dolphins. Time your visit with the festivals – watch colourful parades, eat sardines and drink sangria!
Visit Porto and sample the port wines in town or head out to the Douro vineyards. Eat fresh seafood in the small coastal towns of northern Portugal and surf it up at the Atlantic beaches.
In 7-9 days
From Lisbon, travel the coast of Portugal, stopping at the picture-book village of Sintra, the hilltop village of Óbidos, and visit the Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça – a Cistercian monastery of Unesco World Heritage Status.
Look for the Virgin Mary, along with millions of pilgrims, at the glade in Fátima where she is said to have appeared to three peasant children in 1917. Get close to nature with a walk through the coastal pine forest of Pinhal de Leiria and then party it up at the university town of Coimbra.
Spend a day at the Roman ruins of Conimbriga before you head up to Porto, with a port-tasting stopover at Vila Nova de Gaia.
Two weeks +
From Lisbon head south to the Algarve. Along the way you can visit Costa de Caparica for unspoilt beaches and Setúbal for a jaunt through Parque Natural da Arrábida. Heading further south you’ll climb to Algarve’s highest point at Monchique. Cut across Baixo Alentejo to the southern coast.
If you’re into surfing and diving head to Sagres with its fine beaches, dramatic cliffs and laid back vibe.
Continue east to Faro, with its medieval architecture, and onto the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa with its marshlands and wetlands. Chill out at the beach villages along the coast and stop off at Tavira, located on a river with castle ruins and a Roman bridge. Finish up at Vila Real de Santo António on the edge of Rio Guardiana.