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Portugal Travel Guide

Long stretches of golden sand, medieval hilltop castles, sunbaked cobblestone villages, and lively cities – Portugal is a lot of things. Add to this a dash of mouth-watering food and wine and some of the friendliest people in the world, and you have the recipe for the perfect vacation. With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Portugal tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters. View Portugal Tour Deals and Discounts

Portugal Travel Guide
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Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal Tours Highlights

  • Experience Lisbon, Portugal's buzzing capital city, a picture-perfect sea of pastel buildings draped over seven hills.
  • Marvel at the enormous Praça do Comércio, one of the largest squares in Europe and entrance to the city of Lisbon.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sintra-Vila with historic palaces and villas folded into hillsides that roll down to meet the Atlantic.
  • Relax on the golden beaches of the Algarve surrounded by soaring cliffs, scalloped lagoons, and enchanting fishing villages.
  • Enjoy delicious Portuguese cuisine, heavily influenced by the Mediterranean, and famous for Atlantic-fresh seafood slathered in olive oil.
  • Admire the striking scenery of the Sagres Peninsula with its sea-carved cliffs towering over frothing ocean waves.
  • Delve into medieval history in the beautifully preserved city of Évora with its elaborate cathedral and picturesque town square.
  • Discover the cobbled alleyways and quaint plazas of Viseu, a charming city located in one of Portugal's top wine-producing regions.
  • Explore the maze of narrow cobbled streets in Porto, home to beautiful homes with colorful tiled facades.

Portugal Tours Travel Tips

  • Food and drinks in Portugal are excellent quality and very good value for money, so ditch the international brands and eat and drink like the locals. Fresh seafood is everywhere and local house wines are almost certain to be delicious.
  • Some of the roads can be in poor condition and inter-city rail routes are cheap but slow. The best way to explore Portugal is by luxury coach. Join a Portugal tour if you don't want to bother with booking transportation and accommodation in every town.
  • Many museums are free on one day of the week or the first Sunday of the month. Check the websites and try to time your visit to save some money.
  • The Lisbon Card and Porto Card offer tourists unlimited access to public transport, free admission to top attractions, and tons of other discounts and benefits.
  • It's always good to have some local currency on you (Euros) when you land in Portugal. However, there are ATMs at all international airports and in major tourist areas. Some smaller establishments do not accept cards, only cash.
  • Bring comfortable shoes or sandals with thick soles. After walking on cobblestone streets for a few hours, you'll understand why.
  • Most people in Portugal speak at least a bit of English, but it can't hurt to know a few greetings and phrases in Portuguese, such as Ola (hello), por favor (please), obrigado (thank you), sim (yes), and nao (no).

Portugal Tours Things To Do

  • Explore Lively Lisbon
    Explore Lively Lisbon

    Ancient cathedrals, cobbled alleyways, and historic monuments give Lisbon a unique character. But this vibrant city, set over a series of hills near the River Tagus, has a captivating contemporary vibe as well. Visit world-class museums, stroll on the riverside promenade, or discover hidden treasures in the narrow streets of the old quarter. With its strategic location at Europe's doorstep, fresh seafood is aplenty in Lisbon. And boy, does this city know how to party. Come nightfall and the narrow, cobbled streets transform into a merry drinking scene with everything from classy nightclubs to rowdy bars.

    You Should Know

    The VivaViagem card is a quick and easy way to use Lisbon's public transport system. It's good for travel on the metro, tram, bus, ferry, and funicular. The embedded chip makes it easy to pay for journeys, and it's cheaper than buying single fare tickets. Each person using public transport needs their own card.  

  • Take a Day Trip to Sintra
    Take a Day Trip to Sintra

    Located just a short drive from the capital Lisbon, Sintra is a magical place of incredible natural beauty and historical significance. A scenic drive along the Atlantic coast will bring you to a spectacular mountainous landscape carpeted with ferns and lichen, sloping gently toward the Atlantic. The highlight of the region is the amazing palaces, including the beautifully preserved medieval palace, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra. Also unmissable is the vivid Palacio da Pena, perched atop a rocky peak with its turrets piercing the clouds.

    You Should Know

    Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the forested grounds and shaded woodlands of the 200-hectare Parque da Pena (Pena Park), which has a maze of romantic paths, lush fern gardens, and wonderful views of the palace. You can buy a combined ticket to the palace and gardens.

  • Catch Some Sun on The Algarve
    Catch Some Sun on The Algarve

    It's a magnet for visitors, 4 million of whom come to the Algarve each year. This surfers' paradise on Portugal's southern coast is a tourist hotspot, jam-packed with resorts and vacation homes. Splashy water parks and a sizzling nightlife make the Algarve popular with families and couples alike. But if a crowded beach is not your thing, the protected islands and lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa are a treasure-trove of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Venture into the hilly hinterland of the Algarve and you'll discover tranquil whitewashed villages, historic castles, and charming farmhouse restaurants amidst citrus orchards.  

    Best Time To Visit

    The summer season in the Algarve is very busy. You're virtually guaranteed long, sunny days, but be prepared to spend some time looking for a spot on the beach. Winters in the Algarve are mild, so if you want to avoid the crowds and catch some winter sun, this could be a good time to visit. Average winter temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, and while it's not exactly beach weather, it's a great time for an active vacation (kayaking, hiking, golfing) which can be punishing in the summer heat.

  • Indulge in Delicious Portuguese Cuisine
    Indulge in Delicious Portuguese Cuisine

    Bacalhau, a dried, salted cod, is a staple of Portuguese cuisine and omnipresent on restaurant menus. You can eat it fried, baked, boiled, or grilled – you'll love the smoky, earthy flavors with a delicate zing of citrus. Other dishes worth trying include cataplana, a robust seafood stew made with whatever's fresh at the fish market that day. And if you have a sweet tooth, try the rich, eggy, custard tarts called pastel de nata, preferably at the shop in Belém that uses a centuries-old recipe to make them.  

    You Should Know

    As soon as you sit down, your server will likely place a bread basket or some sort of "entradas" like a small plate of marinated olives on your table. Don't assume the appetizers are free. In Portugal, you will pay for everything. However, this should not add more than a couple of Euros to your bill. Otherwise, you can ask your server to take away anything you didn't order.  

  • Go Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley
    Go Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley

    The wine industry in Portugal has undergone a quiet revolution and emerged from the shadows of its more famous neighbors, Spain, France, and Italy. Portugal today produces a wide variety of wines with distinctive personalities, grown in the two main wine-producing regions, the Douro Valley and Pico Island. A winery tour in Portugal is a treat for the senses, with magnificent views of vineyard-covered hillsides and a chance to taste some of the best Portuguese wines paired with artisanal cheese and chocolates.   

    You Should Know

    Don't be intimidated if you're not a wine connoisseur. Everyone can enjoy the experience in Portugal's world-renowned wine country. The farm owners and guides are more than happy to answer your questions. Pro Tip: Don't try to cram too many wineries into your day. Wine tasting is fun when it's not rushed.  

  • Marvel at the Castle of Tomar
    Marvel at the Castle of Tomar

    Built by the Knights Templar, an organization of devout Christians, in the 12th-century, the Castle of Tomar is an imposing edifice that stands on top of a hill. Enclosed within its walls is the Convento de Cristo (Convent of Christ), a magnificent monument built over 500 years in diverging styles. Particularly arresting is the central rotunda, designed by the grandmaster Gualdim Pais and decorated with frescos depicting biblical scenes. Continue from Tomar to Fatima, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world where three shepherd children saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917.  

    You Should Know

    Tomar is a pretty little town with a typically Portuguese laidback vibe. Walking around the narrow, cobbled walkways will make you feel like you've stepped back in time. Strike up a conversation with the friendly locals to learn more about their culture.  

  • Visit the Magnificent Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra
    Visit the Magnificent Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra

    Named after King João V, the 18th-century baroque library, Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra has an awe-inspiring central hall with elaborate ceiling frescos, decorated arches, massive rosewood and ebony tables, and two-storied gilded shelves that hold some 200,000 volumes on theology, philosophy, law, medicine, and geography, a collection dating back to the 16th-century. This grand national monument of priceless historical value is a sumptuous space that's well worth a visit.  

    You Should Know

    The library is home to a colony of bats that protects the books from insects by eating them during the night.  

  • Venture into the Idyllic Portuguese Countryside
    Venture into the Idyllic Portuguese Countryside

    Big cities like Lisbon and Porto have pulsating energy but venture away from the main tourist attractions and Portugal will reward you with charming coastal villages and enchanting hilltop towns brimming with history and culture. Get off the beaten path and head to the idyllic Portuguese countryside, where you'll discover whitewashed walled cities with ancient castles and historic lighthouses with sweeping views of the Atlantic.   

    You Should Know

    You can do day trips to the countryside from larger cities. For example, visit Aveiro, just 75 km from Porto; or Tavira, 30 km from Faro; or Nazare, which is a two-hour bus ride from Lisbon.  

Portugal Tour Packages

Quick Facts

Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, with cooler temperatures to the north and dry and warm temperatures in southern regions. 

  • Summer - June to August

    Summer is the hottest, busiest, and most expensive season to visit Portugal. Lisbon and the beaches of the Algarve, in particular, can get very busy during these months. The shoulder months of June and September are better bets because the weather, although still hot, is not unbearably so, and there are fewer crowds.

  • September to October

    Autumn is a great time to visit Portugal with water temperatures still warm at around 21C and plenty of sunshine. This is also the perfect time to visit the Douro vineyards where some estates will let you join the harvesting and grape-stomping activities.

  • Winter - December to February

    If you're looking for a quiet holiday with mild weather, a winter Portugal tour might be just right for you. There's still a good amount of sun, but it can get chilly and rainy. Some of the beach resorts wind down for the season. However, winter is a great time to explore inland or enjoy a city break in Portugal. 

  • Spring - March to May

    Spring in Portugal has mild temperatures (warm but not scorching hot), verdant landscapes, thinner crowds, and easier availability of accommodation. This weather is ideal for active holidays like hiking and other outdoor activities.

Portugal Tours Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I join a Portugal tour from the US?

    There are direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Most Portugal tours start and end in Lisbon, making it easy for you to join the group.

  • What’s included on a Portugal tour?

    The price of your Portugal tour includes accommodation in comfortable hotels, all transportation, many meals, and guided sightseeing and activities. Your tour director will be on hand to answer questions and ensure your safety and comfort. You'll also enjoy the company of like-minded travelers.

  • How much time do I need to see Portugal in-depth?

    If you're headed only to Portugal, we suggest 10-12 days to experience the country's amazing diversity. If you're joining a combined Spain, Morocco, and Portugal tour, then we recommend a 15-17 days' vacation.

  • How much do Portugal tours cost?

    Portugal tours start at around $175 per person per day. We offer personalized services to help you find the Portugal vacation of your dreams at an unbeatable price. Call us today to save money with our biggest discounts on Portugal tours.

Learn More About Portugal Tours

  • Top 5 Destinations For Adult Solo Travelers

    Adult travelers know how they prefer to see the world. They want to spend a little longer in intriguing destinations, focus on the history, culture and locals of the city, and require an emphasis on comfort and stress free planning.

Reviews for Portugal Tours and Vacations

Our Amazing Spain & Portugal tour with Insight exceeded our expectations, from our lovely Tour Director and Local Guides to our coach bus and driver as well as accommodations and experiences. It was worry free, everything was seamless from our arrival to departure and everything in between. We look forward to our next tour, Northern Spain!!

Dawnell W

Our Tour Director was very knowledgeable, professional, and funny...Over all, Globus was a good company to tour with but there were a few hiccups: 1) The Globus booklet stated we would visit the Sagrada Familia, we did but the outside only. THIS WAS VERY MISLEADING. Had we known we were not going inside the church, we would have purchased tickets months ago and visit the church properly. Very dissapointing as it truly was the only place we visited without participating in any optionals. 2) The hotel in Barcelona---yes, it was clean, nice and the staff was friendly---it was in the middle of a residential area. We walked around (up & down) and not much was there. Wish it would have been more centralized to places to visit or at least to various local restaurants. 3) The drive from Barcelona to Madrid was 9+ hours long with only rest stops. Why not travel on the bullet train instead of the bus? A bus could be chartered from Madrid. We truly lost 1 entire day of vacation! If the train is not feasable, then why not offer one of the free dinners that night instead of an optional dinner? The drive was too long and exhausting and then to have to pay a heavy price for a party of 5? No, we did not.....In contrast, the drive from Madrid to Sevilla was long but we stopped in Cordoba for a few hours on the way; thus it cuts in the monotomy of being in a coach bus. Yes, it was a long drive but you don't feel it as much. 4) At times it seemed a little pushy on the optional tours. Actually, we were inconvenienced twice for not paying the extra money---in Madrid the Museo Prado tour seemed a little rushed because we had to leave for those going to Toledo. To add insult to injury, the bus did not drop off us off at the hotel! We had to walk quite a few blocks from where we were dropped off. This is not fair, we all paid the same price for the "tour". The second time was in Lisbon after we visited the Monastery of Jeronimo, again the tour was a little rushed, we toured the first floor only yet we could see people in the 2nd floor taking pictures from the balcony. Once again the bus could not take us to the hotel so the Tour Director paid for taxis for us and the others who stayed. This was better than the treatment in Madrid, but again, it was a rushed visit and my girls did not have the opportunity to go upstairs in the monastery. Overall, Globus seems to be a good tour company but I cannot rate it 100% or "Strongly Agree" for the reasons I have just shared. They need to re-think a couple of their strategies and remember that their customers flew a long way to get there.

Gisselle B

By the time we paid for all the optional tours, we could have booked a nicer tour. Very disappointed when we found out, we could not tour the inside of the Sagrada Familia. That definitely should have been one of the optional choices. I guess we didn’t read all the information closely enough because we were a bit surprised when we found out we were handling our own luggage. Also, since it was winter time in Spain there was no way to use the air conditioning or even the fans in the rooms. It was very hot and stuffy.

Elaine J

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