Find out all you need for the best Portugal Itinerary. Before you consider any holiday you need to first consider where to go to. Portugal has lots of wonderful places to explore. Also, find out where to stay in Portugal. The best Portugal holiday destinations are Praia das Macas, Sintra, and Lisbon and I will be explaining in more detail in my Portugal Itinerary.
I went to Portugal years ago when I was like 10, for our family’s first surfing trip abroad. Since then we went back again in 2016. I always want to try and go to a new country every year, but I did not know going back to Portugal would be so amazing.
Portugal has the oldest borders in Europe and has preserved a lot of its ancient architecture. It is home to a wide variety of noteworthy landmarks. One thing you don’t think about when people say Portugal is the delicious food, but after going the second time I found lots of wonderful foods. All this at relatively affordable prices when you compare it to countries nearby.
The 7 days In Portugal Itinerary has everything you need to plan a great trip from what to see in Portugal, best places to visit in Portugal and tips for getting around.
I went to Portugal to go surfing, it’s one of the best places in the world to surfing and CNN has added it to their 50 best surfing spots in the world. One of the best Portugal surf spots is Praia das Macas.
Best time to visit Portugal
- Summer- the summer time is the hottest time to visit Portugal where temperatures can reach up to 30°C. The busiest time is July and August as most schools around the world have broken up for the summer holidays. As well as this the prices reach their highest. As it is a very hot time of year, so it is too hot to do lots of walking. I suggest going in May when it is cooler and less busy.
- Winter– from November to March is a good time to explore Central Portugal. As it never rains in winter and it is mild all year around but in the north, it can get pretty cold.
- Spring– from March to May is a good time to go where it is not too hot.
- Autumn—October is one of the best times to go to Portugal, as it is still hot but not too hot you just want to be in the sea all day and the summer crowds have gone. The sea is still warm in autumn.
Best time to book a flight to Portugal
You can lots of cheap holidays to Portugal, but you can book even cheaper flights following what I said below. There is a wide range of different theories as to when you should book your flights to get the best prices. Should you book as far in advance as possible or last minute? It depends on the place you are going to.
For European breaks, the best time to book a flight is 1 to 2 months in advance. As well as this booking a flight on a Tuesday is said to be the cheapest day of the week as that is when some of the airlines have their sales. Skyscanner, one of the biggest fight comparison sites, says the best time to book a domestic trip is 2-3 weeks in advance, so for Portugal, 1 month in advance should be fine.
Things to know before you go to Praia das Macas
The main thing you need to know is that Praia das Macas is a very small town, so you can’t get a taxi or even order one, so I suggest renting out a car from one of the car rentals at the airport. As well as this, there are not that many restaurants in Praia das Macas, so to get to the good restaurants it is a drive away.
Where to stay
You can use Airbnb if you want to save money. There’ not a wide variety of hotels to pick from. The one I stayed in was Hotel Oceano; it was a very basic hotel, but I would not recommend it. You can go down the toad a bit to the next beach that is Praia Grande where you’ll find a lot more choices.
The closest one to Praia Grande Beach is Vila Monte Luz, which comes with its own swimming pool and your kitchen.
Portugal Itinerary 7 days
Arrive at Lisbon airport. Then get a taxi or rent a car at Lisbon airport is about 45 minutes from Praia das macas. The hotel we stayed in was Hotel Oceano and it was right by the beach. The staff was very friendly and helpful. That is the only hotel in the area but if you go out to Praia Grande, very close by, it is another good surf spot in Portugal. This was another hotel that is meant to be nicely called Arribas Sintra Hotel.
When we arrived at our hotel it was nice and basic but all you needed. Portugal is a hot country in the summer and having a room without aircon is not a good idea, but at least it was not a heat wave (like last year when I went to Amsterdam, which you can read all about it on my Amsterdam post). As the hotel is very close to the sea you get a nice bit of wind that cools you down.
Begin the day by going for the complimentary breakfast that is wonderful. They serve your usual continental breakfast with eggs, bacon, and sausages. They also served a few local foods that they have for breakfast such as freshly cooked Portuguese Custard Tarts. I had never had them before until I saw them at breakfast and then I ate 2 of them every day with my breakfast. I highly recommend you try them if you ever go to Portugal.
Then head off to the beach that is literally across the road. As this town is known for being a great surf spot it is time to go surfing. You can rent surfboards from a surf shop on the beach. If you have never been surfing than you can get surf lessons also from the surf shop.
For lunch, you can go to the local shop that is very small and they have very good quality food. I always find fruit abroad much tastier than in the UK.
You will need to get a good night sleep for a big day ahead of exploring Lisbon the next day.
One day in Lisbon
Wake up early so that you can maximize your day in Lisbon. Head down for the complimentary breakfast to fuel yourself up for the day ahead. Some advice before going to Lisbon is that it is very hilly, so you will need to get shoes you will be comfortable walking in for a long time. As well as this, Lisbon has very small and narrow roads so finding a parking spot is gold dust if you actually find a spot.
There are a few ways you can travel to Lisbon. One way is to drive there and it will take you about 40 minutes. That it was I did but parking was a pain. Another way is to get the tram from outside the hotel to Sintra and from Sintra get a taxi or train to Lisbon
Begin the day going on the famous #28 tram towards Castelo de Sao Jorge. I wish I went on it as Lisbon has lots of steep hills and walking up and down them tires you out quickly especially if it is a very hot day. It passes through the popular tourist districts of Grace Alfama, the oldest part of Lisbon, Baxi, and Estrela. It is the best way to see a lot of the city if you don’t have that much time in Lisbon.
After exploring Lisbon you are probably getting hungry, so I highly recommend going to LX Factory. It is a venue converted from an old set of factories, that has markets, exhibitions, shops, cafes, and hosts concerts and parties. You need to explore the Instagram famous book shop, the one with the guy on a bicycle in the air. The shop is called Ler Devagar. For lunch, there are a lot of restaurants in LX Factory but I extremely recommend you try A Mesa Do LX an Italian pizza restaurant. Each pizza on the menu is named after an area of Lisbon.
After lunch does some more exploring or even head to one of the many museums. For dinner, you should try some Piri Piri chicken as its home in Portugal. It is like Nandos, which is half South African and Mozambiquan-Portuguese, and originated in Southern Africa. One restaurant I tried was Bon Jardim that The Telegraph said you must try out as it offers chicken Piri Piri. It was great quality chicken but the sauces were not as good as Nandos for about 10 euros.
one thing to do Lisbon takes a Pastel de Nata workshop in Lisbon, so you can learn how to make the famous Portuguese custard tarts.
Getting to Lisbon
To get from Praia Das Macas to Lisbon, I’d recommend getting up early, so you can make the most of Lisbon. You can rent a car for your week in Portugal, and also get a tram outside the hotel. This goes to Sintra and then from Sintra, you can get a taxi or Tram to Lisbon.
Another way to get to Lisbon from Praia Das Macas is the 441 bus. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes, which is very long.
Having returned to Praia, begin today by going a sunrise or eerily mooring walk along the hills that overlook the beach. The view is amazing and you can also see the town from the top of the hill. Then drive down to another spot for surfing that is Praia Grande. Praia Grande has one of the largest saltwater swimming pools in Europe.
There is a good surf shop across the road from the beach called Portugal Surf Rentals and they offer lessons if you need them.
After you have enjoyed a nice time relaxing or surfing at the beach for a few hours it is time for lunch. Across the road, there are a few restaurants to choose from and they are all reasonably priced.
After you have had enough time on the beach, totally sun-roasted, head back home to get ready for dinner. You will need to drive to this resonant. The Agua e Sal is a wonderful fish restaurant that does not just sell fish, it sells lots of other things on the menu and the food is great. Then to walk off the lovely food I suggest going for a walk as the restaurant is situated on the beach and there are a nice cliff and river in front of the restaurant.
Next day it is time to go to Sintra and just outside the hotel there is a tram that runs once a day that takes you to Sintra if you don’t have a car. It is about 20 minutes from Praia das macas. There is a lot to do in Sintra with its castles, palaces and rich history as it was popular with the Portuguese royal family.
One of the best things to see in Sintra is Quinta da Regaleira. That is the one I saw and it is on top of a very steep hill. Some people said it is a Gothic architectural masterpiece that served as a private residence to many people, including the Viscountess of Regaleira (a merchant family from northern Portugal).
After you have been walking around Sintra and Quinta da Regaleira, you will quickly work up an appetite. There is a wide range of restaurants to choose from and culture trip has lots of the best places to eat at. One place they say you should go to for lunch is Restaurant Pendoa that serves Portuguese’s favorites and is reasonably priced. Great for tourist to try out genuine local cooking.
After lunchtime to explore more of what Sintra has to offer. Find a place to try the local tipple – Ginjinha or simply Ginj. It is a Portuguese liqueur made by infusing ginja berries (sour cherry, Prunus cerasus austera, the Morello cherry) in alcohol (aguardiente is used) and adding sugar together with other ingredients. They serve it in a chocolate cup.
The last place I highly recommend you need to visit in Sintra is Pena Palace and it is very instagramable. As the castle is yellow and red. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. I never got to go and see the Pana Palace but wish I did as it looks magnificent. You can go for me and send me your pics!
Best Beach in Portugal
One place you must go to is Praia da Adraga and it is in the outskirts of Sintra. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in Portugal due to the wonderful scenery of its steep cliffs, jagged rocks, and golden sand. There are many ways to get to Adraga, but the way I went was driving through Sintra and this is another chance to look out your windows at the magical old Portuguese architecture. The Guardian newspaper said that it was the best beach in Portugal to go and visit. They say “great for surfing and watching sunsets”.
One of the rocks is called the Elephant rock as it looks a bit like an Elephant and is the first thing you see once you walk onto the beach.
There is a cliff with a small woods by the beach that has an amazing view of the beach and when you walk around the cliffs you will notice lots of camping spots where hippies stay over summer.
Usual information about Adraga
There is no public transport to the beach. You will need to drive or cycle to Adraga, where you’ll find a small car park that gets very busy during the summer months. There is also a restaurant next to the car park that lots of people say is excellent but as it is the only one on the beach it is pricey so, I suggest bringing your own food.
This is the last day before you have to get your plane back home later that night. Wake up fairly early, so that you can maximize the day. I suggest packing your suitcase the night before so that you don’t spend the last day packing.
This is your last day in a nice hot and sunny country being by a warm sea. I suggest you spend the last day surfing or relaxing at the beach by the hotel. After you spend the day at the beach it is time to get your suitcase and to head to the airport if you don’t have a car you can get the tram to Sintra and from Sintra get the train or taxi to Lisbon airport.
What to Pack for a Portugal Holiday
Sunglasses- As Portugal is very sunny you will need sunglass.
Sunscreen- you will need it to protect you from the harsh sun rays. Look at my eco-friendly products post as I mention an environmentally friendly sunscreen.
Charger banks/ portable chargers- they are great if you are on the move all the time, in a foreign country you will likely need Google maps so you don’t get lost, so you need your phone fully charged.
Universal chargers- Portugal uses the European two pin plug but I find having a universal travel adapter is much easier as you don’t have to buy a new adapter each time that you travel to a different country.
Sandals/sliders- they are essential when going to the beach.
Camera- to take holiday snaps and then showcase them on your Social Media to make your friends and family jealous.
Microfiber Beach Towel- Quick-drying and lightweight, you will want a microfiber beach towel for your time by the many beaches you will be visiting.
Please comment below if you want me to do a Things to see in Lisbon and one on Sintra. Let me know if I have inspired you to travel to Portugal! And do share your pics with me!
if you love Portugal than read my 10 of the most Beautiful places in Europe to visit in 2019