The famous arch in Lisbon's Praca Do Comercio in Lisbon, Portugal.

Portugal Tours & Vacations

Ratings of Zicasso's Service

Portugal’s charm comes in troves as trolleys glide through Lisbon’s undulating streets and a wealth of treasures comprise its glistening coastline. Discover a distinct culture preserved throughout a vibrant history that acts as a doorway to Europe. Explore Zicasso’s personalized itineraries and have the timeless gems of Portugal be revealed before your eyes.

Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Portugal

Portugal Travel Post Covid-19

Travelers from the United States can consider traveling to Portugal this summer, and our Zicasso team is ready to help you make it happen. As of this writing, travel restrictions should begin lifting on June 15, and many airlines are beginning to resume their flights this month and next. While no quarantine will be required for trips to the mainland, a negative test to Covid-19 may be required for the islands like Madeira and Azores.

If you are ready to start planning, now is a great time to talk with a Portugal travel specialist to consider travel in fall 2020 and into 2021. Putting your plans for a trip to Portugal in motion now is an excellent way to ensure options later. Our local specialists in Portugal recommend that travelers consider less-traveled regions, and can advise any traveler on what is possible. In the hands of a local expert, your bucket list destinations can be safely included.

Planning a trip can happen anytime. It costs nothing to fill out a Trip Request with Zicasso and learn more.  Booking your trip can happen when you are comfortable to do so, as our Zicasso team can offer flexibility based on real-time global events. A customized trip with Zicasso has many advantages, as your local specialist is positioned to ensure your health and safety while you enjoy an itinerary designed specifically for you. Local knowledge and connections matter, as does the agility of a travel specialist to shift your plans for any reason.

Zicasso is here to help you.  Please contact us at 1-888-878-5442, and we are ready to connect you to a local Portugal travel specialist today.

How to Book a Portugal Tour

Portugal is a land of discovery. With more than 497 miles of coastline and a history of mariner trailblazing, Portugal contains enchanting medieval towns, epic fortresses, elegant palaces, and cosmopolitan cities. Fresh cuisine, delicious wines, ancient stone carvings, cinematic scenery, and spirited music represent the proud traditions of Portugal that you can experience with Zicasso’s help when arranging your perfect tour.

There are three ways to plan and book a trip:

1. Get a customized tour planned and booked by a travel professional. Travel independently on your own schedule.

2. Book a group tour. Join an escorted group tour with a fixed departure date.

3. Plan and book a trip yourself.

Zicasso offers the best solution for a customized tour by matching you with top travel specialists who plan and book the trip for you. Our travel agency division, Marageti, specializes in helping you book an escorted group tour. There is no extra cost to you for either service.

Custom Tours

A customized tour is one that is planned by a travel specialist according to your specific interests, preferences, and schedule. Whether you desire a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, each of the accommodations, activities, and destinations is tailored to your preferences. The knowledge and experience of your travel specialist make a big difference. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours vetting the best travel partners. We act as a referral service, matching you with specialists that best meet your goals and priorities.

Escorted Group Tours

A group tour offers the advantage of convenience at a great value. The schedule is fixed, the itinerary is pre-planned, and a dedicated tour director travels with the group throughout the trip. A group tour can be 30 - 50% less expensive than an equivalent customized tour. Out of the many hundreds of group tours, how do you select the right one for you? Our travel agency division, Marageti, has sales agents who specialize in helping travelers weigh the pros and cons of each group tour. We give you personalized recommendations to find the best tour for you.

Goals and Priorities

What are your goals and priorities for the trip? These should drive your decision for either a customized tour or a fixed departure group tour. We are here to help you make the right decisions to make your dream trip a reality.

Must-See Destinations in Portugal

We have worked with our Portugal travel experts to provide you with travel recommendations for any length of trip. A custom Zicasso tour focuses on your trip length and desired destinations, but the following lists act as successful guidelines.

Most travelers from the United States spend an average of eight days in Portugal. Eight days provides enough time to see Portugal’s highlights of the main cities but leaves less time to experience the countryside and coast. How and where you travel depends on your goals in Portugal. To help, we have crafted the following examples based upon different trip lengths.

7 to 9 Day Trips

If you have approximately one week to nine days to travel Portugal, we suggest using Lisbon and Porto as home bases to best explore and experience the culture, history, and highlights.

7 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-7: Porto

8 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-8: Porto

9 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-9: Porto

If you have more time (10-16 Days), we recommend:

If you can spend between 10 to 16 days in Portugal, we suggest taking time to discover the small towns and gorgeous scenery. Around 14 days in Portugal will give you plenty of time to visit popular destinations and hidden gems, uncover Jewish heritage, hike the second-highest summit in the country, or sample a variety of celebrated wines.

All Zicasso tours are customized to your preferences, but below is how we recommend spending your time.

10 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-7: Alentejo

Days 8-10: Porto

12 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-6: Lisbon

Days 7-9: Alentejo

Days 10-12: Porto

14 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-6: Lisbon

Days 7-9: Alentejo

Days 10-12: Porto

Days 13-14: Vinho Verde

15 Days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-8: Alentejo

Days 9-11: Porto

Days 12-13: Vinho Verde

Days 14-15: Peneda-Geres National Park

16 days

Days 1-2: Algarve

Days 3-5: Lisbon

Days 6-8: Alentejo

Days 9-11: Porto

Days 12-13: Vinho Verde

Days 14-16: Peneda-Geres National Park

How many days is enough to see Portugal?

12 to 15 days is ideal for seeing Portugal. When traveling between 12 to 15 days, you have the opportunity to use larger cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, as home bases to explore towns and villages across the country. It opens up the countryside and cities, giving you the chance to hike the hinterlands, discover wineries, sample food, visit the coastline, and uncover medieval towns.

Essential Experiences for the Best Portugal Vacation

During your Portugal tour, you can stroll the cobbled hills of Lisbon and sip the delicious wines of the Douro Valley. Excellent beaches, medieval monasteries, and Roman ruins also represent the depth of essential wonders in Portugal.

Best Way to Experience Lisbon

Lisbon is a beautiful city that glows with Gothic glamour, spanning seven hills. The cobblestone lanes, cathedrals, and ruins embody the layers of history. Riverbank promenades, gardens, and museums highlight the wonders of Portugal. During your Portugal trip, you should experience the following essential activities during your first Lisbon tour.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours (2-3 days depending on pace)

History

  • Discover the remarkable history of Lisbon with guided tours through the antique neighborhoods, such as Castelo de Sao Jorge, Baixa, and Bairro Alto.

Cuisine

  • Indulge in the authentic cuisine of Portugal to find fresh seafood, Michelin-starred restaurants, and traditional recipes in preserved ambiances.

Best Way to Experience Porto

Porto dazzles with cultural attractions that are spread across a warren of narrow lanes. Architectural treasures spring from the mouth of the River Douro, and picturesque squares host celebrated museums. During your Portugal trip, you can enjoy the below essential experiences when visiting Porto.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours (2-3 days depending on pace)

Museums

  • Explore the fabulous museum galleries to find extensive gardens at Serralves and a timeline of Poruguese art history at Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis.

Landmarks

  • Witness the iconic marvels of Porto when wandering the cobbled lanes along the riverbanks to view sites like the Cathedral, Clerigos Tower, and Palacio da Bolsa.

Best Way to Experience Coimbra

Coimbra embraces modern Portugal while showcasing past glories. Animated with medieval architecture and Moorish touches, the cobblestone lanes retain their elegance, which stems from stone walls, the mixture of humming guitar, and the passionate voices that sing fado. The following list of experiences are essential when visiting Coimbra.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours (2 days depending on pace)

Panoramas

  • Delight in gorgeous views across Coimbra at Penedo da Saudade to find folklore and poetry carved into stone tablets.

Culture

  • Bask in the remarkable culture of Coimbra during a visit to Portugal’s oldest university to find special galleries and hand-painted corridors.

Special Interests & Activities in Portugal

Traveling with Zicasso provides you with exclusive access to many activities, excursions, and tours for a distinctive experience. The following information offers insight into our recommended experiences and can be tailored to focus on your unique interests.

Best Food & Wine Destinations

Simple and delicious defines Portuguese food and wine with flavors that capture rich traditions, fresh ingredients, and a mixture of the abundant coastline and fertile countryside. The diverse cuisine reflects the varied landscape and ranges from grilled fish to a selection of meats and celebrated olive oil to traditional cheeses. Portugal is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions. Each region possesses different names for similar dishes, and distinctive recipes shape customary flavors inherent in the food that influence the 250 grape varieties.

Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is Portugal’s famous wine region and holds UNESCO World Heritage status. The rustic traditions and gorgeous scenery combine to create lush vineyards and delightful wine resorts that overlook the winding hills and waters of Douro Gorge. Typical grapes of the Douro Valley include Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Touriga Roriz, Tinto Cão, and Tinta Francisca.

Alentejo

The Alentejo region represents the southern Atlantic region with cool summers and mild winters. The climate brings ripe and jammy grapes that retain their acidity for fresh flavors. Whitewashed estates and expansive countryside covers one-third of Portugal. Traditional wines pair perfectly with culinary creations of the region, such as cheese, smoked hams, and sausages.

Zicasso’s Exclusive Access to Portugal Best Wine

Zicasso travel specialists can design private tours and organize exclusive visits for food and wine enthusiasts. You can experience a meal in the home of a Portuguese family or sample award-winning wines in small, local wineries. You can also learn more about Portugal’s wine history and flavors of special varietals from a local sommelier.

Art & History

Portugal’s long arc of history emerges from the architecture, museums, and artwork on display in cities and towns across the country. While the national boundaries stretch from Spain to the Atlantic and touches the Mediterranean, the countryside shares stories of the Roman empire, while the waves tell tales of the Age of the Discovery. Craftsmanship abounds in the form of handmade Azulejo tiles, and museum art galleries reflect on rich heritage. Museums host treasures ranging from Vasco Araujo’s works to the intricate designs of horse-drawn carriages. Portugal also hosts the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, which focuses on the intersection between technology and contemporary art.

Must-See Art Museums & Attractions:

  • Witness exceptional, hand-painted ceramic tiles of opulent design at the 18th-century Palacio Pereira Forjaz.
  • Discover the marvelous depictions of contemporary culture that have been informed by traditional heritage when discovering Lisbon’s celebrated street art.
  • View the intersection of contemporary and modern artwork in chic art galleries that are scattered around the historic city of Porto.

History

Contemporary life in Portugal fills the historic neighborhoods and villages that span the far corners of the nation. Remarkable palaces, cobbled lanes, and distinctive monasteries demonstrate antique wealth and prestige on the world stage. Hints of Phoenicians and Romans fade beneath the grandeur of the Age of Discovery, which reflects ancient culture and preserved traditions. Contemporary life celebrates Old World heritage, while the natural scenery sings with crashing waves and the tranquil beauty of thriving vineyards. A Zicasso travel specialist will design custom tours with specialized guides, such as exploring Lisbon with a history professor or visiting Belmont to dine with the head of the Jewish community. We can also organize history-focused small-group tours with a certified guide.

Active Tours

Active tours in Portugal reflect the natural beauty of the land and sea. Whether uncovering the prestige of wave breaks or showcasing the wonders of the nation’s only national park, we recommend the below active experiences when visiting Portugal.

Hiking

  • Serra da Estrela Natural Park - Trek the marvelous stone villages that remain untouched by time and the rugged foothills of Portugal’s highest peak.
  • Cabo da Roca - Hike the golden beaches and dramatic cliffs at Europe’s westernmost point.

Cycling

  • Alentejo - Explore Portugal’s flat, warm, and dry region of Alentejo to find the expansive landscapes that are decorated with vineyards and rivers.

Surfing

  • Algarve - Experience the diversity of Portugal’s waves at points like Sagres and lagos to find exceptional waters, friendly locals, and golden sands.

Private Excursions and Special Access

Zicasso’s travel specialist partners have experience in crafting unique tours with insider access. Each excursion and activity is tailored to your specific interests when visiting Portugal to shape your most memorable experiences. The following list offers some examples of experiences but the possibilities are endless.

  • Dine with a local family in a small town to experience the true flavors, passion, and spirit of Portugal.
  • Visit with the leader of a historic Jewish community to learn more about the long history of Portugal’s Jewish heritage.

How much is a tour of Portugal?

The starting price of a custom-tailored Portugal trip is approximately $200 per person, per day. For an escorted group tour, the starting price can be approximately $150 per person, per day.

The cost of a vacation is dependent on several factors, such as the:

  • Length of your trip
  • Season (month) of travel
  • Class of hotel
  • Number of locations/cities you visit
  • Number of guided day tours and activities (e.g., cooking class, wine tasting, etc.)
  • How much you spend on meals, shopping, etc.

A vacation such as this is often the biggest purchase of the year. It will also likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. To get the most out of your trip, we highly recommend using an expert travel specialist to plan a customized tour that is tailored to your specific interests and budget. You can also join an escorted group tour so that most travel arrangements are pre-planned for you. This way, you can travel hassle-free and relax while a professional tour director and guide takes care of all logistics and any issues that might arise.

The cost of a tailor-made Portugal tour typically starts at $2,000 per person for a 10-day trip, i.e., at $200 per person, per day during the low or mid-season.

This includes:

  • 3-star hotels (shared twin room)
  • Some guided day tours and activities
  • Transportation, such as airport transfers and domestic flights

A 5-star, tailor-made Portugal tour, where most services are upgraded and extra unique experiences are included, typically starts at $5,500 per person for a 10-day trip, or $550 per person, per day.

Everyone’s priorities, interests, and preferences are different. Submit a trip request on Zicasso, and we will personally match you with an expert trip planner who will help you customize your dream trip or select the right group tour while also taking your budget into consideration.

Best Time to Visit Portugal

The best time to visit Portugal is between April and May and again in October. These months represent mild weather around spring, the edge of summer, and fall. During April, May, and October, Portugal also sees smaller crowds.

June, July, and September are very busy in Portugal because of an influx of cruise ships in Lisbon and around the Algarve. The summer has the best weather for the beaches at the Algarve but also sees the largest crowds.

The climate varies across Portugal with the southern, central, and northern regions possessing different climates. However, outside of summer and edging into the beginning of fall, the Algarve is too cold for beach days.

How far in advance should I plan a trip to Portugal?

To ensure that you can get your preferred hotels and enjoy Portugal at your preferred time of year, you should book your trip six to eight months in advance, especially if planning to travel between the months of May and September. During the shoulder or off season, you can book your Portugal tour three to six months in advance. If you prefer to travel in August, you should book your trip three months in advance, unless you wish to visit the Algarve, which would require booking six to eight months in advance. Booking ahead of time ensures that you are able to reserve your preferred accommodations, tours, and transportation.

Modes of Transportation in Portugal

The best way to see Portugal in 10 days is by private transfer. A car is considered a Portuguese’s second home. While trains are available in Portugal, they do not provide the same freedom when traveling across the country and can also cause unintended restrictions. A private transfer understands many different aspects of Portugal, from the roads to the driving culture, and often also knows the history, heritage, and culture of the towns and villages you can visit. Private drivers offer friendly service and have experience with the best restaurants, specialty shops, and local information that is often unknown to other travelers.

Trains

Trains do exist in Portugal and can easily ferry you between popular destinations, such as from Lisbon to Algarve and from Lisbon to Porto. Other than traveling to these main destinations, the trains do not travel consistently or quickly to other smaller cities and do not travel to towns in the countryside. Instead, villages, towns, cities, and monuments outside of the mainstays of Porto, Lisbon, and Algarve are best-reached by car.

Your Zicasso travel partner ensures that your logistics are as smooth as possible by including private transfers between destinations to create your ultimate stress-free Portugal tour.

What to Consider When Traveling Through Portugal

When traveling on a Portugal tour, safety, travel logistics, and accessibility are always a consideration. The following information offers important considerations when traveling to Portugal.

Is Portugal Safe for Travel?

Portugal is an extremely safe country for travelers. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing, can occur when visiting crowded tourist areas, but your overall safety is never a concern. Portugal does have a reputation for getting rowdy during soccer matches but is otherwise quiet, safe, and easy to navigate.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

For Families

Portugal is a country perfect for family vacations due to its mix of history, scenery, and activities. When planning a family Portugal tour, Zicasso travel specialists consider the important details of your family’s interests, children’s ages, and the significance of accessibility for young children. You will always have family-friendly guides who understand how to engage your entire family in an active way. Considerations to make when visiting Portugal as a family include:

  • Lisbon and Porto are very hilly cities that can affect mobility for young children.
  • Many Portuguese cities have cobblestone streets, which can hinder stroller movement.

For Seniors

Seniors must consider that walking around hilly cities with cobblestone streets may affect your time in Portugal. Certain castles in addition to cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra have slopes with many hills and stairs. A Zicasso travel specialist can minimize any mobility challenges by ensuring that you have access to necessary aids and can organize your tours and accommodations according to your specific needs.

For Couples

A Zicasso travel specialist understands the importance of romance during a couple’s Portugal trip and can provide the right blend of activities and privacy. You can indulge in gorgeous luxury properties or enjoy a private helicopter transfer to the Douro Valley for the perfect Portugal trip.

For Travelers with Disabilities

Your Portugal travel specialist can help with any mobility challenges by making alternative arrangements for tours or accommodations when necessary. Their expert experience and attention to intricate details will ensure that you can enjoy Portugal’s history, monuments, and natural beauty with a stress-free tour.

Best Airports to Fly In & Out of Portugal

The best airport to fly in and out of when visiting Portugal is Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS). Lisbon has Portugal’s largest and busiest airport, which hosts the majority of international flights from North America. Porto’s Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO) is Portugal’s second-busiest airport. When touring Portugal, it is easy to fly into one city and out of another.

For most travelers, the most convenient airport in Portugal is Lisbon. The top three airports in Portugal are:

  • Lisbon (LIS)
  • Porto (OPO)
  • Faro (FAO)

Find the Best Flight

When flying in and out of Portugal, your best options for which airport you use depends on the length of your trip. It is easy to fly into either Lisbon or Porto and book your departing flight out of the alternate airport to save travel time. With the high-speed train traveling between cities, it is also easy to fly in and out of the same city as well.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Recommendations for the Return Traveler

When returning for another Portugal tour, you can travel into the depths of the cities and countryside beyond the essential destinations of Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve. You can visit destinations that are often overlooked by travelers but definitely worth your attention. The following list offers our recommendations on where to visit during a return Portugal trip.

Evora

Evora will transport you into the past and reveal one of the nation’s best-preserved medieval towns. Within the 14th-century walls, you will find winding, narrow lands, striking architecture, grand cathedrals, and hidden Roman foundations. You can bask in the charm of atmospheric restaurants and visit rustic wineries that emerge from the tranquil countryside of the Alentejo plain.

Marvao

The enchanting town of Marvao is perched on a jagged crag with whitewashed homes and charming tiled roofs. A dramatic castle and narrow lanes accentuate the 16th-century design, which is crowned by four village gates. Breathtaking scenery, elaborate history, and gourmet cuisine make Marvao an unmissable destination with a timeless atmosphere.

Related Portugal Tours by Zicasso

Here is our list of other Portugal Tours we offer:

Themed:

Duration:

Specific Portugal Destinations:

Multi-Country Portugal Vacations:

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