Skip to main content

When planning a trip to Portugal you might think of heading to the country’s main cities, Porto and Lisbon. The driving time between these two cities is only 3 hours, but why rush things? For an unforgettable journey you could rent a car, get off the beaten path and take the scenic route passing through the incredible sights along the drive from Porto to Lisbon.

Road tripping through the Portuguese countryside is the best way to discover some of the country’s hidden gems. From charming medieval villages to spectacular castles and one of Europe’s most beautiful and oldest wine regions, the sights and landscapes between Porto and Lisbon are truly breathtaking.

This 10 day Porto to Lisbon road trip itinerary covers the main highlights that lie between Portugal’s two major cities. You will finish this journey on a high and it will leave you dreaming of your next visit to this wonderful country. Read on to find our step-by-step guide to planning your perfect Portugal road trip!

Check out the beautiful viewpoints in Porto Miradouro da Vitoria

Rooftops of Porto as seen from the Miradouro da Vitória viewpoint

Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Overview

  • Porto – 2 nights
  • Peso Da Régua
  • Pinhão
  • Lamego – 2 nights
  • Tomar
  • Obidos – 2 nights
  • Sintra – 2 nights
  • Lisbon – 2 nights
Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Itinerary

Stunning vineyard views in the Douro Valley

Recommended Stops

Day 1 – Arrive in Porto and explore some of the sites around the city if you have time.

Night 1 – Porto

Day 2 – Spend a full day of seeing the highlights of Porto.

Night 2 – Porto

Day 3 – Rent a car in Porto and begin the 1.5 hr drive to the Douro Valley. Make your way to the small town of Lamego with stops at Peso da Regua and the Galafura viewpoint along the way.

Night 3 – Lamego

Day 4 – Spend a full day in the Douro Valley, visiting a few vineyards around Pinhão and taking a scenic boat cruise along the Douro River.

Night 4 – Lamego

The Ultimate 10 Day Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Itinerary

A vibrant sky lights up over the Castle of the Knights Templar, Tomar

Day 5 – Start the day by leaving Lamego early and driving 2.5 hrs to Tomar. Enjoy most of the day sightseeing in the beautiful historic town of Tomar before continuing your drive for 1 hr to Obidos.

Night 5 – Obidos

Day 6 – Spend the day enjoying your time in the medieval village of Obidos.

Night 6 – Obidos

Day 7 – Depart Obidos in the morning and begin a 1 hr drive to the town of Sintra. You will have the rest of the day to spend at Monserrate Palace and Sintra National Palace.

Night 7 – Sintra

Day 8 – Spend the full day visiting the spectacular palaces of Sintra. Starting with Pena Palace followed by the Castle of the Moors and then if you have some time left over Quinta da Regaleira is also worth a visit!

Night 8 – Sintra

Day 9 – Begin the day with a 30 minute drive to Lisbon, your final stop. Spend the rest of the day sightseeing around Lisbon.

Night 9 – Lisbon

Day 10 – Explore the highlights of Lisbon on your final day of the road trip.

Night 10 – Lisbon

Final Day – Return rental car to Lisbon airport and fly home.

Total Driving Time

6 hours 45 minutes depending on traffic

Longest Stretch of Driving

2.5 hours from Lamego to Tomar

Total Kilometres Covered

600 km

Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Highlights

⦁ Obidos + Tomar – Magical medieval towns that will immediately take you back to another era.
⦁ The Douro Valley – A spectacular and historic wine region with some of Portugal’s highest quality wines.
⦁ Palaces of Sintra – The most unique and breath-taking palaces you will ever see.
⦁ Porto + Lisbon – Portugal’s best cities that are full of fascinating history and culture, delicious cuisine and amazing sites.

Porto to Lisbon Road Trip

The picturesque village of Pinhão in the Douro Valley

How Long Will I Need?

I would recommend allowing 10 days to complete this Portugal road trip if you’re following the exact itinerary listed above. Leave an extra day at the end to drop off the car and travel home. If you prefer to travel at a slower pace, you can easily extend it to two weeks by spending a few extra nights at any of the stops along the way.

If you have the flexibility, it is worth spending more time in either Porto or Lisbon. These cities are truly amazing with so much to see and do, you definitely won’t be bored. If you are flying in from overseas, you should plan to spend a few more days in Porto to recover from your travel journey before you begin the road trip.

Keep in mind, you could choose to reverse this itinerary and road trip from Lisbon to Porto instead.

Best Time To Visit Portugal

For sunny and warm weather, the best time of year to travel to Portugal is any time between May – September. The summer months of June – August are high season for tourism in Europe, so if you’d like decent weather with less crowds, we’d recommend booking your holiday in May or September.

Portugal enjoys a mild climate year round but you can expect to see some rain if you travel there during off season/winter. If you visit Portugal in spring or early fall you can expect pleasant temperatures with plenty of sun and minimal crowds.

Road trip from Porto to Lisbon

Clerigos Tower, Porto

Must Try Portuguese Wines

Douro DOC – If you like rich, full-bodied wine with delicious dark fruit notes and a hint of oak then this is for you! It is a non-fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley, which is the best place to try it, however it can be found all over Portugal and comes close to topping the list for our favourite red variety.

The best Portuguese wines we had are not widely distributed around the world so be sure to make the most of this amazing wine while you’re here.

Vinho Verde – This wine variety hails from the northern Minho province and is not actually a variety of grape but are rather named due to their region of original and the production method.

The wine is bottled soon after harvest (3-6 months) and traditionally had a slight fizz which was a due to unwanted bottle fermentation and considered a fault. This is however what made the wine so appealing to us and many others which is why wine producers often artificially add a slight fizz now-days!

Port – A fortified wine known around the world and taking the namesake of its city of origin. You cannot visit Porto without sampling the finest port you can find anywhere in the world.

The best place to do this is in one of the traditional port wine cellars along the river; here you can tour the old buildings whilst trying a variety of port wines and admiring the old Rabelo boats that used to transport the barrels downriver from the Douro valley.

The Best Travel Insurance for Road Trips

Don’t risk it. Road tripping without insurance is never a good idea! We always use World Nomads. Click here to get a quote.

Where to Rent a Car in Porto

Whenever we travel, we use Rentalcars.com to book car rentals because the insurance prices are the most reasonable, they have the best selection of providers and the best rates. Use the search box below or click here to compare prices on car rental options for the dates that you require.

View from the The Dom Luís I Bridge in Porto

Panoramic views can be seen from The Dom Luís I Bridge in Porto

The Ultimate Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Itinerary

Porto

Before you begin your drive from Porto to Lisbon, spend the first two days exploring the second largest city in Portugal. This coastal city has so much to offer from the colourful houses of the Ribeira waterfront to the famous port wine cellars and the beautiful Douro River running through the middle of it all.

Porto is full of history and plenty of amazing things to see and do, you could easily spend more than two days here but this amount of time allows you to tick off the highlights and get a good taste of what this city is all about. All of Porto’s main landmarks are relatively close together making it easy to see everything in a short time.

Highlights of Porto

The Ribeira District – The most colourful and ancient part of Porto lines the Douro River waterfront. Explore the maze of narrow winding streets and beautiful old buildings that make up the Ribeira District. This place really comes to life at night. With its many traditional bars and restaurants, it makes the perfect place to grab some dinner and hang out in the evening. Don’t forget to try some port! You will catch the best views of the The Dom Luís I Bridge from this area.

Clérigos Church & Tower – For 5€ climb the 200 steps of the most iconic building in Porto. This massive church tower can be seen from pretty much any point of the city. The view from the top will not disappoint! Find tickets to the Clerigos Tower here.

Sao Bento Train Station - Porto, Portugal

Inside the São Bento Train Station

São Bento Train Station – Often referred to as the most beautiful train station in the world, it’s worth a visit even if you don’t have a train to catch. Intricately painted blue and white azulejos (tiles) decorate the historic train station’s interiors, telling the story of Portugal’s history. This place is absolutely beautiful and very photogenic.

Tour the Wine Cellars – Porto is home to a number of historic wine cellars which are known for producing the world-famous Port wine. Situated along the banks of the Douro River, these wine lodges are open to the public for tours and tastings. A trip to Porto simply isn’t complete without a visit to a Port wine cellar!

The most popular tour option is of the Cálem Caves winery. They offer an excellent guided tour of their wine cellar where you will learn all about the fascinating history of Port production in the Douro Valley region. The tour ends with a Port tasting accompanied by a live Fado performance.

Tickets for the Cálem wine cellar tour can be purchased here. 

Portugal Itinerary

Clérigos Tower

Best Viewpoints in Porto

Miradouro da Vitoria – Don’t miss out on this awesome view-point looking out over the old city, Douro River and bridge.

Dom Luís I Bridge – Head to the bridge and walk over the top for a breathtaking view overlooking the city and river below.

Ribeira de Gaia – Once you have crossed the bridge on the lower section, you are now in Vila Nova de Gaia, the city located on the south bank of the Douro River. If you walk all the way to the water’s edge, you’ll enjoy views looking back at Porto’s colourful Ribeira waterfront and the Rabelo boats. These traditional boats were used for centuries to transport wine from the Douro Valley to cellars in the city.

Vila Novo de Gaia – This beautiful viewpoint is accessed by walking across the upper platform of the Dom Luís I bridge from Porto. Once you cross into the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, you can enjoy a stunning view looking back at Porto, the river and bridge all at once.

A view of Porto from Vila Novo de Gaia

Perfect city views from the top of Vila Novo de Gaia lookout

Rabelo Boats, Porto

Ribeira de Gaia view

Where To Stay In Porto

Aparthotel Oporto Entreparedes – Centrally located self-catering apartments within the heart of Porto’s historic centre. Only steps from the main attractions of Porto and offering lovely city views, this accommodation provides a clean and comfortable place to base yourself during your stay in Porto.

Laurear Guest House – Set in a convenient location with plenty of shops, restaurants and attractions nearby, these clean and tastefully decorated rooms are a popular choice in Porto. Featuring city views, free Wi-Fi, an airport shuttle and a delicious breakfast included, you really can’t go wrong with this lovely guest house.

OportoHouse – A cosy family-run guest house in an excellent location. OportoHouse offers easy access to all attractions around Porto, it’s a 5-minute walk from the São Bento Train Station, and provides the option to include a continental breakfast; all for a very reasonable price! This guest house is ideal for the budget conscious traveller seeking comfort and convenience.

→ Click here to browse more accommodation options in Porto←

Porto, Portugal

Douro Valley

The next stop on your road trip from Porto to Lisbon will take you through the majestic Douro Valley. This wine region will blow you away with its mesmerizing beauty and over 2000 years worth of fascinating wine-producing history.

With outstanding wine and spectacular scenery, the Douro Valley truly deserves a spot on every wine lover’s bucket list. As you drive through the rolling green hills, passing by ancient vineyards and looking downward to see the winding Douro River, you’ll only wish that you had more time to spend in this special place!

When leaving Porto you will want to rent a car before setting out. Start early in the morning, set your GPS or Google Maps to Peso da Régua (this is a 1hr 20min drive) and begin your journey inland. It won’t take long before you start to see sweeping views of the vineyards clinging to the steep hillside.

Don’t be surprised when the drive takes you much longer than your GPS estimates. The landscapes in this region are simply stunning and definitely worthy of stopping to get out, take a look around and enjoy your surroundings.

→A phone mount for your car is an essential item when road tripping Portugal←

Visiting the Douro Valley on a road trip from Porto to Lisbon on a day trip from Porto

Wonderful landscapes of the Douro Valley

Peso da Régua

Peso da Régua is a small town located on the banks of the Douro River, surrounded by breathtaking views of terraced vineyards growing along the mountainous landscape.

This is the perfect place to stop for some lunch and break up the drive to Lamego. Being the first stop in the Douro Valley, this also happens to be great place to gain some insight into the region’s history and of course taste some of the delicious wine.

Spend up to a few hours in Peso da Régua before continuing to your final stop of the day, Lamego.

Beautiful terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley

Stunning terraced vineyards can be seen throughout your drive

Highlights of Peso da Régua

Stop for lunch – By the time you arrive in Peso da Régua, you will be ready to take a break from driving and grab a bite to eat. As you wander around town, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a restaurant. If you’re looking for some recommendations, you can’t go wrong with any of these options:

Museu do Douro – This museum is a must if you’re interested in learning all about the history of the Douro Valley’s wine culture and production. There is a lovely wine bar outside of the museum where you can sip a glass of port while enjoying the magical scenery.

Wine tours – Half day or full day guided wine tours depart from Peso Da Régua. Learn all about the history of wine production in this area while you sample it. More information on wine and food tours can be found by clicking here.

The Best Douro Valley Viewpoint

We found some of the most scenic views by pulling over on the side of the road while driving. Having said that, the following viewpoint is worth taking a little detour!

Don’t miss out on stopping at the São Leonardo da Galafura viewpoint as you make your way from Peso da Régua to Lamego. This is the highest point of the Douro Valley where you’ll find the most extraordinary panoramic views over the rolling hills, vineyards and winding river.

While there are plenty of other designated viewing areas to stop and take in the scenery of the Douro Valley, this one is the most popular and for good reason.

To get there, it’s only a 30 minute drive from Peso da Régua with a further 40 minutes of driving to reach Lamego.

Admire the spectacular views of the Douro Valley on this epic Portugal Itinerary

Taking in the scenery at São Leonardo da Galafura Viewpoint

Lamego

Continue your drive from the viewpoint to the cathedral town of Lamego. Surrounded by the Douro vineyards, this lovely town is an ideal place to base yourself while sightseeing in the Douro Valley; plan to spend two nights here.

There are many accommodation options to suit all types of travellers in Lamego, from historic vineyard villas to modern hotels and cosy guest houses, see below for our recommendations.

Where To Stay In Lamego

O Cantinho do Colégio – These beautiful apartments are centrally located in the town of Lamego and feature spacious, nicely decorated rooms with a well equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi and everything you could wish for a great stay. Reviews of this apartment on Booking.com are exceptional based on cleanliness, great location and value for money.

Quinta da Portela – This fantastic bed and breakfast is located on a picturesque vineyard on the outskirts of Lamego. Take a swim in the pool surrounded by gorgeous vineyard views, relax on your private balcony and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Staying at a traditional Douro Valley vineyard is certainly an experience you won’t soon forget!

Lamego Hotel & Life – This stunning hotel has its very own vineyard and boasts incredible views looking out over the surrounding landscapes. There is a restaurant on-site serving delicious local cuisine, a gym, heated pools & sauna. We chose to stay here during our time in the Douro Valley and we highly recommended it if you’re looking for a comfortable and memorable stay!

→ Click here to browse more hotels and apartments in Lamego←

Lamego Portugal

The gorgeous Our Lady of Remedies Church in Lamego

Highlights of Lamego

Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies – This is easily one of the most striking Baroque churches in Portugal! Climb over 600 steps of the prettiest staircase you’ve ever seen to finally arrive at the church. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view over the town below. For those who aren’t keen to brave the all the stairs, the church is also accessible by car.

Lamego Castle – A small Moorish style castle sitting on the highest point of the town with great views of the surrounding Douro Valley. There isn’t much to see around this castle but the view from the walls make it worth a visit. The castle is open everyday from 10am – 6pm but closed on Mondays, admission is free.

Lamego Cathedral – Originally built in the 12th century, it’s a beautiful gothic cathedral with a rich, interesting history and majestic interiors.

Lamego Museum – Set within an 18th century palace, inside the museum you’ll find an impressive collection of original tapestries and religious paintings by a number of well-known Portuguese artists of the 16th century.

The gorgeous stairway up to the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies

The gorgeous stairway that leads to the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies

Pinhão

The picturesque wine-producing village of Pinhão lies 20km upstream from Peso da Régua in the heart of the Douro region and sits peacefully along a beautiful stretch of the Douro River. The town itself is small and has little to offer however the many wineries that surround it are what draw people to the area. Some of the best vineyards in the Douro Valley can be easily accessed near this little town making it the perfect day trip from your base of Lamego.

On day 4 of the road trip, you should plan to spend the full day exploring the Douro wineries. Taking a vineyard tour, enjoying a Douro River cruise, and perhaps including a quick visit to the Pinhão Train Station are some of the things you must do while in Pinhão. To reach Pinhão from Lamego, you will follow a scenic road that winds along the Douro River for around 40 minutes.

Exploring the vineyards of Pinhao in the Douro Valley

The pretty town of Pinhão

Highlights of Pinhão

Douro River Cruise – One of the most popular things to do in Pinhão is taking a river cruise along a particularly scenic section of the Douro River. Hop on a traditional Rabelo wine boat for a 2 hour journey to admire the terraced vineyards from a different perspective. A free audio-guide is provided to give you some insight into what you’re seeing on the tour. Book your Douro River cruise here.

Vineyard Tour – There are many great vineyards to visit in Pinhão; below are some of the popular ones that offer beautiful views and highly rated winery tours. Information about booking wine tours can be found on each respective link. Booking ahead isn’t always necessary however during high season the tours may fill up quickly. Don’t hesitate to contact the winery directly if you have any queries by using the email or phone number listed on their website.

Pinhão Train Station – Similar to the Sao Bento Station of Porto, it’s a true work of art and also considered one of the most beautiful railway stations in Portugal. Stop here to see the 25 traditionally painted tiles that showcase the history and beauty of the Douro Valley.

Kayak Rentals – Discover the magic of the Douro Valley at your own pace by renting a kayak and setting off on a self-guided adventure. Kayak rentals include waterproof bags, life jackets, and up to 4 hours to spend taking in the peaceful atmosphere of the Douro River. The local staff will give you recommendations on the best places to go. Find more info about booking your kayak rental here.

Douro Valley Vineyards

Tomar

A true hidden gem of Portugal, Tomar may not be a place you planned on visiting but there are plenty of reasons why this charming town deserves a spot on your Portugal road trip itinerary. Besides being a great spot to break up the drive, Tomar’s rich history and incredible architecture is what makes this place so attractive.

On day 5 of your road trip, you should plan to leave Lamego early in the morning to begin a 2.5 hr drive to the medieval town of Tomar. Spend the day seeing the highlights of Tomar before continuing the drive for 1 hr to Obidos where you will spend the night.

Walking the Pegoes Aqueduct at sunset in Tomar, Portugal

Castle of the Knights Templar

Highlights of Tomar

The Tomar Castle and Convent of Christ – Also known as the Castle of the Knights Templar

The architecture of this place alone is worth a visit, never mind its captivating history. This UNESCO world heritage site was founded in the 12th century and was once home to the Order of the Knights Templar. Take in the atmosphere as you wander through the enchanting, ivy covered gardens around the complex.

This castle left a lasting impression on us, there is a special vibe to this place that is hard to describe. Allow for a few hours to explore the castle and grounds, it’s a bit like a maze inside. I would recommend visiting in the late afternoon for beautiful lighting and minimal crowds. Entrance to the gardens is free, 6€ for entry to the convent/castle.

Opening Hours: 9am – 5:30pm daily

Walking the Pegoes Aqueduct at sunset in Tomar, Portugal

The incredible Pegões Aqueduct at sunset

Pegões Aqueduct – From the castle, make your way over to the epic 17th century Pegões Aqueduct which is only a 5 minute drive away. This impressive structure was used to feed water into the city, in particular the castle and convent.

There’s just something so magical about ancient aqueducts, especially when lit up at golden hour. We lucked out and arrived just in time to watch the sunset while standing on top of the aqueduct, no other people in sight. It’s moments like these that will stay with us for a lifetime!

Almourol Castle – This gem of a castle can easily be visited on your drive from Tomar to Obidos, Almourol Castle is a only 30 min drive from Tomar. Built on an island in the middle of the Tagus River, this is said to be one of Portugal’s most beautiful and well preserved fortresses. The history of this castle dates back 2,000 years ago and it’s been kept in excellent condition.

Almoural Castle - near Tomar, Portugal

Almourol Castle

Óbidos

After finishing up in Tomar, get back on the road for a further hour of driving before you reach the tiny walled village of Óbidos. This traditional Portuguese town is as picturesque as it gets. The white washed buildings outlined with bright yellow and blue borders make for an absolute joy to photograph and explore. Óbidos is an idyllic fairy-tale town, appearing frozen in time with its charming cobbled streets, medieval walls and hilltop castle.

The narrow streets of Óbidos tend to fill up during the summer months with tour groups visiting on day trips from Lisbon. By spending two nights there, you will have a full day to explore the town during the quieter hours, when the day trippers have come and gone.

However, all it takes is a few steps down an alley away from the central streets to find peaceful corners and squares. For such a small town there is really a lot to see and do. It won’t take long to see why Óbidos is quickly becoming one of Portugal’s most popular destinations.

Obidos, Portugal

Highlights of Óbidos

Historic Town – Spend some time browsing the souvenir shops around the town’s centre, perhaps picking up a bottle of Ginja to take home. This is a traditional cherry liquor that’s grown and produced in Óbidos, the perfect souvenir to remember your time in Portugal.

The town is a bit of a labyrinth, but don’t be afraid to get completely lost in the many side streets and back alleys. You will be sure to find the prettiest little corners and hidden viewpoints. Rain or shine this place is absolutely magical!

Óbidos Castle – You can’t miss this major landmark of Óbidos, perched high on a hilltop and towering over the town below. The castle has been listed as one of the 7 wonders of Portugal and dates back to the 8th century during a time when the Moors occupied the area.

For those seeking a unique experience, you might be interested in spending the night at the 4 star hotel inside Óbidos Castle!

Town Walls – Take in a panoramic view of the entire town and surrounding countryside while you stroll along the ancient walls. Keep in mind that these walls are uneven and there are no railings to keep you from falling off the side!

Obidos, Portugal

Igreja de Santa Maria – The main church of Óbidos is located in the town’s main square. It’s gone through many changes throughout the centuries with a history of three different religions occupying the site.

Óbidos Pillar – The stone pillar that stands in the heart of the town centre (right next to the Igreja de Santa Maria) is a historic monument with a sad history – it was once used to hang criminals. Directly below the pillar, you will find a 16th century fountain which was once supplied with water from the town’s aqueduct.

Discover the charming town centre of Obidos

Discover the charming town centre of Óbidos

Explore the quaint backstreets of Obidos on this epic Portugal Itinerary

Get lost in the picturesque alleys

Where To Stay In Óbidos

For an authentic experience and easy access to all of the town’s highlights, we recommend booking your accommodation inside the old town. Below are some conveniently located options with great ratings.

Casa do Relogio – This guest house is set inside a renovated 18th century building, just outside of the town walls with comfortable and spacious rooms. Nearby all of the popular restaurants and cafés, it’s a perfect location for great value. We personally stayed at Casa do Relogio during our time in Óbidos and particularly enjoyed the breakfast and the great views from the terrace. Free street parking is available near the guest house.

Casa de S. Thiago de Óbidos – This charming little guest house is perfectly located within the historic centre, offers lovely views of the town and includes an excellent breakfast. Free public parking is available in the streets 500 meters from the guest house.

Casa Picva – Situated near the medieval walls, this charming guest house is surrounded by beautiful scenery, has comfortable rooms and serves a delicious breakfast. Free private parking is available on site. With nothing but positive reviews on Booking.com, you can’t go wrong with choosing to stay here.

→ Click to browse more accommodation options in Óbidos ←

Walking the walls of Obidos, Portugal

Walking the walls of Obidos

Sintra

Nestled in the hills just outside of Lisbon, this colourful town is packed with the most unique castles, extravagant palaces and historic mansions. Once summer homes to Portuguese nobility and royalty, this beautiful collection of buildings now attracts millions of tourists each year.

Sintra is a convenient one hour drive from Óbidos. If you aim to leave in the morning, you will be able to spend the rest of the day visiting a few of the palaces. Sintra makes a popular day trip for tourists visiting from Lisbon but if you want to fully experience all that this amazing place has to offer, you will need more than just a day. Two nights in Sintra will give you enough time to see the town’s main attractions.

See below for a recommended itinerary to help you maximize your time in Sintra.

Pena Palace, sintra

Pena Palace

Recommended Sintra Itinerary

Day 1

  • Depart Óbidos and arrive in Sintra in the morning
  • Drive over to Monserrate Palace to spend a few hours exploring the beautiful palace and gardens
  • Head back into town for lunch
  • Finish the day with a visit to the National Palace of Sintra in the town centre

Day 2

  • Make your way straight over to Pena Palace to begin the day
  • Spend a few hours of sightseeing at the magnificent palace and surrounding gardens
  • Head straight over to neighbouring ancient fortifications of the Castle of the Moors
  • Have lunch back in town
  • Finish the day with a visit to the enchanting Quinta da Regaleira, only 5 minutes from the town centre
Castle of the Moors Sintra - Portugal Road Trip Itinerary

Amazing views from the Castle of the Moors

Highlights of Sintra

Pena Palace – With vibrant colours and an eccentric design, this unique castle looks like it’s been taken straight out of an N64 video game (Super Mario anyone?). Pena Palace is by far the most popular of the bunch making the queues and crowds quite big.

There’s a good reason for the crowds though, it’s unlike anything you have ever seen before. This gorgeous hilltop castle is not only a sight in itself, but the breathtaking views from the top are just another reason to make this one a priority!

Porto to Lisbon road trip itinerary

Pena Palace

I would recommend pre-booking your tickets to Pena Palace online and arrive at opening time of 9:30am. This is the best way to avoid standing in two very long queues.

When you buy your ticket online in advance, you won’t have to stand in the ticket line at the palace. If you arrive at opening time, you’ll only have to wait in the line to get into the palace. Allow up to 2 hours for your visit.

Click here to view more information about opening hours and planning your visit to Pena Palace.

Click here to purchase your skip-the-line ticket to Pena Palace. Tickets are €14 for entrance to the palace and park.

The ultimate portugal road trip itinerary from porto to lisbon

Gorgeous gardens of Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira – This beautiful mansion surrounded by enchanting gardens are a UNESCO Heritage site. Get lost in the maze of paths that lead you through overgrown vegetation, underground tunnels, and mystical initiation wells. You will feel like you’ve been transported into another world!

We visited in the evening about an hour before closing time. This just added to the atmosphere and it gave off an almost eerie/haunting vibe in the dim evening light. This stunning palace was a huge highlight for us.

Tickets are €10 and can be purchased at the entrance. Allow for up to 2 hours to explore the full estate.

Quinta Da Regaleira, Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira

Castle of the Moors – Also known as Sintra Castle, this ancient fortification is perched along the ridges of the Serra de Sintra mountain offering sweeping, panoramic views over the region below. This impressive ruin dates back to the 8th century when the Moors occupied the area. Tickets are €8 per adult. Opening time is 10am.

Buy your Castle of the Moors fast track ticket here

Monserrate Palace – One of the least visited of Sintra’s palaces, this gem is not to be missed. A beautiful fusion of Arabic, Gothic, and Indian architecture, this exotic summer home and its surrounding gardens has a more relaxed vibe compared to the rest of Sintra. Tickets are €8 per adult.

Buy your Monserrate Palace fast track ticket here 

An aerial view of the Palacio Nacional in Sintra

National Palace of Sintra

National Palace of Sintra – Also known as the “Town Palace” it’s located in the heart of Sintra and was once home to the Portuguese royal family. The interior boasts decorative designs and traditional Portuguese Azulejos (tiles). Pop in for a visit while exploring the historic centre of Sintra. Tickets are €10 per adult.

Buy your National Palace fast track ticket here

Tip: Ensure you eat a meal in Sintra town centre before you visit any of the main attractions as most of them do not sell food. The options they do have are over priced so it’s best to avoid them and find a nice place to eat in town.

Explore the underground wells of Quinta da Regaleira on your Lisbon to Sintra day trip

The mysterious underground Initiation Well of Quinta da Regaleira

Where to Stay in Sintra

Hotels and apartments book out very quickly in this popular tourist hot spot. We recommend that you book a room well in advance to find one that’s centrally located for easy access to the popular sites. Find some highly rated options below.

Sintra 1012 Boutique Guesthouse – A cosy guest house in the heart of Sintra, less than a 10 minute walk from Sintra National Palace and Quinta Regaleira. Breakfast is included in the room’s rate and the staff are very friendly.

Casa da Pendoa – Another well located option right in the historic centre, these comfortable apartments feature fully equipped kitchens, private bathrooms and a great view of the Castle of the Moors. Everything in Sintra is easy to access by foot and street parking is available near the property.

Quinta das Murtas – A gorgeous 19th century manor house set in a beautiful location just outside of the historic town centre. The rooms are decorated in traditional Portuguese style and some even have a view looking out over the town. A full breakfast is included in your stay and there’s a pool and hot tub to relax in after a full day of sightseeing.

→ Click here to browse more accommodation options in Sintra ←

Monserrate Palace - Sintra

The beautiful Monserrate Palace

Lisbon

The final destination on your 10 day road trip from Porto to Lisbon will bring you to the bustling Portuguese capital city. I can’t think of a better way to mark the end of your epic journey through Portugal than spending two days in Lisbon.

An exciting and vibrant city with plenty of must-see attractions, rich history, amazing cuisine and a great nightlife scene, Lisbon really has something for everyone! Not to mention that it also happens to be one of Europe’s best budget cities. Dining out, accommodation and sightseeing will set you back significantly less than some of Europe’s western cities.

The drive from Sintra to Lisbon is an easy 30 minutes. Aim to leave in the morning so that you can spend the rest of the day seeing the sights of Lisbon. The best way to get around the city is by foot and taking the tram/bus, this way you will be sure to stumble on the best viewpoints and photo opportunities as you weave your way through the colourful streets.

Exploring the city of Lisbon on this epic Porto to Lisbon road trip itinerary

Traditional tiled buildings and trams of Lisbon

Highlights Of Lisbon

Alfama – The steep streets of the Alfama district make up one of the oldest areas of Lisbon. Take a step back in time as you explore this medieval maze of streets which lead to rewarding views from its various viewpoints.

Make your way up the twisting, narrow streets to find Lisbon’s hilltop castle, Castelo de S. Jorge. Admire the spectacular views looking out over the red rooftops. Hop on the famous Tram 28 that connects the Alfama with its neighbouring districts, did you even go to Lisbon if you didn’t ride one of those classic yellow trams?!

Bairro Alto – Head over to Bairro Alto to find endless tiled facades and cute cobblestone alleys just waiting to be photographed. This part of Lisbon really comes to life at night. It’s packed with tons of lively bars and restaurants, you’ll have plenty of choices to guarantee a fun night out here!

Skyline view of Lisbon, Portugal

The São Jorge Castle dominates the Lisbon skyline

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – Lisbon has no shortage of viewpoints or “Miradouros”. This was one of our favourites. You’ll find a terrace with a few bars and cafes to relax at after climbing up all those steep hills. This scenic viewpoint provides stunning panoramic views over the city. Click here for the Google maps location.

Ascensor da Bica – If you’ve ever seen a photo of Lisbon, it was probably taken at this spot. Stop here to see the iconic little 19th-century tram as it rides up and down the steep street. Don’t be surprised to find a massive crowd unless you get there first thing in the morning.

Lisbon Food and Wine Tour – Discover the traditional flavours of Portugal on this gourmet food and wine tasting tour. Your guide will take you to some of Lisbon’s most famous eateries where you will try a wide variety of delicious foods and wines. You’ll learn the history of Portuguese cuisine and be given insider tips on the best restaurants to eat at during your stay in Lisbon. Find tour prices and availability here.

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Belém – Known for its famous pastries and beautiful medieval tower, Belém is located 5 km west from Lisbon city centre. To get there you will need to take either tram 15 or tram 127 from the downtown area’s Figueira Square and get off the tram as soon as you pass the Jeronimos Monastery.

Head over to the Pastéis de Belém to taste one of the original Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg pastries). This happens to be the most famous place to get these delicious pastries in Lisbon but you can also try one from the many other bakeries around the city selling them for about 1€ each, we definitely ate our fair share!

Belém Tower – Once you’ve stocked up on Pastel de Nata, make your way over to the stunning Belém Tower. Once used to defend Lisbon, this ancient tower was later turned into a lighthouse. It costs €6 to enter the tower; plan to arrive early if you want to avoid standing in a massive queue. We opted to simply admire its beauty from the outside instead of waiting in line to get inside.

Tip: Be careful for pickpockets on the trams of Lisbon, especially the ones heading to Belém. This is a very popular line for tourists which attracts professional thieves.

Pastel de Nata - a traditional Portuguese egg tart

Where To Stay In Lisbon

The following accommodation options are all centrally located near the main attractions and within walking distance from the best restaurant and nightlife scene.

Lisbon Down Town Inn – This cosy guesthouse is in a prime location surrounded by popular restaurants and bars. It’s only a 10 minute walk to Bairro Alto and a 20 minute walk through the Alfama to get to the São Jorge Castle. The rooms are very comfortable and the hosts are friendly. We chose to stay here during our time in Lisbon and really enjoyed it!

Hotel Borges Chiado – Stay in the heart of Lisbon for a very reasonable price. This highly rated hotel overlooks Lisbon’s Chiado Square and offers easy access to the nearby metro station and also the famous tram 28 stop. It has a gym, includes a continental breakfast and offers room service.

The Lift Boutique Hotel – Just around the corner from the iconic Santa Justa Lift, this hotel features tastefully decorated, modern rooms. Breakfast is included in your stay, there is a bar on-site, and plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

→ Click to browse more accommodation options in Lisbon ←

Check out the Ascensor da Bica in Lisbon

Ascensor da Bica – That mandatory “I went to Lisbon!” photo

A Bucket List Road Trip

We hope you are ready to go ahead and add this epic Porto to Lisbon road trip to your bucket list. This one is especially a must for those who love to enjoy their wine while taking in the most spectacular views, explore the most adorable medieval villages and dive into centuries worth of history.

Portugal is such a diverse country with SO much beauty and amazing culture to be discovered. It is one of those countries we have added to our return list and we cannot wait to get back there one day to see more!

Rabelo Wine Boat under Dom Luis Bridge

Rabelo Wine Boat under Dom Luis Bridge

Planning your trip to Portugal? Check out more of our detailed Portugal guides below!


Like this Portugal Road Trip Itinerary? Pin it for later!

Portugal Road Trip Itinerary - 10 Days from Porto to Lisbon Porto to Lisbon Road Trip Itinerary

Porto To Lisbon Self Drive Itinerary Starting in Porto and finishing up in Lisbon. This bucket list Portugal road trip itinerary will take you through medieval villages, an awe-inspiring wine valley, vibrant cities and epic castles. What are you waiting for?#roadtrip #europe #portugal #dourovalley #wineregion #lisbon #porto #roadtripportugal #visitiportugal

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making any purchase, you are directly supporting The Road Is Life Travel Blog which allows us to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. We only recommend products or services we have tried/love! 

24 Comments

  • Marian says:

    What a wealth of information!! Thank you for creating this comprehensive guide to this part of the world. It’s been decades since I’ve been in Portugal, but I’m looking forward to returning soon. I’ll definitely be referring to your blog for guidance.

  • I’ve been to Lisbon and Porto in Portugal but I would love to roadtrip and see more of the countryside, thanks for this guide!

  • Julie says:

    What an amazing trip! I would love to do this. I visited Portugal often as a child, but I’ve never been back as an adult and I really want to go!

  • Val says:

    SO BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS! Well done! I have been to Lisbon for a layover only so I want to come back to explore more and Porto… and its wine hehe! I will pin your post for when I arrange my road trip there too thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Chrysoula says:

    What an epic road trip. I have visited Portugal twice but I want to go back especially to the Douro valley. I will save your post for future reference. The Douro valley viewpoints are stunning!

    • Ann Kelly says:

      The Douro valley was definitely a huge highlight for us on this trip! You will love it there 🙂

  • It looks so gorgeous in Portugal! And I really appreciate all of the practical tips about the route, like the longest stretch and total distance involved.

    • Ann Kelly says:

      Portugal is one of my favourite countries! Thank you, it’s so important to take these factors into consideration when planning a road trip 🙂

  • I really love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal website and would like
    to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named.
    Kudos!

    • Ann Kelly says:

      Hi there, thank you! Yes, we built the home page ourselves using a web design program called Thrive Architect. The rest of the pages are from the theme ‘Hestia’ which comes with WordPress 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Hi Really good information and places to visit. Do you think this would be possible using trains rather than driving?

    • Ann Kelly says:

      I think you could possibly do a modified version of this trip with trains! I know you can catch a train from Porto to the Douro Valley, which you can find more info on in this article here. But you would have to catch the train back to Porto as I don’t think trains run South from the Douro Valley. Also, the other stops might be tricky to fit in via train. I know you can take the train from Porto to Lisbon but the other stops are probably not included. Perhaps it’s worth looking into bus travel for some of these places?

  • nina says:

    I can also recommend Sintra…Soooo beautiful!

  • Anne says:

    Wonderful information and I love the itinerary. Hoping to travel in 2021. I’m planning a trip with my travel friends and we normally like to spend 2 or 3 nights in a place before moving on. With 10 nights, can you recommend an itinerary that would cover the highlights for us? Thanks so much this was a perfect base.

    • Ann Kelly says:

      Apologies for the delayed reply! We have recently updated this post to follow a more structured itinerary, with 2 nights recommended at various stops along the way from Porto to Lisbon! I hope this helps 🙂

Leave a Reply