preloadOporto view from the the Douro river

Portugal has got it all – sun, surf, castles and charming cities. It’s hard to squeeze all its culture and beauty into one Portugal road trip, but we’ve done our best to collect the country’s best spots into one epic itinerary. From the bustling capital city to hidden beaches and clifftop palaces, renting a car gives you the freedom to soak up all the highlights.

view of Alfama neighborhood
Photo| Alfama neighbourhood and River Tejo| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61
Three riders crossing village in their trip through Alentejo
Photo| Touring in Portuguese village of Alentejo| GETTYIMAGES – ENRIQUE DIAZ – 7CERO

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve created a comprehensive Portugal road trip guide that includes top destinations, memorable day trips and best hotels to recharge for another day on the road. Get yourself ready for a road trip filled with traditional villages, crystal-blue waters, live Fado music, fresh seafood and affordable wines.


Bairro Alto, Elevador da Gloria, yellow cable railways, best destination for Portugal road trip
Photo| Bairro Alto, Elevador da Gloria, yellow cable railways| GETTYIMAGES- WESTEND61
Lisbon, Rua Garrett
Photo| Lisbon, Rua Garrett| GETTYIMAGES – RENAUD VISAGE

Most travellers start their Portugal road trip in Lisbon. It makes for a great first impression, offering a winning combination of colourful architecture, world-class cuisine and Mediterranean climate. Spend your days sipping coffee in an open square, exploring domed cathedrals or getting lost in its maze of cobbled alleyways or pack your day with culture with a visit to the Monastery of St Jerome or the Gulbenkian Museum.

Popular Day Trips: Marvel at Pena Palace in Sintra, see the famous Boca do Inferno in Cascais or visit the sun-soaked shoreline of Setubal.

Top Things to Do in Lisbon

  • Ride the historic Tram 28 for a scenic tour of Lisbon’s diverse districts.
  • Learn about Lisbon’s rich history at George’s Castle perched atop a hill in Alfama.
  • Sample famous pastry tarts in Belem and local cuisine at Time Out Market.

Top Hotels in Lisbon

Altis Avenida Hotel

Altis Avenida Hotel, hotel for Portugal road trip
Photo| Altis Avenida Hotel| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Showcasing the glamour of the Portuguese 40s, Altis Avenida Hotel is a boutique hotel on the Praça dos Restauradores. Sleek rooms boast flat-screen TVs, mini bars and downtown city views. Upgrade to a Grand View Suite for top-floor views over Rossio Square, Sao Jorge Castle and the River Tagus. For panoramic views of the historic centre, visit the rooftop Rossio Gastrobar, which serves classic Portuguese cuisine. Alternatively, opt for a drink at the elegant Lobby Bar.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 150 – USD 489
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Rua 1º De Dezembro, 120, 1200-360 Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal

InterContinental Lisbon

InterContinental Lisbon
Photo| InterContinental Lisbon| Provided by LEONARDO

InterContinental Lisbon is a sophisticated hotel in the city centre, just a short walk from Avenida da Liberdade Boulevard. Discover 5-star facilities such as a chic Portuguese restaurant and trendy cocktail bar, along with a fitness centre, grand ballroom and business centre. Refined rooms feature contemporary decor and sweeping Eduardo VII Park views, but for the ultimate in luxury stay in a Suite with a lounge, sitting room and circular tub.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 213 – USD 1,237
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: Rua Castilho, 149, 1099-034 Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal

Hotel Location


Ponta da Piedade, destination for portugal road trip
Photo| Ponta da Piedade| GETTYIMAGES – LUCYNAKOCH
red cliffs of Ponta Da Piedade
Photo| Red cliffs of Ponta Da Piedade| GETTYIMAGES – ELENA ELIACHEVITVH

Next, head for Southern Portugal and the postcard-worthy beaches that line the Algarve. Lagos is one of the country’s most sought-after holiday destinations, beloved for its scenic coastline and stunning rock formations. Perfect for ocean lovers and night owls alike, this dazzling coastal getaway has a cheerful ambience, modern marina and a wealth of historic attractions.

Popular Day Trips: Stroll the beachside boardwalk in Carvoeiro, meander the cobblestone walkways in Tavira or see the southwestern tip of Portugal in Sagres.

Top Things to Do in Lagos

  • Stretch your legs on the small pock of idyllic golden sands at Praia do Camilo.
  • Join a kayak tour along the coast to see hidden sea caves and ancient grottos.
  • Visit Igreja de Santo Antônio and Museu Municipal, a church and museum with artefacts on display.

Top Hotels in Lagos

Tivoli Lagos

Tivoli Lagos, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| Tivoli Lagos| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Tivoli Lagos offers a prime location for beach bums who want to be in the middle of the action. It’s blue and white walkways connect the rooms, patios, restaurant and bar, while a free shuttle bus travels to Duna Beach Club. Inspired by the ocean, rooms range from luxe suites with private balconies to spacious family rooms and include balconies or terraces with city, garden or pool views.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 127 – USD 385
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Crisógono dos Santos, 8600-678 Lagos, Faro, Portugal

Vila Gale Lagos

Vila Gale Lagos
Photo| Vila Gale Lagos| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Overlooking the soft sands of Mesa Praia beach, Vila Gale Lagos is a stylish hotel dedicated to fashion. Along with a large outdoor pool, the seaside retreat boasts a posh spa with an indoor pool, multiple restaurants, kids club and tennis courts. Standard Rooms boast LCD TVs, mini bars, 24-hour room service and balconies or terraces. Alternatively, opt for a Junior Suite with a spacious living room.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 113 – USD 500
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Estrada Da Meia Praia, 8600-315 Lagos, Faro, Portugal

Hotel Location


Evora Rooftops
Photo| Evora, medieval city of whitewashed houses and teracotta tile roofs| GETTYIMAGES – CLAUDE LETIEN
Alentejo, Portugal, destination for portugal road trip
Photo| Estremoz, Alentejo| GETTYIMAGES – JOE DANIEL PRICE

After soaking up the sunshine along the southern coast, make your way north to Evora and the Alentejo Region. This next stop on your Portugal road trip itinerary takes you back in time, as the perfectly preserved architectural treasures in this small town date back over 2,000 years. It’s one the country’s most timeless cities, offering a well-preserved Old Town and around 4,00 historic structures.

Popular Day Trips: Visit in summer to see the sunflower fields, often seen along the road between Aljustrel and Ferreira do Alentejo.

Top Things to Do in Evora

  • Marvel at the towering pillars at the Temple of Diana, built in the 2nd or 3rd century.
  • See the 18th-century high altar and sacred artefacts at the Cathedral of Evora.
  • Be amazed at the striking display of human bones at The Chapel of Bones.

Top Hotels in Evora

Convento do Espinheiro, Historic Hotel & Spa

Convento do Espinheiro, Historic Hotel & Spa - Évora, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| Convento do Espinheiro, Historic Hotel & Spa| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Discover the ultimate in relaxation at Convento do Espinheiro, Historic Hotel & Spa, which boasts eight hectares of outdoor gardens, multiple restaurants and a luxe spa. In addition to chic lounges and bars, there are tennis courts, an indoor pool and kids playground. Elegant rooms feature balconies and terraces, with lavish Suites adding 50s-style decor and living rooms.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 150 – USD 436
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Canaviais, 7005-839 Evora, Evora, Portugal

M’AR De AR Aqueduto

M'ar de Ar Aqueduto
Photo| M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto| Provided by BOOKING.COM

M’AR De AR Aqueduto is a 5-star getaway in Evora overlooking the Agua de Prata Aqueduct. The converted 16th-century chapel is now a luxury hotel, offering multiple fine dining restaurants and a posh spa. There’s also an indoor pool, sauna and Turkish bath. Classic rooms feature city views, flat-screen TVs and Nespresso coffee machines, while upgraded Suites add four-poster beds.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 145 – USD 351
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Rua Candido Dos Reis 72-78, Evora, Evora, Portugal

Hotel Location


giant wave crashing into cliff, destination for portugal road trip
Photo| Giant wave crashing into cliff and lighthouse, Nazare| GETTYIMAGES – RICHARDALOCK
Portugal, Nazare,
Photo| Nazare beach| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61

Found along the Silver Coast, Nazare is the next stop on your Portugal road trip. Just 128 kilometres north of Lisbon, this seaside escape lures you in with its long, sandy beaches and big waves. Known for its chilled-out vibes and proud fishing tradition, you can spend your time relaxing on its crescent-shaped beach, strolling its winding lanes or sampling fresh-from-the-boat seafood at a local restaurant.

Popular Day Trips: Before you reach Nazare, see the surf waves in Peniche or try the famous Portuguese cherry liqueur in Obidos.

Top Things to Do in Nazare

  • See if you can spot surfers from around the globe catching over 20-metre waves.
  • Watch as Portugal’s largest net fishing boats bring in their daily catch.
  • Take the funicular from the beach to the cliffs for a birds-eye view of the coast.

Top Hotels in Nazare

Vale D’azenha Hotel And Residences

Vale D'azenha Hotel And Residences, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| Vale D’azenha Hotel and Residences| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Vale D’azenha Hotel And Residences is a haven of tranquility, featuring an outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers and a spa with a sauna and Jacuzzi. There are a variety of accommodation types, from cosy Singles to family-friendly Residences with living rooms and kitchenettes. All rooms feature flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and balconies.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 136 – USD 248
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Rua Da Barrada, 39, 2460-342 Alcobaça, Leiria, Portugal

Hotel Praia

Hotel Praia
Photo| Hotel Praia| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Located in the city centre, Hotel Praia is a three-minute walk from Nazare’s sandy shoreline. In addition to an indoor pool and rooftop terrace, the laid-back retreat boasts a Health Club with a Jacuzzi and gym. Spacious rooms feature balconies overlooking the sea and/or mountain, along with mini bars, flat-screen TVs and air conditioning. For a terrace and kitchenette, upgrade to an Apartment.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 84 – USD 201
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Ave Vieira Guimaraes 39, 2450-110 Nazaré, Leiria, Portugal

Hotel Location


Largo da portagem, destination for portugal road trip
old Romanesque cathedral, Coimbra
Photo| Old Romanesque cathedral, Coimbra| GETTYIMAGES – MINTH IMAGES

If you’re a history enthusiast, you’ll want to add Coimbra to your Portugal road trip itinerary. Not only is it home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, but this riverfront city also boasts a treasure trove of historic sites. Serving as a centre for arts and culture in Portugal for over 500 years, you’ll discover beautiful churches and monasteries as well as charming boutiques and cafes.

Popular Day Trips: Bask in the sunshine along the coast in Figueira da Foz or see boats lining Aveiro, the “Venice of Portugal”.

Top Things to Do in Coimbra

  • Visit historic attractions such as the Old Cathedral of Coimbra and Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha.
  • Literary lovers can stop at the University of Coimbra’s beautiful Joanina Library.
  • Browse artwork at Machado de Castro National Museum or see colourful 17th-century “azulejo” tiles at the Chapel of Sao Miguel.

Top Hotels in Coimbra

Quinta Das Lagrimas

Quinta Das Lagrimas, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| Quinta Das Lagrimas| Provided by LEONARDO

Once a sanctuary for royalty, Quinta Das Lagrimas is a peaceful retreat in an 18th-century palace. Surrounded by five hectares of lush gardens, it boasts an outdoor pool, golf course and upscale restaurant. Also, the Bamboo Garden Spa features an indoor pool, Turkish bath and steam room. Garden Rooms offer direct access to the botanical garden, while Spa Rooms have a hot tub and balcony with Coimbra or garden views.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 142 – USD 402
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Rua Antonio Augusto Goncalves, 3041-901 Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Vila Gale Coimbra

Vila Gale Coimbra
Photo| Vila Gale Coimbra| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Offering stunning views over the Mondego River, Vila Gale Coimbra has an outdoor pool, multiple restaurants, bar and library. Also, its lavish on-site spa treats guests to an indoor pool, sauna and Turkish bath. Standard Rooms feature Wi-Fi, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs, while Junior Suites add extra space with a living room. After a long day of sightseeing, retreat to Euphoria Bar for a nightcap.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 112 – USD 316
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Rua Abel Dias Urbano, 20, 3000-001 Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Hotel Location


old town of Porto, Portugal, destination for portugal road trip
Photo| Old town of Porto| GETTTYIMAGES – RUSM
Porto wine cellar
Photo| Old fashioned Porto wine cellar with wooden barrels in Porto| GETTYIMAGES – VUK8691

Portugal’s second city Porto is a popular weekend getaway in Europe – for good reason. The romantic city oozes charm from every corner, offering a spectacular riverfront, architectural treasures adorned with bright blue “azulejo” tiles and a wealth of Port wine cellars. This charming destination in Northern Portugal is the perfect place to enjoy wine tasting, live Fado shows and UNESCO-listed sites.

Popular Day Trips: Visit historic churches in Braga, well-preserved medieval buildings Guimaraes or waterfalls and thermal baths in Peneda-Geres National Park.

Top Things to Do in Porto

  • Admire the city from above on Luis I Bridge or from the top of the Clerigos Tower.
  • Stroll past the brightly coloured houses and waterfront restaurants in the UNESCO-listed Ribeira District.
  • Visit the historic Porto Cathedral, then tour the Port wine cellars in Gaia.

Top Hotels in Porto

The Yeatman

The Yeatman Hotel, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| The Yeatman| Provided by BOOKING.COM

The Yeatman is a 5-star luxury wine hotel overlooking the Douro River, offering outdoor and indoor infinity pools, gourmet restaurants and a posh spa. In addition to wine cellars, it boasts a wine shop and wine masterclasses. All of the chic rooms and suites offer city views and a private terrace or balcony, while lavish The Bacchus Suite is ultra-romantic with a round copper Jacuzzi and freestanding fireplace.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 225 – USD 841
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Rua do Choupelo (Santa Marinha), 345, Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Portugal

Intercontinental Porto – Palacio Das Cardosas

InterContinental Porto - Palacio Das Cardosas
Photo| Intercontinental Porto – Palacio Das Cardosas| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Offering an unbeatable setting in a historic palace, Intercontinental Porto – Palacio Das Cardosas overlooks Liberdade Square. Standard Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and city views, while Suites add extra space with balconies and living rooms. Dine on traditional Mediterranean cuisine at Astoria Restaurant or sip local wines in the stylish Cardosas Bar Lounge. Alternatively, opt for a relaxing massage or beauty treatment at the spa.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 128 – USD 531
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Praça da Liberdade 25, 4000-322 Porto, Porto, Portugal

Hotel Location

Douro Valley

Douro Valley, Portugal, destination for portugal road trip
Photo| Vineyard in Douro Valley| GETTYIMAGES – LUISPORTUGAL
train station in the small town of Pinhao
Photo| Train station in the town of Pinhao| GETTYIMAGES – OGPHOTO

The last stop on your epic Portugal road trip is the Douro Valley, which is a must-visit for wine lovers. The UNESCO-listed Heritage site is one of the oldest wine regions in the world, offering a picture-perfect landscape of enchanting valleys and steep slopes. Tour picturesque vineyards in this premier wine destination to sample Port wines (ruby, tawny and white).

Top Things to Do

Top Hotels in Douro Valley

Six Senses Douro Valley

Six Senses Douro Valley, hotel for portugal road trip
Photo| Six Senses Duoro Valley| Provided by LEONARDO

Overlooking the Douro River, Six Senses Douro Valley is one of Portugal’s most exclusive hotels. Housed in a 19th-century manor, it’s located high on a hill overlooking the vine-covered countryside of the Douro Valley. Chic Suites boast large living rooms, while some offer hot tubs, terraces and wine fridges. Recharge with Yoga and spa treatments or take a dip in the outdoor infinity pool. Afterwards, dine on local produce at Vale de Abraao Restaurant or pair wine and tapas at Wine Library and Terrace.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 386 – USD 1,127
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Quinta de Vale Abraao, 5100 Lamego, Viseu, Portugal

Douro Scala

Douro Scala
Photo| Douro Scala| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Douro Scala encompasses the historic Quinta do Paco, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. Housed in a 15th-century building, sleek rooms feature mountain or garden views, Wi-Fi and satellite TV, with Family Rooms adding a living room. Get pampered at the luxe spa or savour traditional Portuguese flavours at the on-site restaurant, which faces the Douro Valley. Also, there’s an indoor heated pool, steam room, Turkish bath and Jacuzzi.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 116 – USD 201
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Quinta Do Paco De Cidadelhe, 5040-154 Mesao Frio, Vila Real, Portugal

Hotel Location

Take the Scenic Route with This Portugal Road Trip Planner

girl walking through the streets in Porto
Photo| Tourist walking against the azulejos wall of Igreja do Carmo church| GETTYIMAGES – FRANCESCO RICCARDO IACOMINO

It may seem like a small country, but Portugal is blessed with a wide variety of beautiful landscapes, from pristine beaches and charming villages to renowned wine regions. See it all and more on our Portugal road trip itinerary that highlights the best things to do and see, then recharge at one of the country’s top hotels offering luxury perks and amenities.

What is your favourite stop on our Portugal road trip? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Charity De Souza Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

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