Portugal is a country set to delight the culture lovers, beach lovers, wine lovers and everything in between. From its characterful cities alive with modern bohemian buzz and historical charm to its golden beaches that seem to stretch for miles. Although known for its reliable weather, beautiful beaches and world-renowned golf, Portugal is also a foodie’s paradise. With succulent steaks and freshly caught seafood taking centre stage as well as a thrilling presence of fine dining restaurants, pop-up food stalls, artisan markets and more. An experience of Portugal can be many things, whether you prefer beachside idyll, historical exploration or cultural immersion, there’s a Portugal holiday for you.
A Portugal multi-centre holiday allows you to combine different destinations and holiday types, be that city exploration with coastal relaxation, or food and wine tasting with history and culture. With a reliable rail and road system it’s easy to travel across Portugal and we’re here to help take care of the arrangements, including train tickets and car transfers to stations. To help inspire your Portuguese odyssey, here are our favourite Portugal multi-centre itineraries. Or, call our experts on 0800 047 1066 who’d be happy to create an itinerary personalised to you, with the minimum of fuss.
For those looking for a taste of Portuguese culture without the busy-ness and rush that comes with a city break, we recommend a Lisbon and Estoril Coast twin-centre. With 4 nights leisurely exploring Lisbon and its eclectic neighbourhoods (at your own pace) before heading out to the glamorous seaside town of Cascais for coffee and petiscos (tapas), in tempting beachside haunts.
For art and food lovers, Lisbon is an elegant feast. With its quirky quarters, Lisbon offers a diverse range of things to see and do from admiring ancient architecture in the medieval quarter to lounging in bohemian cafés watching the world go by. We recommend a stay of 4 or 5 nights to really enjoy the city’s delights before heading out to the coast. For more, visit our post things to do in Lisbon.
Just outside of Lisbon, and easily accessed by train, are many upmarket beachside towns. Cascais is one of the most luxurious of these resorts with its stunning beaches, fine dining restaurants and aristocratic atmosphere (not to mention stylish shopping). Time here can simply be spent beachside on the sands or café terraces watching the world go by. For those more active there are golf courses, a motor racing circuit, a casino and, further out, a glorious national park home to the magnificent Pena Palace.
Transfer time: 1 hour by car from Lisbon – Cascais or 1 hour by train.
Lisbon and Porto are two of Portugal’s biggest cities, packed with cultural sites and scenes making a twin-centre a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the cultural essence of Portugal. Spend 3 nights in Lisbon sight-seeing historical monuments with ancient stories to tell before traversing to Porto for a taste of local life, handsome architecture and a 2000-year long history.
Lisbon is a city brimming with history, art and modern elegance. Built on more hills than Rome along the River Tagus, the combination of mountain, ocean and city make Lisbon even more enchanting. Jump on Tram 28 to take in Lisbon’s top sites before an evening in Alfama catching Fado music. Wind down with a coffee in the trendy neighbourhood of Embaixada between fascinating museum visits. For more things to do in Lisbon, visit our post.
Set on a hillside along the beautiful River Douro, Porto is an atmospheric ‘oldie worlde’ city. With a handsome quayside, lively squares and an ornate historic centre, there’s plenty to keep the senses entertained. The eclectic mix of old and new make this charismatic city truly unique. Spend days tasting the local port, winding through historical landmarks and shopping for contemporary art.
Transfer time: 3 hours by car from Lisbon to Porto or 3 hours by rail.
Taste the flavours of modern Portugal in the historic city of Porto and delve in to the secrets of Port in the Douro Valley. Porto and the Douro Valley are of course synonymous with wine and port, making them an excellent combination for wine lovers. But, also in these superb destinations, are exciting foodie credentials to tempt the palate, from pop-up bites to fine dining delights.
A trip to Porto entails a thrilling mix of old and new with culinary experiences aplenty. Fresh seafood and Portuguese steak frequent the menus with the addition of new and exciting flavours flourishing. From local delicacies such as tripe stew to quirky local inventions such as tangy beer-flavoured chili sauce, there are plenty of exciting flavours to try; more delights include Francesinhas, bread topped steak, small plates of petiscos, and of course port itself. All to be found in a range of eateries including fine dining restaurants, pop-up stalls, gourmet steak houses, food markets, micro-breweries and rustic port houses.
Stretching from the Spanish border to Porto, the Douro Valley is a stunning landscape of hills and vineyards winding around the River Douro. It is hailed as the world’s oldest demarcated wine region since 1756. Around every tributary are rolling vineyards, quaint Quintas and vast wineries offering tastings and tours. This combination creates a majestic landscape that’s truly unique. As well as wine tours, there are opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, river boating and much more.
Transfer time: from Porto to Baiao takes 1 hour by car, Amarante 45 minutes by and Pinhao 2 hours.
Sometimes a relaxing beach holiday can rush away all too quickly. Adding a city break to a relaxing beach holiday can add so much more to your holiday including the feeling of time. As a more immersive experience, you’ll come home feeling you’ve been on an adventure as well as feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. With an easy rail journey between the two, Lisbon and The Algarve are an excellent combination for a Portugal multi-centre holiday.
Known as the city of 7 hills (as its built on 7 hills), Lisbon is brimming with modern charm, colourful buildings and retro trams giving the city a San Francisco-esque feel. Although a modern, bohemian city, Lisbon wears its heritage on its sleeve. From the landmark tower of Belem to the marine wanders at Europe’s largest aquarium, there is so much to see and do for an excitement filled beginning to your holiday.
This southern region of Portugal has been well loved for many years due to its year-round sunny climate and irresistible golden beaches. In The Algarve there really is no shortage of sun, sea and sand. One of the most popular things to do in The Algarve is of course hit the beach, there is also plenty of stunning towns, old and new, as well as beachfront promenades and harbours packed with superb dining options and luxury hotels.
Transfer time: 2 hours 45 by car from Lisbon to The Algarve, 3.5 hours by rail.
Portugal is not actually a large country making getting around effortless. In fact, Portugal is smaller than England. Regional trains are comfortable, fast and very scenic making them a preferred method of cross country transport. Most locations in Portugal are very well connected by road making travelling by car very comfortable and stress free.
Portugal can be visited all year round thanks to mild winters and hot summers. The best time to visit Portugal depends on what you are looking to do. In general, the best time to visit is between March and June and September and November for reliable weather and lessened crowds.
For beach holidays, The Algarve enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and average winter temperatures of 17°C, although March to November are the warmer months. For the Douro Valley, autumn is the best time to visit as the wine is in harvest and the hills begin to turn gold whereas the winters tends to be colder than the south.
Prices featured are a ‘from price’ per person based on 2 adults sharing a room including economy flights and private transfers. Savings are per couple for selected dates against original system pricing; alternative dates and departure airports available. All holiday offers are subject to limited availability and change. Full booking conditions here.