Best Itineraries for Backpacking Portugal
Below is a list of four travel itineraries for backpacking Portugal. They vary from 3 days to 4 weeks in length and cover the majority of the must-see places in Portugal.
Backpacking Portugal 4-Day Itinerary: Lisbon & Sintra
From Lisbon you should also spend at least one afternoon in Belem, where you can visit the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Torre de Belem and the Mosteiro dos Geronimos and enjoy the best pastel de nata in Portugal.
Sintra, the "fairy village", is 45 min by train / car from Lisbon, where you can visit more than 50 palaces, the famous Palacio de Sintra and Quinta das Regaleiras.
In Lisbon, to organize yourself, you should initially go to São Jorge Castle, because while visiting the Castle, which is one of the main tourist attractions in the City, there is a periscope session in one of the Castle's towers, where you can see all the city in real time and where all the tourist points are explained in several languages. It takes about 30 minutes but it's worth every second, because Lisbon is a big city, with many tourist attractions, and based on these tips you can better organize your visit, as you won't have time to see everything and you have to organize yourself very well.
Backpacking Portugal 7-Day Itinerary: From Lisbon to Porto
Spend 3/4 days exploring Lisbon, which is one of the most interesting cities in the world. Then towards Porto, we suggest a stop at the capital of surfing in Portugal and at the most acclaimed destination for backpackers in Portugal, Peniche.
The city of Peniche itself doesn't have much to see, but north of Peniche are its two paradises, Baleal and Ferrel. Baleal has the best waves in Portugal for beginners and intermediates, with constant waves almost every day. According to a recent study, it is the most consistent spot to surf in all of Europe, being able to surf 300 days a year. In addition to surfing, it is very popular with all backpackers, as it has many parties at its beach bars all year round, but especially from March to November. Already close to Baleal, in an extension of 2km, we embrace Ferrel, the most typical surfer village in Portugal, where the food is very cheap and varied and there are many Hostels for Backpackers and a wide variety of accommodation with a good budget. There are dozens of deserted beaches if you want to relax and at the same time there is also a Berlenga Island that can be visited for diving. We recommend a minimum of 2 days in Peniche, but in the summer you'll be delighted and your backpack will want to rest here longer. The only stop of the World Surfing Competition in all of Europe, takes place on one of the beaches in Peniche during the month of March. On your way out of Peniche, you can always stop for 2 hours to visit the Medieval Castle of Óbidos, on the way to Porto
In Porto, as it is not as big a city as Lisbon, you need two days to explore it at least. It is a vibrant city packed with history, good food, and a local vibe, Porto is cheaper than Lisbon and Algarve in the south.
Once in Porto, you should sit down on one of the many terraces along the Ribeira and breathe in the rhythm of a city that is totally different from Lisbon or any other city. People are very authentic and very hospitable, always available to give you any kind of information. Here you should get organized and visit the Port wine Caves (Cellars), visit the Torres dos Clérigos and even Livraria Lello, where some scenes from the movie Harry Potter were filmed.
Don't missed the food in Porto, fair budget, quality and variety, "Francesinha" and "Tripas à moda do Porto" can be savored with an excellent port wine. You can also make boat trip over the various bridges on the Douro River. The typical boats in Porto are called "Rabelo Boat", they no longer transport wine, but they do tours over the Douro bridges, you can't miss it, it should be part of your visit to Porto.
On your last day in Porto on your way to the Airport, you can visit the São Bento Train Station, which is one of the most beautiful in Portugal. It is full of more than 21,000 tiles that are very typical in Portugal and recreate some of the most important moments in the History of Portugal.
Backpacking Portugal 2 week Itinerary: Highlights of Portugal
Gerês National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Portugal and the only National Park. This does not mean that its landscapes and nature are not protected, but with the name of Natural Parks existing around 30.
Portugal is one of the smallest countries with more diversity of nature to see. We recommend for your travel in Porto ( 2/3 days) and then explore Gerês in 2 days.
The Park has villages inside and you will also be able to see shepherds guiding animals to graze. We highlight some strong points: Miradouro da Pedra Bela, one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the park, Vilarinho das Furnas dam with magnificent landscapes and where you can see the village submerged in the dry season of the year. Miradouro De Tibo is another point that you cannot miss, as well as the Cascata da Portela do Homem and the Serra do Gerês. You can also kayak along the Cávado River near the medieval fortresses.
After Gerês we have Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, where one day we think will be enough to explore the City.
Arriving in Aveiro, your visit starts right there, by exploring the Aveiro Train Station, in itself an attraction, with very typical Portuguese tiles. In Aveiro you can explore the city's canals in typical boats called Moliceiros.
Close by, you can see the Salinas that are very characteristic of Aveiro and try the Ovos Moles de Aveiro, in one of the pastry shops in the city center which is one of the main attractions of the city.
After Aveiro, you should now head to Nazaré, the capital of big waves, which holds the record for the biggest waves surfed in the world.
One day is enough to see the city and the North Canyon of Nazaré. But if you would like to experience surfing, Nazare is not the best place if you love your life, do it later in Peniche. Nazaré hosts the biggest big wave competitions and from December to February it hosts at least one big event. When you arrive in the city try a fish soup, the best in Portugal and at the same time you can enjoy the Nazarenas, with 7 skirts dressed, very typical in Nazaré. Then go up the lift cable to see the Miradouro do Suberco where you can see the best view of the city. Then you can walk to North Canyon of Nazaré, where you can see the biggest waves in the world and the Lighthouse. Inside the lighthouse there is the big wave museum, that you should visit.
Your next stop is Peniche, which we have already mentioned in a previous itinerary. You should dedicate at least 2 days to have a surfing experience and get to know Baleal, Ferrel and the Desertas Beaches. But if you want to go to Berlenga Island, Óbidos Castle and Óbidos Lagoon, you should dedicate at least 4 or 5 days. On Berlenga Island you can do Diving, Kayaking and Snkorking and it could very well be one of the highlights of your trip. The island is full of virgin nature in the middle of the Ocean and is a Biosphere reserve, classified by Unesco. Nearby you also have the Óbidos Castle with the Medieval Village inside and close by you have the Óbidos Lagoon, a full day is enough to see these two points.
At the last stop of the best spots in Portugal, you have Lisbon, already explained in the previous points, you can read them carefully, 3 days should be enough to explore Lisbon.
Please read carefully what we wrote about Lisbon above, as it will help you a lot in organizing your trip.
In addition to what we talked about above, we add here the Terreiro do Paço that you shouldn't miss, as well as the charismatic electrico 28 on the way to Castelo de São Jorge.