Portugal roadtrip – 4 days itinerary

Over 800 km driven through different landscapes, exploring places in the south, west and center of the country, passing golden sand beaches, cork trees forests, orange plantations, colorful tiled buildings and historic towns. What can you see in Portugal with only 4 days?

Portugal road trip

Where to go in Portugal in 4 days?

NOTE: This itinerary is for people arriving from/to Faro or focusing on visiting the south part of the country in a short time.

*We made the trip in March 2017, out of high season – turned out to be perfect time for a visit*

Four days is not much. It’s like two weekends, but not even with Friday nights. However, if you look at it from another side – it’s almost the whole week of work. 96 hours that you can use for anything you want. We did have limited time in Portugal, but we decided to use it in the best way we could. And we managed! Have a look how.

We arrived to Faro on Saturday evening and we had our return flight on Wednesday afternoon. It’s always good to be prepared for your trip, especially if you travel with a limited time. Renting a car for the duration of our stay (€20 total, you can’t beat that!), gave us a lot of flexibility. Using a travel guide to plan the route and knowing what to pack for Portugal, can also be a massive help. I did my research before (I am definitely a planner!), but we still had some questions – Is it worth to drive further north? Should we just stay in the south and only visit Algarve? We didn’t want to spend too much time in the car, but we also didn’t want to miss out – you never know if you would be able to come back to the country.

After the first full day in Algarve, visiting and chilling on the beaches, we decided, that we want more. We planned to head to Lisbon the next day, exploring places on the way.


Portugal tiles

Traditional Portuguese tiles

The route

And so we did. It was really worth it! You can see our route below with the places, that we saw on the way.

We haven’t managed to see all of the ones, that we wanted to – some were dependent on the weather (Benagil cave – too high waves every single day), or after all we didn’t have enough time (Sintra), but we tried to see as much as we could, and also still enjoy and get to know every visited place.

Map with the places, that we visited – zoom in for a better view!


Portugal map roadtrip


  • Faro

We arrived to Faro in the late evening. Picked up the car at the airport (rented from Guerin) and we headed to town to check-in to our airbnb.

Don’t have account on airbnb yet? Click HERE to register and receive £30 for your next stay. Easy? Easy!

Night went quickly on trying new local dishes in small bars, admiring reflection of the boats in the smooth water surface in the harbour, getting lost in the narrow streets and drinking wine on the rooftop. It was Saturday, so the city was one big party with young people drinking on the streets and laughing in the bars. Warm spring air was gently touching our faces, Portuguese wine was flowing in our veins and local delicacies filled our stomachs – what else do you want for the perfect holiday start?

Faro sign
rooftop in Faro
Enjoying sun in the rooftop in Faro

Day 1 – Algarve

After breakfast, consisting of pastel de nata, cinamon bun and coffee while watching the sunrise on the rooftop, we moved in the direction of golden beaches and towns of Algarve.

Check HERE to read about golden beaches (and not only) in Algarve

Initially we wanted to do a boat tour to Benagil cave (if you have a chance it’s a must!), unfortunately for the whole length of our stay, the sea was too rough for the boats to come to the caves and all the tours were cancelled. We have a reason to come back, though 🙂

Instead, we visited other stunning places (“Praia” means beach in Portugese):

  • Golden sand stunning beaches surrounded by limestone rocks:
    • Praia da Rocha
    • Praia dos Tres Irmaos
    • Lagos town with Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, and Ponta de Piedade (even though they are the most popular and located close to town, they are worth visiting – so pretty! When we were there it was quite quiet, so we could enjoy them by ourselves)
  • Cape Saint Vincent – the most southwestern corner of Europe, where the famous expeditions were leaving from. Now, it has one of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe
  • Sagres – small surfers town with chic cafes and fresh seafood restaurants
Algarve beach
Praia da Rocha
Lagos Algarve
Praia Dona Ana, Lagos, Algarve

Day 2 – west coast and on the way to Lisbon

  • Wide beaches on the west coast:
    • Praia Castelejo
    • Praia da Cordoama (there are many more, but we couldn’t stop on all of them. Some other ones worth considering a visit are Arrifana and Praia de Odeceixe).
  • Porto Covo – one of the cutest towns, that I’ve seen. Tiny white houses with blue and red elements, contrasting with bright blue sky – so pretty! And the food was amazing (but the standards were high everywhere)
  • Lisbon – we arrived there in the late afternoon, but managed to walk in Alfama and Baixa districts in city center, having dinner listening to traditional live Fado music.
Portugal west coast
Praia da Cordoama
beach in Porto Covo
Porto Covo beach

 Day 3 – Lisbon, cork trees, Monchique hills and back to Algarve

  • Lisbon – we walked in the Alfama district with its narrows streets and steep stairs, stopping for a coffee and pastel de nata overlooking orange roofs, and watching the famous tram 28 passing by
  • Drive through the cork trees and oranges plantations
  • Visiting Monchique hills, where the road was very windy and the views were brilliant
  • Coming back to Lagos and touring the town little streets with bars and seaside in the night
Miradouro Lisbon Portugal Alfama
View of Alfama district in Lisbon
Cork trees in Portugal
Cork trees
Monchique hills
Hills of Monchique

Day 4 – Lagos, Silves and departure from Faro

    • We visited few more places in Lagos, coming back to our favourite beaches that we’ve seen few days before
    • Silves – small old town with beautiful castle and great views from it
    • Faro – we came back there for the departure flight
Silves castle
Castle view in Silves

What to add if the weather/time allows:

  • Benagil cave
  • Sintra – famous town on the north from Lisbon with beautiful castle
  • More beaches on the west coast – Arrifana and Praia de Odeceixe
  • Comporta – town on the west coast close to Lisbon
  • Praia da Faresia – beach with red cliffs, close to Faro

Would that help you to plan your trip to south Portugal? Do you know any other places on the way worth visiting? Let me know in the comments!

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Portugal road trip

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17 thoughts on “Portugal roadtrip – 4 days itinerary

  1. Tak kolorowo i pięknie! Imponujące są te skały (Praia da Rocha, wow!) i położenie Lizbony. <3 No i chętnie przywiozłabym sobie tonę azulejos i wyściełała wszystkie podłogi w mieszkaniu. 🙂

    1. Bardzo kolorowo, spodobaloby Ci sie 🙂 Bylas? O, nawet nie wiedzialam, ze te przepiekne plytki to azulejos sie nazywaja – mi sie marzy jakas jedna sciana w lazience, najlepiej z roznymi, nawet myslalam o przywiezieniu jakichs, ale nie mialam czasu szukac sklepow, nastepnym razem 😉

  2. Amazing photos! Will definitely visit (and do road trips, my preferred mode of travel) with friends. Looks beautiful! I haven’t even heard of some of the places you mentioned.

  3. Love, love, love Portugal! Really beautiful country and people! Thank you for bringing back some happy memories for me!

  4. So much detail – great itinerary! I just got back from Portugal – I only visited Lisbon and Sintra but would love to see more and I think the best way to travel is by car. Thank you for this, will bear it in mind for my next trip!

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