Best Portugal Road Trip Itinerary – 4 days in Portugal (or more)

Over 800 km driven through different landscapes, exploring places in the south, west and centre of the country, passing golden sand beaches, cork trees forests, orange plantations, colourful tiled buildings and historic towns. Portugal road trip is an amazing experience! What can you see in 4 days in Portugal? Here is the example Portugal itinerary for your next trip.

Best Portugal road trip itinerary - 4 days in Portugal

Portugal road trip itinerary – where can you go in 4 days in Portugal?


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

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


4 days in Portugal or any other country, doesn’t seem like 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. And you can see a lot in a week in Portugal! 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 to do it on a wonderful road trip.

I highly recommend renting a car when you plan your trip to Portugal. The rentals are quite cheap, we paid €20 for the whole time and give you a lot of flexibility. I usually use car broker websites like Rentalcars to find the cheapest car rental prices.

We arrived in 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 in a limited time. Renting a car for the duration of our stay gave us a lot of flexibility. Using a Portugal 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 to Lisbon? 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 the places on the way.

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Portugal tiles - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - 4 days in Portugal

Traditional Portuguese tiles

Our Portugal road trip itinerary

And so we did. It was really worth it! You can see our road trip 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.

Here is the map covering our Portugal itinerary – zoom in for a better view!

 

the map of Portugal road trip itinerary - 4 days in Portugal

Arrival – Faro

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

The night went quickly on trying new local dishes in small bars, admiring the 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. The 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?

Where to stay in Faro?

There are many options from Airbnb (receive £30 for your next stay) or hotels:

$ Budget:  Hostellicious for a very cheap price, great central accommodation, well-equipped kitchen.

$$ Mid-range: Backyard Hotel with an amazing rooftop! Very reasonably priced, great location and this rooftop (did I mention there is a cool rooftop? ;-)). Check the availability and the best prices here.

$$$ Luxury: Casa Beco Sao Luis – luxurious apartments in the centre of Faro.

Faro sign - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - 4 days in Portugal
Faro
Enjoying rooftop in Faro - Portugal road trip itinerary, 4 days in Portugal
Enjoying the sun on the Backyard House Hotel rooftop in Faro – book here.

#Day 1 – Algarve

After breakfast, consisting of pastel de nata, cinnamon bun and coffee while watching the sunrise on the rooftop, we moved in the direction of golden beaches and towns of 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 Portuguese):

  • 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

Where to stay close to Algarve beaches?

  • Lagos

$ B&B do Paço – private, comfortable rooms just 8 minutes walking from the beach. Check the availability here.

$ The 17 Hostel – even cheaper, cheerful hostel, located in the centre of Lagos, with a rooftop and great atmosphere. Check the availability here.

$$ Resort Room – You can chill by the barbecue or swim in the pool (after coming back from the beach, which is 15 minutes walk away). Check the availability here.

  • Sagres

$ Casa do Cabo de Santa Maria – pretty guesthouse located just 4 minutes from the beach, nestled among mountains and at very reasonable prices. Check availability here.

Algarve beach - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
Praia da Rocha
Praia Dona Ana, Lagos Algarve - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
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 the city centre, having dinner listening to traditional live Fado music.

Where to stay in Lisbon?

$ The Independente Hostel & Suites – great central location, close to great viewing point Miradouro De São Pedro De Alcântara – check latest prices and availability.

$$ Alfama by Lisbon Inside Out – very nice and clean, located in the heart of the most picturesque historic Alfama district of Lisbon – check latest prices and availability.

$$+ Casas da Baixa Lighthouse Apartments – beautiful apartments in Baixa, located directly in the city center, great for old town walks and strolling by the Tagus river –  check latest prices and availability.

Portugal west coast - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
Praia da Cordoama
beach in Porto Covo - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
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 - Best Portugal road trip itinerary - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
View of Alfama district in Lisbon
Cork trees in Portugal during Portugal road trip - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
Cork trees
Monchique hills during the Portugal road trip - how to spend 4 days in Portugal
Hills of Monchique

#Day 4 – Lagos, Silves and departure from Faro

    • We visited a few more places in Lagos, coming back to our favourite beaches that we’ve seen a few days before
    • Silves – a small old town with a 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 to the Portugal road trip itinerary if the weather/time allows:

  • Benagil cave
  • Sintra– famous town on the north from Lisbon with a 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 itinerary help you to plan your Portugal road trip? Do you have any other ideas on what to do in 4 days in Portugal? Let me know in the comments!


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22 thoughts on “Best Portugal Road Trip Itinerary – 4 days in Portugal (or more)

  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!

  5. I love your pics! This is a great itinerary, have myself only recently visited the northern parts, really hope to go to southern parts soon as well!

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