March 27, 2024

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We finally made our dream family trip to Portugal happen, and it was even better than we imagined! Every day was packed with amazing experiences, perfectly balanced for both the kids and adults. Thanks to Elesewhere, planning was a breeze. They took care of everything from the itinerary to hotels and transportation, and having Tiago as our local expert made everything smooth sailing (especially for Remy, who adored him!). Take a look at our itinerary here. We ended up shifting a few days around, and Elsewhere was incredibly accommodating with our last-minute changes. Check out our updated breakdown and enjoy the photos from our nine-day adventure in Portugal below!

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal, and visit the Oceanário

The driver took us to the Parque das Nações, a modern development by the river with a number of different attractions including the Oceanário, a big aquarium, arguably the best in Europe.

A great way to start our trip to Portugal!

Day 2: Lisbon Self-guided Visit

We explored the old town of Lisbon, walking its narrow and hilly streets, appreciating the tiled sidewalks, visiting old monuments, and enjoying the panoramic sights from its famous viewpoints. The hills were daunting, but we took rests and let the kids recover in cafés throughout the city.

It was also very important to taste the delicious local gastronomy. Hailed for offering some of the best cuisine in Europe, we made sure to stop in at some of the local restaurants we came across. A must-try was always pasteis de nata (custard tarts), a treat for all ages!

Day 3: Belém and Cascais guided tour

In the morning, our guide met us at our hotel for a guided tour.

We started our day by visiting the Belém quarter in Lisbon, which was famous for its monuments from the period of the Portuguese Discoveries and also for one of the most renowned Portuguese delicacies, the pastel (pastry) de Belém.

We then drove along the coast to Cascais/Estoril, two seaside towns 20 minutes from Lisbon, world-famous for having been a resort of the Portuguese and European aristocracy and even royalty in different times of history.



Day 4: Sintra & Sintra’s Coast

We explored the stunning surrounding areas of Lisbon, particularly the Sintra region. It was truly a day filled with breathtaking sights.

Our journey began in the picturesque beach area of Guincho, which served as our gateway to the Sintra Cascais Natural Park. From there, we ventured further north to reach the westernmost point of continental Europe, the Cabo da Roca cape. The views from this vantage point were nothing short of spectacular, offering a glimpse of the vast Atlantic Ocean stretching out endlessly before us.

Continuing our exploration, we arrived at Azenhas do Mar, a charming village perched precariously on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.

However,  the highlight we visited was the historical village of Sintra, set in a small but luxurious mountain boasting the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We saw so many palaces, manor houses, and palatial houses dispersed all over this place.

Day 5: Travel to Porto from Lisbon

We left Lisbon and headed to Porto with our driver.

It was a full-day trip because we had three stops along the way.

The first stop was at the kids’ favorite Dino Parque in Lourinhã. Dino Parque was a theme park dedicated to dinosaurs and was the largest outdoor museum in Portugal. At this dinosaur park, visitors could see more than 180 scientifically proven life-size models species split into the four most important periods in Earth’s history.

A bit further north we also visited Óbidos, a historical middle age fortified village with picturesque houses and streets known as the village of the queens. We took at least two hours to visit the village, walked its streets, climbed and walked on the walls, and tried the local Ginginha, a sour cherry liquor often drank in a chocolate cup.

Continuing north, we stopped in Coimbra, one of the most important cities in Portuguese history, famous for its University, the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University’s Library was a true must-see!

Day 6: A Visit to Premonition Goods Factory

Our handmade, felt hats are made here in Portugal. Our decision to travel to Portugal stemmed from our desire to see the crafting process of our hats firsthand. Walking into the 51-year-old family-run business was an incredible experience. Check out Premonition Goods Here!

Day 7: Explored the area

We had initially planned a wine tasting for today, but instead, we opted for a free day in Porto. Given the slightly chilly weather and our collective need for some rest, I’d say it was a worthwhile decision.

Day 8: Porto Self-guided Visit

We got to know one of Portugal’s other famous cities, Porto.

Our morning exploration was at our leisure. In its city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we visited monuments by leading world architects from the past and the present, including some fantastic baroque carvings, and also understood the importance of the river Douro in the economy and history of the city.

Day 9: Departure

Check out our full in-depth itinerary from Elsewhere here 

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