If you have up to a week in Portugal, you could combine the city with the seaside, or even smaller towns. The best months are usually the end of May, June, July and September. I would skip August, as it can be incredibly hot (up to 40 something degrees in the south), plus it’s full of tourists.
No matter how much time you have, or what you feel like doing… hope you have a great time!
- Spend 3 days in Lisbon: you can read all about it on my Lisbon tips
- Spend 1 day in Sintra: check out this post
- Spend 1 day at the beach: there’s a full list here, but also some ideas below
In this option, and if you don’t have a car to go around, you might wanna stick to a beach closer to Lisbon. You could, for example, go to Guincho, Costa da Caparica or Fonte da Telha.
If you do have a car, then I would definitely recommend driving down to Arrábida, and spending the day at Praia de Galápos or Portinho da Arrábida. These beaches are so beautiful! But beware: Portugal looks tropical, yet the water is surprisingly cold! 😉
Another tip would be to definitely avoid all of the Lisbon / Setúbal area beaches on the weekend, especially on Sundays. You’ll barely have space to lay down your towel… So, hit the beach during the week, and spend the weekends in the city as all of the shops and attractions are open both on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Spend 3 days in Lisbon
- Spend 1 day in Sintra and/or Óbidos
- … and spend 3 days at the beach & exploring the south
If you do spend around 1 week in Portugal, getting a car for a couple of days and adventuring on the road is definitely the way to go. You can visit Ericeira and Óbidos, or you can travel direction south and visit Costa Vicentina. It all depends on what you’re looking for! 😉
It has charming villages and great beaches. Unlike Algarve, this is an area that doesn’t have as much international tourism, so you’ll be able to enjoy yourself like a local. I loved finding Odeceixe, a teeny tiny village, and its beach, for example. You can also go to Praia da Galé and have a totally different feel.
If you are in the south and find yourself wanting a break from the beach, you can totally take the detour and go to Évora. Here you’ll find traditional southern houses (white with colorful trims around the windows and doors), Roman architecture (Templo de Diana) and even the Chapel of Bones (yep, it is what you’re thinking… the inside of the chapel is fully covered with bones and skulls).