page-header

Portugal

Portugal Travel Guide

With its vast rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and historical coastal towns, Portugal is a dream destination. Prices are lower than other Western European Countries, which makes traveling here much more affordable.

During our first trip to Portugal, we spent a week hopping from village to village and from beach to beach in Portugal’s southernmost region: Algarve. We were so impressed by the delicious seafood, the Moorish architecture, and the pristine sandy beaches. We’ve detailed all our recommendations in our Algarve Travel Guide.

During our second trip, we spent one month traveling from Porto to Faro. We took all our favorite experiences and condensed them into this 2 week Portugal itinerary.

Pin This!
Portugal Travel Guide by Moon & Honey Travel

Portugal Travel Guide Overview

  • Portugal Travel Basics
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
  • What to Experience in Portugal
  • What to Eat & Drink in Portugal
Portugal Itinerary
Resources to help you plan an epic trip to Portugal:
Get the Guidebook
 

This post links to products and services we love, which we may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog!! – Sabrina and Kati

Porto, Portugal

Portugal Travel Basics

Official Name:  República Portuguesa

Capital: Lisbon

Government: Parliamentary Partycracy – “A pseudo democracy where people do not elect representatives directly instead voting for a Party. The parties appoint its representatives via pre-formed lists usually consisting of party cronies, family, friends and favor-givers.” (Source: Portugal.com)

Regions:  Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 2 autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira). The 18 districts are: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisboa, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu.

From a tourist’s perpective, Portugal’s main regions are: (1) Porto and the North, (2) Center, (3) Lisbon and Tagus Valley, (4) Alentejo, (5) Algarve, (6) Azores Islands, (7) Madeira Islands. 

Population: 10.32 Million

Language: Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official, but locally used)

Currency: Euro

Tipping Etiquette: It’s customary to leave a tip of 10% on restaurant bills. Taxi drivers can be tipped by rounding the fare up to the nearest 5 Euro. 

Water Quality: Historically, Portugal has had a poor reputation in terms of its water quality control. However, between 1993 and 2004, the coverage of safe drinking water increased dramatically. CDC says, “Most travelers do not need to take special food or water precautions [in Portugal] beyond what they normally do at home.” (Source). That being said, when we stayed with some local families during our trip, they always filtered the tap water using a Brita water filter.

Something Interesting: Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe. The country’s borders have barely changed since 1139.

 
Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto, Portugal

Where to Go in Portugal

Click the dots to explore specific destinations
background

A vida e o amor que criamos são a vida e o amor que vivemos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portuguese Saying

The life and love we create is the life and love we live.

What to Experience in Portugal

Our favorite things to see and do
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, Algarve Coast, Portugal

Beach hopping in Algarve

From small intimate coves to broad stretches of endless sand, exploring Algarve’s beaches is an ever-unfolding adventure. Algarve has 200 kilometers of coastline and nearly 100 beaches to choose from.

Over 80 beaches in Algarve are marked with the prestigious Blue Flag, which is an ecolabel award for beaches and marinas that demonstrate good practices with regards to water quality, environmental management, safety and services, and environmental education. Beaches awarded with the Blue Flag will fly the Blue Flag emblem during the official bathing season.

The most striking feature of many Algarve’s beaches are the limestone rock formations that stud the beaches. The contrast between the yellow rock and teal water is breathtaking.

Learn More: Algarve Travel Guide

 
Porto, Portugal

Porto

Porto occupies the north bank of the Duoro River, the gateway to Portugal’s famous wine region. Porto may be synonymous with port wine, but it’s also known for its rebellious spirit, the steadfastness of its citizens, and its enduring charm.

Here are some things we loved doing in Porto:

  • Watch the sunset from Jardim do Morro park or Ponte Luis I bridge.
  • Eat tapas at Coupage 51 or Rua Tapas and Music Bar.
  • Eat a traditional francescinha at Brasão Cervejaria.
  • Eat fresh fish on Rua Heróis de França in Matosinhos, a city in northern Porto District.

Where to Stay in Porto:

You can learn more about these experiences in our 2 Week Portugal Itinerary.

 

 
Fisherman's Trail, Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina Fisherman’s Trail

The Fisherman’s Trail is a 4-day trek along Costa Vicentina. The trail starts in Porto Covo in the Alentejo region and ends in Odeceixe in the Algarve. Closely following the Vicentina Coast, this multi-day hike gives you access to Portugal’s most wild and remote coastal areas.

Hikers overnight in hostels and guesthouses in small fishing towns along the way. Here’s an overview of the trek:

  • Transit / Arrival Day: Lisbon to Porto Covo
  • Day 1: Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes (20 km, 6.5 hrs)
  • Day 2: Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve (15 km, 5.5 hrs)
  • Day 3: Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar (22 km, 6 hrs)
  • Day 4: Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe (18 km, 5.5 hrs)

Find a place to stay along the Rota Vicentina.

Learn More: Fisherman’s Trail Hiking Guide

 
Costa Vicentina, Alentejo, Portugal

What to Eat & Drink in Portugal

Portuguese Custom: Couvert

In restaurants, waiters/waitresses will bring you a choice of different meal starters (known as couvert) to your table without an explicit request. These starters typically include bread, butter, and olives. They may also include cheese, sliced sausage, and sardine spread. The couvert is not complimentary, so make sure the waiter/waitress removes what you don’t want to eat from your table. You are obliged to pay for what you try, and what’s left on your table. So, if you just want the olives, just say “Azeitonas.”

 

Algarve Regional Gastronomy

Arroz de Marisco – Razor Rice with seafood. The seafood generally consists of clams, prawns, mussels and other fish. It’s similar to paella, but a bit more brothy. This dish serves a minimum of two people and is prepared freshly when you order it. You may wait up to 30 minutes, but it’s worth it.

 

Cataplana de Peixes e MariscosCataplana of Fish and Shellfish is a regional dish served in a pot. The base consists of onions, peppers, potatoes, garlic, and coriander. Fish and shellfish are added afterward. This dish also serves a minimum of two people and is prepared freshly when you order it.

 

Frango Piri Piri (Chicken Piri Piri) – Piri Piri is a spicy pepper. Chicken Piri Piri is roasted/barbecued chicken that has been marinated in a flavorful sauce containing crushed piri piri, citrus peel, onion, paprika, oregano, basil, tarragon, and lemon juice. 

 
Algarve Beach, Portugal

Portugal Travel Resources

@moonhoneytravelers
  • Avoid this mistake, so you’re not completely confused when you get to the Dolomites 🇮🇹⤵️

Don’t just learn the Italian names of Dolomites destinations. 

The Dolomites are located in 5 different provinces within 3 regions in Northeastern Italy. One province, South Tyrol (Südtirol in German, Alto Adige in Italian), was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I.

German continues to be the primary language spoken in this region. When traveling and hiking through South Tyrol, every street, advertisement, natural area, mountain hut, etc… is written in both German and Italian. Generally, South Tyroleans are culturally Tyrolean (Austrian) rather than Italian.

Another language that you will encounter is Ladin, a romance language spoken in the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno, by the Ladin people. The Ladin people are the oldest inhabitants of the Dolomites valleys. 

Around Val Gardena, Val Badia, Val di Fassa, and Ampezzo Valley, you will see signage and names (e.g. towns, mountain huts) in three languages: Ladin, German, and Italian. 

For example: Alpe di Siusi (Italian), Seiser Alm (German), and Mont Sëuc (Ladin)

While English speakers tend to use Italian names, it’s important to be familiar with the German and Ladin names as well.

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog
  • Trail Stats ⤵️

9 Amazing Hikes around Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dolomites

1. Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park, Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Dibona
Distance | 11.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:30 hours

2. Lago di Sorapis Circuit Trail (Difficult) 
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Passo Tre Croci, halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina
Distance | 13.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:10 hours

3. Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval (Moderate)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Passo Giau
Distance | 12.8 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 5 hours

4. Croda da Lago Circuit Trail and Lago Federa (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Ponte di Rocurto
Distance | 13.1 km circuit
Time Needed | 5 hours

5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail (Easy – Moderate)
Where | Tre Cime Nature Park, South Tyrol, and Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo 
Distance | 9.7 km circuit 
Time Needed | 4 hours

6. Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail Circuit (Demanding)
Where | Cadini di Misurina Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo or Lago d’Antorno
Distance | 12.5 km circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours

7. Crepe de Zumèles (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Cristallo Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Rio Gere
Distance | 10.6 km circuit
Time Needed | 4 hours

8.  Alpe di Sennes Circuit (Moderate)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites Nature Park and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park
Trailhead | Malga Ra Stua
Distance | 17.1 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:30 hours

9. Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri (Moderate)
Where | Nuvlau-Averau Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Col Gallina
Distance | 9.6 km circuit
Time Needed | 4 hours

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomiteshikes #dolomiteshiking #northernitaly #cortinadampezzo #cortinadolomiti #visitcortina
  • Call us old-fashioned, but nothing beats a regular paper trail map. 

❤️ Double tap if you agree! 

#hiking #hikingculture #hikingmap #hikingnavigation #hikingapp #hikinglife #hikingaddict #hikingadventure #hikingpreparation #responsiblehiking #hikinggear #hikingvibes #hikingblog #hikingblogger
  • 10 Easy Hikes in the Dolomites👇

1. Seceda Ridgeline to Regensburger Hütte Circuit Hike
Trailhead | Seceda Cableway Mountain Station
Cableway Ascent/Descent | Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda Cableways, Ortisei, Val Gardena
Distance | 8.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

2. Adolf Munkel Trail
Trailhead | Zannes/Zans Car Park, Val di Funes
Distance | 9.2 km circuit 
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail (Drei Zinnen Rundweg)
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo, Auronzo di Cadore
Distance | 9.7 km circuit 
Time Needed | 4 hours
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate 

4. Armentara Meadows
Trailhead | La Crusc Church 
Cableway Ascent | Santa Croce Chairlift followed by the La Crusc Chairlift, Badia, Alta Badia
Distance | 9 km point-to-point 
Time Needed | 3 hours 
Difficulty | Easy 

5. Baita Segantini Hike
Trailhead | Passo Rolle
Distance | 9.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
Difficulty | Easy

6. Sentiero Viel del Pan
Trailhead | Passo Pordoi
Distance | 6.4 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 2:10 hours
Difficulty | Easy (Moderate difficulty if you add the Alta Via Della Cresta circular route).

7. Sesto to Val Fiscalina (Sexten to Fischleintal)
Trailhead | Sesto/Sexten
Distance | 12.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:15 hours
Difficulty | Easy

8. Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail
Trailhead | Santa Maddalena Village, Val di Funes
Distance | 9.5 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:30 hours
Difficulty | Easy

9. Monte Specie (Strudelkopf)
Trailhead | Prato Piazza Car Park
Distance | 8.8 km circuit
Time Needed | 2:50 hours
Difficulty | Easy

10. Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail (Seiser Alm Rundwanderweg)
Trailhead | Oritisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station
Distance | 14.4 km circuit
Time Needed | 4:25 hours
Difficulty | Easy

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

ℹ️ We have trail guides for all these hikes on our blog. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomiteshikes #dolomiteshiking
  • Save this for trip planning ⤵️

Where to Stay in the Dolomites for Hiking 👇🇮🇹

⛰️Val Gardena, South Tyrol 
Pros: Very transit friendly, long summer season (end of May - end of October) 
Cons: Very busy during high season

⛰️Cortina d’Ampezzo, Belluno
Pros: No cableways needed for most hiking trails, gorgeous and dramatic setting, especially stunning in mid-late October
Cons: transit is difficult to navigate

⛰️Alta Badia, South Tyrol
Pros: Excellent wellness hotels, dreamy scenery, reliable easy-to-navigate public transit 
Cons: Difficult to find budget-friendly accommodations 

⛰️Alta Pusteria, South Tyrol
Pros: Many Dolomites attractions are concentrated in this region. Ideal between mid-September - late October.
Cons: Traffic restrictions in high season (mid July - mid September), which means either driving to trailheads early, or pre-booking parking, or pre-booking transit. 

⛰️San Martino di Castrozza, Trentino
Pros: Dramatic mountain landscapes and thrilling trails
Cons: Short summer season (July - mid-September). The hotels aren’t as nice as those in other regions. Not transit friendly.

⛰️Val di Funes, South Tyrol
Pros: The most beautiful valley in the Dolomites, picturesque views, fantasy-like scenery
Cons: Though the hiking in Val di Funes is excellent, it’s limited. 3 nights in Val di Funes is sufficient. 

⛰️San Vigilio, South Tyrol
Pros: San Vigilio is tucked away in a side valley of Val Badia and is thus often overlooked. There are many quiet trails around San Vigilio.
Cons: Further away from iconic Dolomites sights 

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

👩‍💻 Read the full guide to where to stay in the Dolomites on our blog. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomitesitaly #dolomitesvalgardena
  • 10 Best Hikes in Val Gardena, Dolomites, Italy👇 🇮🇹

1. Seceda Ridgeline to Rifugio Firenze (Easy)
Trailhead | Seceda cableway mountain station
Distance | 8.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 575 meters

2. Resciesa to Rifugio Brogles and Seceda Ridgeline (Difficult)
Starting Point | Resciesa Funicular mountain station
Ending Point | Seceda cableway mountain station
Distance | 14.4 km
Time Needed | 6:15 hours
Elevation Gain | 1087 meters
Elevation Loss | 737 meters

3. Col dala Pieres (Difficult)
Trailhead | Col Raiser gondola mountain station
Distance | 13.7 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 1220 meters

4. Piz Duleda (Difficult)
Trailhead | Col Raiser Gondola Mountain Station
Distance | 12.4 km lollipop-circuit 
Time Needed | 5 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 980 meters

5. Vallunga and Val de Chedul Circuit Trail (Moderate – Moderately-Difficult)
Trailhead | Parcheggio Vallunga Car Park 
Distance | 16.1 km circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 1061 Meters

6. Sassolungo Circuit Trail (Moderate)
Trailhead | Passo Sella 
Distance | 17.7 km circuit
Time Needed | 6:15 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 853 meters

7. Lake Pisciadù and Pisciadù Peak (Difficult)
Starting Point | Passo Gardena
Ending Point | Corvara
Distance | 12.1 km point-to-point (a circuit is also possible)
Time Needed | 6-7 hours
Elevation Gain | 980 meters
Elevation Loss | 1570 meters

8. Monte Pic (Moderate)
Trailhead | Cristauta/Praplan Parking Lot above Santa Cristina
Distance | 13.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 1064 meters

9. Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail (Easy)
Trailhead | Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Ropeway (aka Mont Sëuc gondola) mountain station
Distance | 14.4 km circuit
Time Needed | 4:25 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 483 meters

10. Sass da Ciampac (Moderate)
Trailhead | Passo Gardena
Distance | 14.7 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 931 meters

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #valgardena #seceda #dolomiteshiking #dolomitestrip #dolomiteshikes #southtyrol #italianalps #hikingtrails