We have detected that you are using an older version of Microsoft Edge. For the best possible experience, please use Google Chrome or the new Microsoft Edge.

How to Plan a Trip to Portugal: Don’t

Taking a trip to Portugal sounds great. Planning a trip to Portugal sounds hard. Skip the stress, go with EF Ultimate Break, and we’ll take care of everything.

by EF Ultimate Break

"Portugal" text over seaside cliffs with waves crashing onto beach

Here’s the truth: Planning a trip takes time. Between researching, organizing, and booking flights, sightseeing tours, and accommodations, it can be quite the overwhelming experience. And when your everyday life is busy enough, planning a trip to Portugal might feel straight up impossible.

*Infomercial voice* But what if we told you there was a simple solution?! That’s right, you can experience the enchanting castles, coasts, and culture of Portugal without the stress—when you book your trip with EF Ultimate Break. *Back to regular blog voice* Seriously, let us worry about all the details, it’s literally our job. That way you can focus on finding out just how many pastéis de nata (those sweet custard pastries you’ll see everywhere) you can eat in one week.

There are lots of benefits to booking a trip to Portugal with us. Keep scrolling and find out what makes us the best way to see the world.

Lisbon buildings with orange roofs and ocean in the background

Discover the beauty

From the sunny shores of the Algarve to the charming streets of Lisbon and the historic wonders of Sintra, Portugal’s beauty knows no bounds. And by booking your trip with us, we’ll make sure you get a front row seat to the show.

Portugal, along with its Spanish neighbor, is part of the Iberian Peninsula, which means it has coastline for days. The southern coast, known as the Algarve, is especially striking with its seaside cliffs, golden sands, and crystal-clear waters.

Yellow tram moving through Lisbon street with people wandering around

Next on the beauty tour, we have Lisbon, a city known for its hilly cobblestone streets, iconic yellow trams, and architectural wonders around every corner. All those hills (seven, to be precise) aren’t there just to sculpt your glutes—get to the top and they’ll reward you with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Now, how do you know which hill to go to and how to get there and where to stand for the best photo? We got you. Really, our Tour Directors have a remarkable ability to pick out the best selfie spots.

Blue ocean with quaint house and lighthouse along the shore in Sintra

You can’t speak of beauty and Portugal without mentioning the city of Sintra. Nestled in the rolling hills west of Lisbon, the town looks like it was literally pulled from a fairytale—it’s absolutely brimming with lush gardens and palaces, like the hilltop Pena Palace. It’s colorful and whimsical, transporting visitors back to a time of grandeur and extravagance. On our Lisbon: City Experience trip, we’ll take you to Sintra and show you just how beautiful it really is.

It’s not easy to enjoy the beauty of a country when your mind is stuck on where your next hotel is, whether you remembered to book that train ticket, or if that restaurant your friend’s sister’s hairdresser recommended is any good. Let us ease your mind and take care of all the logistics. Speaking of…

Beach with crashing waves and white-washed buildings in background in Algarve

Don’t sweat the logistics

Picture this: you’re kicking back on the beach in Algarve, sipping on something fruity. You’re heading to a new city tomorrow, but you can’t quite remember what time your bus leaves or what hotel you’re staying at. But then you remember it doesn’t matter, because you booked with EF Ultimate Break and your entire trip has been planned for months. So you go back to your fruity drink and contemplate taking a nap.

Planning a trip to Portugal involves all kinds of logistical considerations, like booking accommodations, arranging transportation, and organizing activities. We’re good at all that stuff, so give yourself the gift of stress-free travel and let us do it for you. Overwhelmed with flight options? We got you. Don’t know which trolley takes you to the Alfama district in Lisbon? We do (it’s the 28). Not sure which palace to visit in Sintra? We’ll tell you (Pena Palace is a good start).

And during your trip, if you have any questions or need help planning some free time in Portugal, ask your Tour Director! They’ll be with you during the entirety of your trip, and they know everything—from the details of your itinerary to the best beaches in Algarve.

So, nervous about all the planning? Don’t sweat it, we’re here to help. The only perspiration we wanna see is on your drink glass at the beach while you gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean.

Lisbon alley with outdoor tables and colorful streamers hanging between buildings
Do all the right things

One of the greatest perks of letting EF Ultimate Break plan your trip to Portugal is the expertly crafted itineraries. As part of EF Education First, we have over 50 years of experience planning trips to places all over the world. So when it comes to Portugal, our experts know the best places to go, the most iconic things to do, and the hidden gems you wouldn’t have known existed.

Essentially, we take the guesswork out of travel. We can tell you that one of the best ways to see Portugal is to see Spain at the same time. Both countries offer vibrant cities, mouthwatering cuisine, and rich history. And yeah, they happen to be right next to each other, so that helps, too. We have three itineraries that will show you both countries, and then some—Spain & Portugal Getaway, Spain, Morocco & Portugal, and if you’re looking for an epic 35-day summer getaway, give European Summer a try.

Sao Jorge Castle on top of a hill with flags waving and orange roofed buildings in foreground

You might think you can just book your flights and figure out what to do when you get to Portugal. This may work for a few of you spontaneous travelers out there, but for most of us, we need more structure. There’s nothing worse than showing up in Lisbon and spending your first day furiously googling what to do. With our itineraries, we’ll make sure you see the highlights—from the winding streets of the Alfama district to the straight-out-of-a-picture-book São Jorge Castle. And once you’ve inevitably worked up an appetite walking up all those hills, we’ll point you in the direction of the best pastel de nata, Portugal’s drool-worthy signature pastry.

Yellow and orange sunset in Lisbon with bridge in background and lit-up buildings in foreground

Be kind to your bank account

Booking with EF Ultimate Break can be a more affordable option for many reasons. First of all, we offer a few different payment plan options. All you have to do is pick your trip, put down a $150 deposit, and then pay the rest over time. We don’t charge you any interest—it’s a simple (and free!) way to break up your payments into smaller pieces and stick to your budget. And remember, the earlier you book, the less you’ll pay for your trip and the lower those monthly payments will be.

We also have an extensive network of partners in the travel industry, giving us access to special deals and discounts that we pass on to you. We negotiate rates for accommodations and flights to make sure we’re getting the best price possible. And when you travel with us, you’ll be with a group, which means you can split things like food and transportation costs.

Here’s an example: You’re in Lisbon and it’s 8pm. Sunset is in 20 minutes, but you’re still at the hotel. You and a few travelers decide you can make it if you take a taxi. Before you leave, your Tour Director gives you specific instructions—where to grab your taxi, where to see the best views, and where to get the most authentic (and affordable) street food. It’s a classic win-win-win. Money saved, sunset seen, and food devoured. That’s how you Portugal.

Group of young adults taking a selfie in front of colorful buildings in Lisbon

Make new travel BFFs

Trying to plan a trip with a group of friends is a near impossible task. There’s always one person who’s all in (probably you), and the rest of the group chat apparently has commitment issues. And hey, if they aren’t interested in traveling to Portugal with you, you’ve got a better option anyways—us.

When you hand us the reigns, we’ll book you on a trip with a group of likeminded 18–35-year-olds, all coming from different parts of the U.S. and Canada. These people want to travel and see the world just as much as you do, which means they’ll be right there with you as you “ooh” and “aah” your way through Portugal. If you’re really nice, they may even take your picture in front of one of those yellow trams in Lisbon.

Our trips are made for people that enjoy shared experiences. From sharing a meal at a local restaurant to sharing stories on the beach, the bond you’ll form with other travelers on an EF Ultimate Break trip to Portugal is something you’ll never forget. So whether you’re signing up solo or with a few friends, new travel BFFs await.

Like we said, planning a trip to Portugal can be an overwhelming endeavor, but with EF Ultimate Break, you can leave stress at the door. Don’t spend hours poring over guidebooks and random traveler blogs. Leave it to the experts, instead. That’s us, we’re the experts if that wasn’t clear.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare by Email

Portugal trips

Lisbon: City Experience

7 days, 1 city
Save up to $100
See all trips

Ready to travel?

Find your trip
Back to top