Portugal is the next big thing in summer vacations—900 years in the making. It’s one of the most beautiful, vibrant, and culturally rich places in the world. Your adventure starts on the hills of Lisbon, and finishes at the beaches of the Algarve region on the south coast. Throw in a few medieval cities, delicious pastries, and a deserted island (like in “Cast Away”, but instead of Wilson you have fellow travelers), and you’ve got the summer you’ve been dreaming of. So wise up to what’s in front of you—choose Portugal and start perfecting that double cheek kiss.
What are the top highlights?
- Gaze upon ocean views and hilltop castles in Lisbon
- Ride on a moving time machine AKA a tram from the 1930s
- Try (and fail) to eat just one pastel de nata, a classic Portuguese custard tart
- Relax on the pristine beaches of the Algarve region
- Stand at Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe
- Learn all about marble in the city where most of it comes from: Estremoz
- Walk through the narrow streets of the medieval town of Évora
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro passes in each major city
- Entrance to select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Meet a local guide for an in-depth tour of Lisbon (and story time, obviously).
- Get lost in the winding streets of Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon.
- Go medieval at Saint George Castle, a massive fortress overlooking the city below.
- Treat your taste buds to a pastel de nata, the most classic of all Portuguese pastries.
- Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore on your own.
- Catch a ride from a fellow American—a historic trolley that was imported from the U.S. in 1901 and is now a Lisbon staple for navigating the steep inclines.
- Explore the city on your own, at your own pace, with as many snack stops as you want.
- Wander through Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s bohemian quarter and the ideal neighborhood for bar hopping.
- Grab your selfie stick as you pass through Arrabida Park for scenic views of the ocean.
- Join a local guide in Évora for a two-hour tour of the city’s highlights.
- Reach the highest point of the city for views of the Roman Temple.
- Say “I see dead people” at the Bone Chapel, a small church covered in—you guessed it—human bones.
- Walk through Praca do Giraldo, the central plaza of Évora.
- Get out of town for a few hours to enjoy some time in Estremoz with your group.
- Walk the cobblestone streets as you follow your nose to find some good eats.
- Stop in the neighboring town of Borba for views of a castle and a taste of the region’s famous wine.
- Head back to Évora for a free evening to do as you please.
- Hop on the bus to the Algarve region.
- Orient yourself to the area around your hotel with your group.
- Head to the beach, dip your feet in the sand, then into the water, and then repeat this for as long as you want.
- Quench your thirst at a local bar; Port wine is always a good option. (It’s from Portugal, ya know?)
- Stroll along the Santa Maria boardwalk and experience the biodiversity of Ilha Deserta. If there was a prize for natural beauty, this place would take home the crown and sash.
- Splash around in the clear blue waters off Ilha Deserta Beach ‘til your fingers start to look like raisins.
- Enjoy the “southern hospitality” at Cape St. Mary, the southernmost point of mainland Portugal.
- Attempt to get all of the sand out of your hair, and head back to the mainland for the night.
- Sleep in, or wake up early—don’t let us tell you what to do on your free day!
- Relax at any one of the cafes or restaurants around the hotel for some tasty Portuguese eats.
- Perfect your sand angel (yes, like a snow angel in the sand) at the beach.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Portugal. Get some rest because you’ve got more than a week of exploring ahead of you. Speaking of exploring, did you know that Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to sail around the world, was from Portugal? Well now you do.
Day 2: Arrive in Lisbon
Welcome to Lisbon! Get ready to work those glutes, because this is “The City of Seven Hills,” a name linked to myth rather than math. Go ahead, count the hills. We’ll wait. This colorful Portuguese capital is home to classic European charm, urban innovation, and breathtaking vistas from just about anywhere you stand.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, take the party elsewhere.
Day 3: Discover Lisbon
Steep inclines. Iconic cable cars. A huge, red-orange suspension bridge that’s the perfect selfie spot. It’s no surprise that Lisbon has been described as the “San Francisco of Europe”, without the self-driving cars and delivery robots. As the oldest city in Western Europe, it's inscribed with millennia of stories that uniquely shaped the vibe today. Want to hear them? Great, because that’s exactly what’s about to happen.
Day 4: Free Day in Lisbon + Optional Sintra & Portuguese Riviera Excursion
The day is yours to experience the best of Lisbon. Go back to some of your favorite places from yesterday, or set out on your own to explore new sights, sounds, smells, and flavors. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, head out to discover all the hills you’ve counted.
Free Time Suggestions
Elevator Pitch: Originally steam powered, the Elevador de Santa Justa is the handiwork of Gustave Eiffel’s apprentice, so it might look a little familiar. A ride up gives you awesome views of the city skyline.
Portu-gas: Take a gastronomic world tour at Mercado Fusão, a food market, where kiosks serve up everything from Brazilian cakes to sushi. Don’t miss the famous samosas at Kebab Ali House.
Sintra & Portuguese Riviera(extra cost)
Crest the Sintra Mountains for a visit to the regal Palácio da Pena—Portugal's crown jewel palace. Then, take the long way back to Lisbon, basking in the magnificent coastline of Cascais village for lunch and free time.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 5: Travel to Évora
Time to travel inland—and back in time—to Évora, an idyllic medieval city a few hours away from Lisbon. The city is home to Portugal’s second oldest university, first opening its doors in 1559. Looking for restaurant and bar recommendations? Pro tip: Follow the students. Just not into their classrooms. Once you arrive, a local guide will show you the ropes, while subconsciously convincing you to stay there forévora...get it?
Day 6: Explore Estremoz Village
Trivia: Which Portuguese city is most famous for its insane amount of marble? Answer: Estremoz. And today, you’re going there. There’s more to the town than this classy rock; a 13th century castle sits atop a hill, medieval walls enclose the old quarter, and more than a few low-key plazas decorate the town. Trivia #2 (and this one’s for all the marbles…wink wink): What are the cobblestone streets made of? Think about it for a second…Answer: marble, of course!
Day 7: Travel to the Algarve Region
A summer trip to Portugal is not complete without a couple of days to relax on the beach. Which is why you’re going to the Algarve region, located along the southern coast. The region boasts some of the country’s most pristine beaches, breathtaking cliffs, and castles of the stone and sand varieties.
Day 8: Relax on Ilha Deserta
You’re headed to a deserted island. This sunny strip of beach is complete with untouched nature and pristine waters, and will be your home for the day. And the night, if you miss the last ferry. Punctuality, people! Now, slather on the sunscreen and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and utter island bliss on one of the most picturesque beaches in the Algarve Region.
Day 9: Free Day in Algarve Region
If you’ve been craving some free time, today is the day for you. You’ve got the whole day to wander around and do exactly you want—within the constraints of the law, of course. Hit the coast for more beach time or head inland for quaint towns, castles, and so many ways to get those steps in.
Free Time Suggestions
Take a walk: Via Algarviana is the best way to appreciate the landscapes of the Algarve region. The entire trail is almost 200 miles long, but you can hop on at any point. Just don’t forget your phone—the path is one big Instagram oasis.
Cave the day: Add a bit more adventure to your day with a trip to the Benagil cave, located just 500 feet from Benagil beach. While it’s ill-advised to swim there, it’s easy enough to get there by boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. And once you reach the cave, you can sit back and enjoy the serene rock formations all around you.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 10: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
Book this trip now!Kymari, traveled May 2019
This trip is amazing! Chris was great and I'd love to do another trip with him as the tour director. The sights were so beautiful, everything was well organized, and just extremely fun. I also made great friends. Portugal truly has something for everyone!
I wish I could have stayed fo-évoraJade, traveled May 2019
I went on the Highlights of Portugal trip and I had such a blast! This was my first international trip and my first trip with EF and it was such an amazing experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I met people so many kind people and experienced so much. On this trip I had fun at every stop but my favorite place was Évora. This history, the beauty, the peop... See more
Amazing Trip with even more potentialJoseph, traveled Jun 2019
After doing 6 EF trips, I’ve gotten a good feel for EF in general and the individual trips. Pros of this trip: Lisbon and Lagos (although we stayed 15 mins from it) are amazing. Portugal in all seems to be a pace in between Spain and Italy. Not quite the party style Spain is known to be but also not as laid back as Italy. It’s a nice In between. Also big sho... See more