Portugal is a firm favourite with many a holiday maker. The wonderful climates, gorgeous architecture and tasty cuisine is a winning combo in my eyes!
Solo Adventure in Portugal
Both Lisbon and Porto are (quite rightly) very popular choices for city breaks to the country. But what about all the bits in between?
If you’re a solo traveller looking to rediscover Portugal, then hopefully you’ll love this little itinerary I’ve put together. Of course you’re free to customise the dates as you wish! But you can see below the general structure of the trip as well as handy links to find flights and accommodation. :)
You’ll be flying out to Porto first, before gradually working your way down towards the south. You’ll ultimately finish in Lisbon where you’ll board your return flight home. Transport in Portugal is reasonably priced so I’d recommend checking out the trains running between each destination.
Gritty yet full of character, Porto is a wonderful place to be. Enjoying an idyllic location straddling the Douro River, Porto is the former capital of the country and it’s the home of port wine, which you can sample in the many wine cellars and lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of the river. Down in the riverfront district of Ribeira, theweathered townhouses are tightly packed together on the hillsides and you could easily spend ages wondering the narrow streets and enjoying relaxed evenings in the cosy squares.
Many consider Aveiro to be Portugal’s answer to Venice. This colourful little town is just half an hour away on the train from Porto and it features its own little network of canals which open out onto a lagoon. You can of course cruise along those canals on vibrantly painted gondolas, or you could stroll along the palm-fringed paths and watch the little vessels sail on past.
Coimbra is definitely one of my favourite spots in Portugal. Despite being the 4th largest urban area in Portugal, the city has managed to preserve its classical beauty so well that its centre was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to the Universidade de Coimbra, the oldest university in the Portugese-speaking world established in the 13th Century. Be sure to pop your head round in the Biblioteca Joanina, a university library decorated with breathtaking frescoes, scuptures and wood carvings.
So, you’ve been doing a lot of sightseeing by now – why not take a break for a bit! The Portuguese say that Nazaré has one of the best beaches in Portugal. And it’s definitely a looker – it’s a huge sweep of golden sand sheltered by cliffs and hills. This is a wonderful opportunity to take things slow for a bit and simply enjoy the laid-back atmosphere that many people love Portugal for. It’s a popular spot with surfers too.
Once you’ve recharged your batteries in Nazaré, it’s time to end the adventure with a proper bit of wow factor! There’s no end to the love that I have for Lisbon – it’s colourful, charming, quirky and wonderfully chilled out, and you’ve got loads of sights, amazing shopping and brilliant nightlife to get stuck into. The narrow, winding streets of the Alfama district are a joy to explore, and of course no trip to Lisbon is complete without sitting down and enjoying some traditional fado music. You could even do a day trip to the incredible palace in Sintra as well!
This adventure is a great opportunity to get a real feel for the country as a whole and you’ll no doubt arrive back home in love with this place! As I’ve said before, this is just a suggested itinerary – the dates I’ve picked out below are just a suggestion as they worked out to a very good price, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning your own dates and using the links above to find good deals for your own accommodation. :)
Solo Adventure in Portugal: Visit Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Nazaré & Lisbon Across 11 Nights + Return Flights only €354
- Provider: Airbnb + Momondo
- Travel period: 15/10/2018 – 26/10/2018
- Fly to Porto
- Porto: 15/10/2018 – 17/10/2018
- Aveiro: 17/10/2018 – 19/10/2018
- Coimbra: 19/10/2018 – 21/10/2018
- Nazaré: 21/10/2018 – 23/10/2018
- Lisbon: 23/10/2018 – 26/10/2018
- Fly back to Dublin!
- Length of stay: 11 nights
- Departure airport: Dublin
- Destination airport: Porto (return flights departs from Lisbon)
- Airline: Ryanair
- Room in an art gallery apartment
- Ponto de Abrigo
- Porta Aberta
- Modern room with double bed in Nazaré
- Quarto com terraço em Lisboa
- Meals: Self-catered
- Airport transfer: Not included
- Lonely Planet travel guide: Get one here
- Rental car: Compare prices here
- Price only €354