20 days in Central Portugal & Santander Itinerary

20 days in Central Portugal & Santander Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Lisbon, Portugal
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Nazare, Portugal
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Coimbra, Portugal
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Castelo Branco, Portugal
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Guarda, Portugal
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Santander, Spain
— 3 nights
Bus to Bilbao, Fly to Manchester

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Lisbon, Portugal

— 3 nights

City of Seven Hills

Built on seven hills, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, making it the cultural star of Portugal.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Cabo da Roca and Museu Nacional do Azulejo. Explore Lisbon's surroundings by going to Centro Historico de Cascais (in Cascais) and Sintra (Quinta da Regaleira, Park and National Palace of Pena, &more). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, browse the eclectic array of goods at Feira da Ladra, observe the fascinating underwater world at Lisbon Oceanarium, and take a stroll through Bairro Alto.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Lisbon trip itinerary site.

Manchester, UK to Lisbon is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and train; or take a train. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Manchester in September: high temperatures in Lisbon hover around 32°C and lows are around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to drive to Nazare.

Things to do in Lisbon

Historic Sites · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trips

Nazare, Portugal

— 3 nights
Nazaré is a town and a municipality in subregion Oeste and Leiria District, in Portugal.It is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Silver Coast/Costa de Prata, Portugal. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Obidos Village and Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Rosario de Fatima. Get out of town with these interesting Nazare side-trips: Obidos (Santuario do Senhor Jesus da Pedra & Grande Mercado Medieval de Obidos), Batalha Monastery (in Batalha) and Indoor Karting Caldas da Rainha (in Caldas da Rainha). There's still lots to do: stroll through Praia de Sao Pedro de Moel, do a tasting at Quinta do Sanguinhal, enjoy the sand and surf at Praia do Norte, and get great views at Monte de Sao Bartolomeu.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Nazare trip planning website.

You can drive from Lisbon to Nazare in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Lisbon in September, expect nights in Nazare to be about the same, around 16°C, while days are little chillier, around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Coimbra.

Things to do in Nazare

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Side Trips

Coimbra, Portugal

— 5 nights
The university town of Coimbra exudes modern flair while embracing its roots as the medieval capital of Portugal.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Biblioteca Joanina and Centro Geodesico de Portugal. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Coimbra: Vila de Rei (Agua Formosa & Penedo Furado), Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes (in Tomar) and Cascata da Pedra da Ferida (in Penela). The adventure continues: admire the landmark architecture of Old Monestary of Santa Clara, get outside with Trans Serrano, hunt for treasures at Mercado Engenheiro Silva, and don't miss a visit to Universidade de Coimbra Alta & Sofia.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Coimbra road trip app.

You can drive from Nazare to Coimbra in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In September, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to drive to Castelo Branco.

Things to do in Coimbra

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Castelo Branco, Portugal

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): make a splash at Piscina Praia, then examine the collection at Fundacao Manuel Cargaleiro, and then walk around Geopark Naturtejo. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Centro Ciencia Viva Da Floresta, tour the pleasant surroundings at Penha Garcia, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardim do Paco Episcopal.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Castelo Branco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Coimbra to Castelo Branco takes 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Guarda.

Things to do in Castelo Branco

Parks · Theme Parks · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

Guarda, Portugal

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Se-Catedral da Guarda, then stop by Sabores da Serra, then step into the grandiose world of Castelo de Linhares da Beira, and finally explore the ancient world of Castelo de Marialva.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Guarda trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Castelo Branco to Guarda takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Santander.

Things to do in Guarda

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Fun & Games

Side Trips

Santander, Spain

— 3 nights

Spain's Most Elegant City

Known for its prime north coast location and elegant city center, Santander remains the central destination for tourism and commerce in the whole Cantabrian region.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Playa de Torimbia and Playa de la Ballota. Venture out of the city with trips to Potes (Aravalle Centro Ecuestre & Potes Aventura), Planeta Palombina (in Celorio) and Amigos Salvajes (in Llanes). There's more to do: pause for some photo ops at Monument to the Marques de Comillas.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Santander day trip site.

Drive from Guarda to Santander in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Guarda to Santander due to the time zone difference. In October, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Santander

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Central Portugal travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Castles · Sacred & Religious Sites
Central Portugal contains some of the most prosperous and densely populated areas in Portugal, as well as thick pine and chestnut forests spread across a series of rugged mountain ranges. Inhabited since well before the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, this part of the country remains best known for its capital Coimbra, which features a historic Old Town retaining much of its medieval look and feel. Beyond the busy regional capital lies Portugal's tranquil countryside, frequently overlooked by foreign visitors despite its ancient sites and hospitable small towns. Along the region's mountainous border with Spain you can tour a series of age-old castles and fortified villages, once the first line of defense against foreign invaders.