What can I expect from Portugal?

Apart from Lisbon, Porto and Southern Algarve, Portugal remains mostly a hidden destination. The center, Alentejo and Costa vicentina offer untouched nature and charming small towns and villages. Azores and Madeira islands offer paradisiac and wild landscapes. Everywhere food is at its top game inlcuing the more modern cusine you’ll find in the metropolitan areas and the rustic and totally delicious dishes in the rural regions.

Portugal has it all beautiful – old cities, historical villages, unique natural scenery, amazing culinary scene, wild beaches, outdoor sports especially the ones to do with water. You can never get bored or run out of things to do in this charming unpretentios country.

Things to See and Do in Portugal

Visit major cities and get to know their historical neighbourhoods
Visit richly decorated royal palaces in Sintra and other places
Indulge in amazing food everywhere you go
Learn a water sport like Surf, SUP, Kitesurf
Hike Costa Vicentina coastal route, voted as one of the best in Europe
Visit unspoilt small towns and villages and enjoy traveling back in time
Enjoy some quiet time at the beach, Portugal has plenty
Stay at a quinta - rural accommodation with a touch of luxury
Take it easy and slowly as the locals do
Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides

“Lisbon at night”

Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides


Let me help you plan your trip

You desire an incredible journey to Portugal

but you don’t know where to start.

You want something really special and fabulous, that connects you to the unique charm of the country at the same time. I’ll create for you a personalized itinerary that acknowledges You and your travel style. Your Portugal travel dreams will turn into an amazing, uncomplicated trip.

This service is for you if You

  • Appreciate the small details and special touches
  • Have read some magazines and blogs about Portugal but haven’t mapped out an itinerary yet
  • Have an itinerary but you’re not sure what do at each place
  • Just want a seamless and worry-free experinece while in Portugal
  • Want a trip planned by a local. I have lived in Lisbon, Portugal since 2013 and nothing travel-related escapes me.

A Family Trip to Azores and Douro Valley

We had such an amazing trip! We loved Sao Miguel and ANC did an amazing job! Carlos was so wonderful and Nano the TUK TUK guy was great too! The itinerary was fantastic! We loved everything we did in the Azores ( the canyoning was so fun and something we are all happy we tried!) and we loved our day in the Douro valley! The picnic lunch at the winery was so special and the boat was great!... We all want to come back and see more of Portugal! Everyone is incredibly warm and nice and welcoming and Portugal is so so beautiful!!! Thank you so much for organizing such a special trip for me and my family! I will definitely recommend you to anyone looking to travel to Portugal!

- Maddee, USA

The itineraries I create 

  • Are 100% Tailor-made – no two travelers are alike, why should yours be the same as someone else’s?
  • Save you tons of time – your most valuable resource. Let me make your vacation my priority, it’ll be yours once you’re there. In the meanwhile use your time for something else, live now, not in the future.
  • Cut through the confusion and overwhelm – Sometimes it looks like there is so much to do and you’re confused how to fit it all in in only one trip!
  • Reduce legwork by 99% – you want your experience to be unmatched, but don’t want to do the tedious research yourself. I’ll handle the details, you’ll only need to pack your bags.
  • Offer you a different perspective – the one you value the most. Whether you’d like a more local approach, instagrammable locations, off the beaten path experiences, adventures, food, beautiful accommodations, it’s up to you. Everything I create is with you in mind, it respects your nature and the way you want to travel
  • Itinerary done by a passionate travel professional– I’ve traveled to over 20 countries in Europe and Asia. I’ve done my Bachelor of Hospitality and Tousim management between Switzerland (spent there 2 years moving through varouis regions) and Paris (traveling around France), then I worked in a hotel in Berlin for 3 months. I love traveling, lerarning new languages and cultures so much that I’ve moved to Portugal in 2013 with my husband to live a new advenure.

Here’s how to work with me

Step 0
Contact me here to tell me more about your trip to see if we’re a good match. If you prefer a call, let me know.

Step 1

Book the service. Payments are done via PayPal.
Step 2
Fill in a quick Questionnaire to help me determine your preferences
Step 3
1-hour Skype Consulting, optional, the consultations can be done via email only. We can also have more than one call if necessary or if easier for you.
Step 4
I’ll send you a personalized itinerary outline.  
Step 5
I’ll send you a detailed itinerary that inlcudes daily activities, suggested tours, restaurants.
Step 6
It’s time to book everything. I can book any component of the trip you’d like. Some clients book accommodation themselves if, for example, it’s an airbnb or they belong to a hotel loyalty program.

Planning Fees in USD


Min planning fee –  equal of 5 travel days

Max planning fee – up to 500$ for the whole trip

My Must Have Guides For Traveling to Portugal

Pick your ready-to-use itinerary, guide or a combination to mix and match and create an unforgettable trip.

Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides
Buy for $19.90
Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides
Buy for $19.90
Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides
Buy for $19.90
Guide For Traveling To Portugal | Discover The Hidden Beauties Of Portugal | Hortense Travel Guides
Buy for $29.90

My Partners in Portugal

At Hortense Travel we’re all about transparency. At each destination I have a handful of selected local partners that will take care of you while traveling. Get to know them below.

Carlos from Portugaltouren I have worked with Carlos since the beginning and my clients love him. He will be your personal driver and guide on day trips from Lisbon or multi-day journeys in the country and Spain.
Taste of Lisbon Taste of Lisbon is the oldest culinary tour company in Lisbon. They make historical and market tours, cooking classes. Small groups or private experiences. Fun, professional guides, and amazing food is always guaranteed.
Portugal Excellence Tours The team is dedicated to the North of Portugal. Some of the most often tours I book with them is the incredible day trip from Porto to the region of Douro Valley.
Salt and Sea Ria Formosa Dedicated to Luxury yacht trips on the wildest beaches of Southern Algarve.

Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation – There are several types of accommodation in Portugal:

  • 5* Hotels – high level of service, amazing and large rooms, great amenities. These start from 250€/ night
  • Upper 4* and boutique hotels/ guest houses. More family-like environment but at a luxury level. These start from 150€/ night.
  • Airbnbs – you can find these starting at 30€/ night and hire enormous vilas for up to 1000€/ night. All budgets included.
  • Quintas or rural hotels – start at 65€/ night depending on the amenities included.
  • Others include hostels and simpler hotels or guest houses. For a private room expect to pay 50€ and up and for a bunk bed about 20€

Note that it’s cheaper to travel from November to March. Prices get higher in April. The highest prices are in July and August for most places specially Southern Algarve.

Food – Food is very high value for money. You don’t have to go to a Michelin-star restaurant to eat the freshest fish, meat or veggies. But you could. Prices in rural areas are the cheapest, followed by prices in the main cities, Southern Algarve tends to be the most expensive. But everywhere you go great food is guaranteed.

Transportation – Diesel is expensive in Portugal, about 1.40€/ litre. Keep that in mind if you want to hire a car to explore. It actually is the only option if you want to venture off-the beaten path. Account for road tolls, too. A 100km trip on the highway can cost you about 10€ + gas. Public transport is cheap although sometimes schedules are unreliable. Uber is a great and affordable alternative. Taxies are also good but make sure the taximeter is on.

Suggested daily budget – As you saw from above Portugal offers wide range of options for all types of budgets. I would suggest the following daily budget per person:


80 – 100€ – if you’re staying at a hostel/ cheaper guest house/ airbnb, use public transport (Uber when necessary), eat out at cheap to mid-range places. Buy a souvernir or 2 and maybe make 1/ 2 small group tours depending on your itinerary.


100-200€ – stay at mid-upper class accommodation, eat out at mid range restaurants with a splurge here and there. Use a mix of private transport inside cities, public between destinations or hire a car.  Make several small group tours or 1-2 private. Shop at boutiques.


200€ and up – for this budget you’ll get the most comfortable travel. Upper class accommodation, private transport and transfers. Private guides, private experiences. Shop at boutiques or have something made for you specifically.

Portugal from the Journal


Hi, I’m Alexandra. I’m a travel designer based in Lisbon, Portugal. I create seamless itineraries, based on my first-hand experience and local experts’ knowledge, to curated destinations. Save time, money and your sanity. Leave the worries to me. You can choose from ready to use itineraries or hire me to create a personalized journey for you. Contact me at

There are no comments

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This