What To Pack For Portugal

During our recent trip to Portugal, I decided to document what I packed before hand and what I would change for a future trip.

You’ll find that I like to travel in what I consider “shoulder season” where it’s not as busy as high-season meaning costs come down and it’s not as slow as low-season meaning there are still some things to do. This can often mean Spring and Fall are my preferred times, leaving the busier Summer and colder Winters for planning time, but it all depends on the location (like our trip to Sedona in the middle of the dog days of summer.)

Average temp by month.

Portugal isn’t a very big nation (about the size of Indiana,) and its climate is predominately affected by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean which keeps its coastal areas cooler than the further inland regions; however, the Gulf Stream moves to warm it back up giving it warm, dry summers and mild winters. Despite this, we found that the different regions we spent time in felt different. So what did I pack?

Not a lot of rain during the summer.
What I Packed
My packed backpack.

I used my Osprey Porter 46 for this trip. Portugal is known for being very hilly and full of cobblestone streets (especially two of the cities we were visiting – Lisbon and Porto) so I didn’t want to use a rolling pack and I wanted to be able to carry the weight on my back instead of tiring myself out lugging it around up those steep inclines. We also purposefully chose an Airbnb halfway through our trip that had a washer to allow us to clean our clothes and brought a Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 soap for washing any immediate needs in the sink.

What’s inside?

  • 3 short sleeved shirts.
  • 2 long sleeved shirts that I could button over the short sleeved ones.
  • 2 pairs of pants.
  • 1 pair of shorts.
  • 5 pairs of boxers.
  • 5 pairs of socks.
  • 1 pair of boots.
  • 1 pair of sneakers.
  • 1 hat for sunny days and bad hair days.
  • Pack of KN95 masks with just a pair of reusable ones.
  • Toiletries

What would I do differently?

Not much. Traveling through Porto and the Douro Valley first, I thought I had mispacked the bag and the trip would be colder than I expected but once we got down to the Algarves and Lisbon, the temperature was much warmer and I was able to break out the warm-weather clothes. I probably could have used one more long sleeve option, although bringing clothes with a classic, neutral look helped keep my wardrobe fresh and presentable. In the picture, I was going to take my quick-dry travel towel but took it out last second. I would have left it in as the Algarve region was almost warm enough to go swimming which I didn’t have the option to without a towel or swim trunks. I also would have opted for two pairs of sneakers as walking around Porto and Sintra with leather boots wasn’t the best decision. There was plenty of room left in my backpack to bring home some bottles of Port and decorative ceramic souvenirs.

Is Portugal on your to-go list? If it is, what would you do differently?

Thanks for reading!

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