Tailor made Portugal itinerary design and trip planning
Meet Julie Dawn Fox, your outsider on the inside. Award-winning Portugal blogger and contributor to DK EyeWitness Travel Guides to Lisbon, Portugal and Europe plus publications like the Huffington Post and Ritz-Carlton Magazine.

Do you get immense pleasure from getting off the beaten track and exploring under the radar places on your travels? I know I do.

Portugal is full of such hidden treasures and I’d love to help you find them by designing a unique itinerary for you.

Go beyond the pastel de nata, Lisbon trams, port wine and Algarve beaches.

Try regional cakes and savoury delicacies, the freshest of seafood and vinho verde or moscatel wines.

Walk ancient pathways through unspoilt natural parks and countryside, visit traditional villages and charming historical towns.

No time to design your own Portugal itinerary?

Finding these delights and designing a logical, balanced itinerary takes considerable time, effort and insider knowledge.

Trawling through hotel websites, checking opening times, locating decent restaurants, choosing tours, considering how to get from A to B and deciding what you can realistically fit into a limited amount of time is not everyone’s idea of fun.

If you simply don’t have the time or desire to research your trip but crave a unique, personalised holiday in Portugal, I can help.

My custom itinerary design service takes care of the planning and logistics, leaving you free to relax and succumb to Portugal’s charms without the hard work.

“Our trip was wonderful! Each day was so much fun, and every detail was perfect… I’ve been meaning to write to you everyday to thank you for putting together such a spectacular trip for us. The hotels were amazing, the pace just right, and the food was so good! You have spoiled us for all future travel!” – Lucy Irwin

Why me?

Since moving to Portugal 11 years ago I’ve discovered the best the country has to offer and found secret spots that are dear to me yet often overlooked by guidebooks. I’ve also developed a network of trusted contacts all over the country.

Having spent thousands of hours researching, writing about and taking people on trips within Portugal I know which places you can easily visit without a guide and when having a local expert with you would considerably enhance your experience.

You’ll get my honest, independent recommendations based on my love for and knowledge of places that most travel agents have never even been to.

“Julie’s deep knowledge of Portugal, her careful listening to our questions, and the quick response time. Very easy to work with a native English speaker! Working with Julie Dawn Fox reminded me — once again — that advice from a real human being always surpasses anything you can find on the internet.” – Heidi Yorkshire

How does my Portugal itinerary design service work?

  • Simply get in touch using the form below with brief details about what you’re looking for.
  • I’ll send you a detailed questionnaire designed to help me learn as much as possible about what you’d be thrilled about during your trip and what to avoid at all costs.
  • Decide whether you would prefer:
    • Fully managed: my trusted local partner travel agency will take care of the bookings and payments for you
    • Self-booking: I give you the contact details and you make the bookings


  • When I’ve received your completed questionnaire and I’m sure I can help, I’ll send you a payment request for the initial itinerary design fee of €200 (see FAQs below).
  • Once I’ve received your payment, I’ll email you an outline itinerary, usually within 3 working days. This includes:
    • type and location of accommodation, e.g. 4-star boutique hotel in Lisbon city centre
    • type of tour or activity, e.g. half-day private walking tour of Porto’s historical highlights
    • type of sight, e.g. visit a contemporary art gallery renowned  for its collection, architecture and gardens
    • type of activity, e.g. a self-guided 3-hour circular hike along the beautiful Alentejo coastline
    • most important logistics such as travel time and method between cities, e.g. train from Coimbra to Porto (approx. 1 hour)
  • You can request changes or ask for more information until you are happy with the way you’ll be spending your time in Portugal.

The next stage depends on how you have chosen to book your trip:

Fully managed itinerary

If you’re too busy to deal with all the nitty gritty details with individual suppliers, my trusted local travel agent partner will manage the reservations for you and look after you during your trip.

With this option, the prepaid itinerary design fee of €200 will be discounted against the total cost of your holiday.

You’ll get the best of both worlds. Independent travel advice and recommendations from a Portugal insider combined with the ease, customer service and security of booking through a licensed travel agent who is able to deal with problems that may arise before or during your trip.

Self-booked itinerary

You may prefer to book up the hotels, tours and transport yourself.

In this case, once you’re happy with the outlined itinerary, you’ll pay any additional itinerary design fees based on the number of travel days (see FAQs for rates). I will then flesh out the written itinerary to include the specific information you’ll need about hotels, restaurants, transport, sights and tours.

Either way, your final itinerary includes:

  • Written day-by-day itinerary
  • Details of a carefully selected accommodation option for each night
  • At least one restaurant recommendation for each day
  • Practical information about the best way to get from one destination to the next (whether it be private transfers, by public transport or self-drive)
  • Information about suitable guided tours where relevant
  • Information about activities you can do without a guide where appropriate


  • Portugal Travel Information Essentials PDF
  • Portugal Packing List PDF
“We’ve just got back from Portugal and everything was perfect by major part thanks to your help.” – Evgeniya

Complete this form and I’ll email you with a quote and questionnaire 


Portugal Itinerary Design FAQs and T&Cs

How much does it cost?
I charge an itinerary design fee of €50 per day of travel within Portugal for the first 4 days. There is a minimum fee of €200, payable in advance. Each subsequent day costs €45 up to a maximum of €470 for periods of up to 14 days (so for a 2-week trip, you get 4 days of travel planning free). If your trip is longer than that, just let me know and I’ll send you a quote. All amounts are exclusive of VAT (sales tax), if applicable.
Will I receive an itemised cost breakdown of the trip?
No. If you give me any budget guidelines, I will bear them in mind when selecting accommodation, tours and restaurants but ordinarily, my focus is on your experience rather than the price. For self-booked itineraries, it’s important to note that prices available online change rapidly and vary from country to country so what I see during my research could be different from the price you get when you come to book. You also have the flexibility to select the type of room or choose additional services at the time of booking which could affect the price. If you choose the fully managed option, I am able to incorporate exclusive services and confidential trade prices via my partner that aren’t available to the general public (only if they are appropriate for you, of course). My partner agency works on a package price basis so once the itinerary outline and accommodation is agreed upon, they will give you a quote for the entire tour. If it is beyond your budget, just let us know and we will make adjustments to bring it in line with your expectations with as little compromise on the overall experience as possible.
What's the difference between self-booked and fully managed in terms of cost?
For self-booked itineraries, you can decide how much to you want to spend on each individual element of your trip when you get to the booking stage. You can expect that the fully managed service will cost slightly more than doing everything yourself as you are paying for the expert services and support of a licensed travel agency. In terms of the time and effort you save before the trip and the peace of mind of knowing that if something goes wrong during your trip you can rely on them to do everything possible to resolve it is well worth it if you’re not on a limited budget.
Can you sort out my flights for me?
I’m afraid not, although my partner travel agency can organise domestic flights within Portugal and Spain for you if you are using the fully managed service.
Why do I have to pay in advance?
Each itinerary I design is unique and that takes time and commitment. I start from scratch to research options based on your individual requirements so that I can be confident that the recommendations I make are a) ones you’ll love, b) available for your dates and c) within your approximate budget. In order to dedicate my time to delivering the best itinerary possible for you, I need to be sure you are just as committed. You’ll pay €200 in advance and, for self-booked itineraries, the remaining fee is due after you’ve approved the outline itinerary.
What do I get when I pay for a self-booked itinerary?
After you have approved the outline itinerary, and paid the remaining design fee, I will send you the detailed itinerary in PDF format with links to all the hotels and tour operators so that you can make the bookings. I’ll map out your driving routes on Google Maps and provide important information and tips for travelling in Portugal.
What if I don't like the itinerary you design for me?
I use the information in your questionnaire to choose trip elements I think you’ll adore. If I’ve missed the mark in any respect, simply tell me what doesn’t appeal to you and I’ll make alternative suggestions and adjustments to the draft itinerary until you’re thrilled with your trip.
I'm still not sure. Can we talk first?
Of course. If you’d like to talk through your ideas and make sure I’m the right person to be trusted with creating your ideal trip, we can set up a Quick Query consultation. I will discount the cost of this against the price of the itinerary design if you decide to go ahead.
What if I'm not satisfied with your service? Can I get a refund?
If you are not completely satisfied with the itinerary design service I have provided, please email me within 30 days to explain the problem. If I am unable to resolve it, I will refund 50% of the itinerary design fee. Please note that I am not responsible or liable for problems caused by Third Party services – see Terms and Conditions below.
Terms and Conditions
Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal is not a travel agency. Information and suggestions made with regard to itineraries are just that and do not constitute a travel arrangement or contract. Every effort has been made to ensure the information provided by Julie Dawn Fox is accurate and up to date at the time. However, services, reputations and standards of third parties are subject to change; establishments close, standards and prices may change. Julie Dawn Fox is not responsible or liable for the operation of any third-party service providers. This includes, but is not limited to, the failure of public transportation to operate as planned or museums and other attractions to open as scheduled. Fees paid to Julie Dawn Fox are for itinerary design and consultation services only. Fees are payable in advance and are non-refundable unless unforeseen circumstances at Julie Dawn Fox’s end render her unable to deliver the service. Under such circumstances, the client will receive a full refund of unused fees.  If the client notifies Julie Dawn Fox in writing within 30 days of dissatisfaction and it is not possible to resolve the problem (see above), 50% of the fees will be refunded.

Happy to do more of the planning work yourself?

If you would rather be more involved in researching and building your own itinerary, you might find my Quick Query consultation services suit you better.


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