Portugal Travel Planner & Itinerary Design

Olá! My name is Candy and I’m an independent travel planner and Portugal travel expert. Living full-time in Portugal since 2016 and working in the travel space for 10+ years; I have the experience and skills ready to plan and build your dream trip to Portugal.

Candy Tomkins, Independent Portugal Travel Consultant

Independent Travel Consultant and DMC – What I do.

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, working with a travel planner who lives in Portugal should be your top priority. No-one knows the country like a local and their insider knowledge that will ensure you have a truly memorable trip.

Thanks to my local knowledge, travel experiences and close connections in Portugal I am able to design you a fully bespoke trip and guide you through the process smoothly.

Whether you want a fully customised itinerary, a special occasion trip plan or simply need some guidance on your plans so far, I’m here to help.

I can’t thank you enough for the fabulous itinerary and our conversations about traveling in Portugal! My daughter and I had the time of our lives, in large part because of your insight and suggestions. You provided such a lovely variety that matched our desire to not “play tourist” but experience Portugal and its people. 

This was truly a trip of a lifetime in so many ways. 

LAURA & ANGELA, USA

>> BOOK A CALL

>> BOOK A CALL & CUSTOM ITINERARY

How does it work?

You can choose from three options : –

1 hour travel planning call (€90) – Spend 60 minutes chatting with me about your upcoming trip to Portugal. Use this call to gain insight, ask questions and jot down personalised suggestions. During the we can construct a rough itinerary from scratch or firm up an itinerary you already have. Book a Call.

1 hour travel planning call and custom itinerary (from €225) – This is the best option for you to get the most out of your trip and also the option most people choose. In addition to the call you’ll receive a one of a kind itinerary built especially for you and your specific requirements and preferences. The itinerary will include personalised suggestions for accommodation, activities and restaurants. I provide booking links for all of the above and also put you in touch with the very best tour guides and experience providers. Book a Call & Itinerary.

1 hour planning call, custom itinerary and travel concierge (custom quote) – This is the ultimate travel planning package and designed for those who want to simply turn up and go. In addition to the call and itinerary you’ll have me as your personal travel concierge leading up to and during your trip. What does this mean? I carry out all of the communication with accommodation, activities and restaurants for you including booking. The only thing you need to do is pay and turn up. You’ll have access to my WhatsApp number for messaging before and during your trip. This is a custom package depending on the length of trip. Contact me for a quote and availability

Working with a Travel Planner

Save Time.

Planning travel in a country you don’t know can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Working with a travel planner will remove the stress that inevitably comes from planning your own travel.

Connect with Culture.

Working with a travel planner who lives in Portugal can help you connect with the country on a deeper level.

Do what you want to do, not what everyone else does.

When you use the same method as everyone else you get the same results. The trouble with planning a trip without guidance from a local is that you’ll end up with the same itinerary as everyone else. Working with a travel planner will ensure your itinerary matches your desires, not the rest of the worlds.

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Why work with me?

Vast Travel Experience

I live the work I sell. I have dedicated my life to travel. Before moving to Portugal I spent 4-6 months every year travelling and surfing in far-flung destinations around the globe including remote parts of southern Asia and central America. I’ve travelled solo for most of my life and gained massive experience planning and executing trips all over the world.

Locally-based Travel Planner

When my feet landed in Portugal in 2016, southern Europe became my shiny new oyster. My incessant need to be on the move settled and I fell head over heels with the country I now call my home – Portugal. I’ve traveled so extensively since living here that even my Portuguese friends comment that I’ve seen more of the country than them. My passion for exploring Portugal continues to grow with each new trip. Whether it’s hiking a mountain trail in Madeira, swimming in waterfalls in the Azores, drinking wine in a hidden vineyard in Alentejo or hunting down new local restaurants in Lisbon I’ll continue to add to my Portugal experiences. Though my work I am able to share these experiences with others and that is a huge honour.

Bespoke Itinerary Design.

While most travel planners only focus on the main sights and attractions; I’m more about finding the experiences that really align with you. Whether you have an exact route in mind or you have no idea where to start I can curate a personalised itinerary that ticks all your boxes and offers you a memorable time in Portugal. Got a special or unique request? Road trip route? Wine tour? Private chef or photographer? I can organise everything for you.

Magic in Collaboration

Working with Locals

The reason I started this work and a huge part of why I fell in love with Portugal is because of the people I’ve met along my travels. After a particularly memorable 10-day road trip around Alentejo meeting with small-scale providers I knew I had to share what, or rather who, I discovered with those visiting Portugal. I have connected with a huge variety of accommodation and experience providers during my time living in Portugal. Many of these local businesses offer the absolute best of what Portugal has to offer but they don’t always have the same reach as the bigger companies. This means that visitors miss out on some of Portugal’s most authentic experiences. My goal has always been to support these amazing businesses by sharing them with my guests whenever I can.

I aim to personally meet all of the providers I work with because building meaningful partnerships is important to me. In most cases I have personally taken part in the experiences and activities that I am recommending. This enables me to recommend the best tour guide, experience or activity for your specific needs.

Spain and Italy Travel Planning

I specialise in travel planning and itinerary design for Portugal but I also help people plan their trips to Spain and Italy. I visit both countries multiple times a year and have built great knowledge alongside local connections. Planning a trip to Portugal and Spain? I regularly help people with planning a multi-country trip and your itinerary will be seamless.

Planning a trip to Portugal, Spain or Italy? I’m here to help.

If you want to plan the perfect trip but there are just too many options, I can help you make the most of your time.  If you want a one-of-a-kind, personalised travel itinerary, full to the brim with authentic experiences, I’ve got you…

What my guests say….

Just returned from an amazing Lisbon and Lagos trip planned by Candy!! Private drivers, tours, wineries, stand up paddle boards and hikes. It was an incredible way to spend a vacation. Candy made it so manageable for us- 3 girls with little time to plan and research. She knew exactly what to recommend and set it all up. She recommended brilliant accommodations too.

Aileen, USA

Candy just helped put together an amazing itinerary for a 3-month trip for my family of 4. She totally understood our travel style and crafted the perfect itinerary – excellent communication and price. We don’t often use a travel advisor and so glad we did, she is awesome.

Andi & Family, Canada

Oh my gosh, this is AMAZING!!!!!

Thank you so much. I am just so grateful you shared your knowledge, insight, and great organization! 🙂

Our trip will be so much more special because of your help.

Evie, USA

After reading rave reviews about Candy through a Portugal forum on Facebook, I decided to reach out to see if she could help me plan a trip for our family of 4. As a first timer to Portugal, I was so overwhelmed as I started to plan the itinerary. Candy was just the person I needed to help put my travel woes at ease. She is extremely knowledgeable about Portugal and offered so many amazing suggestions that were the perfect fit for our family. I highly recommend her to anyone that needs help planning the perfect Portugal adventure.

Whitney, USA

FAQ | Personal Travel Planning

How does it work?

1. Choose between call or call and itinerary.
2. Purchase through the shop here.
3. You will receive an email with some pre-call questions and a calendar booking link.
4. Choose a suitable date and time for the call.
5. During the call I’ll find out what you want to get out of the trip and we’ll start creating the rough itinerary.
6. I’ll build a full itinerary for you based on your travel style and preferences.

What is included in the itinerary?

Each itinerary is built from scratch and personalised for you. It includes suggestions for accommodation, restaurants, tour guides, activities and experiences in addition to any special or specific requests you may have. I will offer multiple ideas for activities each day depending on what you are looking for. I also reach out to tour guides and other providers to check for availability and suitability. The itinerary also includes booking links for everything.

I’m planning a trip with my partner/ family/ friends? Can they join the call?

Yes of course! I use GoogleMeet for the video calls and you are welcome to share the link with them.

Can I start with the 1 hour call and add on the personalised itinerary later?

Yes, no problem. You have 2 weeks after the initial call to decide if you want to add the itinerary. If you are thinking you may want to add itinerary after the call please let me know in advance so I can ensure I gather enough information during the initial call.

Can you organise luxury itineraries?

Absolutely. Whether your travel style is luxury or you are celebrating a special occasion I have the contacts and experience to make you trip extra magnificent. Got special requests? I can also arrange luxury extras such as private chefs, photo shoots and personalised private tours.


I’ve been to Portugal before and want to see something different / I’m not interested in the main tourist spots. Can you help?

Yes! Regional road trips, island adventures, empty beaches and remote villages are my speciality. Whether you have particular locations in mind or you have no idea where to start I can help curate an itinerary that offers you a truly unique experience while travelling in Portugal. 

I want to see the main sights in Portugal. Is this still for me?

Yes, absolutely! The majority of calls I take are for planning trips to Lisbon, Porto and Algarve (the most popular destinations in Portugal). These destinations are popular for good reason and should not be missed if you want to see the best of Portugal. Due to their popularity the amount of information available online can be overwhelming. The call is designed to help you cut through all this information. I can offer a local’s perspective and up-to-date information on each location so that you can feel more relaxed about your trip.

Are you a travel agent?

I’m not a travel agent. I’m an independent travel consultant under my own travel brand Soi 55 which I launched in 2016. I’m a one woman band; founder, director and the travel consultant you’ll speak to if you book a call.

I’m planning a trip to Portugal and Spain. Can you help?

Definitely. I’ve travelled over most of Spain – living next door has its advantages! I specialise in trips to the region Andalusia but I am able to help with travel planning for all of Spain. I can work with you to build an itinerary that incorporates both countries, giving you the best of each.

I’m travelling somewhere else in the world – can you help?

I specialise in Portugal, Spain and Italy. However, I have more than 15 years of travel planning experience including Europe, Asia and Central America. We can start with a 1 hour travel consultancy call and take it from there.

Questions? Custom request? Let’s chat.