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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Help with Almost Final Plan

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After following this forum and doing massive reading, we have come up with a plan that appeals to us but would appreciate the experts giving their two cents for feasibility. I always end up having to pare down our plans as I am travel greedy but enjoy slow travel. This makes for conflicted planning.

We arrive in Lisbon on March 8 and will stay in Lisbon that night with an auto rental the next day heading to the Alentejo for one week (first three nights at ADC). Then to Lisbon for 10 days in an apartment rental with day trips to Sintra, Tomar and Alcobaca, and Portinho da Arrabida for a day hike.

Then another rental car driving Lisbon to Coimbra for 2 nights over Easter with the desire to see the library and university. From there we will head into the Serra de Estrella making our north to the Douro for a total of 17 days combined (Serra and Douro). We then drive to Porto dropping off our vehicle staying 3 nights Porto with train to Lisbon. 3 days for hiking the Rota Vincentina and then back to Lisbon the night before our plane to Amsterdam where we are staying 6 nights before winging home to Seattle at the end of April.

I think this will give us an opportunity to taste a bit of Portugal without wearing ourselves out trying to see it all. As mentioned we would like to spend a minimum of 2 nights (3 or more is better) in one place and would especially like to do some short hikes in the Serra de Estrela. If anyone has some suggestions for a central base for hiking and visiting villages in the Serra de Estrela, please share.

We originally wanted to see the Peneda Geres N.P. but have decided it was a little too much for this trip. It is on our list to combine that with southwestern Spain on another trip.

So any thoughts or suggestions for this plan would be so appreciated. Having just finished a South American 4 month trip where distances between areas were vast and time seemed generous, I am having trouble conceptualizing the possibilities with the rather short distances between areas in Portugal and the time that we have. An experienced assessment is probably needed.

Thank you very much for your valuable input.

P.S. If anyone has some recommended reading for Portugal, fact or fiction, we would appreciate some suggestions.

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