Our initial plans:
My husband and I are planning to spend 10 nights in Portugal, late November/early december. We wouldn't want to be moving around too much, so we were thinking about spending 6 nights in Lisbon, then travel by train to Porto and spend 4 nights there. Planning on flying into Lisbon and out of Porto.
While we are in Lisbon, besides seeing the main sights and walking around the different neighborhoods, we would like to take some day trips, if possible, to Sintra, Queluz and Obidos.
While in Porto we would love to take a Duoro River Cruise tour and do a day trip to the Duoro Valley maybe to Amarante.
We are planning on renting an apartment on the Chiado neighborhood in Lisbon and we are looking at an apartment across the river overlooking Porto.
Who we are: we are pretty seasoned travelers, we like to enjoy not just the sights but also the local culture of every city we visit. That's why we like staying at an apartment instead of a hotel and prefer not to move from one city to the other so we can relax and take in everything these places have to offer. We are in our early to mid 50's, decent shape for walking and light hikes. Love food and wine!!! And are not afraid of getting off the beaten path.
Here are our questions:
1. Are 6 nights in Lisbon and 4 nights in Porto a good distribution of time? Should we include another city that should not be missed?
2. Is it better to do Lisbon first and then Porto or the other way around? (We could reverse our flight arraigments).
3. Would you consider Chiado to be a good and central location in Lisbon?
4. Would it be possible to do our day trips on our own? We are planning on using public transportation, but we would rent a car or even better a scooter/motorcycle for the day if that would help us make the trips easier.
5. We see that there are at least 4 sights in Sintra that we would love to see: Palacio de Pena, Sintra Palace, Parque de Monserrate and Quinta da Regaleira. Is it possible to see all these in one day?
6. We see that there are several boat tours on the Duoro River, is there one that you would recommend?
7. Is it reasonable to think that we could get to Amarante on a day trip from Porto? Could we do this on a scooter/motorcycle? Would it be better to rent a car or do an organized tour?
8. The apartment that we are looking to rent while in Porto is close to the Dom Luis I bridge. Overlooks at the city of Porto across the river. Can you tell if this is a nice area? Is it easy to walk across the bridge into the city? The reviews sound so good and the pictures look great so we are very tempted to go for it.
We have planned many vacations with the help of all of you and I can't wait to see your comments and suggestions. Thank you very much in advance!
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Our initial plans: