We're going to travel to Portugal for our first time, this September for 10 or 11 days including travel. We're coming from Philadelphia, PA, U.S. We're a couple in our mid fifties, love interesting architecture, good food and wine, music, places with natural beauty. Some museums but not tons, we tend more to love wandering streets and seeing what we come upon.
Initially I'd thought with that amount of time we could do Lisbon (with day trips), Porto (with day trips) and still get in a taste of the Algarve, but with more reading am leaning toward just Lisbon and Porto.
My questions are:
1) Do you agree with that? We enjoy beaches and certainly having some real relaxing time is often very welcome, but it just seems like it's probably too much. We're pretty slow travelers.
On the other hand, if there's just a town or two in the Algarve that are very unique and not to be missed, then we'd consider putting it back in, just knowing we'd limit it to that and not try to see a whole lot of the rest of the area. (usually I'd have figured this out from more reading by now, but we only decided very recently to do this and there's been limited time!)
2) While we've loved large European cities such as Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London (tho' the latter dh was ill most of the time so memories not as fond, will have to go back!), we also love smaller towns, For instance as much as we loved all the sights in Barcelona proper, one of our highlights of that trip was the day we took the train out to an area on the outskirts and saw the castellers (which we only knew about from a Fodorite). Is there a smaller city or town you'd recommend we spend some time in, rather than only Lisbon and Porto? Enough to be worth more than a day trip, and switching lodging on this trip more than once?
3) If we DO decide to just keep it simple and stay in Lisbon and Porto, would you recommend dividing it half and half, or more in one versus the other? I'm going to look into how much more an open jaw flight would be, so we wouldn't have to circle back, but we can't do that if it's a lot more.
TIA!! I look forward to your replies, hoping to book our flights very soon.
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