Thank you in advance for what I know will be expert advice and so appreciated! I love and rely on this forum for 'in the know' advice - thank you.
After a large amount of reading, below is the itinerary I have come up with for 4 active adults and the types of experiences we are looking forward to.....suggestions and revisions are welcome if I am missing or undercalculating any time spent in a place.
I like to get to know a place like a local, get off the beaten path, hit the highpoints of sightseeing but not overdo it, incorporate a lof of outdoors and adventure travel, and I am very passionate about the culinary culture of a place as well.
Our Trip = right around the corner! April 3rd - 17th, 2013
Can you share your advice on this itinerary and let me know if there are additional stops we should make or delete any of these? Too much or too little time in each hub?
(4th, 8:20 am) Arrive lisbon. Immediate xfer to Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa (business incentive trip). Golf, spa, explore resort grounds and town of Sintra
(5th) Explore Sintra, Caiscais, Cabo do Roca, Estoril and Guincho including Pena Palace, Quinta de Regaleira, sunset at the Fortaleza de Guincho
(6th) Possibly a 1/2 day or 1 day tour in Lisbon using "We Hate Tourism Travel"....thoughts on this provider?
(7th) (sunday) Checkout and head to Lisbon for the afternoon...visit the Coach, Maritime and Gulbenkian museums. Dinner and Fado club that night.
(8th) Explore more of Belem and the Alfama, possibly by E-bike?? thoughts? Possibly visit the Oceanarium. take the #28 tram for the experience.
(9th) early morning 5 hour bike tour starting in Sesimbra through Arrabida park. Back to Lisbon to pick up rental car (?) and head towards Evora or Arraiolos or Estremoz - which pousada/town has more to do and better to base out of??
(10th & 11th) Plan to rent bikes, see sights, explore the Rota do Vinhos.
(11th) Interested in seeing Elvas and Marvao and maybe Portalegre on the way out, driving towards Coimbra for late afternoon and overnight.
(12th) hike/bike/explore the Schist Villages and Serra de Lousa. Stay here or drive to Lamego for night?
(13th) Explore Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in Lamego and then drive to Porto for wine lodges in the afternoon and overnight.
(14th) train ride into Douro Valley and then boat cruise back....which cruise line is best? Stay in Porto.
(15th) Head to Guimaraes and Braga or start heading south again via Aveiro (canal ride? Alianca Underground Museum?)
(16th) Nazare and Obidos. Might hang glide in Nazare. Either overnight here or go on to Lisbon for the night
(17th) depart Lisbon for the US at 10:30 am
This country looks so amazing, it is hard to figure out the puzzle pieces of where to go and what to experience. I am confident I will be back and I haven't even visited the first time yet!
I would love to work in horseback riding somewhere...either on a vineyard or along the coast maybe? I am also cutting out the Algarve on this first go-round.....mistake? Planning to rent a car through Kemwel.
I am sure your feedback lead to more questions - I sincerely appreciate your guidance in advance!
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