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11 day Portugal early March trip. Itinerary help would be appreciated!

11 day Portugal early March trip. Itinerary help would be appreciated!

Nov 4th, 2019, 04:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 62
11 day Portugal early March trip. Itinerary help would be appreciated!

Looking for advice as our itinerary starts to shape up. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to fit the central Portugal sites into our time between Lisbon and Porto.

Here's where we are so far:
Lisbon-4 Lisboa Carmo Hotel
Alcobaca-1 Challet Fonte Nova Hotel
Tomar-1 Thomar Boutique Hotel
Coimbra-1 Hotel Oslo
Porto-3 Intercontinental

I know there are three 1 night stands, but I can't figure out a central place to stay and see all that we want to. The drives are not long each day, so maybe no big deal. ALL suggestions very much welcome.

Arrive in Lisbon, dinner. Sleep in Lisbon
Day 1: Private or small group guided tour of Lisbon. Sleep in Lisbon
Day 2: Casa Museu Medeiros E Almeida museum, Culinary Backstreets Food Tour. Sleep in Lisbon
Day 3: Belem sights day, OR ferry to Carcavelos for lunch. Tonight, Fado at Parreirinha de Alfama. Sleep in Lisbon
Day 4: Pickup car at Lisbon airport, drive to OBIDOS on the way to ALCOBACA. See monastery. Sleep in Alcobaca
Day 5: Drive to TOMAR. See Templar sites. Sleep in Tomar
Day 6: See Conimbriga Roman ruins on the way to COIMBRA. University tour and Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro. Sleep in Coimbra
Day 7: Either drive to Porto with stop in Aveiro or Bussaco Forest on the way. OR drop car at rental company and train to PORTO. Sleep in Porto
Day 8: Porto sightseeing. Taste of Porto Food Tour. Sleep in Porto
Day 9: Port wine tastings and sightseeing. Sleep in Porto
Day 10: Fly to Madrid. Sleep in Madrid
Day 11: Fly home from Madrid.

Last edited by passported; Nov 4th, 2019 at 04:10 PM.
passported is offline  
Nov 4th, 2019, 04:10 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,739
Signing on to possibly steal your itinerary
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2019, 08:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,711
We are also headed to Portugal in late March/early April although we will have a bit more time since overall it is part of a longer driving trip from France. We started out with a fair amount of "1 nighters" but ultimately decided to break it up as follows:

Night 13 Lisbon (O Artista)
Night 14 Lisbon (O Artista)
Night 15 Lisbon (O Artista)
Night 16 Cascais (Private apt)
Night 17 Cascais (Private apt)
Night 18 Tomar (Flattered to be in Tomar)
Night 19 Tomar (Flattered to be in Tomar)
Night 20 Tomar (Flattered to be in Tomar)
Night 21 Coimbra (Private apt)
Night 22 Porto (Myo Design House)
Night 23 Porto (Myo Design House)
Night 24 Porto (Myo Design House)
Night 25 Porto (Myo Design House)
Night 26 Porto (Myo Design House)

We decided to spend more time in Tomar to explore the surrounding areas north of Lisbon 1 night in Coimbra and and then 5 nights in Porto to explore areas around there (probably including the Douro Valley). So the plan is to see some of the areas as lunch stops or on the way to the next overnight base. So If you want less 1 night stops you could do something like 3 nights Lisbon, 2 nights Tomar, 2 nights Coimbra and 4 nights Porto
jpie is offline  
Nov 5th, 2019, 10:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,085
Do not skip Lisbon’s Belem and the Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Monument to the Discoveries.
Read the story of King Pedro and his love Inés before visiting their tombs at Alcobaça.
I like your itinerary.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 5th, 2019, 10:09 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 62
Thanks for the input!

Jpie your plans look nice!

Can I ask where you are staying in Coimbra? Is it an Airbnb or booking.com apartment? In the Baixa or up near university? I like the idea of apartments, I just don’t have much experience booking them.
passported is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 07:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,711
I always book apartments using booking.com with free cancellation. I have used airbnb VRBO and even some others but I find that as we get older we may need to cancel or change plans due to health issues etc. so I prefer the flex that booking.com provides with free cancellation. Do pay attention however to how long ahead you need to cancel since with apartments in particular sometimes the cancellation time can be long-a month in advance for instance as opposed to hotels where you can cancel usually a day or so ahead.

In Coimbra we are staying at a place called Riu´s Studios & Suites Avenida João das Regras nº30, 3040-256 Coimbra, Portugal Phone: +351 966 782 350 It gets a 9.3 Superb rating on booking and we are paying 75 euros during our dates. In general, we prefer apartments mostly so that we have more than just a room with a bed desk and chair. We like to have even a small couch and place to set up a laptop etc. Also since we will be on kind of a long trip I like to book apartments that have washing machines at least a couple of times during the trip so that we don't need to bring much clothing along. However we also use coin laundry places as needed.

For us the biggest things have been to book places with parking, (although in both Lisbon and Porto we are parking the car outside the city core and then taking cabs or public transport to where we are staying), and we want A/C just in case it happens to be hot and then we try to get places with elevators although in some places that is surprisingly hard to find. I am okay if we book a place 1 flight up but my knees don't love staying in places 3-4 flights up any more
jpie is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 09:29 AM
  #7  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 62
The only stop that gives me a little pause is Coimbra. I've been reading trip reports on Portugal, and people seem to either love or kinda not like Coimbra. The hotel selection is rather uninspiring, and it is yet another vertical city where walking and parking is a challenge.

If we skipped Coimbra and headed to the Duoro valley instead, is one night "worth" the detour? In early March? Or should we just stick with plan A....

Last edited by passported; Nov 8th, 2019 at 09:32 AM.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 10:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Well we have a friend who is living in Lisbon and she had to go to Coimbra for a visa appointment and she said she thought it was a charming town. One reason we picked Rius studios was that is kind of looking over to the historic center and they has easy parking. Apparently it is a 5-10 minute walk but given that I have trouble with hills we may take a cab in and out-or at least uphill

We are planning on doing a Douro Valley rail/cruise tour one of the days we are in Porto. We almost never do tours but my DH seems to really want to do this one that way. Others here say the valley is really better seen by car so we are also leaving ourselves a little time to spend another day driving back out there if we feel we want to see more.
jpie is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 11:01 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 253
Portugal Trip

[QUOTE=jpie;17012414]I always book apartments using booking.com with free cancellation. I have used airbnb VRBO and even some others but I find that as we get older we may need to cancel or change plans due to health issues etc. so I prefer the flex that booking.com provides with free cancellation. Do pay attention however to how long ahead you need to cancel since with apartments in particular sometimes the cancellation time can be long-a month in advance for instance as opposed to hotels where you can cancel usually a day or so ahead.

In Coimbra we are staying at a place called Riu´s Studios & Suites Avenida João das Regras nº30, 3040-256 Coimbra, Portugal Phone: +351 966 782 350 It gets a 9.3 Superb rating on booking and we are paying 75 euros during our dates. In general, we prefer apartments mostly so that we have more than just a room with a bed desk and chair. We like to have even a small couch and place to set up a laptop etc. Also since we will be on kind of a long trip I like to book apartments that have washing machines at least a couple of times during the trip so that we don't need to bring much clothing along. However we also use coin laundry places as needed.
Hi Jpie
I checked out Riu;'s Studios and found that I had already shortlisted it. So I will be very interested to see whether it met your requirements. Will be following your thread or trip report next year.
Rasputin1 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 12:30 PM
  #10  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 62
Well, I have a friend in Porto right now, and she took a full day trip to Douro yesterday and loved it. I'm not real big on tours, but it does seem efficient. Her Facebook photos look nice!
passported is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 08:01 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,711
"Hi Jpie
I checked out Riu;'s Studios and found that I had already shortlisted it. So I will be very interested to see whether it met your requirements. Will be following your thread or trip report next year."

Rasputin1-I am going to try to write my trip report as we go along-so I will try to keep folks current. We will be in Coimbra the 10th of April-so stay tuned Our whole trip driving from France and back will run from around March 20th to May 20 or so. We are leaving the last part of the trip kind of open so we can see how much we want to explore Asturias Spain. Fell free to ask any questions about where we are staying because I believe you are also looking at places with elevators or only 1 flight up-which is similar to the places I have been targeting....
jpie is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 12:05 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 253
Thanks jpie
I will follow your travels with interest and will definitely ask questions.
Rasputin1 is offline  

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