12-14 nights enough ?

Old Mar 1st, 2017, 07:05 AM
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12-14 nights enough ?

Hi !

We (2 adults and 2 kids of 5 ans 9) will be in Portuagal in July. We arrive In Barcelona july 13 ans leav from Lisbon august 6. We want to stay 5 nights in Barceloa, 5-6 nights in Spain and arrive in Porto (by bus from Vigo) july 23 or 24.

That leaves us with 12-14 nights for Portugal. We plan to stay in Porto 2-3 nights and then rent a car and ''slowly'' travel to Lisbon. We dont want to do the Algarve. Is 12-14 nighs enough to have a cool trip between Porto and Lisbon (still have to figure what we want to see exactly but we are very open minded)? We know that we could be ther one month without getting bored, but we odnt have that time !

Is a car better than train/bus ?
tostaky is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2017, 07:14 AM
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"Is 12-14 nighs enough to have a cool trip between Porto and Lisbon"

Yes it is, but give Lisbon itself at least three or four days. We just came back - we happened to take lodgings in Belém and were glad to find out that that part of Lisbon alone kept us busy for days, there is so much to see, and lots more in other parts of Lisbon. It's big city full of interesting places to visit.

Just to see how much there is in Belém alone, look at
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for that answer !

so 2-3 nights for Porto (?)
3-4 nights Lisbon ...

that leaves us with 5-7 days (depending how much time we spend in Spain) for anything between Porto and Lisbon.
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 08:06 AM
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In my view yes that is enough. Suggestions in that area -
Douro valley - do not miss it since you are in the area. Gorgeous scenery, wines/Port
We did not spend much time but enjoyed our brief stay in Coimbra has lovely architecture including the old university from 1290
Obidos is a wonderful white village
Tomar and Convento do Christo which is stunning
Sintra of course but be careful with the weather. We experienced a full day of rain (microclimate)
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 08:08 AM
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It's really a 'how long is a piece of string' question. Someone could spend 3 months in Lisbon and still not be ready to leave. Someone else could send 1 day and hate it.

The only way to say it is not enough is if were physically impossible to travel the distances involved in the time available.

I think most people would say it is a reasonable amount of time given that you are limiting it to a reasonable sized area to cover.

In the end, it really doesn't matter how many places you get to or how much time you are able to spend in each. What matters is did you make best use of each day wherever you spent it. If you did, there is no way to have got more out of your time is there.

Spending 5 days in each of 4 places cannot necessarily give you more enjoyment/experiences than spending 20 days in 1 place. It's about how you use the time. Where people sometimes go wrong is by spending too much of their time moving from place to place which is pretty much lost time and confusing quantity with quality. Most people do want to visit more than one place, it's just human nature but it should also be about a balance. You seem to have settled on a reasonable balance.

I would say be careful how you count. You cannot count a day twice and people often do. If you leave A and move to B, that day is not spend in either A or B, it's spent moving and so you cannot count it in either. So when you write, '2-3 nights', what are you really saying? 1 or 2 days spent in the place.

I've seen people write, 'we will spend 3 days, 2 nights in X'. News flash, to spend 3 full days in a place you must spend 4 nights in that place. What they did was count the day the left A as a day spent in B and the day they left B they also counted as a day in B. In fact, they shouldn't count either as a day in B, they are travel days.

Most people would agree that if a place is worth visiting it is worth 3 full days. ie. Porto. So I would not plan on anywhere for less than 4 nights. If it isn't worth that much time, is it worth losing a travel day to include it?
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 10:12 AM
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I lived in Portugal for a short time; it's a beautiful country. I personally recommend Sintra as a base as well, and be sure to see Obidos. Get a car but prepare for lots of tolls. Even a couple days in the Algarve would be worth it. The towns are nothing to write home about, but the views are spectacular.
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 11:57 AM
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I think the revised plan is a lovely one. I'm sure their are Portuguese who haven't seen all of their country unless they are land surveyors. Everybody has to budget their time. But 7 days will give you plenty of time for serendipity.

Reading Dogeared's post, I'm wondering if he's ever been in Porto, or even Portugal! (Don't see any tips there for actual things to do.) With kids the ages of yours 2 or 3 nights in Porto should be fine. I would read up ahead of time on how the trams work, because the steepness of Porto might -- just might -- be cause for a few complaints if there's no relief. (Besides, the trams are fun, as is the cable car across the river).

Lisbon has go lots for kids to enjoy (which often turns out to be the same things adults enjoy.) Also suggest you read up on Parque Das Nacoes with kids in mind http://www.golisbon.com/sight-seeing...dasnacoes.html
I also think that the Convento Do Carmo would interest children if would interest children if they are not afraid of earthquakes. It only takes a few moments to see.

In summer, I would think a night or more on one of the beaches between Porto & Lisbon is in order. Sorry I can't make a recommendation. If you go to Coimbra, locate ahead of time the elevators that take visitors to the uppermost parts of the city, where the amazing university library is (bats are allowed to live inside to keep the bug population down). If you don't take the elevator you need to walk up a hill that the university students for centuries have known as "back break hill"

I'd probably skip the wine fields with kids but I often skip them without kids, so maybe you'll be tempted. There might be other things for kids to do outdoors.
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 12:06 PM
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Coimbra is a great destination (although four nights would be overkill on this trip). Do not miss the Roman ruins in Conimbriga just outside. When I was there a small coin would get the fountains working.

Also consider having a look at the Palace Hotel do Bussaco and its park on the way.
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 01:29 PM
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Is a car better than train/bus ?<

Yes for going between Porto and Lisbon - but not in those cities.

If in Madrid you can take an overnight train to either Porto or Lisbon- for lots on night trains and trains in general check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check their online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of ideas on places to go in Portugal) and www.ricksteves.com.

Train to Porto - rent car and work way south to Lisbon - hit some nice beach towns and places like Batalha (UNESCO World Heritage Site - old monastery - Alcabaca -the same; Coimbra - lovely upper town; Obidos - perfectly walled medieval citadel - staying the night there would be a treat- and Sintra (short train trip from Lisbon as well).

You may want to go north and east from Porto at the start to hit neat towns like Guimares and Braga and the Duoro River Valley-then head south.
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