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12 nights in Portugal - need help with itinerary:)

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Nov 3rd, 2013, 08:43 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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12 nights in Portugal - need help with itinerary:)

Hello my husband and I are going to Portugal for 11 days/12 nights next Fall for the first time. We love hiking, little old villages, castles, beautiful coastline and meeting the locals. We prefer historical sites that are outdoors to museums and dining al fresco at little family run places to fancy restaurants and prefer a small place with live local music to the Dance/Club scene. We will rent a car once we leave Lisbon and will split our stays between guest houses and pousadas and/or apartments. We hope to spend under $150/night for accommodation but will spurge on a pousada. We are going to forgo the Algarve and Alentejo on this trip so we can focus in on the areas between Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley. Here are my initial thoughts on itinerary and I would appreciate any suggestions on towns and accommodations and timing of our stays (such as spend more time here and less time there):
Nights 1,2 -- Lisbon, arrive late in pm; see Lisbon sites
Nights 3, 4, 5 - Stay in one of these towns to see all (we will have car) Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Night 6 -- Obidos or Nazare to explore these towns and coastline
Nights 7, 8 - Porto or Vila Nova de Gaia to explore these towns
Nights 9, 10, 11 - Peso da Regua or some other town along Douro river so we can hike, kayak, wine taste and explore little villages from a riverside base
Night 12 - Lisbon (very early flight in am)
Thank you
Jennifer from California
hamburger is offline  
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Nov 4th, 2013, 12:59 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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You might want to rethink flying out of Lisbon if you'll be in the Douro. It would be better to fly out of Porto and not waste the time returning to Lisbon for only one night,

You will not need a car for Sintra or Cascais.
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Nov 4th, 2013, 01:12 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,214
I would stay night 1-5 in Lisbon and visit the other places as day trips. I think you are short changing Lisbon, at least this way you will see more of it at night.

We spent two weeks in Portugal over the new year in 2010/2011. You can read our trip report here
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...l-20102011.cfm

And our pics here http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7636734183955/

We loved Portugal! I am sure you will have a fabulous time!
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Nov 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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We loved Portugal, especially the Douro Valley. We flew into Lisbon and out of Porto, much easier than driving back to Lisbon. We stayed in Sintra and took the train into Lisbon (very easy train ride). Lisbon is beautiful but we don't care too much for big cities either. Eat at The G Spot in Sintra. Fantastic food. You can hike up to the two castles in Sintra. It is a great way to spend the day. We had a car and drove to the coast one day from Sintra and saw Cabo de Roca (western most part of Europe.) When we left Sintra we drove to Obidose. Stayed at a manor house called Casa d'Obidose. It was right outside the town and very reasonable. Owner was lovely. We had a great view of the castle and a very nice breakfast. We drove from there to the Douro and stayed at Quinta Nova. It was fantastic but a little hard to get to on a very windy, hilly road. Unbelievable views. We had a great time touring and tasting in the Douro. Would live to stay there for a week(someday!!!) we drove from there to Porto and stayed a few nights. If you love Port you will love the wine houses . My husband was in heaven. It is a beautiful city too. Have a great trip you will love it!
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Nov 4th, 2013, 06:09 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Did you pay a drop off fee for picking up your car in one place and leaving it at Porto.
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Nov 4th, 2013, 08:27 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Take at least a night away from Sintra, Caiscais and give it to Lisbon, maybe two nights. Lisbon has so much to see, the others not near so much.Fly into Lisbon and out of Porto.
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Nov 5th, 2013, 04:12 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I think we did pay a drop off fee but it was not that much and well worth it. Driving in Portugal was very easy. The only downside for us was that we had a direct flight to Lisbon and a layover in the Azores leaving from Porto. There was a plane issue and we got stuck there for a very long time . SATA airlines did not have the best service.
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Nov 5th, 2013, 05:49 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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thanks, Sberg. I looked at flights home from Porto and they leave at 6am, so will likely just go back to Lisbon airport.
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