2 Year Anniversary Trip to Portugal

Dec 12th, 2018, 06:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 13
2 Year Anniversary Trip to Portugal

Hello Everyone,

We have decided to book our 2 year anniversary trip to Portugal ( Arriving April 17) We are actually flying into Madrid and from there
we can either fly into Porto or Lisbon ( Still note sure)

We wil be in Portugal for 2 weeks and would like some recomendations. Since Portugal is very new to use we just started researching as of today ( Since
we booked out first leg last night) We tend to avoid big cities because we already live in one. When we visited Spain we did Madrid for 1 day and that was more than enough for us ( We did the north region of Asturias and la Rioja for wine)

With that said we love outdoor activities, Lakes,Beach and of course Wine =)
We drove in Spain but not in Madrid it was to crazy for us, would renting a vehicle be recommended?
Would a trip to Azores around that time be recommended?

We have 2 weeks to enjoy, Like I mentioned before we just started researching so if anyone can give us some recommendations that would be nice.

Thank you everyone ( I will be updating as the days go by)
clos1336 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2018, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 233

I think for people to respond you need to firm up your itinerary. Flying into Porto or Lisbon makes a big difference in planning your holiday. Having flown into both airports, and explored both the north and south of Portugal, I think you will find what you are looking for in both destinations. I found driving in Portugal very easy and enjoyable as apart from the city limits of Lisbon, traffic was slight. We are returning to Portugal in May and will be staying on the mainland for one week and then spending a week in the Azores. We did the same last year, but only 3 days in the Azores which we felt was not enough to really enjoy.
We visited some incredible beaches (although much too cold to swim in April) in both the north and south, and some great towns and villages not yet populated by the by the tourist trade.
The food is incredible, the prices are amongst the lowest in Europe for food, wine and lodging and the people are extremely friendly!
mike1728 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2018, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,483
I'd land in Lisbon or Porto and rent a car for driving between them and returning car in Lisbon. If interested in trains check www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com - lots on where trains go.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 11:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 13
Would you mind sharing your schedule of when you visited Azores and the mainland?
That is what we have in mind.

I do agree what you said about fixing up our itenerary in order for others to help us out more.

As for the option of trains, Would we be missing to much if we didnt drive from Porto-Lisbon?
clos1336 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 11:39 AM
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Depends if you want to go straight thru Lisbon to Porto then take train - but if have a few days could hit Obidos and Coimbra (which you are going to to catch night train - spend at least a few hours there in the old University Quad area in the upper town.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 18th, 2018, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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May 2018...Fly into Lisbon, rent car and then 3 days in Evora (loved Evora), day trip to Monsaraz, incredible hill top village on the Spanish Border with great castle ruins and medieval atmosphere. To Sesimbra, great ocean front town, considered to be amongst the finest ocean resorts in Portugal. Great beach, hiking, narrow streets alleyways in the pedestrian only area. To Ericeira, our finest town in all of Portugal (3 years in a row). Great beaches, hiking, wonderful downtown area with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, shops, etc...considered to be the surfing capital of Europe. Easy day trips to Sintra, Obidos, and Mafra. 5 nights in Erica, then to Ponta Delgada, Azores, easy quick flight, then 3 nights in the ocean side village of Vila do Franco. Incredible location on a famous bay with easy day trips throughout Sao Miguel Island. Loads of sights, hiking, remote beaches, ect.

May 2017....fly in Porto. Rent car, 45 drive to the birthplace of Portugal, the medieval village of Guimaraes. Beautiful! Day trips to Braga (google Bom Jesus do Monte) and 1 hour train into Porto for the day. 4 nights then 5 nights in Viana do Castello. Good size town on the ocean, with a beach that stretches for miles. Medieval center, lots of restaurants, cafes, shops. Day trip to A Guarda, Spain (50 min).

To Ericeira for 5 nights stop in Figueira do Foz for 1 night....nice beach town resort...huge beach. Then to Ericeira, with a quick lunch and tour of Aveiro. Averio is considered the Venice of Portugal, complete with canes and gondolas! A very pretty town.

Hope this helps. We are planning May 2019 in Portugal as well. Lisbon, Cascais, Nazare, and then a week in the Azores!
mike1728 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2018, 02:28 PM
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Loved Nazarre and I read they have some of the highest waves in the world at times - neat old fishing village where they day's catch is fresh-fried and sold on streets - also close to Batalha Monastery a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2018, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 13
Great schedule , this weekend I will be narrowing down all those options.

what airline did you use to travel to azores? My wife and I will probably have bag to check
I am currently seeing TAP,Azores air and Ryan air as options to fly to Azores.
We have never flown either of those airlines so I am wondering what is your advice.

as for driving and getting around, We have never driven in Portugal how difficult would it be to drive from Lisbon to other locations
and for Azores do we need a vehicle as well?

Thank you in advance

We also enjoy wine.. any good areas/cities to visti for wine?
clos1336 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2018, 07:27 AM
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Wine is everywhere. Even on the Azores you can taste local wines but there is less than one might think.

Portugeuse, unusually starts with "green wine" which really means both young wine as well a white wine with a slightly green hint, it tends towards low alcohol and comes from the north. Lots of whites and roses but it is in reds that the country really comes alive.

The Port wines are the most famous but as well as alcohol added wine the region around Porto also offers straight red wines of daunting quality and depth. Just south of Duoro you have the Buga of Dao, which again is a massive red. And so it goes as you go further south until you hit Alentajo which is the youngest region with lots of new vinyards.

Without doubt I have never been let down by a Portugeuse wine apart from some of the industrial fizzy whites from the north.
bilboburgler is online now  
Dec 19th, 2018, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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driving to other places from Lisbon is not practical except for a few places close to Lisbon like Sintra which is easily accessed by commuter trains - use cars for going between Lisbon and Porto and hitting nice things in between them.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2018, 12:55 PM
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,089
Taxis in Lisbon

Our taxi from the Hotel Britania to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art in Belém last month took about 12 minutes and cost 10€. No need for a car. Uber is available in Lisbon, but with the price and availability of taxis, there's no need.
Robert2016 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2018, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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We flew SATA, TAP, and Azores Air but that is from Boston where there is a LARGE Portuguese population, especially from the Azores, so there are frequent flights at decent prices. We prefer to rent a car whilst in Portugal, enjoy the freedom to visit small off the radar villages, restaurants, vineyards with tastings, etc...personal choice. Trains can limit your emersion into the off the beat cultural sites, in my opinion.
mike1728 is offline  
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