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9 day trip to portugal

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May 27th, 2012, 06:05 AM
  #1
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9 day trip to portugal

I am traveling to Portugal from August 31st to September 9th. My adult daughter wants a day or two at the beach and my husband and I have our hearts set on the Douro Valley. We will be flying in and out of Lisbon and have only 9 days. This is what we're thinking so far but have made no plans accept flights so far:

Day 1: Fly into Lisbon 8am. Get settled in hotel and see as much of lisbon as possible before crashing that night.
Day 2 & 3: Go to Sintra for the day. Check out of Lisbon hotel and meet daughter at airport by 7pm to rent car and travel south to Porto Covo and stay two nights there.
Day 4: May spend morning at Porto Covo before driving north. Where???
Day 5: ???
Day 6: Arrive in Douro Valley, stay in Pinhau @ Chancellieros for two nights
Day 7: Explore a winery
Day 8: Either do boat ride up douro or train ride in am?? Then drive south, sightseeing where???, Staying where?
Day 9: Sightsee where in am? Then eventually making our way to hotel in lisbon.
Day 10: Flight leaves at 2pm

My question is: is this way too much in too little time? Is there a beach as nice as Porto Covo, with cliffs if possible, heading north from Lisbon to avoid heading south and then backtracking north to Douro Valley? Unsure of the amount of driving time between places in Portugal.

Thanks for your help,
Evelyn
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May 28th, 2012, 04:19 AM
  #2
 
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Day 1: fly into Lisbon & take it easy
Day 2: train to Sintra for the day
Day 3: explore Lisbon a bit more & meet daughter at airport, drive to Porto Covo or, better yet, to one of the coastal towns at the Costa de Prata (Silver Coast) between Lisbon and Porto
Day 4: beach time
Day 5: beach time or excursion to Obidos or some other town depending from which coastal town you have chosen
Day 6: arrive in Douro Valley
Day 7: explore Douro Valley & a winery
Day 8: drive to Porto and explore the city
Day 9: explore Porto & visit portwine houses (tasting!!)
Day 10: back to Lisbon for your flight home.
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May 28th, 2012, 04:21 AM
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Driving times: check out www.viamichelin.com for distances and driving times between cities/villages.
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May 28th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Welcome to Fodors Ev.

Why not fly directly into Porto?
bilboburgler is online now  
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May 28th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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Book a hotel in Sintra or Cascais and stay there instead of Lisbon. That's where you want to be, not Lisbon. Sintra and Cascais are absolutely beautiful coastal towns, Lisbon is an absolute pit.
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May 28th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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PamEwing. I beg to differ with you. Open you eyes and your heart. Lisbon is anything but a pit.
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May 28th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Sher, I did when I was there 2 weeks ago, and I'm trying to help the OP make an informed decision and avoid the same disappointment that I had on my trip. Lisbon is the only place I and the rest of my tour group felt unsafe, it's filthy, and it's smelly. You're doing the OP a big disservice by trying to get her to ignore my advice.
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May 29th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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Well. She doesn't have to take either of our advice.
She can read the New York Times travel review on Lisbon from Sunday.
I do not think I am doing her a disservice.
I am sorry you did not have a good experience. You could have said that. But I feel being that derogatory does not help.
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May 29th, 2012, 05:25 AM
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It is good to hear various opinions about a place, so I will weigh in with mine. I have been to Lisbon three times and would go back in a heartbeat. There are some excellent trip reports here if you do a search. If there are neighborhoods that are filthy or smelly or feel unsafe, I missed them.
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May 29th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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Lisbon is pretty nice, Porto has a section, between the station and the river that can be a bit dirty, but no more than you would find in an Italian Hill town. In my time there I have never felt unsafe, even though Porto football was playing a British team in the evening.

Note that these cities are not in Singapore or Switzerland. The area I mentioned in Porto is certainly nicer than parts of LA or NY that I would not want to visit.
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May 29th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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I agree to stay in Sintra rather than in Lisbon but only for reasons of being somewhere very quiet during the night. I have never felt unsafe in Lisbon, nor in Porto.
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May 29th, 2012, 08:38 PM
  #12
 
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Another idea for you is to stay in Nazare after your stay in Lisbon. Nazare is a beach town north of Lisbon and on the way up you can visit Obidos and even swing by to see the cathedral at Alcobaca. I stayed in Pinhau and really enjoyed it. Friendly people, great food. At the Pinhau hotel (its small and on the main street) check to see if they are serving dinner. The mom there cooked goat one night and it was one of the best meals i had in Portugal. There are a few wineries in the area that you can tour & taste at.
After the Douro, i stayed in Coimbra for a night prior to going back to Lisbon. It was a nice stop over.
Btw- I love Lisbon..my vote is to stay there.

Have a great trip
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May 30th, 2012, 03:52 AM
  #13
 
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I agree with Obidos as a place to visit. Also the cathedral at Alcobaca is stunning.

Also Peniche is a cool little town to hang out in and allow you to explore those places and others in the area.
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:38 AM
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I agree with the Lisbon backers. It is probably Europe's least dangerous capital city, in my experience. I can't imagine what kind of unlucky turn of events might have prompted the opposite view. Anyway Lisbon is also a good base for visiting other places, including Sintra, Cascais and even Óbidos and Evora - a real medieval jewel in the rural Alentejo. You wouldn't really want a car while you're in Lisbon itself (parking is a pain) and there are lots of companies that do half- or full-day trips out of town. We went out to Evora and surrounding sights with Have a Wine Day , on a private tour that also included a stop at an eerie prehistoric standing stone site and fascinating visit to a winery with tasting and an expert spiel. If you check out their website www.en.haveawineday.com you'll see they have a whole range of trips that blend culture, countryside and wine.
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Jun 23rd, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #15
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Wonderful ideas everyone! Thanks for your help will post a synopsis of how the trip went when I come back. Thanks so much for your insight!
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Jun 23rd, 2012, 01:26 PM
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The New York Times recently did a feature on Lisbon which is well worth a search and read. The
Times correspondent was simply effusive with praise about the time spent there. As someone who has travelled from North America to Lisbon with regularity these past 40 years I can still find new and exciting things to see and do. And as far as safety is concerned no credible travel site has ever suggested that Lisbon is somehow less safe than any other Western Europe city.
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Jun 24th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Just got back from our third roadtrip through Portugal. Braga, Guimarães, Viana do Castelo, Obidos, Nazaré, Peniche, Tomar, Evora and Tavira this time.
Porto still remains my favourite Portuguese city. And the Alentejo my favourite area when it comes to landscape beauty. Can't wait to go back ...
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Jun 24th, 2012, 06:53 PM
  #18
 
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I spent time down in the Algarve area of Portugal and loved the beaches.
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