9 days itinerary help!

Old Feb 7th, 2022, 02:46 PM
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9 days itinerary help!

Hi everyone!
We are 2 active seniors on a short trip to Portugal, first time, mid June. We most likely won’t return, so appreciate your thoughts.
we are definitely starting in Porto, 3 nights , with day trip to Douro.
ending trip 4 nights in Lisbon, with side trip to Sintra definitely ; possibly visit Cascais to see the coast perhaps.
we can use private drivers or whatever is needed, as I decided we both need a more relaxed trip.
we would love advice on where to sleep for 2 nights: either 1 and 1 , or 2 somewhere in central areas… no time for Algarve.
we do love history, would like to at least see the beach/coast for scenery, not lying on one.
Batalha, Alcobaca monasteries definitely a visit, nazare perhaps, obidos, Aveiro for stopovers.
where to overnight?
Coimbra wasn’t that interesting based on friends’ experiences, so we can skip , unless just short stopover.
would appreciate advice!!!
What do you experts suggest? Can add to either Porto or Lisbon if better for side trips. Skipping Evora as no time FYI.
thanks so much!!!
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 01:12 AM
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Kind of a jumbled question. We too have a 16 day trip to Portugal in May. Similar to yours, flying into Lisbon and to of Porto. Cascais/Lisbon/Tomar/Coimbra/Porto. Don't know why you are getting bad info on Coimbra. People love it! undiscovered gem. same with Tomar. Sintra is a must, not so much Obidos (too touristy). We prefer Ericeira for the real feel of a Portuguese fishing village with great beaches and cliff side views. Enjoy!
Mike
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 12:04 PM
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Thanks Mike!
will keep Coimbra then as overnight in transit from Porto to Lisbon
will look at Ericeira; never heard of it.
did you post your itinerary somewhere? We only have 9 nights and wish we did have more like you…
paring down our itinerary; at first, husband wanted to see Algarve , but too much in a short trip.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 12:41 PM
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Definitely keep Coimbra, and don't miss the Roman ruins at Conimbriga just outside.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 12:54 PM
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Thank you Thursdaysd!
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 01:01 PM
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We enjoyed our stay very much in Coimbra and also visited the Conimbriga ruins outside of town (with car). We toured the University on our own but wish we had taken the guided tour given by a former student from Go Walks. In touring on our own we missed out on hearing tales of student life and being able to ask questins of a student, which would have then brought the site more to life for us.
https://www.gowalksportugal.com/coim...ity-of-coimbra

More info about University life;
https://nelsoncarvalheiro.com/life-o...a-photo-essay/

If you have any interest in art museums, please don't miss the beautifully renovated Machado de Castro National Museum. It's a gem and there are great views fro its loggia.
Museu Nacional Machado de Castro

If you're music lovers, also don't miss an evening fado performance, as the all-male fado here is different from that of Lisbon.
https://nelsoncarvalheiro.com/coimbra-fado/

There's quite a lot to do, actually in Coimbra.
Here are other ideas-
https://juliedawnfox.com/things-to-do-coimbra/



Last edited by Maribel; Feb 8th, 2022 at 01:34 PM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 01:25 PM
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Thank you Maribel!!! Guided tour from Go Walks sounds perfect!
thank you for the other info too!
we aren’t driving , but may hire a driver from Porto so we can stop and see Aveiro before Coimbra overnight.
Rather than a day trip from Lisbon, has anyone done a visit to Sintra en route from Coimbra to Lisbon?
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 01:35 PM
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SDsunflower,
There is so very much to see of merit in Sintra (5 major monuments) that you just won't have time to do it justice on a stopover from Coimbra to Lisbon. Just too much.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 03:51 PM
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Another place you could spend a night or two is Sintra. As Maribel states, there are 5 major monuments in Sintra.

There is a lot to see and do in Lisbon, and I notice you are spending 4 nights in Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra. I think, if you have the time, it would be better to spend a night or two in Sintra OR spend 5 nights in Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra. Our day trip to Sintra, with a small tour group, included the Pena Palace, a light lunch, and then a drive to Cascais and Estoril, with a quick stop to enjoy the views at Boca do Inferno.

Do you like museums? Lisbon has some wonderful museums. The Gulbenkian is AMAZING!!! We also enjoyed the Coach Museum. We didn't have time for the Tile Museum. There is a lot to see in Belem, such as the Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Monument to the Discoverers, etc. I recommend taking the elevator to the top of the Discoverers Monument for some awesome views. There were no lines at all. There will definitely be lines at the Belem Tower so we chose to go to the top of the Discoverers Monument instead. In Lisbon there is also the castle, some lovely churches, and it is a great city for wandering and exploring.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 04:42 PM
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SDsunflower,
The wonderful Lisbon sightseeing options are many and varied, so you'll want to decide what is most important in your time available. To give you an idea of the options, I've attached my sightseeing notes.
Attached Files
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 04:53 PM
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Fantastic suggestions from you both karenwoo and Maribel!
a driver suggested we see Sintra en route from Porto, but i wondered if true. Will do it as a day trip\
PS I have followed you both for lots of trip ideas: we head to Croatia in September (finally) and used your ideas a lot Karen!
we travel very similarly to you two based on all the topics I read over the years on Fodors forums.

So: we will just stay 1 night in Coimbro and see what we can as we travel from Porto: hopefully see at least Alcobaca and maybe a brief stop in Obidos
we can add a night to Lisbon: 5 seemed a lot, but we would have 3 full days and then a day for a daytrip to Sintra and Cascais

karenwoo: did you post the name of your tour to Sintra? Would love it use it too.
thank you !
fabulous advice!
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 05:01 PM
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Five days is definitely not too long for Lisbon, especially with Sintra. My Lisbon TR is old, but the sights should still be there. I've been back two or three times, and would be happy to revisit.

Loving Lisbon
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 05:12 PM
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SDsunflower,
Happy that you've decided to dedicate a full day to Sintra, as it certainly deserves, actually, an entire day to give it justice, especially when the crowds and the cruise lines return to Lisbon in the summe. Sintra is a very popular day excursion for the cruise passengers.
Most small group day tours include this coastal loop: Boca do Inferno, Cascais, Estoril in their day tours. If you wish to focus on Sintra alone, you might want a private tour.

I've used both Lisbon Tour Guides and Inside Lisbon. Both offer a full day tour.

https://lisbontourguides.pt/sintrafullday7hours
https://insidelisbon.com/package/sintra-cascais-estoril-tour/

Last edited by Maribel; Feb 8th, 2022 at 05:20 PM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 06:08 PM
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So thoughtful of you Maribel for the tour guide references! Since we aren’t going to Algarve, we do want to at least see the beach/coast. Perhaps the Cascais tour is the one. I will see who also offers private tour and perhaps see both
i know we can’t see “it all”.

Thank you Thursdaysd and Maribel for your links and advice!!! Taking with me!

Porto and Douro: 3 nights
coimbra 1
Lisbon 5
since we are getting older (72/67) , we try to see new countries and not repeat as still so much to see…. This will most likely be our one trip….

we still hope to see Aveiro, Alcobaca , maybe Batalha and Obidos en route from Porto but we shall see what the driver can do if we hire him from Porto to Coimbra and then Coimbra to Lisbon.
i don’t want to drive ourselves: this is less stressfu….
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 06:57 PM
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Do not skip Coimbra! It is a university city filled with rich history. Make sure you see the university’s library.
Yes to Alcobaça, skip Batalha.
Skip Obidos. Make time for Evora.
Caiscais is a beach resort as is adjacent Estoril. No big deals.With so little time, skip them.
You really to need to add more time if possible and rent a car for flexibility.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Feb 8th, 2022 at 07:06 PM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 07:16 PM
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SDsunflower, we used Diana Tours. We booked them through our hotel. They offer half-day and full-day tours. We chose the half-day tour (actually 3/4 of a day) because we wanted to get back to our hotel in time to pack because we were flying home the next morning. And to have a nice dinner in Lisbon on our last night. For restaurants, if you like fish and shellfish, I can recommend Cervejaria Ramiro recommended by Anthony Bourdain. The food was delicious! And we also enjoyed eating at the Time Out Market.
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Old Feb 8th, 2022, 07:18 PM
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With your limited time, you'll need to be very selective in any stopovers.
I agree with HappyTrvl about skipping Obidos, given your time frame.
As much as I love Alentejo and Evora (it's one of my favorite regions in the country, but just not in the hot summer!), I don't see time for you in 9 days/8 nights to fit in Evora to the east when you plan on 4 nights in Lisbon, 1 night in Coimbra and 3 nights in Porto. If you could add more nights, it would be ideal, but that may not be a possibility.
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Old Feb 9th, 2022, 05:45 PM
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We actually have 9 nights total
but based on suggestions,
3 Porto. Day trip to Douro
1 Coimbra
5 Lisbon , with day trip to Sintra

no time for Evora I presume? Or do day trip from Lisbon, but then only 2 full days there…
And Maribel, you say too hot in June
now we need to find the guide/driver so we can see the towns we can en route and Alcobaca, Conimbriga.
any others doable or that is it for the travel?
I may just post another one to ask about suggestions for private guide/driver unless anyone sees this… just know how helpful everyone is on Fodors . Often i find names on TRs, but haven’t spotted any on Portugal forum
thanks everyone so much!!!!
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Old Feb 9th, 2022, 06:31 PM
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With your 9 night itinerary as you've planned it, I see no time for the Alentejo region. My reference to hot refers to the Alentejo region.

I wouldn't make too many stops from Lisbon to Coimbra, but in addition to Alcobaça, a possible nice stop on the direct Lisbon-Coimbra driving route could be in the city of Tomar to tour the very interesting and historic Templars' Convento de Cristo, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Although I've overnighted in Tomar, I do have friends who have done this stopover from Lisbon to Coimbra recently (but not 3 stopovers, Alcobaça + Tomar + Conimbriga). You might want to choose one over the other--Alcobaça or Tomar, because before reaching Coimbra you should definitely stop to see the Roman ruins of Conimbriga, just 20 minutes south of the city.

So many wonderful sites to see in Portugal...so little time!

https://www.visitportugal.com/en/con...ento-de-cristo.
Convent of Christ.

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Old Feb 9th, 2022, 06:47 PM
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Hi SDsunflower,
Just sent you a message about the private drivers.
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