9 nights in Portugal: itinerary advice

Apr 26th, 2016, 06:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
9 nights in Portugal: itinerary advice

Hi all,

I got some very good advice on my earlier topic about choosing a destination, and I thought I'd make a new one instead of bumping the older one where the original post isn't really relevant anymore

have settled on going to Portugal with my gf for 9 nights (Saturday to following Monday), and am debating between Porto -> Lisbon -> Algarve/Alentejo, or just Lisbon -> Algarve/Alentejo. The two options are something like:

Sat night: land in Porto
Sun & Mon: Porto, possible trip to Douro river/valley on Monday
Tues: train to Lisbon
Weds-Fri: Lisbon, daytrip to Sintra included
Sat: rent car and drive to Algarve accommodation
Sun: Algarve
Mon: fly back at night

Sat night: land in Lisbon
Sun-Weds/Thurs: Lisbon, with a daytrip or two to nearby areas
Thurs/Fri: rent a car and drive to Algarve accommodation
(Fri &) Sat & Sun: spend time on the beach, drive around nearby towns, possibly drive into Alentejo on a day; just generally explore south/central-south area
Mon: fly back at night

Some thoughts:
- I'm basically torn over whether to include Porto. I've read comments that the architecture is great, and it'd also hedge against the risk that we don't like Lisbon. On the other hand, doing so much in 9 nights might feel a bit rushed, switching accommodation multiple times is annoying, and we can always do an extra day-trip out of Lisbon if we don't like it (assuming there's enough to see in the area). I'm just not sure how much of a *must-see* Porto is

- We know that the Algarve is meant to be over-developed/crowded, but I've never had a holiday at a proper beach resort and I'd find it interesting. But could also try to find the less commercialised towns along the South coast, if any exist. And we do definitely want to spend a couple of days in a coastal area.

So I guess I'm kind of leaning towards the second choice because I think the first might feel too rushed, but I just want to check whether I'm missing out something amazing by not seeing Porto and hear any thoughts from people who've been there/done that!
nish81 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,490
Option one looks way too rushed to me, but then I could easily spend the entire time in Lisbon...
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 10:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,947
Oh well, I guess you realize that you will get different opinions with a question like this!

I like your no. 1 itinerary.
Do include Porto! It's my favourite city in Portugal. I didn't care much for Lisbon.
If you find driving to the Algarve too far (which in fact isn't ... it's less than 3 hrs), you could also stay on the coast around Lisbon. Either at the Costa da Caparica, in Setubal, in Cascais, in Sesimbra. Lots of nice beaches there, as you can see on google images.
MyriamC is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 305
Do include Lisbon AND Porto, you won't be sorry. Even if you hate them at least you tried. More time in Lisbon less in Porto. Just went to Duro for two nights and loved it. Do include Sinta even as a day trip from Lisbon. Beaches are not for laying out catching rays. It is a cold rainy Spring there this year.
Colleen is offline  

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