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A little old lady going to Portugal

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Sep 26th, 2013, 10:43 AM
  #1
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A little old lady going to Portugal

I will be flying into Lisbon on Oct. 23. Here is a preliminary trip schedule I am considering at the moment. Am sure it needs work. I would truly appreciate any suggestions you may have, including accommodations (up to about 150/night).
To get the feel of the country, I only plan to take trains, if possible, walk the towns, browse art galleries, museums and churches. Don’t need to see beach towns.

Oct 23: Rome - Lisbon - Porto (by train) (2 nights)

Oct 24: Porto

Oct 25: Porto-Coimbra (1 night)

Oct 26: Coimbra-Obidos (2 nights)

Oct 27: Obidos (side trip to Nazare)

Oct 28: Obidos – Lisbon (7 nights)

Oct 29: Lisbon

Oct 30: Lisbon

Oct 31: Side Trip to Sintra

Nov 1: Lisbon

Nov 2: Side trip to Evora (too much?)

Nov 3: Lisbon

Nov 4: Depart am
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Sep 26th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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I like the "little old lady" term. That pretty much describes me, too, except for the "little" part. I may have to borrow the name.

I know very little about Portugal, as I've only been there once, and that for only a couple of days.

Enjoy your trip.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Evora is a must as a side trip, if you are up to it start early and have a long day
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Sep 26th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Evora has a lot to offer. We only spent one night there and wished we could stay there longer. On the other hand, we wish we had stayed less time in Obidos. We did enjoy Nazare.
Portugal is wonderful country. As far as "little old ladies" ..In Portugal they gave us their seats on trams, let us board first. Later learned it was a sign of hospitality as they knew we were visitors, even though we were younger than them.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Thank you for your suggestions. Evora sounds like 2-3 days. I may have to skip Obidos and Nazare, unless I rent a car. I just can't get the train connections to all the towns I wanted to visit.

May be I will simplify the trip and just visit:

Lisbon, Coimbra and Evora
OR
Lisbon, Porto and Evora?
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Sep 26th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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Petunka - I traveled to Portugal in June 2012, wonderful country! Due to a train strike on the day of my travel from Lisbon to Porto, I ended up taking the bus (station near the zoo). Very convenient and comfortable - so before limiting your itinerary, do check out their routes!
http://www.rede-expressos.pt/default.aspx

Also, pousadas have a 'golden age' rate if over 55 - deep discounts! Lovely accommodations! http://www.pousadas.pt/historic-hote...ages/home.aspx

Just to complicate matters, I loved Obidos - stayed at the castle pousada. Spent an afternoon in Evora, which was enough time. Never made it to Nazare, but found Coimbra quite interesting. Wherever you end up visiting, you are sure to have a terrific trip! Happy travels!
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Sep 26th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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The pousadas in Evora and Obidos were both wonderful. Obidos itself is worth only a few hours, pretty but small and many tourists, tourist shops.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 10:29 PM
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There's very little to see in Obidos so a couple of hours at most are all you need. I had really looked forward to Obidos but was disappointed. I moved slowly through the museum and was done in about 30 minutes (if that) and didn't find the church very interesting.

I would spend 2 days in Sintra. The Pena Palace will take up at least half a day (including getting there and back from the center of town). It's such a wonderful place that you'll want to linger. The National Palace will take a couple of hours and about an hour at the Quinta de Regaleira. There's also the Moorish Palace which I didn't get to. I spent about 1.5 days in Sintra and loved it.

Evora is good for a day. I stayed 4 nights but had a car and did day trips from there. Otherwise I was done seeing the sights after the first day.

I really liked Tomar and it lies between Coimbra and Lisbon so you could stop there for a day. I enjoyed the church, a very interesting synagogue, monastery, and the match box museum.

I did not see many churches in Portugal as most of them were shut. I love to visit churches so was disappointed by this.

Can't help with accommodations as I was on a very low budget so I don't have suggestions in your price range. I'm guessing you mean 150 Euros per night?
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Sep 26th, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Do not under any circumstances skip checking on the deals at the pousadas..Right now I believe there is an offer for about 75E but that may be for min, 2 nights. Evora pousada, Queluz,Porto, Obidos and any of the others are well worth it!!! You are the object of my envy. Portugal, one of my favorite plases in the world as I have experienced it to this point!!
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Sep 27th, 2013, 05:31 AM
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Thank you EVERYONE for your suggestions.

The bus schedule link is great, I will check it out. Am not sure if I want to drive and navigate alone and this is why I chose the trains/buses.
Pousadas look lovely and I will take advantage of senior discount. Sorry, I mean 110Euros/average for sleeping but expect Lisbon may be more expensive.

One more question. Would you choose Coimbra area over Porto? I may not be able to do both.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Driving in Portugal is very easy. There's very little traffic and I found the signage to be good. The only problem I had was getting to the Lisbon airport to drop off the car as some of the signs on the highway are in English and some are not. Having directions ahead is helpful. I also had problems in some towns finding my hotel but you would have that same problem if you're walking.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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I forgot to mention that I was on my own so I did both the driving and navigating.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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Petunka I'm sure you can do much better than 110 € in Lisbon. For 7 nights you might also consider an apartment.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Petruka..Pestana hotels has an unbelievable offer on but just today (I think)..Look into it ASAP. They are the pousada people also.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Thank you - again- for the suggestions. I am running a little behind. My neighbor - and a good friend - had a heart attack and to the hospital I went with her. She is only 57 and now scared. I will continue tomorrow.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Petunka - Sorry to hear of your friend's medical emergency, she is much too young for a heart attack! So good that you are there for her.

You raised the question of Porto vs Coimbra. My vote - Porto. While many steps up to the Old University and the magnificent King John's Library (hrs limited), Porto has (IMO) much more to offer (beautiful tiled buildings - including those at the Sao Bento train station and the cloister of the Cathedral; 6 Bridges 1 hr cruise on the Douro River; the Stock Exchange; day train ride out to Pinhao to see the vineyards; and the port lodges (tastings!) in Vila Nova de Gaia across the charming riverside Ribeira area.

I did bus from Lisbon to Porto, then rented a car to drive back to Lisbon via Coimbra, Obidos, Estremoz, and Evora. Yes, the major toll roads are easy; however, Portugal was implementing a new toll system on roads previously toll-free. Different companies operate the tolls (NO toll booths!), and generally you need a box on the windshield that a scanner reads. When I traveled, the box wasn't available for rental cars. The fee could be paid at the end of the rental at designated locations and some Post Offices. The problem is it takes 24 hrs for the fee to appear at these locations, and if you plan to drop off the car, then fly home, oh oh. (My situation.) Supposedly, the rental company shares your name/credit card data, and a fee and substantial penalty are assessed many months later. Maybe the system has been changed or improved since June 2012? Not sure. But it was nerve-wracking for me! I had a navigator, and when we saw the signage that we would be entering the new toll roads with the scanners, we exited and found a secondary road. Bottom line, with no navigator, you might want to stick to the trains and buses! Janet
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Sep 28th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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booking.com/Lisbon You can check price and ratings on this site.

Once you put your dates in, scroll down and on the left side you can select what you would like to pay per night.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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I would choose Porto over Coimbra as it has much more to offer a traveler.. However, see if you can include both, even a few hours in Coimbra to see the university and it's library.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 11:38 AM
  #19
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Janet,
gosh, thank you for the warning regarding the toll scanner. Renting a car in Porto sounds like an interesting option. Believe me, I need GPS because I'd get lost after 1 meter without it. Funny, you mention stock exchange. I would love to see it. My friend is doing much better although she is still quite weak. I was and still am in shock.

Adrienne,
yes, I plan to visit Sintra. And, Tomar looks quite nice too. All very helpful suggestions. There seem to be a train connection Porto-Coimbra-Tomar/Fatima. Need to check that out.

BomDialLisbon
I usually like to stay in apartments but in Lisbon I may want to stay in a hotel, because I could get some assistance with directions, tours, etc. should I need it. While I do not care for convention type hotels, I may just zoom on smaller places.

Happy Traveler and American. Posadas look gorgeous. I will have to book my stay in one of them for a couple of nights ..somewhere.

Am so behind and hope to put the trip together soon, since I am actually taking off in 2 weeks for Italy. I could not put it together without your help. Thanks, again. Well, back to the hospital.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 11:51 AM
  #20
 
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Is it feasible to do Evora as a day trip from Lisbon? It looks very interesting from what I've read, but we are committed to six nights in Lisbon so staying there for one night is not practical.

I've tried looking at CP.pt and so far find the website confusing. Perhaps bus would be better?
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