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A more relaxing itinerary for Portugal: City/Beach/Vineyards. Need help

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May 18th, 2010, 09:13 AM
  #1
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A more relaxing itinerary for Portugal: City/Beach/Vineyards. Need help

The last couple of trips my husband and I have gone on have been very hectic with a full schedue and running from place to place. This last time my husband said, "I'm done" and I pretty much agreed with him. Looking back, I think our favorite vacation was Provence. On arrival we stayed at a beautiful hotel (Villa Gallici) right outside Aix (10 minute walk to center of Aix) with a pool where we spent our arrival day drinking wine,relaxing and getting over our jet lag. We spent the next five days exploring various towns with our rental and the last three days in Eze.

So what I would like to do in Portugal is a little bit of the same: 3 nights in Lisbon (day trip to Sintra), a few days in the Algrave area enjoying the beach and eating seafood, and a few days exploring the wine region.

We will be travelling next April/May (avoiding Easter) for 10 days to 2 weeks and will be travelling from NY

I would love to start our vacation at a small resort with pool in the Algarve area and then move on to the wine region, ending in Lisbon where we catch our flight home. Should we fly to Lisbon, take a connecting flight to Faro and stay there for a few days, pick up a rental car and drive to the wine country. I'm not sure exactly where that is (although I do know the Northern part of Portugal). Would Porto be the best stop. What about the Vinho Verdi grapes? then the final three nights in Lisbon.

How would you arrange these days?

Is this doable in a two week period or will I have another one of my running around, not relaxing kind of trip.

Thanks once again
SashieZ is offline  
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May 18th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Have you talked to a professional trip planner? Someone familiar with the area and can give you some direction. They can help, but there is a fee for such services.
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May 18th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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The idea of a forum like this is not to use a so-called professional.
There are many wine regions in Portugal and I think the best thing to do is look at the following wiki page. It seems there are some wine areas in the south too. However I have to admit I do not know anything about these wines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugu...e#Wine_regions

Yes Vinho Verde is from the North of the country. Near to my part of the world (Galicia, Spain). There is no such grape it is just a young wine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinho_Verde

I understand that you want a beach, but to be honest end of April early May the weather can be very variable to say the least. Having said that even if you manage to find what the weather was like in past years you never know what it will through up next year. All I am say is be flexible with your plans.
Lisbon to Faro is about 300km by car, is that worth flying?
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May 18th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the website ribeirasacra. I think the Alentejo wine region looks interesting and is close to Lisbon and the Algarve. It's funny but in the guidebook this area is not even mentioned as a wine region but I found lots of information on-line.

With regard to the beach, I would never travel to the Algarve in the summer months but maybe we can go mid-May and hope for the best. Ideally, September would be great but we can't this year.

So maybe, fly into Lisbon but stay in Sintra or Cascais two nights, drive to wine region for two nights, Algarve for three nights, then Lisbon for three nights.

Any thoughts?
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May 19th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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Hi SashieZ, I have just returned a few days ago from golfing in Quinta do Lago in the Algarve. The weather was very good for golf – 21/22 degrees Centigrade but there was a fresh wind which meant you needed shelter sunbathing at the pool or on the beach. It also rained at night but not during the day.
I think your plan makes sense – fly to Lisbon, drive (couple of hours) to Alentajo wine region (e.g. based in Evora) and then drive to Algarve (about 3 hours on Motorway).
For fine hotels and fine seafood, if money is no object, I would stay at the Quinta do Lago hotel and eat fish for lunch at Gigi’s or Dos Paseos beach restaurants - a walk from the hotel. For dinner I would go to Pequeno Mundo 15 minute drive/taxi.
If you want to avoid using the car, there is a very fast train service between Faro and Lisbon. Faro is about half an hours drive from Quinta do Lago.
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May 19th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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SashieZ
The plans sounds quite ok. I have to admit I am not one for laying on a beach.
If you do your research well I think you will be presently surprised at the wines you discover.
I would plan a stop in the country rather than cities and towns too.
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May 19th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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I like the combination Lisbon / Alentejo / Algarve / Lisbon, but it's attraction to the OP depends on how much the vinho verde is important.

There is no such thing as a vinho verde in the Alentejo. In the hills of the north (Douro Valley and north of it) the lesser exposure to the sun produces a light (artificialy) sparking, soft wine, served very cold. OTOH, the planes of Alentejo produce a full matured, strong wine. Some reds are world class.
Whatever you decide, you are not prevented to try matured wines in the north or verde wines in the south, since any decent restaurant should offer a wide selection of both.
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May 19th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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The food in the Alentejo region is very much based in pork and lamb. The matured reds fit very easily with this food. Cold verde wine goes better with fish or shelfish.
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May 19th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Thanks so much for your replies.

Although we do enjoy laying on the beach at home, we won't be spending a whole day doing so. We may, at the end of the day, walk on the beach or if warm enough sit and relax after a day of exploring. Having said that, I can see us laying out by the pool for the day after arriving from NY!

Although we enjoy Portugal's Vinho Verde (we prefer whites), it doesn't mean we wouldn't be happy with the whites in the south or even the reds. We LOVE French roses (how do I add the accent on the "e"?) - it would be great if portugal had some nice ones.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit the vineyards? Or is it similar to US vineyards where you can just stop by for a tasting and visit?

I would like to spend our arrival day (or two) laying by the pool, walking to town for dinner and taking it slow. Is this possible in Lisbon or Sintra?
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May 20th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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I think you may have to find which ones are open to the public and which are not. Some vineyards will be family run so you will not be able to visit them.
For accents look at this web page:
http://usefulshortcuts.com/alt-codes...-alt-codes.php
I am luck I am writing with a Spanish one! But that means things like @ are not in the place they used to me!
If you want hotels with pools there are quite few in Lisbon. also look at eh same website for other locations.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/3xvbokf
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