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Amsterdam + Tuscany or Portugal (8 day itinerary recommendations)

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Nov 8th, 2015, 04:31 PM
  #1
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Amsterdam + Tuscany or Portugal (8 day itinerary recommendations)

I looking to plan a trip in mid-April 2016 that includes Amsterdam and either Tuscany or Portugal. The total trip including travel from Los Angeles is 11 so I assume I have 8 full, non intercontinental travel.

The group I'm traveling with wants a combination of city and fun, non-city adventures or activities (i.e. day bike tours, wineries, cooking classes, etc.)

Thinking we'd spend about 3 days in Amsterdam (on either end of trip, based on best flight options) and the balance either touring through Tuscany or seeing a few places in Portugal.

Would love any recommendations if anyone has taken a similar itinerary in the past.

While I don't think we'd need more than 2.5-3 days in Amsterdam, wondering how many days would be ideal in Tuscany (flying into Florence but not really interested in staying there long). Would a visit to Cinque Terra also work within this timing and does it make sense to go there in April?

I'm leas familir with Portugal but it definitely strikes me as a cool and interesting place to visit, and perhaps slightly warmer for that time of year, which is good.

Any advice is welcomed and certainly appreciated.
jh1981 is offline  
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Nov 9th, 2015, 02:24 AM
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Not sure this is a "normal" itin, so needs a bit of thinking about. April is certain to be good in Portugal, likely in Tuscany and meh in Amsterdam.

I think you can get more out of the Netherlands than just Amsterdam, certainly public transport lets you get out and about to some of the better places.

Portugal, it depends on if you want to visit the main cities or hang out on the beach/surf etc.

Tuscany should be warm enough to cycle about though of course the place is noticeably hilly.

The size of group has an affect too.

If it were me I would tend towards chosing just one destination for 9 days certainly one country just because getting from one to the other will kill at least half if not more of a day of your holiday. You could look at a two centre base for Tuscany if moving is a thing, so maybe the valley cities of Florence/Pisa/Lucca and then some hill cities of Siena/Montepuliciano/St Gim and bike hire/cooking is available in either. Alterntively you could even stretch down into Umbria or into the Po say cycling touring of Bologna/Ferrara/Modena/Padua

By far the best cycling in Portugal is along the Algarve and while you can do that the place lacks many of the more historic sites northwards.
bilboburgler is offline  
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Nov 9th, 2015, 02:54 AM
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Mid April will be bulb time, unless we have a long cold winter. You could ride bikes through the bulb fields, near Lisse, but with only three days in Amsterdam you would probably want to concentrate more on teh city itself. You don't say why Amsterdam is on the list, or what you want to see three. The number, and ages of the group also affect things.
The weather cold be "meh" or it could be warm and sunny. No way of predicting it. The same can equally apply to Portugal or Tuscany. They can have "meh" weather too in April.

However I think with 8 full days, and a group, you should perhaps concentrate on either Portugal or Tuscany and drop Amsterdam, unless it is an absolute must see for most.
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Nov 9th, 2015, 03:22 AM
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If I had the choice, my option would be Amsterdam + Tuscany (no hesitation, no regrets)
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Nov 9th, 2015, 08:49 AM
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Thank you for the repies received thus far. Given this is my first time posting, seems as if I didn't share all I should have to get the proper feedback.

I'm traveling in a group of 4, all in our mid 30's. We don't have much of an interest in traveling outside of Amsterdam. We were hoping to simply tack it on to the end or start of a trip for a couple days in what I was told is a city that yo can really experience over the course of just 3 days. Not really looking to do any day trips either, just spending time in the midst of the city.

I understand it's fairly easy and affordable to travel to/from Amsterdam from both Lisbon and Pisa via Transavia, which also adds to the reason why we're hoping to pair Amsterdam with one of these two proposed locations.

Hetismij2 - When you say weather is "meh", do you mean a bit chilly or do you mean high risk of bad weather/rain? I'm not concerned with it being overly warm, just don't want to get stuck in consistent rain. I know this is always a risk, but would love to understand what you mean by "meh".

Thank you again for the feedback, very helpful this far.
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Nov 9th, 2015, 09:00 AM
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I think I started the meh in April in Amsterdam , actually April can be a dog in all of the countries mentioned just more likely north and on the coast. But it could be great, who knows? Unlikely to be chilly but it could be wet yes, and while the chance of rain goes down in the summer 8 days will not make much of a difference to the stats. The good news is there are lots of shops to dash into to get out of any rain.
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Nov 9th, 2015, 10:19 AM
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Actually April is, statistically at least, dryer than August.

Bilbo started the meh, yes.

Meh in this case means grey, damp, rainy, cool. But equally it could be brilliant weather. In three days you could have both. It is unlikely to be constant rain, more April showers.

And as I said it's not restricted to Amsterdam.
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Nov 9th, 2015, 11:28 AM
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Also I would like to add that if you have a chance to visit Portugal you should go and check Coimbra town! I was there not so long ago and I really had a good time. Make sure that you saw Coimbra University building which you can visit alone or with a tour guide. Here is something I wrote about it on my own blog : http://personal-travel-photos.blogsp...-portugal.html . What you should consider to visit is Fatima (holly place in Portugal) + Peniche + Obidos (small village with lot of celebrations during the year) and of course Lisbon or Porto depend on your time and what you wont to visit more.
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