Best of Spain and Portugal

Old Jun 24th, 1998, 05:54 PM
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Best of Spain and Portugal

We are going to Europe in August. Among other places, we are going to Portugal and Spain for up to two weeks. Where besides Lisbon do you recommend we go in Portugal? We are going to Madrid, Toledo, Gibraltar, Tangier (Morrocco), and Barcelona in Spain. What is the one best place to add on to our Spanish itinerary?
Old Jun 24th, 1998, 06:10 PM
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Caryn, I went to Spain last summer and had a great time. I think Seville is definitely worth visiting.
The Cathedral and the Alcazar are awesome sights. I can also recommend San Sebastian in the north west corner, also known as Basque country. It had really nice beaches and a great old town. Have a great trip!
Old Jun 25th, 1998, 11:28 AM
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I have to agree - go to Seville, beautiful city. You get to see the Moorish influence in the architecture. Take the circular city bus - you can't get lost and it gives you a very nice tour of the city. Toledo is also great! Lastly, we enjoyed eating small tapas and drinking wine in small bars. You get great food (often seafood) and can better experience the local culture.
Old Jun 25th, 1998, 12:22 PM
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Definitely Seville! Its so charming and you can take the Ave train from Madrid, its 2 1/2 hours or you can fly cheaply on Iberia (45 minutes).

As for Portugal, try Sintra (30 min. by train), Caiscais (30 min. by train), Evora, or Tavira in the Algarve. Its a great country and everone is so friendly!
Old Jun 25th, 1998, 08:49 PM
Rick Nestoff
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In Portugal, there is a village called "Baracas" (not sure on the spelling. It is small, and west of Lisbon, near the Spain border. The village is all leather shops. That sounds sort of kinky, but it is a bunch of shops specializing in jackets, pants, and other leather goods.

In Spain, Segovia near Madrid is great. 2000 year old aquafer, still in uses, nice cathedral, and just a totally charming city. Food is good too.
Old Jun 26th, 1998, 08:23 AM
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Seville!!!! I was there in 1994 and 1996 and loved walking through Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter) with its narrow streets and white washed buildings and colorfull flowers all around. Another interesting place is Ronda which you can get from Seville.
Old Jun 29th, 1998, 02:24 PM
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Try Granada for some great Moorish architecture. Toledo near Madrid is better than Madrid. I didn't like Madrid. Barcelona was the best.
Old Jun 30th, 1998, 10:34 AM
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I was in Portugal last December. I also highly recommend Sintra. Although the middle of the picturesque town can get a little congested, there are some lovely places to stay on the outskirts of town, including Las Quintas de Sequoia. It is a stunning manor house with only five rooms. Otherwise, we enjoyed Tavira (Hotel Princessa), Lagos and Evora. On the road between the latter two, which is hair-raising at times, we found wonderful pottery shops in quaint towns.
Old Jul 7th, 1998, 09:36 AM
Peter Crowe
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My mother has a house near Sintra, so I know the country quite well. You can almost divide it in two. You can go to the open, dry Moorish South towards the Algarve region (touristy in a lot of areas), or you can go to the verdant old world north and visit one of the oldest universities in existence. The middle is as one post described it...Lisboa, and Sintra are the places to go. The history and beauty will take your breath away. I was most awe struck on the Southwestern coast of Portugal, just north of Cabo de Saint Vincente. The cliffs with the huge waves crashing against them are a sight to behold, but you hear them first. Stunning scenery... and I plan on going back.
Old Jul 7th, 1998, 11:51 AM
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If you're going to Lisbon, be prepared to be over-run by tourists (and i'll be one of them!) Expo 98 is on until September and is something like a World's Fair. There's more info at the Expo 98 website.
Old Jul 9th, 1998, 04:54 PM
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In Portugal, I would recommend Salema, a small fishing village in the Algarve, southwestern part. It's not too touristy, and you can take lots of walks. Also Evora, a city in central Portugal. In spain, Cuenca is wonderful (past Toledo, going from Madrid), and in the south, Granada with the Alhambra, a unique and awesome experience. If you have a car, drive south of Granada into the Alpujarras (turning at Lanjaron) for some spectacular mountain scenery.
Old Jul 10th, 1998, 02:24 AM
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To Rick Nestoff :
I think the village you mention is "Barrancos" near the Spanish border, not far from Evora.
In Portugal stay away from tourist places, go inland, visit remote villages, the "povo" (the real people). Best places to me :
nr. 1 : Castelo de Vide (in Alentejo, less known than Obidos but similar; also called the "Sintra" of Alentejo), with it 14 c. sinagogue and castle; Evora (world heritage); Belmonte; Sintra.
Have nice holidays
Old Jul 10th, 1998, 03:22 AM
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I second Jose. Visit the Alentejo. If you prefer to end up on the Algarve, You gould go a bit further south than suggested by Jose, and visit Mertola, not far from the Spanish border. Few tourists, lots to see, beautiful setting, peace and quiet.
In Spain, consider the wonderful old University town of Salamanca.
Have a nice vacation.

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