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Five weeks in Portugal - Does this route make sense?

Five weeks in Portugal - Does this route make sense?

Jan 26th, 2015, 11:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 238
Five weeks in Portugal - Does this route make sense?

My husband and I - early 60's, hikers, lovers of good food and wine - are planning 5 weeks plus or minus in Portugal in September. We prefer smaller towns, little inns and preferably stays of at least 3 nights. We usually rent a car for our long trips, but I am also intrigued by the idea of using the train to get from one major area to another and renting a car in between.

I would appreciate input on whether or not my proposed itinerary is the most efficient route around Portugal, and if my allocation of time in each area seems to make sense. We can leave for home from either Porto or Lisbon, and we are tossing a coin between hiking the Costa Vincentina or hiking in the Peneda Geres N.P.

7-10 nights The Azores
7 nights Inn to inn hike Costa Vicentina (or hiking Peneda Geres N.P.)
1 night Porto Covo (eliminate if going to Peneda Geres)
4 nights Lisbon
2 nights Sintra
4 nights Marvao surrounds - where to base?
2 nights Tomar
3 nights Coimbra surrounds
4 nights Duoro/Porto

If we decide on Northern Portugal rather than the Costa Vicentina we would put it after the Duoro and fly home from Porto. (Not shown on this is the fact that we need to spend a few days in New Jersey before heading home to San Francisco!)

Your input is much appreciated, and reminds me to finish up some trip reports.
PJTravels is offline  
Jan 27th, 2015, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
It will be difficult jamming five full weeks into September, but you can give it a try.

You can take the train between Lisbon and Porto, dividng the country in half to explore, renting a car at either or both ends.

4 days in Sentra may be a bit much, but it will depend on what you want to do with the time.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2015, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,908
We sepnt a month in Portugal last May and really enjoyed it. After we picked up a car in Lisbon we used the car. Very easy to drive around with lots of empty roads esp the hiways/toll road. I have never been to the Azores, Costa Vicentina or Porto Covo. Loved Peneda Geres. Unfortunatley we ended up just driving around and not staying and hiking as horrible weather came in. It's really an interesting park to explore.
Where are you flying into? That could determine the order of your stays.

I think 4 nights in Marvao would be too much. We spent 2 nights in Marvao and that was fine for us. Castelo de Vide very near Marvao is defintely worth exploring and could be done for Marvao. Or stay iin CdV and visit Marvao. OTOH we loved the Duoro Valley and spent 4 nights there wishing we had more. So I would add time there and to Porto which we also liked alot despite being a big city. Evora and the Alentjo is great. When planning our trip I found it hard to figure out where to stay as there were so many charming sounding towns. If you stay near Coimbra dont miss the pork in the area. Not a pork eater and I thought it delicious. Are you planning on visiting Batahla which can be done from Tomar.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 27th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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Thank you for your replies. It's difficult, even with maps and mileage info to wrap my head around whether or not I am planning an efficient driving route.

(I knew someone would comment on my 5 week September...We will spend 5 weeks traveling, all of September and either some of August or October...)
PJTravels is offline  
Jan 27th, 2015, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,908
Portugal is pretty small and it really doesn't matter the order you visit. If the towns follow a logical drive, then you should be fine. I always map eery place on google maps and that gives me a good idea of the order and the time to get from place to place.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 27th, 2015, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Thanks, Yestravel. Yes, Googlemaps is great.
PJTravels is offline  

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