Guimaraes for 3 nights

Nov 18th, 2014, 07:21 AM
  #1  
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Guimaraes for 3 nights

We will be in Lisbon for 5 nights next March. Originally I had thought we would pick up a rental car and drive to Obidos and stay 1 night, and then the next morning drive to Porto to base for 3 nights.

We are not big city people we really like scenic driving and visiting smaller towns, villages and sights.

Staying in Porto after 5 nights in Lisbon was bothering me so I'm thinking of basing in or just outside Guimaraes for 3 nights

Which route to take from Obidos to Guimaraes? I'm not sure Coimbra interests me (too big) and I know there are Roman Ruins there, but we were just in Italy in September, and will be back again in Italy next June.

We would like to drive a scenic route from Obidos to Guimaraes with maybe a lunch stop in a village or small town. Coastal route is fine, or even the A24 around Coimbra. Would a more inland route take us through the wine country along the Douro River?

So once we arrive we will have 2 full days. Concentrate on Guimaraes and Braga, or are there other sights/towns/scenic drives we should try to fit in?
wrenwood is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Loved Guimaraes, but it is n what i would consider a small town. We had a nice lunch on a Sunday in Aviero. there is a small town section and a beach area. You might want to explore Peneda Geres National Park. Bad weather prevented us from staying there, but we did spend an interesting day driving thru the park. Are you interested in Alcobaca or Batalha?
Braga is interesting for its churches.
Stayed in the countryside outside Coimbra ,but thought the university well worth a visit.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 08:55 AM
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We also enjoyed spending several days in Guimarães but agree that it's not a small town as it's population is listed at 52,000. It has lots of history, a castle, and many good choices for dining.
Perhaps some of the suggestions on your earlier thread would be a better fit for you. We love cities but Guimarães didn't feel yerribly urban to us.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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Are you sure you want to be in Guimarães? If you want smaller towns, villages and sights, why don't you stay somewhere in the Douro Valley? It's the prettiest area in northern Portugal, IMO. Very peaceful with vinyards as far as the eye can see.
Check out Pousada Hotel Barao de Forrester!
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 09:34 AM
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Anyway, from Obidos to Guimarães ... make sure to stop in Nazaré. It's a typical old-fashioned seaside town. Just take a look, have something to eat/drink on the boardwalk and soak in the atmosphere. Further north have a look in Costa Nova. Verry pretty seaside town famous for its colorful houses.
Aveiro is nice, too. It's called the 'Venice of Portugal' with its gondola-like boats on the canals.
Tomar and Batalha are other small towns worth visiting, although I prefer the seaside towns.
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 10:41 AM
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I based in Nazare - wonderful seaside town with a still active fishing industry - locals were selling fried fish straight off grills - Albaca Monastery and Batalha Monastery (UNESSCO W H site I believe) were not too far away - drive via them to the Porto area.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Coimbra was a real surprise - at least the upper town where the classical-looking university is - the main rectangle up there is awesome - maybe take a quick look - I think a funicular goes from the blah modern lower town to upper Coimbra. Don't remember the Roman ruins but I must have seen them too!
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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When I was checking towns/cities, Guimarães came up as a beautiful spot, UNESCO WHS, and about 13th largest (population) city in Portugal, Lisbon #1, Porto #2, I probably should have said "smaller" towns than Lisbon and Porto

MyriamC I have thought about the Douro Valley, if we stayed there what are the top sights? Braga and Guimarães are a good 90 minutes away.

Interestingly the Hotel I had picked out near Guimarães is Pousada De Guimaraes Santa Marinha.

Nazare is much further south than we want to base for those 3 nights. When we leave we will return our rental car at Porto airport, and fly to Funchal, Madiera so I need to be fairly close to that area, so north of Porto is best. Sorry, should have mentioned that!

Question ~ would it make sense to do Obidos and Batalha in a day trio from Lisbon? Google says it would be about 3 hrs 17 min so maybe 4 hours of driving the loop. We could then visit Tomar on the way north
wrenwood is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 02:07 PM
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We didn't stay in the Douro Valley, we drove it on a long day trip from Porto. Pinhão is nice. Very small, though with only 1.000 inhabitants (vs. 160.000 in Guimarães!). I especially liked the views of the river and the vineyards, from whatever angle. So relaxing.

We stayed in Braga and daytripped to Guimarães and Bom Jesús.

I didn't mean to base in Nazaré. Just have a look during your trip north.
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Duoro valley is fabulously scenic. it was my favorite part of our month in Portugal.

i think Batalha is too far as a day trip from Lisbon.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 05:28 AM
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Would this work?

We have an apartment rental in Lisbon so can leave at whatever time in the morning we want.

I have read that Obidos really only takes a few hours to see.

So............instead of staying over one night in Obidos, if we left Lisbon early to pick up our rental car, we could stop in Obidos, and maybe Aviero if time, and then drive directly to Guimarães.

We would then have 3 full days, so could add a drive to the Duoro Valley

Thoughts?
wrenwood is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 07:02 AM
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yes, that would work. you might consider stopping at Alcobaça Monastery or Bathala for a change of pace from just seeing 2 small towns. if you stay on the freeways you make very good time driving as there was very little traffic. we tried to stick to the smaller roads and sometimes that was worth it for the extra time and others just a lot of traffic and not particularly interesting.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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Obidos is the type of town that seeing it as a whole is the thing and thus can be done in a short look around - there is however one of those government owned Posada type places - equivalent of Spain's paradores - right inside the ancient ramparts so makes a special place to stay as well.

But the town itself is small so it can be done practically in a drive by.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 07:19 AM
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Sounds like this may work....

Alcobaça Monastery looks awesome, and when we have time we prefer smaller roads.
wrenwood is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Yes, Obidos as a day trip is better than staying overnight. Alcobaça is beautiful and we liked it much more than Batalha. The medieval university area of Coimbra is a very worthwhile stop. We stayed across the river at Quinta de las Lagrimas.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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We haven't stayed at the pousada in Obidos but we've had dinner there. It was one of our WORST meals in Portugal!

wrenwood, I agree that Obidos can be seen in a day. Expect a lot of daytrippers! Something nice to do is walk the ramparts. Gives a nice overview of the area and the town.
http://postimg.org/image/uqyutwi61/
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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We hit Obidos towards the end of our trip and was decidely underwhelmed after all the other wonderful places we visited. and it was a town i had always wanted to visit. we were there late afternoon/eaarlyeveningso thankfully no jammed with daytrippers.

my 2cents on Pousadas - we stayed at a couple and they were generally disappointing. i know this is not true for all the pousadas, but the Inn's and other places we stayed outshone the pousadas by a mile.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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Pousada De Guimaraes Santa Marinha has pretty good reviews on TA (except for the coffee in the morning!) and it looks like it's only about 10 minutes from Guimaraes so we don't have to eat there for dinner.
wrenwood is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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The pousada Condeixa-a-Nova near Coimbra was good, too. We didn't have dinner there, though ... view our disappointing experience in Obidos.

yestravel, as you, we were underwhelmed with Obidos. We were there for 4 days, so we took a lot of side trips elsewhere.
MyriamC is offline  
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