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MiamiBeachMomma Jun 17th, 2017 09:30 AM

Help with 11 night Portugal Itinerary
I just bought my plane tickets and this trip is super last minute!! We are a couple in our 40s. Not looking for lots of laying around beach time (but love the beauty of the ocean.) Enjoy food, wine, history, culture, adventure, nature, yoga, hiking, biking.....

Here is what I have come up with

Land at 5:25 am on Day 1 in Lisbon
Nights 1-3 Lisbon - (day trip to SIntra)
Nights 4-5 Algarve (not sure which town)
Nights 6-7 Evora
Nights 8-9 Coimbra
Nights 10-11 Porto
Last Day flight from Porto at 7:30 am

We were not going to head South - but we do want to check out the Benagil Sea Caves

We would pick up a car on the way out of Lisbon

Is this doable???


lauramsgarden Jun 17th, 2017 09:47 AM

looks perfectly doable to me. In Lisbon don't miss the Azulejos museum and the Belem district. In Evora take the side trip to see the standing stones - amazing. and if you can in your time in Coimbra take a side trip to Tomar - one of our favorite parts of Portugal. Also the magical mystical forest of Bussaco - especially if you are interested in Napoleon.

heart2travel Jun 17th, 2017 10:54 AM

Do us a favor and post a trip report, seems Portugal doesn't get as much information out there as other countries. My DH and I are doing a similar trip in the fall. Have fun!!

MiamiBeachMomma Jun 17th, 2017 11:19 AM

Thanks lauram!!

Will do heart2travel!

Hopefully will get more feedback now, and will post a report when we return.

PalenQ Jun 17th, 2017 11:55 AM

Coimbra is a nice town but for a day - I found Nazare a nice seaside town with old-world character (unlike Algarve places) - be sure to hit Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site en route Coimbra/Nazare to Porto.

Cars are nice for slowly exploring the countryside but you are going to mainly cities and seem to be just going as quick as possible between points A and B - in that case consider the trains - you will not need cars in any of those places - just a suggestion to consider- driving is fine too - for lots of info on trains-; and and (Portugeuse Railways' official site.

I would suggest the beauty of the ocean is just as nice in places like Nazare over the modern high-rise full Algarve - Lagos is one town there with old-world charm however.

Suggest cutting Algarve and more time in Porto area -doing day trips to say Guimares or Braga - by train or car - two fantastic places.

massimop Jun 17th, 2017 12:00 PM

I would limit the time in Coimbra in favor of spending more time in Porto.

MiamiBeachMomma Jun 17th, 2017 12:21 PM

PalenQ- Ditch the sea caves altogther?

If we do skip the South - where should we add the 2 nights?

massimop - Should we spend any nights in Coimbra? Or just visit along the drive North.

Would you add 2 more nights to Porto for day trips?

massimop Jun 17th, 2017 12:32 PM

Just so hard to answer for somebody else, since some of it depends on whether you will have more you want to do in Evora on the morning of your departure, or if you typically get up and hit the road early when traveling.

If it's the former, you'll have a more relaxed visit to Coimbra if you plan on spending the night. If it's the latter, it is likely you can see everything you want to see in Coimbra in a day. Whether you then want to spend the night in Coimbra (or possibly Tomar?) up to you.

Keep in mind that if you want to see the library in Coimbra (highly recommended!) it is a timed entry. I don't know if it is possible these days to reserve in advance online. But if not, best thing to do when you arrive in Coimbra is to head to the library first to buy a ticket. If you cannot enter the immediately you might want to ask for an entry time that's later in the day so you can do other sightseeing in between.

massimop Jun 17th, 2017 12:40 PM

I forgot to answer about daytrips from Porto:

Porto is just the kind of odd, one-off city that I like. There are very few places like it I have ever seen. It's hard for me to know if other people find it as interesting as I do. I was much less interested in the guidebook recommended sights in Porto than I was in walking all over the small city, and normally I plan my trip around going to museums and specific architectural sights of great importance. But Porto is like some huge open air antiques market. If you enjoy rummaging in attics, Porto is really fun. The entire city os made up of things nobody makes anymore. If you'd rather look at scenery or see outstanding art and architecture, Porto isn't that, and some of it is very touristy (Ryan Air fast break touristy, drinking port wine).

frencharmoire Jun 17th, 2017 12:53 PM

By the way, if you really are from Miami Beach it's possible some of Porto will seem rather familiar. A lot of it is Art Nouveau of an old glam style (actually Lisbon has a certain Florida feel to it too). So either you will shrug your shoulders or you will be thrilled to feel the connection


MiamiBeachMomma Jun 17th, 2017 01:04 PM

Wow!!! Thanks so much folks for the feedback!!!

We are a mix of slow pokes and movers and shakers on vacation. Some days we go go go and others we need to sleep in and chillax.

We are going to skip Algarve and South - as yes, french - we live on Miami Beach and I think we would miss out heading south. And I love vintage Miami Beach - Art Deco and all.

We do want a car - we enjoy the freedom. This above itinerary was a first stab. I will keep refining.

Will add another night to Porto, wondering if we should stay somewhere of the coast in the Douro valley for a night or 2.

Not sure if we should stay somewhere else besides Coimbra.

Sberg Jun 17th, 2017 03:39 PM

Go to the Douro Valley! It was our favorite part of Portugal. It is so beautiful.We stayed at Quinta Nova and it was phenomenal.
At least try to spend one night there. You won't regret it.

PalenQ Jun 18th, 2017 01:23 PM

Not sure if we should stay somewhere else besides Coimbra>

Coimbra is a nice city -especially the old upper town with university courtyards- but it is a fairly large seemingly congested city or so it seemed when I was there (did not stay there but as said on the nearby seaside or in Tomar as massimop suggests (did not go there but put faith in her/his takes on things).

Duoro can be great if a car and you get to the best of it (which I could not do on a day trip by train from Porto).

MiamiBeachMomma Oct 30th, 2017 11:22 AM

This trip is back on for December Xmas break this time with our 2 teen boys in tow.

Looks like we will have 10 nights on the ground. Was thinking of wither flying into Porto and out of Lisbon or vice versa.

Is this all still doable in Winter?

jamikins Oct 30th, 2017 11:29 AM

We spent two weeks in Portugal over New Years 2010/2011 and had a great time.

Our pics are here

We needed warm clothes and tourists were light on the ground.

Lisbon was really fun on NYE!


PalenQ Oct 30th, 2017 02:09 PM

Is this all still doable in Winter?>

Portugal is for sure and cities like Porto and Lisbon will be warm enough but I'd forego the Duoro Valley and any beach areas as water will even in Algarve I believe be too cool.

But places like Braga, Guimares, Evora, Coimbra, Obidos and Sintra will be fine - even nicer in a way without hoards of tourists. jamikins usual sharp camera eye shows things at Xmas - seems a little foggy perhaps but the castles at Sintra and food and those gleaming golden church interiors still shine.

MiamiBeachMomma Oct 30th, 2017 06:50 PM

We are thinking of starting in Porto with a car and leaving from Lisbon. (Or would someone advise the opposite look like they Looking at arriving Christmas Day.

Want to figure out how many nights each and where to sleep along the way.

Porto - 2 or 3 nights?

Lisbon - 3 or 4 nights?

MiamiBeachMomma Nov 1st, 2017 08:08 AM

Booked air!! Landing in Porto and leaving 10 days later from Lisbon.

Still wondering how to divide time....

PalenQ Nov 1st, 2017 12:09 PM

Yes for each - I'd do a day trip from Porto like to Guimares or Braga or spend just two full days there.

Lisbon 3-4 and do a day trip to Sintra for sure.

lauramsgarden Nov 9th, 2017 07:55 PM

heart2travel, I did a five part trip report for our trip to Portugal back in 2012 - lots of details, we had a great time

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