Help with 4weeks in Portugal

Old Sep 14th, 2015, 06:28 AM
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Help with 4weeks in Portugal

I am hoping for some guidance for our Feb/March trip to Portugal.

We arrive in Madrid on Feb. 17 and plan on flying to Lisbon the next day. We plan on 11 nights in Lisbon which will include some day trips and have already rented an apartment for that time.

We are,flying to Amsterdam for a final week before leaving for home on April 5.

Some thoughts on how to break up our remaining 4 weeks in Portugal? More interested in music, history, walking, etc than beach so would be ok to skip the Algarve this time. We prefer to have a base and explore from there and will most likely rent a car for part of the time in order to do that. We also realize the weather is a factor but live in Seattle and don't mind the rain.

Thinking of some kind of loop from Lisbon so we don't have to backtrack and also think the later we explore the north the better chance of good weather we may have.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
cindyjo is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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Are you planning on spending the night somewhere else during your time in Portugal, or just using Lisbon as a base?

Having a car is fine for visiting outside of the immediate Lisbon area, but you will not need one for visitng like Cascais or Sintra.

If you want to do a loop, then you can head for Evora, staying at the Pousada, then up to Vila Viçosa, by way of Arraiolos, again the Pousada makes a great place to spend the night. From there you can head up to Marvão, the region’s most photographed garrison town. The Pousada de Santa Maria would be a nice stop for the night.

Be sure to visit Monsaraz, the “Eagles’ Nest”, the “jewel in the crown” of the Alentejo. You can do it from Évora or Arraiolos.

You can also visit Castelo de Vide, the pretty neighbor to Marvão, and continued on your loop to Torres Novas to see the castle which dates from the 12th century. You can head back to Lisbon by way of Santarém, home of the 13th-century eucharistic miracle.

The next couple of weeks you can spend exploring Porto, the Alto Douro and Portugal’s Minho Va!ley, and possibly cross the river into Galicia.

If you're interested in good food and great wine, then you'll find it throughout your trip.
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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Thank you Robert2533. Your suggestions are helpful.

We will be in Lisbon for 11 nights and plan to take day trips. Sintra and Cascais are on our list. Do you have other suggestions for day trips?

We would like to continue travelling after leaving Lisbon and only return the night before leaving for Amsterdam. So it sounds like heading to the Alenteje and then heading north making our way to Porto and the Doura would be best. Wondering which route is best. It looks like Torres Novas is west toward Obidos, Tomar, etc. would we then continue north to Coimbra and Porto? Can we loop back to Lisbon through eastern Portugal so we don't retrace our steps? For instance, to Braganca, Pinhel, etc.? Is there enough of interest at this time of year (mid to late March)?

I think I now have a pretty good idea of a loop in the Alentje to the coast but am still unsure about the best way to return to Lisbon. Also wondering if you have any suggestions for staying in one place for 3 nights to see surrounding sights. I think we will weary of 1-2 night stands.

And not to try your patience..... Will we need reservations at this time of year?

Thank you.
cindyjo is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2015, 05:30 PM
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Check my trip report -- replied to your questions.
tedgale is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2015, 06:28 PM
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We loved basing in Evora for several days to do exploratory day trips and heartily recommend the Albergaria do Calvario (or AdC hotel), really a wonderful place to stay. (We spent 2 weeks in Portugal this past May). If you go to Porto, stay at Guesthouse Douro, which is right on the water and lovingly run by Joao and Carmen. We also loved Guimaraes, which is an easy day trip from Porto- we stayed at the pousada there which is absolutely mind blowing: a old monastery with a church still attached. Gorgeous, if a little cold (management is VERY proper, as many of the pousadas were in our experience). Obidos is another charming spot to visit for a day.
Agree with Robert's suggestions about some of the towns to visit. We found the roads unbelievably good in Portugal, although often deserted (the tollways)- not cheap but very fast and usually direct.
Have a great trip! Portugal is a beautiful country (and btw you won't miss much by skipping the Algarve, as it has been really overdeveloped for tourists. We only really enjoyed Tavira, and a quick trip to Sagres for the history).
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