Lisbon and northern Portugal

Feb 26th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Lisbon and northern Portugal

My husband and I have 10 days and nights between the end of May and beginning of June in Portugal. We are flying into and out of Lisbon. We are thinking of spending a few nights in Lisbon, and dividing the rest of the time in Porto and the Douro wine region. We generally like very nice small hotels and inns. How would you split the time among these locations, what are the best places to stay? I am considering Pestana Porto in Porto and some of the quintas in the Douro valley or the Aquapura. We don't need fancy but do like understated luxury, and love the outdoors, historic villages and markets, being able to talk with local people, great food and wine. If we can split the time among three places and do day trips that would be good for us. Thanks!
sd99 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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I would spend 4-5 days in Lisbon and then a couple days in Porto and the rest in the Douro Valley.

We just got back in Jan from 2 weeks over new years...will post our trip report.
jamikins is offline  
Feb 26th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Thanks so much for your help and your great trip report!
sd99 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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My lady wife and I returned from Portugal last week. Couple of points worth reporting:

Guimaraes, about 55 kms NE of Porto. Definitely worth a visit and an overnight. Interesting medieval town, the palace of the Dukes of Braga, and of course the 12th century castle. We stayed at the Residencia das Trinas, very nice, comfortable but not luxurious, a wonderful value for about 35 euros a night.

If you anticipate visiting Sintra, we found a great B&B in nearby Sebugo, the oddly-named She-Pine Tree Resort. It's situated in old summer house from the 1920s. The original owner's grandson runs it and takes great pride in doing so. Take advantage of the table d'hote at least once - it's very good. Ask for the Terrace Suite - marvelous view of the surrounding villages. Again, very comfortable but not luxurious. Also very reasonable.
RedStater is offline  
Feb 27th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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I second the recomendation of Guimaraes, the original capital of Portugal. We stayed at the pousada right in the center of town. Charming city filled with history.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Mar 8th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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My husband and I stayed two nights at the CS Vintage House in Pinhao in the Douro wine region. I would highly recommend this hotel! We had a car and did a few day trips from there...wish we had stayed there longer. Beautiful pool area and gardens, right along the Douro River (our room had a balcony overlooking the river), very nice terrace area for meals- the food is quite good. I also just posted our 8 night itinerary for a road trip from Porto to Lisbon and the stops at small towns inbetween. You can check my threads to read more...
Betts123 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 03:21 AM
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Thank you so much! I will read your post with great interest!
sd99 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2011, 11:06 AM
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One of the best places I ever stayed in anywhere, is Guest House Douro in Porto. Check it out, you will not be disappointed. The location is great, and Carmen and Joao, the proprietors will make you feel like family.
MFNYC is offline  
Apr 15th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for the lead on Guest House Douro. We're going to book three nights there in late Sept. Our party will be two couples and we're looking for ideas of where to day trip in or out of Porto for the two full days we have there. We can afford to do it right with car and tour guide if that works, since as I look at the river day trips they do not stop many places, maybe going up river on the boat and turning around and coming back on the train. Does anyone have a better suggestion? Thanks. bobbuuck
bobbuuck is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Bob, Read our Douro Valley day rip in my trip report (day 2) It was a stunning day (despite, at times, feeling lost in the mountains indefinitely). After lots of research we decided to take this approach and are glad we did.

For any suggestions, Carmen and Joao at GHD have great recommendations. They advised us on sights to see in Porto, where to eat (and their suggestions were fantastic), and helped us with the day trip. If we had 1 more day there we would have visited the port houses, but unfortunately we didn't have time for that.

When you make the reservation, tell Carmen that the NYers with the bagels recommended the guest house.
MFNYC is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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You might want to check out wb site They have some remarkable specials available at different times of the year and are outstanding for places to stay.
amer_can is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I would highly suggest Sintra as you travel towards Porto. We stayed at Tivoli and it is right in the center of the valley. The restaurants in Sintra are not that great, but the scenery is beautiful!.
When you go to Porto get a multiday buspass and/or metro pass. You'll need transportation and the public transport is very easy.
Have fun!
ElizaJon is offline  
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