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Need experts' help for short Portugal trip

Need experts' help for short Portugal trip

Old Dec 17th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Need experts' help for short Portugal trip

I hope some of the experts are reading, because I need help!

I will be able to take a short (Wed-Sun) trip in Portugal in April. On Sunday evening, I will need to arrive in Lisbon to begin work on Monday for two weeks.

I go to Portugal every year, but there is still a lot of the country we haven't seen. Here are a couple of possible itineraries that have occurred to me:

Day 1 -- to Ourem (we arrive after transatlantic flight, so I'm just looking for a place nearby to deal with jetlag)
Day 2 and 3 -- Aveiro
Day 4 -- Nazare/Alcobaca

Day 1 -- to Ourem
Day 2 -- to Amares (pousada outside Braga that has been on my list for a while)
Day 3 and 4 -- in Peneda-Geres park

I am leaning toward the more ambitious trip up north, but don't know much about the park and its environs. On the other hand, the last time I was in Alcobaca the whole praca was dug up, so it would be nice to go back.

Another option would be Santiago do Cacem (would love to return to the Roman ruins) and coast in the vicinity, but I would need help filling in those days.

I'm always drawn to the Alentejo, but we will likely do a short weekend trip during my work stay, to make my must-do stop at Redondo to buy pottery at Pirraca.

So, I would appreciate help from those who really know the little out of the way parts of Portugal.

Muito obrigada!
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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April is a very rainy month in the North. I was there in '00 during Easter and it rained every day.
Sorry I can't help with your concerns.
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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I am not sure I follow your itinerary, but 3 of my favorite places in north Portugal are Obidos, Viano do Castelo, and Marvao---I do not see them on your list.
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Thanks tico and bob,

I lived in Portugal in 2004-05 when there was a drought, so I'm used to sunny weather year round! But that's a very good point, so I think I will also make a possible itinerary for the south. Given that we won't have to worry about crowds, we could just make an on the spot decision when we arrive and head north if the weather looks dry.

Bob, I've been to those places and agree that they're wonderful. Especially Marvao -- I've been there three times now, most recently last March, and I'm surprised with how much more "touristy" it's becoming. Still beautiful, though.

Any other suggestions for less travelled places? Thanks.
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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The Pousada at Estromoz was special.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 02:26 AM
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Avril au Portugal
A deux c'est idéal,
Là-bas si l'on est fou,
Le ciel l'est plus que vous,
Mais sans penser à mal
Son cur attendra t-il
Que j'aille au Portugal,
En avril.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Hey now, no fair. It's bad enough that I have to learn Portuguese. That's okay, it is to be expected, this IS the Portugal forum

But quoting a poem in French was a low blow.

8-)
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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I found my April dream in Portugal with you
When we discovered romance, like I never knew.
Then morning brought the rain,
And now my dream is through
But still my heart says "I love you."

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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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I am so glad to see postings on Pousadas. I have been researching the Pousada passports.As much as I would like to go to the Pestana Palace in Lisbon there is an 80E.supliment per person. Then I was trying to figure my route downto the Algarv)or
-do I go the coastal route to the pousadas that way and cut over to Beja and down to AAlbufeira. Or--- do the pousadas in through the Alentejo (I have 4 days to make this trip.I also noticed there are other Pousadas in the Lisbon area-I have 4 days there-help-thanks in advance-Chris
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Lobo, are those the words to a song? Sung by whom? Very pretty.

Chris, You have a very hard decision. There are so many beautiful pousadas. If you're doing a four night trip, I might go for, Arraiolos, Marvao, Vila Vicosa and then maybe Beja. I think that's a do-able circle in and out of Lisbon, but I don't have a map handy right now.

But some of my favorite pousadas are a bit further afield -- Belmonte, Mesao Frio, and the one right outside of Guimaraes are absolutely stunning historical buildings.

If you go to the Algarve, the pousada at Sagres is a modern building, but it's in a breathtaking spot right on a cliff on the ocean. And there's one recently opened in Tavira,which I haven't been to, but may make it this year!
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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"April in Portugal"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgekM...eature=related

Original version "Coimbra"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V8dCGcPc3I

Music by Raul Ferrao.
There is a beautiful French version "L'Avril au Portugal" but I can't find in youtube

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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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Our visit in May will be mostly Alentejo.
Too bad we will miss each other. I would love to have dinner with you wherever.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Ireynold1-Thank you for the suggestions. I have a plan A & a plan B.I will check out Marvao as I didn't have it down.I had Arrailos-Estremoz-Vila Visosa-and then Evora-or I could do Beja instead of Evora. I probably would not to Sagres as we have a whole week in the Algarve.
Or after our flight from Madiera my other route would be Pousada Palmel-Alcader Do Sal-Santiago Do Cacem and then Beja. Decisions Decisions Desisions!!!! Thanks for your help Chris
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Thanks, Lobo, for those links. My computer here is messed up and won't let me connect to them, but I will make sure to watch them both.

Sher -- Do you have your itinerary set for May? Would love to see it. Yes, it's too bad we won't coincide in Portugal once again, but I keep going back so one of these days we will.

Chris -- I remember trying to find the pousada in Santiago do Cacem after visiting the Roman ruins there (which are really fabulous). We gave up because we just couldn't find it and couldn't find anyone who could help us. So try to get good directions.

The pousada in Alcacer do Sal is one of those sleek modern interiors plunked into an old castle. It works very well, in my opinion, and the town down at the bottom of the hill is nice for walking around. We bought a couple of boxes of the local speciality that had been recommended to us (some kind of sweet, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was -- can you help, Lobo?). I think we gave them away, which may be why I can't remember much about them.

If you do a search for Marvao, you'll find that many of us wax poetic when it comes to that town. Being there for sunset and sunrise is a not to be missed experience.

And if you're looking for a pousada for a night-before-departure stay, check out Queluz. It's only about 15-20 (?) km from the airport and unlike Palmela is on the airport side of the bridge so you don't have to cross the city. The Queluz Palace is one of my favorite Lisbon area attractions, too. You do have a lot of decisions!

Laurie

p.s. Lobo -- have you been to the Parque Nacional of Peneda-Geres? Can you give me some recommendations for visiting?
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Wow! Just listened to those links. Louis Armstrong and Amalia! Thanks so much, Lobo.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Laurie-I have written your notes on each of the pousadas I printed up. Actually I had even thought of staying in De Queluz on our first 4 nights in Lisbon. I have contacted a tour guide rec'd by a Fodorite-Peter so I would have him take us places. I had also looked at Cascais but it just looked like a big hotel. I want to get 2 4 night passports with a car rental. the 4 nights in Lisbon I really want to stay put in 1 palce-the other 4 I don't mind a leisurly drive.Thanks so much for your input-Chris
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