Need help on a 4-week Itinerary!

Jan 4th, 2004, 03:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 8
Need help on a 4-week Itinerary!

Please help! My boyfriend and I are going to Spain and Portugal in June, for 4 weeks. We fly into Lisbon and out of Madrid. We're wondering: (1) What would be the best time division between Portugal and Spain? We're interested in Oporto for the port wines and neither of us has ever been to Portugal before. No other "special interests." (2) In Spain, would it be realistic to stay in one location (such as Madrid) and do day trips or weekend trips to other locations? We're hoping his parents meet up with us for 2-3 weeks, so we'd like to find a good "home base" to meet up in, if possible. (3) Because we fly into Lisbon and think that Oporto would be nice, we've tentatively considered going to the north of Spain, but haven't toured either the north OR south; what are the differences that could help us choose?

About us: we're in our latter-30s, like wines, bicycling, general sightseeing, and love people/new cultures. His parents are in their 60s and are seasoned travelers themselves, but tend towards more relaxing activities. Any suggestions would be wonderful; thank you very much!!!!
chezcathy is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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For four weeks you might want to consider leasing a car at least for the times not in Lisbon and Madrid. In my mind you have two geographical choices. Portugal and the northwest (large) quadrant of Spain, which would include Galicia over to San Sebastian and down toward Segovia; or the southwest quadrant of Spain which would include Andalusia, the Extremadura and Toledo. Check out guide books to see what would interest you more.
Michael is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Some ideas:
Stay in Lisbon for 2/3 days visit Lisbon and Cascais (dinning?)
Move to Oporto for one day, Take a river cruise on the Douro, train to Pinhao and then up the river visiting a couple of vineyards, off the boat in Barca de Alva(spanish border) bus to
Salamanca. Visit Salamanca 1 or 2 days depending at what time you arrive and
travel arrangements.Train to Madrid.
This will have used your first week.
Stay in Madrid for 2/3 days to visit the city itself and then day trips to Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Aranjuez, El Escorial.Second week.
Using Madrid as a base will allow you to go easily to Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. Third week.
Again from Madrid you can easily travel to Barcelona, fly or train, And barcelona and area will be your fourth week.
In this plann if you can change your outbound flight from Madrid to Barcelona you will avoid a return to Madrid just to catch a plane.
Keeping the south(recomended)
You could alternatively change Barcelona and area for Bilbao and SS
or Galicia, Asturias and Santander.
As Michael writes you have to do some searching to decide.
car is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm wondering... is the wine region in Spain worth checking out? Is it "tourist-friendly" enough? We all love wines and I'm wondering if we could arrange that in our itinerary. Thanks!
chezcathy is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Well, if you go to Barcelona you'll be in the region where they make Cava. You can take trains to get to the vineyards. I'm going to do it in February, so I'll let you know how it turns out!

kaudrey is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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If you could get to Santiago de Compostela, Capital of the Xunta do Galizia, on a Saturday, it could be one of the high points of your trip. 2004 is an Anho Jubilar Xacobeo (Holy Year) there and the Pilgrims' Mass at 11:00 Saturday can be an uplifting experience. Galicia also has some excellent wines - I like the Albarinho and the Rosal (from the Minho valley).

I also like the light, fruity Vinho Verde with meals in Portugal. You'll probably also visit Braga and Guimaraes (birthplace of Modern Portugal) on your way north, into Spain.

Spain is much larger and diverse than Portugal so, unless you are an Algarve 'beach bunny you'll probable spend most of your time (3-weeks?) in Spain. In Spain, the Cava comes from Catalunia, the best red wines come from la Rioja and the Sherries come from Coastal Andalucia. So, you've got a lot of territory to cover.

You're probably looking at 'home bases' in 3 or 4 places with daytrips from each. In Galicia, I like Vigo; in Andalucia, Cadiz or Sevilla. I liked Lisbon better than Porto: Porto seemed to me to be an Industrial and busy Port city.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Spain has several wine regions, within your itinerary you could look into "Ribera del Duero" same river the duero in spanish Douro in portuguese.
This region not too far from Salamanca, tow or three hours by car it could be easily visited and some of the wineries offer visits and tours, but unless you join a local tour, you need a car to wonder around the area.

car is offline  

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