Our Plan,Any Glaring Errors?

Old Dec 17th, 2015, 03:13 PM
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Our Plan,Any Glaring Errors?

Since it is a rainy day in Seattle (what's new?) I am working diligently on our Portugal trip. dreaming about sun and blue skies. I would appreciate any feedback on this trip plan from those experts here on the Portugal forum.

March 8 Arrive Lisbon evening March 8. Overnight at Alvalade II Guesthouse
March 9 Car rental from Airport and Alentejo for one week (3 nights ADC,then winging it).
March 16 Return to Lisbon for Air BNB stay in Santa Caterina area for 10 days. (returning car rental at airport).
March 26, 27, 28 Train to Porto
March 29, 30, 31 Pinhao (Casa Cimeira)
April 1, 2 Braga or Guimaraes
April 3,4,5,6 Geres - day hikes and drives
April 7,8 Bragana
April 9,10,11 Mirands do Douro (Casa dos Edras)
April 12,13,14 Belmonte Pousada
April 15,16 Coimbra/Tomar (previous thread)
April 17,18,19 Zambujeira do Mar - 3 nights (walking part of Vincentina circuit and relaxing)
April 20 Drive to Lisbon for overnight before flying to Amsterdam.

We are locked into the return to Lisbon due to our mistake in renting our apartment and then having to change our flight. As in previous thread we are debating whether to spend Easter weekend in Sintra instead of a day trip from Lisbon or just head to Porto as above..

Thank you very much. Any feedback will be appreciated.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 03:43 PM
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EuropCar has a rental location at Gare Do Oriente. The fee at the train station will be less then picking up at the airport, and you can be on the A-12 in no time.

You should consider having a car for the Douro. Much easier to get around and there is enough to see to make it interesting.

You may want to read the following newsletters by Maribel. You may find them useful:
72 hours in Portugal’s historic Port City
Exploring the Alto Douro Wine Region
Pousadas of the Alentejo - Arraiolos to Vila Vicosa
Adegas of the Alentejo
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 04:49 PM
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Oh, I totally forgot about Maribel. I utilized her knowledge for our trip to Spain several years ago. Thank you, Robert2533.
We thought it would be easier to drive from the airport rather than Lisbon. A case of cold feet, I guess.
We plan on renting a car in Porto for the remainder of the trip including the Douro. There seems to be a lot of bad press out there re car rental agencies. Can you recommend any one in particular?
We have tried to give ourselves plenty of time to explore these places within the constraints of our 6 weeks. I hope we have estimated distances between stops accurately.
Thanks again for the Maribel suggestion.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 09:07 PM
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Hi Cindy...

Just scanning your schedule and suggestions from posters. I can say without reservation (pun?)that the pousadas where we stayed were pleasing to us...Very close to Evora is the Arraiolos(h)Pousada (a stand out) and you mention three nights in Belmonte's Pousada, another where we stayed and liked the lodgings, ambience and views.


But, I must share my opinion with you that while Belmonte held some important personal historical, religious and interviewing/researching self-assignments for me (our main reason for going there), three days might be a bit too many. The town is very small, isolated, unattractive and largely boring...an opinion both my late wife and I agreed upon. And aside from the lovely Pousada's excellent dining choices we found only one eatery, "Torres Restaurant".."meh"...

I will post a few items and pics below that may bear out what I have written here and hopefully you'll get an idea or two from my amateurish pics.

But in all fairness, summing up, loved Portugal, had a scenic,exciting,fun month and would certainly have returned. Highly recommend it for anyone's bucket list.

Enjoy the visit, CindyJo.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 10:20 PM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Portugal

These are Portugal pics, Cindyjo..other stuff I will send...computer has been down and out. Scroll down to Arraiolos(h) Pousada and then further down to find Belmonte Pousada
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 10:25 PM
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We deal with Auto Europe and Kemwel, both of which use Europcar in Portugal, but at a savings over Europcar's standard prices.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 10:31 PM
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http://www.dw.com/en/portugal-visiti...nity/a-2738534

My purpose for visiting remote Belmonte, cindyjo. It moght be interestinng for you now that there's a little museum commemorating the events. Amazing story.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 10:32 PM
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As far as the rain in Seattle, like the rain in San Sebastián, it's what keeps us green.
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Old Dec 17th, 2015, 10:38 PM
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http://forward.com/news/12391/after-...erity-t-01065/

and another part to the story...don't have any qualms about visiting the little museum..you'll be most welcome, I assure you.

Scroll down to read this story.
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Old Dec 18th, 2015, 06:24 AM
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Robert2533, i just got an email deal from Kemwel so will follow up with both of your suggestions. We are looking for a company that allows a bypass of CDW so that our Visa CC will cover for insurance.

tower, great photos. Am so sorry to hear that you have lost your partner. I have followed your great adventures and your reports of your trips together for years.

Great photos, helping to stoke the anticipation.

Belmonte- the pousada looked like a comfortable place to come home to after exploring the area including east (Sortelha, Almeida, Idanha-a-Velha) and west (Serra da Estrela) where we hope to do day hikes. We are intrigued with Belmonte's Jewish history and appreciate your recommendations.

we are open to suggestions for an alternative to Belmonte that would give the same access to the areas we want to explore. Any ideas?

Thanks to both of you for answering my queries.
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Old Dec 18th, 2015, 09:37 AM
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I think your itn sounds good. I havent been to all the places you mention, but commenting on what we visited. We used Auto Europe with no isssues. I believe Kemwell is a sister org to it. I really liked Guimaraes where we only stayed overnight & would have enjoyed another day there to explore. We visited Braga as a day trip and didn't love it, but only spent a few hours there. We stayed in Bragança (is that the same as Bragana?). the town wasn't particularly interesting. We were using it to go to a park nearby which also was a bit disappointing. We also thought we were staying at the pousada there but upon arrival found out it was no longer a part of the pousada system. Room wasn't great s that was also disappointing.
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Old Dec 18th, 2015, 07:09 PM
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Interesting that both of you were not impressed with the area. Would you be more specific as to why? Maybe we need to rethink it?
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Old Dec 18th, 2015, 08:35 PM
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I would go to Bragança just to see the Princess Tower, the Renaissance cathedral and the Museu do Abade de Baçal.

It's not your typical tourist destination unless you're the outdoors type, but the Pousada is excellent, it even has a heated pool and the most comfortable beds I've slept in in years. We stayed overnight on our way from Galicia to Zamora. The drive through the park is beautiful.
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Old Dec 20th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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Yo CindyJo:

Just thinking that it may be way off course for you, but if you should decide to drive further southeast, we liked colorful Marvao very much. High on a mountain overlooking the "plain of Spain where there ain't much rain" ...Worth one night, IMO....a small Pousada right in town, not quite as appealing as the ones in Arraiolos(h) or Belmonte.

If you get to Obidos(Obi-doosh) en route from Coimbra to Lisbon, I can also recommend the Estalagem do Conventos next to the town's wall...not quite a Pousada per se' but nevertheless very comfortable and convenient lodgings. You might want to consider taking a night away from Zambujeira (see pix for Marvao and Obidos).

Stu (don't mean to confuse the issue any further, but you can take it!!)
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Old Dec 20th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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CJ

Just noticed that you are driving from Coimbra to Zambujeira in one day..that's a long tiring drive...then you're backtracking to Lisbon to fly home. Zamb to Lisb is a good 150+ miles. Some rethinking is in order here, IMO.
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