Planning a Long Trip to Portugal

Dec 27th, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Planning a Long Trip to Portugal

Hi all! DH and I will be spending our extended stay/vacation this year in Portugal. DH has been to Lisbon and south along the coast -ages ago and with his 1st wife- but I'm a newbie. Considering all the time we have spent in Spain over the years, this neglect is almost embarrassing and it's high time we give this part of the peninsula our attention.

We will be there April -June (89days for all you Schengen sticklers!). This is my -very preliminary- schedule, and would love some feedback on how to fill the details:

Lisbon - 1 month (with the traditional day trips to Sinatra, Cascais , Cabo da Rosa, etc. We would pick up rental car as we leave)

Algarve - Salem or Lagos - 2 nights

Algarve - Tavira - 2 nights (should we just consolidate with the previous 2 to a single area, we are not exactly beach goers...)

Seville - 5 nights (because we will be so close, and we were only there in my pre-Fodors days and missed a lot of the minor sights, and we have not been to Spain this year....)

Caceres - 1 nights (maybe? Thoughts on this?)

Evora - 3 nights

Nazare- 5 nights (use as base for Obidos, Tamar)

Coimbra - 3 nights

Duoro Valley - 7 nights

Porto - 3 weeks (I'm fidgeting with this one, is is too long? Should I lop off a week and go Vigo/Ourense)

An alternative is to do Lisbon, Porto and then go driving around the country with a reversed itinerary.

So, any advise, feedback, guidance and/or suggestions will be greatly appreciated and extensively mused over glasses of Vinho Verde.
marigross is offline  
Dec 27th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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if I get this right your final stop is for three weeks in Oporto. If so that maybe too long.
Oporto is certainly a great pick but I would not suggest either Ourense or Vigo in your itinerary.
I expect you will get the usual chimes to see Santiago whilst in Galicia...I am not going to do that. Living here I think it could prove to be too obvious to suggest this city.
So I will right more soon but right now I have work to do and maybe this will take by time up. When I do I will tell you of a few lesser known places here in Galicia and Leon. So lets hear what the others think in the mean time.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Dec 27th, 2015, 03:18 PM
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For some other ideas you might want to take a look at my trip report, for a much shorter trip; click on my name to find it.

With 89 days, it probably is worthwhile for you to look at car leases through with Peugeot or Renault, even with the extra fees added on for non-=French pick-up and drop-off. Or look into the "basic" rental offered through Autoeurope or Kemwel, having the credit card carry the CDW. You would have to change cars every thirty days, and check that your credit card would consider such sequential rentals legitimate for the them to offer the CDW coverage.
Michael is offline  
Dec 27th, 2015, 03:59 PM
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Hi Ribeira! I have been to Santiago (and LOVED it!). Couple of years ago we walked the Camino, so we have done all the 'biggies' in Northern Spain (and LOVED them!). I have been considering doing the Camino Portugués or just heading to Finisterre... you know, for closure, lol.

We adore Galicia (and Galician food and wine), so any obscure suggestion will be really welcome. I'll have as much Grelos con Jamón and Caldo Gallegos as they'll give. With an orujo to top it off.

I'm still dreaming of an Ourense Rosé we had as a house wine (open carafe) in a tiny hamlet bar out in the middle of nowhere about 10 years ago... probably the best rosé I've ever had. They would be millionaires if wine like that would travel well. I've been on a quest ever since, but so far I've only been disappointed, lol.

Michel, I will look for your TR. We will only keep the car for about a month as we wouldn't need it in Lisbon or Porto.
marigross is offline  
Dec 27th, 2015, 04:10 PM
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Don't worry about the cost of car rental. It's very competitive and often less than 100 euro/week.
Alec is offline  
Dec 27th, 2015, 05:05 PM
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If you get a tiny bit bored, try taking a flight out to the Azores. In June all the flowers will be out. Just overwhelming. Our favorite spot in Europe.
Bedar is offline  
Dec 28th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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Ohhh...The Azores!
marigross is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 02:21 PM
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Sorry about the long delay. Thought you would have got a lot of chimes about what to do and where to go.
My input, no long list just some pointers for you to explore on line .
Around Cáceres, also look at Parque Cultural Sierra de Gata
or the Valle del Jerte I have heard it is beautiful when the cherry trees are in flower. (that comes from a guest of mine I have never been).

Then there is a gap in my knowledge of Portugal until you hit the Duoro Valley. This encompasses a large area so where you go from here is one of several ways. Head east back into Spain.
Bragança, Portugal: Special weekend is the first weekend of May for the Feira das Cantarinhas (basially clay jars typical of Portugal)(but please confirm the date before making your plans)
In Spain you will find Zamora, Apart from this very historic city you will find loads more to visit in and around this area like Toro;Puebla de Sanabria;
If you head north from the Duoro Valley I would suggest you have a look at Allariz, south of Ourense.
Maybe you can get there for part of this festival. At teh moment the website is still showing 2015 dates. Hope this is updated soon.
To the West of Ourense you will find a small town called Ribadavia.
To the north you could visit Monasterio de Osera. very local to me and if guest have a a enough time we make this a must see. along with the nearby Castro de San Cibrao de Las it makes for a nice relaxing trip.
Heading back towards the coast and Portugal. I know you thought about Vigo. Well it is the largest and most industrial city in Galicia. Not that the centre is not quaint for some. Personally I do not have anything good to say about it. If you wanted to get to the Illas Cíes then base yourself at the small port of Cangas
Heading back into Portugal try and visit Tui, Spain
Just across the Rio Miño there is Valença (out of the border cities I prefer this one) However I cannot find a decent working website on the city at the moment.
Before I sign off here is a small article I wrote for another forum about a route along the Minho (Portuguese spelling) from Valença to Ribadavia. You could do this in reverse.
Hope this helps you do some planning.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 05:44 AM
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Thank you!!!
marigross is offline  

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