Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Planning Portugal trip and need your help!!!

Planning Portugal trip and need your help!!!

Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Planning Portugal trip and need your help!!!

We are 2 mid-age couples planning our first Portugal trip in 2nd half of June. We love history, seeing the country, walking tours in the cities, nature, beaches. Here is the itinerary we plan so far but we are very much open to any suggestions on what to see, how much time to plan in each place, what tour to take, what restaurants to eat, which places not to miss!
Fly to Porto
- 2 days Porto - should we plan day and a half in Porto and take half day trip to Guimaraes or plan a day trip to Guimaraes and Braga? Is Braga worth a visit or better to spend extra 1/2 day in Porto? ? We are not religious
- rent a car,
1 day Porto-Pinhao, (sleep in Pinhao Quinta de la Rosa) - what is the best driving route, stops, wineries to visit? Is the dinner in Quinta de la Rosa good?
-1 day Pinhao-Coimbra-Obidos (sleep in Obidos) - should we make a reservation in advance to visit the library in Coimbra University?
1 days Batalha , Alcobaça, Nazare, Tomar (sleep in Pousada in Qurem)
1 day Evora (sleep in Evora) On our drive to Evora we plan to stop in Castelo de Vide to visit Jewish quarter and synagogue and then Marvao. Should we also try to stop at Elvas time permitting or we can skip Elvas? Is Elvas worth a detour?
3 days Algarve ( base in Lagos) - we are thinking on 1 of the days go to Tavira to see the town and then considering to take a 3-4 hours catamaran tour to Ria de Formosa stopping at 1-2 islands with the swimming. Are the beaches here better/more beautiful/calmer/warmer than around Lagos? On the last day we plan to visit Sagres and Cape St. Vincent before driving to Lisbon. Also planning to take a grottos boat tour in Lagos with the swimming.
drive to Lisbon and return a car
3 days Lisbon - 2 days Lisbon , walking tours around the city, Alfama, Belem. 1 day - Sintra - is it better to go to Sintra by train to take a tour? Are there english tours/audio in Monserrat palace/Palacio national/Palacio Pena/Regalero palace?
3 days Madeira - thinking of taking 1 day jeep tour to West/North, 1 day to East and 1 day walk around Funchal and relax at the beaches/pools
Fly to Lisbon and fly home
Irina11 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,666
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might want to take a look at my trip report, leaving out the Spanish side trip to Santiago; click on my name to find it.
Michael is online now  
Old Apr 4th, 2017, 08:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,963
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There have been a great many discussions with good answers lately - search the forums (top right) by inputting Portugal.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live in Portugal, and I'll take a few shots:
i- Guimarães is more interesting than Braga, because of the castle and larger old town. Near Guimarães there is Citânia de Briteiros. This was a settlement of pre-Celtic and Celtic people that run from sec IV AC to sec IV AD. Very interesting for someone interested in very old stuff.
ii- Near Coimbra there is Conimbriga, a preRoman, Roman settlement that has been dug up, the villas still have the original tile floors.
iii- Somedays there is a lot of people in line to visit the Coimbra U. Library. To be safe, pre-aarange if possible.
iv- Almourol Castle is close to Tomar and worth a visit if you have the time. But be sure to spend enough time at The Christ Convent.
v- If pressed for time may skip Elvas. If you have plenty of time may extend to Badajoz and Mérida.
vi- The problem with Sintra is that you will need transportation, unless you are physically fit and fond of long walks uphill. English language tours are common, although I cannot guarantee that there will be at all sites. There is at Pena Castle.
vii- in Madeira I enjoyed the day trip to Porto Santo.
moacirdsp is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FRom my point of view that too much one night. Going to the hotel, checking in, drop the luggage takes precious time.

And you put too much sights in some days :

- Pinhao- Coimbra (2 hours drive). visit coimbra and then go to Obidos (1 hours and half drive). Looks you wont see much of Coimbra.

- ''1 days Batalha , Alcobaça, Nazare, Tomar (sleep in Pousada in Qurem)''....5 places in one day ! Get the car there, park the car do sightseeing....

- 1 day in Evora...that doesnt seems much when you have to take in account the tracel to get there plus the fact that you wnat to see other things on road.

Many people have the same advice: Count the trip by nights. 2 Nights somewhere will give you one full day.
tostaky is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2017, 04:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many thanks everyone for all your advices! Michael, your report is wonderful and very helpful.
moacirdsp, thank you for answering my questions. This is exactly info I was looking for. Is it easy to take taxis in Sintra from the train station and then from one place to another ?

We do not mind one night stays. We prefer them instead of staying in one place and taking day trips. We love towns in the evening when the tours are gone and we can walk, have a dinner and see how local live.
This one of the reasons why we decided not to stay overnight in Coimbra and go to Obidos to stay overnight there - I want to walk around Obidos in the evening, even if it is late. I know that some days are too full , so we are trying to figure out what is a "must" and we can potentially skip if there is not enough time. We are leaving toward skipping Braga and Elvas.
Irina11 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2017, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
''1 days Batalha , Alcobaça, Nazare, Tomar

Don't. Why the rush?
Lisbon_Eagle is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2017, 01:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are plenty of taxis in Sintra. The Pena Palace is the furthest away..I would consider going there straight from the train station. The other sights are in the downtown area.
moacirdsp is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Feb 27th, 2018 04:13 AM
Dec 31st, 2017 02:51 AM
Nov 24th, 2017 10:21 AM
Sep 7th, 2011 05:00 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:23 AM.