Portugal 8 days

Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:48 AM
  #1  
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Portugal 8 days

My sister and I are in our early 30s and planning a last minute trip to Portugal. Below is our itinerary. We are hoping to take all public transportation, and to not have to rent a car.

Day 1 Sat: Flight to Lisbon early a.m. Travel to Evora. Sightsee Evora & Stay the night.
Day 2 Sun: Travel to Obidos in afternoon & arrive for dinner & Stay the night.
Day 3 Mon: Sightsee Obidos. Travel to Sintra & Stay the night.
Day 4 Tue: Sightsee Sintra in morning. Sightsee Lisbon in the afternoon. Stay the night.
Day 5 Wed: Sightsee Villanova. Stay the night.
Day 6 Thury: Explore Villanova in a.m. Travel to Silema & Stay the night.
Day 7 Fri: Seightsee Silema. Stay the night.
Day 8 Sat: Sightsee Lisbon. Stay the night.
Day 9 Sun: Flight home

We wanted to put the Porto/Duoro Valley region into our itinerary (and even a swing through the town of Mealhada for some of that amazing pig), but it didn't seem we could make the time for it, even though we have no problem moving around from place to place at a quicker-than-average pace. we'd rather get very little sleep if it means seeing more of the country! - Does anyone think we could squeeze it in somewhere? Any thoughts or recommendations on itinerary overall? Are we missing anything crucial? Thanks in advance for all the fodorites help!
Andrea
scagly is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 12:53 PM
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If you are using public transportation for this itinerary, you are squeezing in too much.
Have you actually looked into the bus and train schedules to see if this is doable?
Even in a car it will take you about two hours to get from Obidos to Evora.
Then you have to check into and check out of hotels and if I counted correctly there are about six of them in eight days.
Forget the Duoro and Porto. As it is, you will have barely enough time to see anything.
If you long for coastal areas, maybe cut out the Algarve and get your coast fix on the Lisbon Coast.
If you want to stick to this schedule, consider renting a car. Cars in Portugal are inexpensive, the roads are good and you will be able to pick up and go whenever you want and will not have to depend on public transportation.
www.carjet.com
www.economycarrentals.com
for two suggestions for cheap car hire.
Sher is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:00 PM
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You can sightsee Sintra perfectly well from Lisbon. Possibly Obidos as well. You're moving around way too much!
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Thank you foryour responses & suggestions Sher/Thursdays. We'll check out the possibility of renting a car. Perhaps we'll rent a car for just a few days as necessary (we're just trying to keep the costs down where we can!)

Even though we've packed in a lot, does it seem that we are missing anything? I'd hate to come home and realize we overlooked something!
scagly is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:38 PM
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There is no way you're going to see everything worth seeing in Portugal in 8 days. Pick a few places you really want to see, and expect to return. Assuming Villanova and Silema (Salema?) are in the Algarve, you're skipping everything north of Obidos already, which is a lot of good places. Personally I'd go north, not south, especially in the summer, but I'm not a beach person.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:45 PM
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I've posted this before, my American friends run www.visitingportugal.com, Jordan and Deb Kleber, their villa rentals are great, one is right above the square in Lisbon with a great view at night (Casa Patria I think) and a few other fodorites have stayed with them.

We knocked out Sintra with a day trip from Lisbon on the train and bussed from their back down the coast to another train into Lisbon, that was plenty of time to see Sintra. The Moorish castle in Lisbon is interesting and you can hike back down to the Square in 30 minutes.
chewy1 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:48 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for the info.

Yes, we'll have to make a trip another time to the north thursdaysd. we were really interested in seeing that area (so many great places!) but had to eliminate due to time constraints!

We are now second geussing our choice to go to Obidos. Someone suggested that if you see Sintra, there's no need to see Obidos as well. Any thoughts? Also, I was recently in Germany at the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber which is also a medieval walled city and am wondering if it's similar to Obidos and perhaps we are better off exploring another place rather than Obidos... There are so many great and interesting places it's hard to decide Any fodorites want to give their two cents?
scagly is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:17 PM
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I haven't been to Rothenburg, but I really enjoyed Obidos, which is very photogenic. I would not say that Sintra was a substitute, although Pena castle is certainly worth seeing. (Click on my name for my Lisbon TR including Sintra). I've put my unedited pix of Obidos up for you - http://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/287618 - password obidos.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:31 PM
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thursdaysd - can't get into the album with the password.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Sorry - extraneous letter got added - should have tested it! Try now.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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IMHO is not doable, unless you have a check list and you want to visit as much towns as possible. Some links are not even possible based only in the public transport system.

Some suggestions:
1 - rent a car and concentrate in 4 days the need of it
2 - is Villanova Milfontes? in Alentejo coast??? (I understand this is a long shot, but if the answer is positive, than skip it).
3 - is Salima Salema? Algarve is not my cup of tea, as Matt from England would say, but I understand that the Algarve may be exciting for 2 young ladies, with night live and everything. If you want to keep the Algarve in your list, you have other options, Lagos or Tavira (more Portuguese) or Albufeira (more international).
4 - Obidos is doable by train from Rossio station (Lisbon). The train going there follows the (far)west line. It's a regional slow train, but might be fun. Budget 2 hours in each direction. But I would do it otherwise. If you want to visit a walled city, you may visit Monsaraz in a short ride from Evora in your way south. Evora itself is a walled town (less spectacular than Obidos or Monsaraz). The cherry in the top of the cake of any visit to Portugal would be Marvao (Castelo de vide is a close second), mas it's a bit far away, considering the other places you want to visit.

My suggestion:

Day 1 Sat: Flight to Lisbon early a.m. Travel to Evora. Sightsee Evora & Stay the night.
Day 2 Sun: Explore Upper Alentejo region, visit Monsaraz, stay in Evora
Day 3 Mon: Explore Evora, Travel to Lagos/Tavira/Albufeira /pick one) and arrive for dinner & Stay the night.
Day 4 Tue: Stay in the Algarve area
Day 5 Wed: Travel to Lisbon in the afternoon. return the car. Stay the night.
Day 6 Thu: Explore Lisbon. Stay the night.
Day 7 Fri: Visit Sintra by train, return to Lisbon. Stay the night.
Day 8 Sat: Explore Lisbon. Stay the night.
Day 9 Sun: Flight home
lobo_mau is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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thursdaysd - great photos of Obidos - can't wait to see it in person!
adrienne is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Thanks adrienne. It's a popular place, not sure how I managed to get so many photos with no people!
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 10:26 AM
  #14  
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thanks for your honest feedback!

yes, you are right about villa nova de milfontes (i'm a terrible speller as you can tell!) - why do you so strongly suggest skipping this area? we were hoping to see some of the ragged/rural coastline of this area... do you have any other suggestions?
scagly is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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I love Vila Nova de Milfontes. When I was young and silly I used to drive 250 kms each way only to lunch a grilled dourada in (http://www.lifecooler.com/portugal/r...ranteAChoupana)
However, I must say it is a small place (some tens of permanent inhabitants of redident population, and many more of during the summer, mostly in the camping site or low/medium price appartments). It's a nice place to visit, but a place where you can hardly spend more than 1 or 2 hours.
If you want to explore the coastline, you may take the scenic route from Lisbon to the Algarve or vice versa, but you have to bear in mind 2 aspects: it'a a full day enterprise, including the ferry ride Troia/Setubal and it's not easy to make it compatible with Evora, since Evora is not in the coast, but almost 100 miles inland.
If you realy want to do the scenic route, my suggestion would be to keep inland in your way south (Evora, Monsaraz, etc) and follow the coastline in your way north (Sagres, Vila do Bispo, Milfontes, Sines, Troia (take the ferry), Setubal and Lisbon.
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