Portugal

Old Nov 11th, 2011, 02:23 AM
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Portugal

I am planning to travel to Europe next year. We are heading to Portugal (via London) approx. 5th September and spending 8 nights before flying to Morocco. We were thinking of staying in possibly 3 to 4 different places and sightseeing around those places. Can anyone suggest which places would be the best to stay in, in regard to day trips to other sites. We thought we'd probably stick mostly to the coast with short inland drives. Which town/ city would be the best to fly into from London and out of to Casablanca? We are mostly interested in scenery (for photography) and local culture. Any tips will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 03:31 AM
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Porto, Evora, Lisbon
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 05:53 AM
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We spent 12 days in Portugal a few years ago and loved it. Lisbon has much to see, and lots of character. Use the trolley system to explore the city. The #28 loops thru most of the city - a great way to acclimate yourself with Lisbon. We especially enjoyed the Alfama district with it's narrow winding streets, great views, and lots of mom and pop restaurants. Take a day trip from downtown Lisbon to Sintra on the train. Sintra is a beautiful hill town with several castles, the Pena Palace being the most unique.
We then rented a car and drove to Evora where we rented an apartment for 5 nights. This is an easy 2 hour drive. Evora is a very old walled city, with some picturesque plazas and churches, and fun places to eat. You can use Evora to explore the pre historic ruins that dot the countryside, and the spectacular mountaintop villages as you approach the Spanish border. Very easy driving.
We then wrapped up our trip in the small fishing/resort town of Sesimbra, which is about an hour south of Lisbon. Sesimbra is a beautiful little town right on a sandy stretch of beach.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it. We traveled in the northern part of Portugal (plus some of Galicia, which is out of your intended range).
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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If you have only one week, I would stick to Porto and Lisbon and make daytrips from each city.
From Porto you can take a lovely drive in the Douro valley. September may be a little early to see the grape picking, but the area is beautiful nonetheless.
From Lisbon you can easily get to Sintra, as mentioned before. Besides the Pena Palace, you should also visit Quinta da Regaleira and Monserrate Palace & Park. Obidos is another pretty town at only one hour drive from Lisbon.
Both Porto and Lisbon are on the coast more or less.
Portugalia has direct flights from Lisbon to Casablanca.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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You should discover that Portugal has more wine colours than the rest of the world with "green" added to the usual "white, red and rose". Green tends to be young bright clean wine so enjoy. In terms of reds you may enjoy the Duero, and the Alentejo is showing good promise as a newer vibrant wine area.
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Old Nov 17th, 2011, 02:40 AM
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Thank you so much everyone- all comments are very helpful.
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Old Nov 17th, 2011, 06:21 AM
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We did an 8 day coastal Portugal trip, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon. My trip report has most of the details: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...l-portugal.cfm If you are interested in photographing scenery, you'll have a field day.

Overall, we loved Portugal and thought it to be a beautiful country with so much more to explore.
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