Portugal- Feedback re. 8 day trip

Jan 20th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 301
Portugal- Feedback re. 8 day trip


I am planning an 8 day trip (April 25-May 2) to Portugal. Reading the posts, info on the Internet I am overwhelmed. Too many nice places, too many exciting things we like to do (including eating all kinds of organs . I know by now that we will have to go back, 8 days is not enough.

Any feedback you can provide re. following plan, would be appreciated.

- Wed, April 25 (arrival in the morning); Lisbon
- Thu, 26 - Lisbon
- Fri, 27 - train trip to Sintra (Cascais/Estoril or Setubal)
- Sat, 28 - pick up car, drive to Porto, stop in Coimbra; Porto
- Sun, 29 - Duoro Valley, Vila Real; back to Porto
- Mon, 30- Braga (maybe Viana do Castelo); back to Porto
- Tue, May 1- to Nazare, stop in Aveiro and Leiria
- Wed, May 2- to Lisbon, stop in Obidos

A few questions:
- does it make sense to try to schedule more than one place by train for 1 day (e.g. Sintra and Cascais or Setubal and Sesimbra) or should one limit the 1 dat trip from Lisbon to one place? If so, which place you would suggest: Sintra, Cascais, Estoril or Setubal?
- would you recommend spending one night in Nazare or Obidos?
- acommodations for Porto look quite expensive; is there a place close to Porto that we could use as a homebase for 3 nights (the map shows Matosimhos, Francelos, Aguda..). I am trying to avoid sleeping at different places every night (too much time to pick hotels and the moving in and out new places every day is somewhat tiring).
- Am I trying to do too much when in Porto, should I skip something?

Thanks in advance,

Suzanna is offline  
Jan 20th, 2007, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I am confused--where are you staying?

I see 3 destinations here:
Lisbon area[Cascais/Sintra?]--3 nites
Minho area---Viano do Castelo--3 nites
Obidos[Nazare] --2 nites

Keep it simple, Oh Suzanna !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Sorry if my message was not clear.

In terms of nights:
- 3 nights in Lisbon
- 3 nights in Porto
- 1 night in Nazare (maybe Obidos instead of Nazare)
- 1 night in Lisbon (before flight back)

1 day trip outside of Lisbon on the 27th; day trips from Porto as described.

Suzanna is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Suzanna. In my humble opinion. I would pick a place to stay outside of Porto since you want to do many things in the surrounding area.
The cost will be less expensive for hotels, and you really don't need to be driving a car into and out of Porto for three days.
You could pick up your car from Lisbon, stop in Coimbra and get to near Braga or outside of Braga or general area for the three nights.
Lodging will be more reasonable. You could even train in to Porto from Braga and spend a whole day there, train out and return to you hotel (this is what we did-easy)if you feel one day in Porto will be enough.

Let me tell you that we did almost what you are planning in two weeks time and we just touched on places. But I understand that you want to see as much as possible.

I also might suggest that you pick up the rental car at the airport when you arrive and head North from there. Pick a place central in the North to the places you wish to visit. Spend as many nights as you wish.

Drive down the coast on your return to Lisbon visiting Obidos, Nazare Aveiro, Sintra, etc. Driving the coast from North to South is lovely.

Drop off the car upon your return to Lisbon and spend two or three nights there. Fly home.

This is something for you to think about. Have a wonderful time.
Sher is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Sher, thanks a lot for taking the time to provide so many useful details. Many great suggestions.

Suzanna is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Posts: 2,260
Take a look to Novotel Porto Gaia. It's a brand new hotel on the left bank of the Douro River. The location is the same of the Port wine cellars. From Gaia to Porto there are taxis (short ride) and the regular public transports.
lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 03:02 PM
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Suzanna. You are certainly more than welcome.

I realize that I am the type of person that really likes to take off running. That is why I suggested going North immediately upon arrival. Not everyone is like that.

I really liked the Duoro, although we only spent a day driving through and stopping along the way. I wished we had more there. But being realistic with your time frame, that is good for a taste. Be sure to visit a Quinta if you can.

Happy travels.
Sher is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Hi Sher:

Based on your suggestion I started looking for a place in/near Braga. I found your post stating "We stayed in an apartment in Frades but they also have a B&B. But Frades is an ancient hamlet outside of Braga and it would require a car."

We will have a car, but I could not locate Frades. Do you happen to have info for the apartment you rented and or the B&B?

We will probably start w. Lisbon as I am concerned about driving w. jetleg, particularly after all the warnings about drivers in Portugal.

BTW, I was too late in looking up THE apartment in Lisbon, it's already rented almost for the whole year. I would have loved it based on the description from Namaka in one of the threads ; to make it simple for anyone else who might be interested the highly recommended apartment in Lisbon, the address is at www.vrbo.com/77293.

Thanks, Susan
Suzanna is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Frades is a very small hamlet outside of Braga. It is very ancient with cobble streets and not much else, but atmosphere.
The last email I have is this:
[email protected]

Now, I have to tell you
that it is like living with a real Portuguese family. It may not be for everyone.

They were listed in Frommers for a couple of years and may still be.

If you have difficulty, contact me at
[email protected].

I do not have my information at my fingertips, but will gladly dig it out for you.

Sher is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 06:01 PM
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Posts: 301
Sher, thanks a lot. My husband doesn't like to share bathrooms, etc., so this would not be for us.

I found an offer for Hotel do Elevador in Braga which I am investigating, all inclusive for 88 EUR. Very nice views. It is someplace up by the Bom Jesus Sanctuary.
Suzanna is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I really did not make myself clear.

It is like living with a real Portuguese family because they have a B&B and two apartments which are within the private grounds of the house that has been in the same family for hundreds of years. The current owners still live on the property (in their own houses) and also the son and daughter and their families.

Sorry about that.
Sher is offline  
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