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Portugal for the month of April

Old Jun 1st, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Portugal for the month of April

We are three recently retired ladies in the early stages of planning a one month stay in Portugal. We would appreciate any suggestions on where to stay, also, is April a good month? We don't want to stay in a resort. We are prepared to rent a car, for sightseeing.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
bettyboop08 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Where are you hoping to go in Portugal? April can be quite wet even in the Algarve - end of April will be pleasantly warm with possible showers. The wild flowers are beautiful in April, it is a good time to go as long as you dont desire consistent weather or sea bathing.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 12:30 PM
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We were thinking Algarve because of the weather. We wanted to go in the spring.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Sure you need to go to the algarve and possibly a little further north, that is if you want to see beeches, golf course, a few wineries, a roman road, castles, Henry the navigators school etc etc, bird reserves, great walking etc. You might think to stay in Faro (normally bypassed by tourists), Tavira, Lagos, Portimao.

You may find Casa Fajara Rustic Boutique House & Hotel pretty nice stay
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 09:57 PM
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April can be lovely in the Algarve. The wild flowers will be going crazy. You will have showers, with temps in the 50s at night and mid 60s in the day (possibly 70s). When the sun shines, it will feel much warmer. May is also quite nice.

Do not stay in a hotel. Rent a villa and make sure that villa has heat. Many do not. I would recommend staying in mid to west Algarve. Portimão itself isn´t that charming as it is a real, working city, but the outside villages are nice. Ferragudo is charming, as is certain parts of Carvoeiro, Alvor, Porches and Lagos.

When you rent a car, make sure you have no excess insurance on it.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 03:20 AM
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I like Portimão, the river, the other side's little villages, the shopping, the local restaurants and the beech front. It is real but all the nicer for it.

You will see that there is an East West motorway along the Algarve. The best walking and countryside is north of the motorway. You might be interested in
http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/Algarve_Guide.php
it looks at bike hire but there is also a walking route right along the Algarve.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 03:21 AM
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"bike hire" sorry lost control of the enter button

bike route
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 05:19 AM
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Thank you very much for your suggestions. Now I have a starting point.
bilboburgler, thanks for the bike guide, we are walkers so I will be sure and check it out.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 05:51 AM
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I have travelled Portugal twice in the spring for a total of 4 weeks and applaud your plan. There is so much to see I suggest you get a good guide book and see the entire country.
I see 5 base locations:
1. The greater Lisbon area to include Sintra
2. The Algarve---near Lagos
3. The Alentajo region---using Estromoz or Evora as base
4. North Portugal--stay in Viana do Castello or Ponte di Lima
5. Obidos and Nazare area

We loved Portugal---you will too, but be sure to do your homework.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 05:53 AM
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I would fly into Lisbon and spend a a day or 2 there, you could stay just outside in Estoril or Cascais and take the train in daily for a more relaxing enviroment. You could wander the coast west of Lisbon, Obdios, and Evora could be a stop on your way to the Algarve. A month in the Algarve may seem a bit long as there are fewer must see towns and sites.


That said I have a have a home there for 26 years flying over from the US in April and then again each Oct. My choice would be in the central Algarve so you are midway between the east and western areas making day trips very much easier. I do know of a lovely vila for rent (not mine as we do not rent out ours) and a great local restaurant both centrally located. Let me know and I can send you my email to get you more info if you want.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 06:09 AM
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Check out www.pousadas.pt and pestana hotels.. sometimes they have specials that include great hotels and a car deals. We (3) did this and were rewarded with a car (6 days) and hotels (5 nights) Maybe you can work with them for longer time periods.The pousadas and pestana hotels are outstanding!!! Even in the rain the country is awesome!!!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 07:25 AM
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makng it easy
http://algarveway.com/
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:41 AM
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Touring around sounds like a great idea. We never really thought about touring by car. Would we be o.k. do you think? We don't speak the language, but we will, of course learn a little before we go. Would we have a problem with the road signs? I was thinking that if we stayed in the Algarve, being a tourist area, we wouldn't have as many problems with the language barrier. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:52 AM
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The more you read the more you will get enticed to see most of Portugal. I do not know how to see it without a car.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 09:31 AM
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Well if you speak a little Spanish you can sort of work it out. English is very much the lingua franca in Algarve and most of the places you will visit you will find loads of people who speak it.

The train system is very good and you can see a lot, but if there are a bunch of you a car makes more economic sense
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 09:31 AM
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I drove around central Portugal by myself and don't speak Portuguese. Regarding the road signs - I hardly saw any except for the signs for upcoming towns. Stop is universal. Just follow normal common sense road rules. Outside the Lisbon area there is barely any traffic. Driving was very easy.

One of the few phrases I learned was I'm Lost - Estoy Perdida. People at the airport helped me pronounce it as they laughed at me and asked if I would really need to know this phrase. I assured them I would need it and I did use it a lot - LOL!

Please see Sintra - my favorite town.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Hi Adrienne, I just looked at Sinta. I can see why it is your favorite. Exactly what we want. Old and charming. Thanks.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 01:10 PM
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"I do not know how to see it without a car."

I saw a lot using train and bus.
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