Portugal Itinerary for Late October

Aug 23rd, 2014, 10:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 29
Portugal Itinerary for Late October

My husband and I are planning a trip to Portugal for the last week of October and we're trying to figure out an ideal itinerary. We'll have 8 full days, and we especially love historic architecture, vineyards, seafood, beaches, boutique hotels, and charming towns. Tavira looks great, but should we save the Algarve for another trip when it's warmer and instead focus on the historic towns north of Lisbon now?

Here are the two itinerary we're considering:

Days 1-3 Sleep in Lisbon (Day Trip to Sintra)
Day 4 - 5 Sleep Near Coimbra (Visit Coimbra, Tomar & Vineyards)
Days 6 - 8 Sleep in Obidos (Visit Batalha, Nazare, Alcobaca, Caldas da Rainha)


Days 1 & 2 - Sleep in Lisbon
Days 3 & 4 - Sleep Tavira
Day 5 & 6 - Sleep in Sintra (and visit Cascais too)
Days 7 & 8 - Sleep in Obidos (and visit Batalha, Nazare, Alcobaca)

gulliver433 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Itinerary #1 looks better as it's more focused.

I would put Lisbon at the end of the trip if you're flying home from there. Rent a car when you arrive and then turn in the car before your stay in Lisbon.

Small towns don't have much going on in the evening. Obidos doesn't have much going on in the daytime either. I found an hour or two was plenty in that town.

How about:

Day 1 - arrive Lisbon and pick up rental car; drive to Sintra for overnight. You could see the National Palace as it's right in the center of town.
Day 2 - Sintra sights (Pena Palace, et. al.)
Day 3 - Obidos enroute to Batalha, etc.)
Day 4/5 - Tomar (2 nights)
Day 6-8 - Lisbon
adrienne is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I like the first one much better. I would rather spend the night in Lisbon than Sintra . Day 6-8 is great; we loved Alcobaca and Nazare. We stayed in Lisbon, Evora, Obidos, Coimbra, Guimares and Porto and loved every minute of our time in Portugal.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9

My husband and I did a Portugal trip in October 2012 and it was one of the best trips of our lives.

Depending on where you are flying in to, I would make at least one overnight stop to Duoro Valley region, it's about 1 hour from Porto and is absolutely fabulous.

Instead of Sintra, I would do Cascais. You'll get your beach feel here and it is really beautiful, on the coast.

Portugal is a great country to drive. It's easy to get around and the locals don't use the large highway, so you're free sailing the whole way. it's great.

if you want ideas for where to stay in any of the cities, let me know. we chose wonderful, charming b&b's and loved it.

have fun!!!! i loved portugal in October.
JErinPereira is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 471
If you're flying in to Lisbon and will be jet-lagged when you get there, you may actually be better off staying in Lisbon for a couple of days to get rested up. Lisbon is a great walking town. Rent your car on your way out of town after you've rested enough to drive safely.
GoAway is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818

Some ideas for Portugal...we stayed at three Pousadas, two were marvelous stops. The one at Marvao was adequate but not that charming.

tower is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 29
Thanks everyone for all the great advice. It sounds like nobody is recommending the Algarve for late October, so I'll save it for another trip.

We're flying in and out of Lisbon, and we actually have a 9th day for catching a mid-day flight back home to NYC, so we're hoping to spend our 8th night somewhere that's no more than 1.5 hours from Lisbon airport.

We will land in Lisbon on our first day at 6am on a Saturday after a redeye, and if possible we want to avoid driving when sleep deprived. Plus, our hotel in Lisbon (Palacete Chafariz D'El Rei) seems like a lovely place to linger a bit as we adjust to the time zone shift, and it's in the Alfama district, so I figure we can spend our first day exploring the hotel's neighborhood and checking out Alfama's Saturday market. (Is it charming?)

The Duoro Wine region sounds amazing, and we love visiting vineyards, but since we'll be arriving right after harvest it seems like a very far distance to drive when the vines are bare and the activities just finished, so a day trip to the Dau region when based in Coimbra seems like a practical compromise.

Are we planning too much time in Obidos? It sounds like some people found it dull. Should we try to see Evora too, or is that packing too much in?

I'd love B&B or boutique hotel suggestions too since Lisbon is the only place where we've settled on lodging. Tomar sounds nice, but where do people stay when there? Also, any ideas for small town bases with a good restaurant scene?

gulliver433 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
You're not giving Lisbon enough time. With either itinerary, you only have 1 full day in Lisbon (apart from arrival day where you will be tired). You need at least 2 days to see the sights in Lisbon/Belem. Many sights are closed on Mondays.

If you plan things right you could fit in a day in Evora on your way back to Lisbon. To do this I think you would have to eliminate Coimbra. Check driving times between locations to determine how long it will take you (approximately). Use viamichelin.com for routes & drive times and add a bit more than the time that site gives.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 25th, 2014, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 29
Adrienne, we actually went to Lisbon together 10 years ago during college, and it's the only part of Portugal we've seen, so that's why we're spending less time there in favor of other parts of the country. We're planning enough time in Lisbon to return to our favorite parts of the city, and I'm sure we'll return again to see the Algarve and Duoro Wine region. Maybe I'm just rationalizing...

Tower, thanks for sharing these photos. They are beautiful!

Does anyone have any favorite restaurants that you highly recommend?
gulliver433 is offline  

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