Portugal itinerary help

Old Feb 15th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Portugal itinerary help

Thanks to all of the people who respond to this forum. It helps me immensely when planning a trip. My husband and I are planning a trip to Portugal the last 2 weeks of April (14 nights). We don't mind driving a few hours each day. We like smaller towns, less crowds, nice hotels with atmosphere (preferred with a good restaurant) and the coast. We are water people who like to relax, have fun and eat and drink well. I'm hoping the following sounds like a good plan. A little ambitious, but we are trying to see as much as we can:

Lisbon-2 nights (Metropole), or 1 night Lisbon,1 night Cascais?

Sintra-2 nights (Hotel Palacio de Seteais)

Pick up rental car-drive to:

Sagres-1 night (Pousada do Infanta)

Tavira-1 night (Mares Residencial)

Evora-1 night (Pousada dos Loios)

Estromez-1 night (Pousada da Rainha Santa Isabel)

Or should we just stay both nights in Evora or Estromez with day trips? Both pousadas looked great so it was hard to choose-that's why I picked 1 in each.

Coimbra-2 nights? (Palace Hotel Bucaco)

Viana do Castelo-1 night (Pousada Santa Luzia do Monte)

Porto- 1 night (Hotel Infante de Sagres or Grande Hotel do Porto?-can't decide) or should we just visit Porto during the day and stay outside the city?

Obidos-1 night (Pousada do Castelo) Why is this place getting such bad reviews?

Lisbon-last night (Metropole or any other suggestions?) Our flight from Lisbon leaves at 7:40AM!!!

Thanks in advance for any advice!!
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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You are moving around alot! My preference would be to spend a few nights in one place and day trip from there.

I would stay in either Estremoz or Evora to avoid the one night stays. The cities are easily driveable from one another. I can't comment on either pousada as we did not stay in those.

If you can pull yourself inland, I would add Marvao. It was simply magical. There is a pousada there.

Our favorite historical pousadas were those on Crato and Belmonte.

Unless you feel absolutely compelled to stay in a castle (that's why we stayed there), skip the pousada in Obidos. It's overpriced and not worth it.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Surely you jest, or just like to check out hotels for later review. You have 10 destinations---I see perhaps 4 or a max of 5. One niters will kill you. I have done this same trip and stayed in most of these. You need to pick 5 destinations and plan accordingly.
Lisbon/Cascais/ Sintra--one location
Minho area--one location
Alentejo--one location
Algarve--one location

The only one niter may be Obidos, and there you want Estalagem Do Covento.

Good luck !
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 01:34 AM
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roadster, if you like to drive, it's doable. As you might know, there are freeways (speed limit 120 km/h) and scenic routes going through the towns, etc. To do this you may choose carefully where to go to the fastest route and where you want to go to the slow route.
Some additional notes: Lisbon-Cascais-Sintra without a car is not feasible. Why don't you stay 2 nights in Lisbon and then rent the car when leaving for Sintra? To me it makes a lot of sense, because you may have much more fun exploring Sintra hills and coast with a car. Further to that Palacio Seteais is not in Sintra (10 or 15 minutes walking).
Instead of 1 night in Evora and one in Estremoz (check sp for Estremoz), I suggest 2 nights in Vila Vicosa. There are multiple options of side trips from there (my very favourite area of Portugal is upper Alentejo).
Be aware that Porto/Obidos is 3 hours driving non-stop.
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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I have stayed in the Grande Hotel Do Porto. It may have been Grand once but now I would put it in a category of 'Retro.' It's centrally located but as I recall, it fronts on a Pedestrian-only street, so you may want to ask if valet parking is available. We arrived on a Sunday evening (from Galicia) and there was no restaurant service. For Porto at that time of year I think I would stay at Espinho, a resort about 40km to the south; but then again, I would use 1-day of my stop playing golf there.
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Roadster, you will love Portugal. Here is what we did in September of 2003. Do a search under easygoer and you'll see the whole long report. Our itinerary did not include the Algarve, so you could skip the North country and go south to the beaches instead. As for Estromez, we were booked there instead of Evora. The Pousada is impressive but we didn't really like the feel of the town. We had them make us reservations for Evora and were glad we switched. Evora is great for walking around and some of the best food we had. We weren't booked at the Pousada in Obidos but checked it out. This was the only Pousada where they seemed snobby. I wouldn't spend 2 nights at the Palace Hotel Bucaco. One was fine for us. Have fun planning.....

Sintra 4 nights (1 night Lawrences Hotel & 3 nights Hotel Tivoli) Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday nights
Day Trip to Sintra own Sights, Palácio Nacional de Pena & Castelo dos Mouros
Day Trip to Lisbon via train
Day Trip to Quinta da Regaleria, Convento dos Capuchos, Cabo da Roca, & Boca do Inferno

Obidos 1 night (Estalagem do Convento) Wednesday night
Day Trip to Batalha, Alçobaca, Nazaré and Óbidos (regret - not enough time to visit Tomar)

Viana do Castelo 3 nights (Pousada Santa Lucia) Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights
Day Trip travel to Viana and the town
Day Trip south to Guimãres, Citânia de Briteiros, Bom Jesus and Barcelos
Day Trip north Carminha, Valença, Ponte Barca and Ponte Lima
(one of our favorite rides!)

Buçaco 1 night (Palace Hotel do Buçaco) Sunday night
Day Trip travel to Bucaco and the forest

Evora 3 nights (Pousada Convento dos Loios) Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday night
Day Trip travel to Évora via Castelo de Vide, Marvao and Estomez
Day Trip to Évora town sights
Day Trip to Monsarez and Megalith tour

Palmela 2 nights (Pousada da Palmela) Thursday & Friday night
Day Trip to Palmela, Jose Maria de Fonseca Winery and tile factory
Day Trip to Setúbal Castelo de Sao Fillpe, Serra da Arrábida, Cabo Espipchel and Sesimbra (great ride)
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Can't offer much, but just like to highlight that Sagres is magical! Its at the tip of the Algarve region where crowds is scarce. The sunset is unforgettable for me when I was there in 1999.
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