Portugal - need advice on itinerary

Jan 31st, 2018, 02:24 PM
  #1  
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Portugal - need advice on itinerary

Hello!

We'll be traveling to Portugal next May, following a congress week in Paris. For now we have airplane tickets for May 26th Paris to Porto, and for June 10th Lisbon to Paris. Our plan is to arrive in Porto and then head down to Lisbon, stopping in Coimbra, Braga, Obidos, Sintra, Cascais, Evora, and small towns that appeal to us in the moment. My idea is to drive, but can consider other options if better. My husband is in doubt about parking, driving inside cities, and so on.
Need advice about the itinerary, transport options, hotels, and so on. I'm reading the travel reports, but it's always good to have this feedback.
Our budget for hotel is between 150-250 euros, for a triple room (2 adults + 8-y-old daughter). I would love to stay at a castle or monastery lodging, even if it's a little pricey.
Kid's activities advice will be very much appreciated.
Thanks!!!
zagofamily060515 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2018, 02:59 PM
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Look at the Pousadas.pt as they often have deals for nights in several different Pousadas our favorite places we stayed were:
Evora-Pousada, Porto-Infante de Sagres, Coimbra-La Quinta de las Lagrimas. Guimares-Pousada( instead of Braga).
You can easily visit Sintra and Caiscais from Lisbon as day trips.
Pick up your car as you leave Porto and drop it off upon arrival in Lisbon.. We didn’t find sdeiving in Portugal difficult and paeking was available at the hotels and Pousadas.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 31st, 2018, 03:15 PM
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Thanks HappyTrvlr, will take a look!!!
I was thinking about visiting Sintra and Cascais when based in Lisbon, and maybe Evora also.
zagofamily060515 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2018, 07:34 PM
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Braga and Obidos are also day trips.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 1st, 2018, 09:00 AM
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We traveled by car through northern Portugal with a few days in Santiago de Compostella, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon. You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
Michael is offline  
Feb 1st, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Our plan is to arrive in Porto and then head down to Lisbon, stopping in Coimbra, Braga, Obidos, Sintra, Cascais, Evora, and small towns that appeal to us in the moment. My idea is to drive, but can consider other options if better. My husband is in doubt about parking, driving inside cities, and so on.

Yes Braga is a day trip from Porto if by car it is well north of Coimbra. Guimares is another great day trip from Porto not far from Braga.

Try to drive by (and stop) at Batalha to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery,

Coimbra

Obidos

Lisbon

Sintra and Cascais - easy driving loop from Lisbon - I did by bus and stopped at Cabo da Roca = the wesernmost point of the European continent - farther out than Ireland even I believe - easy stop between Sintra and Cascais:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Cabo...hrome&ie=UTF-8

Evora is an outlier but well worth it - could be day trip from Lisbon but better overnight.

Trains and or buses will take you to all of those pretty easily but driving would be much nicer - for train info check www.cpt.com; www.seat61/com and general info on where to go by train - BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

You are not really driving thru any large cities except Coimbra. Evora is not small but seemed OK for cars when I was there.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 1st, 2018, 04:38 PM
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Would love to read your trip report

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
We traveled by car through northern Portugal with a few days in Santiago de Compostella, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon. You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
Hi Michael, I clicked on your name and get a drop down box. I clicked on your posts, but it would take forever to find your trip report. I also clicked on Portugal, then trip reports, and I found 6 pages of trip reports,but not yours. This new format is confusing for finding trip reports. Do you know how I can find your TR? Thanks, Karen
KarenWoo is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 09:32 AM
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Yes new format is perplexing on many things -old one was so so simple.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 10:52 AM
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PalenQ, thanks a lot! We'll stop at Batalha and nearby places, as we drive south. For Evora we'll spend the day, then will have at least 3 full days for Lisbon, and was wondering that maybe is best to go on a tour or by train.

Michael, couldn't find the report! Would love to read it. Is there another way to access it? Thanks.

Regarding hotels, we really don't know where is best to stay in Lisbon. We have seen so far as potential hotels the Corinthia Hotel (seems to be a little far away) and the Altis Prime (near Avenida da Liberdade). Suggestions for Porto would be appreciated also.

Maybe we'll stop by the Leiria region for an overnight. Would you suggest Leiria or Batalha?

Thanks a lot!
zagofamily060515 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 11:10 AM
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If your question about tour/train was for Evora the answer is bus. The train station is further from the center.

The best located higher priced hotel in Lisbon in my mind is the Avenida Palace.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 11:13 AM
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Evora is small enough that you do not need a tour - you could easily drive there before Lisbon - thru the beautiful Alentejo and many cork plantations and end up in Lisbon.

Could hit Fatima and some other neat towns if you drive east of Lisbon from central Portugal. But you may not have time for that - guided tours can be relaxing and informative.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 11:14 AM
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It isn't that hard really - here is Michael's TR Trip Report: Portugal and Galicia, June 2006

(you click on his name, then View public profile, the page down to his TRs. Took me about 2 seconds. That is the 'old' profile but it still displays tripreports)
janisj is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 11:42 AM
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Janisj, thank you! I clicked on "more posts" and found it daunting. Don't know why I didn't click on view profile. Thanks!
KarenWoo is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 08:46 PM
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Thanks to all!!!
zago_krebs is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2018, 08:50 PM
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We'll go by bus or on a tour to Evora, it will be towards the end of the trip and want to relax a little bit.

As for the hotel, we decided to stay at Corinthia (around 600 Euros less than Avenida Palace for the same kind of room).

Thanks!!
zago_krebs is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2018, 09:09 AM
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Buses may be quicker than trains too to Evora.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 4th, 2018, 05:09 AM
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Hi,

In Porto and Lisbon leave the car in the parking lot, don't drive there, it´s a nightmare, use public transport and walk, both cities are better appreciate if you walk.
Porto city is amazing and there are several day trips from there:
- Guimarães, Braga. Barcelos, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima (145 km), these are the most traditional and old cities in the north
- A Douro river cruise is a must in Porto, its a all day activity

From Porto to Lisbon you should stop in:
- Aveiro, with its canals and beaches
- Coimbra, one of the oldest universities of the world
- Leiria and its amazing castle
- Pombal Castle
- Fátima, Pilgrims site
- Tomar, the Knights Templar Castle
- Nazaré and Óbidos
Then Lisbon with day trips to Sintra, Cascais and Évora.
Pousadas de Portugal are historic places that have being transformed in hotels. They are high end hotels but i think they fit in your price range
https://www.pousadas.pt/en/hotels
mbjl1976 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2018, 06:50 AM
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You might consider staying overnight in Batalha, The Hotel Lis Batalha Mestre Afonso Domingues is right next to the Monastery, and you can book rooms with a Monastery view. Gorgeous to look out the window at this monastery. Check it out on Trip Advisor and it's website Hotel Lis Batalha ? Mestre Afonso Domingues

We stayed at a self catering apartment on Rua Garrett in the Chiado section in Lisbon for 5 nights without a car, very easy town to get around, and not expensive. We either met tour guides in the city, or they picked us up for day tours to Sintra and the Park and National Palace of Pena.

We did a lot of driving, it was very easy, but we did not drive in Lisbon as I said. The Airport is very close so not expensive for a transfer so if Lisbon is at the end of your trip, you could drop the car off at the Airport, then stay in Lisbon without a car, get a transfer back to the Airport when you leave. Most Hotels and self catering places are happy to arrange a private transfer or a Taxi
wrenwood is offline  
Feb 7th, 2018, 08:33 PM
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We won't drive in Porto and Lisbon, as it won't be necessary. Will drive from Porto (getting the car in the morning we left the city) to all the cities on the way to Lisbon (Coimbra, Aveiro, Leiria, Batalha, Fatima, Obidos, Nazare, Tomar). Places such as Braga and Guimaraes will be day trips, as well as Sintra, Cascais, Estoril and Evora.

Thanks a lot mbjl1976 and renewed, amazing tips!

Do you have restaurant recommendations, such as "not-to-miss places"? We are very interested in tasting local food, and I want to try all the traditional pastries from Portugal (must walk a lot to spend all the calories ).
zagofamily060515 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2018, 05:31 AM
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Hi,

Ahahahah, Porto and Lisbon are very hilly cities, trust me you'll lose all the calories that you eat
I recommend to try these in Lisbon:
-Custard tarts "Pasteis de nata" - Fábrica dos pasteis de Belém in Belém district or Manteigaria in Chiado district
-Sr. Bacalhau restaurant - cod fish, the passion of the Portuguese (Sr. Bacalhau), several places
-Ramiro restaurant - Seafood institution in Lisbon, in Martin Moniz
-"Bolinho de bacalhau" Martinho da Arcada café - (https://www.xtremefoodies.tv/europe/...lhau/4579_4595)
-"Bifana" - Beira Gare café, Rossio
-Ginginha Licor - A Ginginha, Rossio
-Tradicional, tasty, mouth watering, cheap food:
-https://www.thelisbonconnection.com/lisbon-how-to-recognize-good-cheap-portuguese-restaurants-tiny-place-jose-maria-laurinda/
-Gourmet Experience El Corte Ingles Shooping center
-Timeout market
Also, this tour is a must for all food lovers: Culinary backstreets Lisbon
I recommend to try these in Porto (food capital of Portugal):
- "Francesinha" sandwish - Santiago café
-Tradicional Porto food restaurants: Casa Nanda, Adega São Nicolau, Rei dos Galos de Amarante
-Try these traditional dishes: Fish soup, "tripas á moda do Porto", Roast veal, Beans and cuttlefish, Portuguese stew
-Porto wine and green wine

Traditional pastries, (c'mon Paris you cant compete with us)
You'll be able to finf it in every corner of the country:
- "Pasteis de belém" - Lisbon
- "Ovos Moles" .- Aveiro
- "Tortas de Azeitão" - Azeitão, Lisbon area
- "Pudim abade de priscos" desert - Braga
- Chocolate salami
- "Bola de Berlin" - Different from the German, you'll see why...
- "Toucinho do Ceu" - Guimarães
- "Clarinhas de esposende" - Esposende, Porto area
- "Pastel de Feijão" - Torres Vedras, Lisbon area
- "Pão de Ló"
- "Quijadas de Sintra" - Sintra
Enjoy and don't look to the scale
mbjl1976 is offline  

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