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See Batalha and Alcobaça while driving from Lisbon to Coimbra

See Batalha and Alcobaça while driving from Lisbon to Coimbra

Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 03:47 PM
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See Batalha and Alcobaça while driving from Lisbon to Coimbra

I will be for 8 days in Portugal in last week of November.

I am thinking of renting a car to visit Alcobaça and Batalha monasteries while driving to Coimbra. From Coimbra, I am planning to either take rail to Porto or just continue with the same car (not sure yet).

By the time I will be leaving for Coimbra, I will be done with sight seeing in Lisbon (3 days). So where would be the best location to pick up rental car?

At the moment, my plans is like this:
1. Leave Lisbon in the early morning
2. Try to see Alcobaca and Batalha on our way to Coimbra.
3. Spend the night in Coimbra and take the rain in the morning to Porto or simply continue driving to Porto

Few questions...
How manageable is the drive from Lisbon to Coimbra/Porto (A8)? It will be my first time renting a car while traveling.
Can I return car somewhere in Coimbra if I will decide to take the rail?
armendzh is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 04:30 PM
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If you don't want to have to drive in the city of Lisbon, an airport pick-up will be very convenient. No need to go back into the city, and you're in the northwest quadrant of things so getting onto the A1 will be a snap.

Coimbra is only about two hours from Lisbon. The drive is simple, I've done it a number of times. If you decide to take the train from Coimbra, you will have a one way rental, which generally adds a little to the price. Check your favorite car rental place online and see what the difference is. If you stay with the car, will you drive it back to Lisbon? Lisbon to Porto is about 3 hours.

With an early start, it would not be at all rushed to visit both monasteries on the way to Coimbra, IMO. I would visit Alcobaca before lunch, then depending on time either eat lunch in Alcobaca (nice square with restaurants) and then drive to Batalha, or wait till you get to Batalha to eat. Many more touristy places in Batalha.

Both of these places are definitely worth a visit. If you're a fan of old architecture, you won't be far from the fabulous hill top Templar Convento de Cristo of Tomar!
lreynold1 is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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I must say that your biggest problem is, probably, city traffic at Coimbra. A part from that, go for it. The highway is very straight forward.
Going from Coimbra to Porto - again, highway (A1) very straigh forward. But (big but) traffic here is a nightmare and park the car is very complicated. So, if you don't feel comfortable driving in Lisbon, you wouldn't be comfotable doing it at Porto.
If you're alone: take a train from coimbra to porto. Also, make sure you don't arrive to coimbra in a monday: all museums and monuments are closed at Coimbra on Mondays. And the university and library are closed on weekends. Best days: tuesday to friday.
SandraPestana is offline  
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