Spain and Portugal

Old Mar 12th, 2015, 03:43 PM
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Spain and Portugal

Hi everyone,

As we posted a few months ago, we have our return flights from Madrid booked but now we have thought about including some of Portugal in our plans instead of either flying to Majorca or driving to Valencia. We have 17 nights to spend on our vacation and we will be travelling in late July/early August. We are a family of 4, my husband and I and our two children, ages 17 and 15, and enjoy driving whenever we travel to Europe.

We would land in Madrid in the morning then drive the same day to Seville, where we would spend 4 nights, including a day trip to Cordoba. We would then drive to a small beach town in the Algarve for 4 nights where we can spend time at the beach and relax, then drive to Lisbon, where we would spend 4 nights, including a day trip to Sintra and/or Cascais.

We would then drive back to Madrid, where we would spend 5 nights, taking at least one day trip to Toledo.

Does this make sense? Or would it be better to spend the entire time in Spain. We really need your advice. We have heard Lisbon is something to see and it may be interesting to combine both countries into this vacation.

Thanks so much and and thanks for all of your help with our other posts as well.

Andrea
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 04:37 PM
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It's doable, but you'll need to start looking for a place along the Algarve in late July, early August. It will be very busy all along the coast.

You'll need a place with a parking garage if you're going to be taking your rental car to Lisbon. Street parking can be impossible.

I would look at breaking up the drive from Lisbon to Madrid, spending the night at the Parador in Trujillo or Oropesa.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Hi,

After planning and then planning again, we have now decided to skip Seville and Andalucia and concentrate on Madrid and Lisbon and their surrounding areas.

There are one hour flights between Madrid and Lisbon and if we split our 16 full days between them, we would then be able to take our time and see each destination properly. This would also save us at least 2 or 3 days in travel days.

We would be able to take side trips from Madrid to Toledo, Avila and/or Segovia and even be able to spend an overnight at either of these beautiful towns.

We would also be able to take side trips from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais and Evora and also be able to spend relaxing time at a beach near Lisbon.

We would also have the time to visit a wine region near Madrid or Lisbon as well.

What do you think? Do you think we should split the 8 or 9 days in Portugal and see Porto as well or just stay in Lisbon and take our time there.

Your help is so appreciated.

Andrea
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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This is similar to what we have decided to do for our three week trip this Oct/Nov. We fly to Madrid, train to Cordoba and Seville, rental car to Ronda and Granada and then fly from Malaga to Lisbon with rental car for five days to Tomar, fly home from Lisbon.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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You can easily split your time between Lisbon and Porto. It will give you a good taste of the country and help if you ever decide to return. I'd take the train from Lisbon (6 days) to Porto (3 days). You may want to see if you can fly home from Porto and save backtracking.

If you want to do a brief visit of the Douro Valley, I'd recommend at least two nights upriver, but it can be very hot in August.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 10:02 AM
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We really like the idea of Porto, but would that leave us enough time in Lisbon and it's surrounding area (5.5 days)? We want to explore Lisbon, see Sintra and maybe Evora and have a few days at the beach to unwind and relax.

It does take almost 3 hours to travel to Porto from Lisbon and back again so that is lost time as well.


Thanks again.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 04:23 PM
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Evora both requires at least one-day. Sintra can be done in a morning and afternoon. You'll be back in Lisbon late afternoon, early evening, in time for dinner. For the beach, head out to Cascais, walk around, relax and have lunch.

So it's possible to see part of Lisbon in 5 days. It you take the early train to Porto, you'll be there early enough to walk around before lunch. As far as a place to stay, you can stay in the city, or spend a couple of nights in Foz do Douro, which has an excellent beach.

And for a treat, chef Rui Paula has reopened the historic Restaurante Boa Nova in Leça da Palmeira. You can take a taxi up for lunch or dinner (closed on Sunday and Monday of lunch).

http://ruipaula.com/web/boa-nova/reservas-e-contactos/
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 04:41 AM
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So, you think it is worth the travel time to see Porto for two nights and take this time away from Lisbon? We would want at least 2 days at the beach, so that would really cut our time down in Lisbon if we do go to Porto. We are not against it, but would rather see Lisbon and its surrounding area properly.

Would it not be better to see the Porto and the north of Portugal for another future trip?


Thanks
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 08:35 AM
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Yes, it would be best to save Porto and the north for another trip. So much to see and do!
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