Stop over between Lisbon and Porto

Old May 17th, 2014, 09:13 PM
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Stop over between Lisbon and Porto

Spending four days in Lisbon and three days in Porto in June and looking for a recommendation for a place to stop for a day and night, around halfway in between. Coimbra? or do you recommend somewhere else? Obidos looks amazing but is very close to Lisbon. Still deciding whether to take the train or drive.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 09:22 PM
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Or Aveiro? Though also not halfway in between!
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Old May 17th, 2014, 10:49 PM
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We really enjoyed our stopover in Coimbra. The University area and attractions are very interesting.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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The drive up the coast can be interesting and you would be able to spend the night in Coimbra, which at one time was once the capital of Portugal. You might even consider spending the night in the old fishing town of Aveiro, the "Portuguese Venice", an hour north of Coimbra.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:23 PM
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Another recommendation for Coimbra. The train will get you there.

If you do stop in Coimbra, don't miss the Roman ruins at Conimbriga (you can take a bus).
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 27th, 2014, 03:00 AM
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I know this goes down to personal preferences, but if you haven't been to obidos that is a place I would definitely visit.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:01 AM
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Coimbra. Obidos is nice but you could see the entire village in an hour - a bit overrated IMO.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:34 AM
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I stopped overnight in Coimbra between Lisbon and Porto and if I had it to do over again, I would have made it a day trip and simply gone on to Porto. The university library is unique and extremely rewarding to see, but I found the rest of the town not all that different from many other neighborhoods of Portuguese cities and towns. Although I don't like guided tours, I think I might have preferred a guided tour of Coimbra, just to make it efficient. Even spending the night, I still missed the chance to see the Roman ruins just outside of town -- another reason I recommend springing for a well organized guided tour that would take you where you need to go in 4 hours or so. (I took the train, and I think if you are going to Coimbra, you might as well take the train. If you book a guided tour, they would probably help you secure the luggage for the length of the tour).

Although Porto is small, I think maximizing your time there and in Lisbon is the way to go. Both are rich destinations, and not the kind of abrasive modern cities you would long to escape for a smaller town.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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There is no reason to miss Conimbriga if you are staying in Coimbra. i took the bus.

You might contact these people: They also have an extensive list of things to do/see in Coimbra itself.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Leaving Lisbon after breakfast by train, I arrived in Coimbra at lunchtime, and after lunch, I saw the main attractions in Coimbra, by which time is was too late for a bus excursion to Conimbriga and back. One of the things I did not know before going to Coimbra was that seeing the library requires a reservation -- and the first available time when we arrived was about 90 minutes later, so we lost time.

We spent the night in Coimbra, but we wanted to get on to Porto in the morning, because there was a lot in Porto we wanted to see.

So while I have no doubt that it is possible to leave Lisbon and to to Coimbra for the night and see Conimbriga as part of that agenda, for us it would have meant either leaving Lisbon quite early in the morning (but we enjoy breakfast on vacation, so that was out) or else spending extra time in Coimbra before leaving for Porto --- which we are glad we did not do because even as it was, our 3 days in Porto flew by and we would have liked even longer time.

In retrospect, I wish we had gotten off the train in Coimbra and had lunch and then been given a 4 or 5 hour guided tour of Coimbra and Conimbriga, and then headed off to Porto for dinner. I feel fairly sure the locals could have guided us to everything worth seeing very efficiently, and we could have had an extra night in Porto as a bonus.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 08:37 AM
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These folks have both private and group tours of Coimbra, and they also have lockers where you can put your luggage.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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One more thought about an overnight in Coimbra so that it is easy to include Conimbriga:

Leave Lisbon late enough in the day that you arrive at dinnertime in Coimbra. Next morning, leave your luggage at the hotel while you tour Coimbra sites and Conimbriga. Then make your way to Porto.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Between Lisbon and Porto we stopped overnight in Obidos, Evora, Aviero, Coimbra and Guimares.
We drove and like the freedom of driving. All of those places were very worthwhile. If you do stay in Coimbra, look at Quinta las Lagrimas, a lovely hotel across the water by footbridge from the main part of the city.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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@sandra - so you valued a leisurely breakfast in Lisbon over seeing Conimbriga. Certainly your prerogative, but not a good basis for advising others who may have different priorities.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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No, thursdaysd. I valued spending as much time as I could in Porto over seeing Conimbriga. You seem to have trouble reading my posts, which is poor basis for criticizing them. If it I had been able to see Conimbriga the afternoon before, I would have done so. But by the time I was through visiting recommended sites in Coimbra -- which with the exception of the university library turned out not to be of much interest -- it was too late to go to Conimbriga.

I have just as good a basis as you do for advising people about places I have been to. Maybe you would make a more helpful contribution to the thread if you described your trip to the area and detailed the logistics. I pretty much did exactly what the OP is contemplating -- Spent extended days in Lisbon, went up to Coimbra to overnight, and then continued on to Porto.

It is true that had I known better how bored I would be by most of Coimbra I could have skipped most of it in favor of Conimbraga, or I could have set my alarm in Lisbon for 6am and eaten a rushed breakfast to catch a train by 8am so I could cram in a whole day's worth or sightseeing before everything closed in Coimbra and Conimbriga -- but if you think that is good travel advice, then we'll just have to differ and let the OP decide.

But do describe your trip to the area or link to a trip report. I'm sure the OP would be more interested in the details then your clogging up her thread with criticism of me.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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@sandra - "your clogging up her thread" - I wrote three lines. You wrote three paragraphs...

For Lisbon see

For Porto and Coimbra see - Port, Porto, Portugal

Where's your report?
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:35 PM
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an option in central Portugal:
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