Suggestions for a base North of Lisbon

Old Jan 16th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Suggestions for a base North of Lisbon

I'm trying to find a nice base so that we can visit some of the attractions north of Lisbon. Based on what I've read so far, I would like to see Obidos, Nazare, Fatima, possibly Tomar, Marvao. Currently, we're thinking of spending 5 nights in Lisbon (with side trips to Sintra, Cascais), 5 nights in the Algarve region, 2 nights in Evora. I would consider extending my stay in Lisbon to do add'l side trips to the cities mentioned but I feel that might be too much of a strain, plus, while we're renting a car, I wasn't planning on renting it for the Lisbon portion of the trip (not easy to have a car in a city, I assume). Anyway, any suggestions of where to base myself would be VERY appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:29 AM
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For a 'base,' I like Coimbra, an old University town about halfway between Lisbon and Oporto. And I would extend any northern Portugal tour to include Espinho, Oporto, Braga & Guimaraes
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 03:53 AM
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Dear Roro.
IMHO Obidos is a great place to stay. I wouldn't stay in the Pousada itself (Castle), which is expensive and difficult to book but in Estalagem do Convento, outside the walls.
Obidos is in the intersection of 2 major highways and offers easy access to all the places you mentioned but Marvao, which is another story.
Marvao is my very favourite spot in Portugal, it offers magic without limits, but to go there from Obidos or Nazare and return you need one full day driving. A second best option for you would be skipping Marvao and visit Monsaraz instead as a side trip from Evora.
My best piece of advice for you or any other visitor is to read and enjoy “Portugal trip report” from Fodorite Bailey6325 (most recent reply on 05/31/2007, 12:56 pm).
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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I agree with Lobo---we too have stayed there twice---Obidos is the best centro location.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Is Obidos close enough (and convenient) to the Lisbon airport that I can end my trip in Obidos and then drive to the airport, leave car and go back to the states? Or would it be better to have 1 last night in Lisbon? I plan to start my trip in Lisbon and coincide that start with the Feast of St. Antonio. Please advise. Thanks so much. I feel like I'm almost there...
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Hi roro

I don't see any problem in going to the airport straight from Obidos. Feel free to read my report that Lobo mentioned - it mentions several of the places that you're interested in and contains a review of the Convent in Obidos. There's also a link to photos. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Hi Bailey. How are you? I reread your report and I was amazed that it is almost two years since you wrote it! I still enjoyed rereading it.
How time flies.

Sherry
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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I'm looking at the pictures now. They are BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to go. I wish I could go up to Coimbra and Porto. But with a toddler in tow, would that be too agressive? Right now, I was planning on 5 nights Lisbon, 2 nights Evora, 5 nights Algarve, 2 nights Obidos. I just figured that the 5 nights in the Algarve would be a combination of lazy days on the beach and some touring. If I were to cut it down I guess I could extend my trip northward? HMMMM. Tempting.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Hi Sherry,

How have you and your husband been? I also cannot believe how fast time flies! It's almost been a year since we met up in NYC! Take care and it's good to hear from you.

roro - We really enjoyed Porto, but it may be a stretch for you since it sounds like you'd like some relaxing days. Another option is to take a day or so from Lisbon or the Algarve and add it to Evora and the Alentejo - that's where DH and I will spend more time when we return. I would love to see Marvao like Lobo suggests...

Good luck!
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Here are some shots you may like that include Marvao and Obidos.
http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3832
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Bailey, I've heard some negative reviews of Nazare on posts but in looking at your pictures, Nazare looks beautiful and the water looks calm (good for toddler?) Not many people on the beach?

Bob, thanks so much for sharing your advice and pictures. You show some artwork. My husband & I always like to pick up pieces of art from whereever we travel to so that our home is filled with memories at every turn. Do you (or anyone) have any recommnendations of good artists (affordable) or galleries/shops where we should shop while in Portugal? Also your pictures of the Algarve are amazing. Do you recall which beach is pictured? BTW, I couldn't help but notice some of your other pictures... Sicily shots are beautiful but of course I'm partial since this is where my family's from and I've visited there countless times I hope you enjoyed your trip there and you found the people to be warm.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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roro - What time of year is your trip? We were in Nazare in late May/early June. My understanding is that it's quite different between that time and once summer really gets rolling and people start to vacation. I believe it's fellow fodorite isabel that has some photos of Nazare later in summer and the beach is packed - much different than my photos. I'd like to hear if other's experiences are similar...
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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We'll be in Portugal mid-June (June 7 - 21), thinking that it would be warm but not suffocating hot. Plus we like activity and liveliness but not hordes of crowds. I've been in Europe in August and I loved it even though crowded, but I was in my 20s without a child. Portugal I'm looking forward to a little less commotion, at least that's what I'm hoping for
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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marking
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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The beach is at Praia de Rocha. Thanks for your comments. I think I like the Sicily gallery best, but we have had 23 trips to Europe---14 to Italy.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Bob-Thank you so much for your wonderful pictures. My husband & I will be in Portugal & Madeira in Sept-This will be our 2nd trip to Portugal-only a week in the Algarve last time so i am so excited to see more. We will have about 3 weeks.
I too love Italy-the last time we were there we spent a whole month there. Next year we go back to Italy for the 3rd time. Planning is part of the fun.I am planning to get a Pousada Passport for our nights when we don't have timeshares and Marvao is one I am looking into-Thanks for your help-Chris
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Bailey. Thanks. Yes, it has been a year almost. And it seems like forever since we have been to Portugal. And it has been.

My husband is so much better. And as soon as he became well, we planned the trip again. Well, the same trip we wanted to do last year.

We are staying at really neat places. We thought of the Senior Passport but two of the Pousadas were booked and we had our itinerary set in our hearts and minds.

So this time we made reservations at very small places in the center of the towns we want to visit: Manteigas, Estremoz, Marvao, Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Nice talking to you again.

Sherry
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Sherry -

I'm so happy to hear that your husband is feeling better and I'm so excited for you. Do you still have my email address? If you have a chance, please let me know how your trip goes. I'd liked to hear how you like those towns as well as your hotels/inns. We plan to return to Portugal (hopefully soon) and your itinerary sounds very intriguing.

Thanks
Bailey
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:34 AM
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This is a link to Bailey's trip report, for anyone trying to find it:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34820414

This gave me the opportunity to go back and read that again. Makes me want to go back to Portugal.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:41 AM
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Hi Bailey.

I sent you an email with address that I still have. If you do not receive it, drop me a line.
[email protected]
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