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Time in Portugal

Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 06:49 AM
  #1  
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Time in Portugal

I'm looking for advice on how to divide my 2 weeks in Portugal in October. I was thinking something like 6 nights Lisbon, 4 nights Madeira, and 3 nights Evora. But not sure considering the October weather in Madeira and the short amount of time. I mean, what are the odds it might rain all 4 days I'm there? Should I skip Madeira and hop around central Portugal for those 4 days instead, maybe add a night for Evora? I would love to see northern Portugal as well, but don't feel like I'll have the time this trip.

I love art and history. I like guided walks but not too big on group tours. Don't mind walking 8-10 miles/day (well, maybe not every day!) and will rent a car when not in Lisbon. I will be traveling by myself.
tumblingweed is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 07:00 AM
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We spent two weeks in Portugal over nye 2010/2011 and lived it.

We did 2 nights in Sintra, 5 nights in Lisbon, 5 nights in tomar, 1 night in Marvao and 1 night in Evora.

You can read our trip report here

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...l-20102011.cfm

And our pics

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...7636734183955/
jamikins is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 07:14 AM
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We liked Madeira it is not that well-known among Americans. There is more natural beauty. On Madeira you must do a levada walk. A levada is a sluice that brings water down to Funchal, from the hills but many have foot paths alongside it as well.

http://www.madeira-levada-walks.com/

Some of the towns in the north are quite interesting and beautiful including Amarante, Braga, and Viana do Castelo

Evora, Sintra,
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 07:17 AM
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Definitely add Sintra and Tomar to the list. Six nights in Lisbon might be too much.
adrienne is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 08:08 AM
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Also consider Coimbra and Porto.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 09:07 AM
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3 full days in Evora alone would be a few too much for me - having been there - nice town - lovely town with neat old churches but not much in the area except for Cork plantations.

Check out the Porto area and Porto itself if not Madeira - Porto to me is much more old-world romantic than Lisbon (a nice town but rather modern) - there are several sweet day trips from Porto - Braga for one - up the Duoro Valley for another.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 07:01 AM
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Thank you very much for the ideas, food for thought. I take it Madeira is not highly recommended? Or is 4 days too short a time there, or is it too rainy there in October? I thought it might be nice to do some levada walks.

Everyone recommends Porto so highly, is there much to do there? I know about the port houses and the UNESCO heritage. I'd like to see Guimares and Braga and take a drive thru the Duoro valley. But do I have enough time and is it worth giving up Madeira for?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 07:54 AM
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It seems no one here knows much about Madeira, a semi-tropical island I always wanted to visit but never have - it being so far out of the way - but it seems to be a dream place in many ways.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 08:41 AM
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We liked Madeira, it is just not well known among Americans. It is a beautiful island with vineyards and panoramic views.

They serve the ugliest fish in the world but is quite tasty-the espada.

https://www.google.com/search?q=espa...%3B1936%3B1288
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 05:38 PM
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Madeira has been on my radar for a few years, Portugal too. I've met several people who have been to Portugal and just loved it.

That is one ugly fish - until it gets on the plate, then it looks good!

Think I'll cut back a day each in Lisbon and Evora and that will give me 2 days to see the highlights at Tomar, Batalha and Alcobaca. Leave northern Portugal for another trip.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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IMD - you might be interested in tinyurl.com

I thought Sintra was the best part of Portugal and you're skipping this town with its wonderful sights.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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We did two weeks in Portugal as well - 4 nights Lisbon which was perfect (or I might add a 5th night and use it to see Sintra), 2 nights in Evora which was perfect - one night in Busacco which we loved (especially if you are big on history - sight of important battle in the Napoleonic wars), 3nights in Porto (which we did not like so much, I would skip it and do Guimarres and Braganca instead next time, or stay in the Duoro Valley) and finished with 3 nights in Obidos which was a perfect base for exploring the middle Atlantic Coast. Of coarse we didn't make it to the islands, the Minhao and much more - but we loved it. I wish we had had more time in Sintra - it was rushed and we spent half of it trying to find parking, so maybe even stay there a night just to explore it further. do enjoy. Oh we did spend a day in Tomar and loved it.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 08:25 PM
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Thanks Adrienne, I am still a cyber ignoramus.
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 12:23 AM
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Madeira is lovely, the wines are unique, the hiking is pretty unusual and the sledging on cobbled streets is a wizz.

It makes even the Azores look mundane and that is saying something.

Hold on, you arn't asking about the Azores and yet it too belongs to Portugal and is an almost crime free wonderful line of islands.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Every Portugal guide I've read says Sintra can be a busy day trip from Lisbon, 40 min. by train, etc. I expect Sintra will be a trip highlight for me, looking forward to it!

bilboburgler, what do you think about a rental car on Madeira? Necessary? It sounds easier to me than taking buses. I saw a show by Anthony Bourdain on the Azores, very intriguing! Like I say, I'm not fond of a lot of group/bus tours. (Altho I may use one to tour the stones around Evora - so I can learn more plus save time there).
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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It depends on how aged you are (not your age) I for one would struggle to find a use for a car (it sits in a hotel all day long or by the road while you are walking) I'd either make friends with a taxi driver, use a mobile phone to call one up or use the buses. If you drive you will have to get used to hairpins and large coaches. But up to you. http://www.madeira-web.com/PagesUK/transport-uk.html
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