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Trimmed Portugal/Spain Itinerary; please help

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Jun 11th, 2006, 06:51 PM
  #1
liloandwaldo
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Trimmed Portugal/Spain Itinerary; please help

Always grateful for any and all suggestions, I have reworked my itinerary as follows:
Oct. 1 Fly into Lisbon. Spend 3 nights (maybe 4) with one day reserved for a tour to Sintra (are there organized tours?)
Next take Alfa Pendular train to Porto for two nights. We mostly want to see as much of the countryside as possible--is Porto worth the trip? and two nights?
From there take InterNorte bus to Madrid; arr. 20:00 @ Calle Mendez Alvaro -- too late to continue to Granada. Any suggestions for a medium priced hotel? where is C. Mendez Alvaro in respect to Atocha station and the hart of the city?
Two nights in Granada, followed by 3 nights in Ronda (don't know what to do from there, but seems like a great place to enjoy people and scenery and just relax--we are seniors!)
We fly out of Lisbon on Oct. 14. Don't quite know how to get back other than going via Madrid (Isee there is a Euroline bus via Evora).
Appreciate any help any of you can give. Thank you, Lilo
 
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Jun 12th, 2006, 01:46 AM
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The Estación Sur de Autobus (c/Mendez Alvaro) is 1-Metro stop from Madrid's Puerta de Atocha (pretty close).

There's a Eurolines Bus Malaga-Lisbon (via Sevilla) that runs about 4-days a week 'in season.' Scenery? Not unless you are into Olive trees. http://www.eurolines.es
I just checked: there's an overnight bus that departs Malaga the evening of 13 Oct and arrives Lisbon early AM of 14 Oct (06:00). You might prefer the Luisitania Express, a Hotel Tren from Madrid that has more comfortable sleeping arrangements.
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Jun 12th, 2006, 02:03 AM
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you might look into flights. www.whichbudget.com, www.iberia.com, www.airportugal.com

i have seen interesting fares to lisbon (from valencia) for about 80 euros r/t. i am sure it is nationwide.
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Jun 12th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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You need help of the kind you will find in Rick Steve's guidebook for Spain.

Three nights in Ronda sounds excessive, considering all the great places there are in the area--Arcos, Seville, and Jerez, to name three.
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Jun 13th, 2006, 04:05 AM
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Hi Liloandwaldo,

for all the info you need on Lisbon have a look through the Lisbon and Portugal threads, latest incarnation is here:

Things to do in and around Lisbon Part III (inc Port)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...t_from_England

Lots of people are staying in Sintra for a few days: it is a wonderful place, as Lord Byron described - an Eden.

I also took the Alfa up to Porto recently, a report can be found here:

Portugal by Train.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34819673

And I thoroughly recommend taking the Linha do Douro from Porto Campanha as can be seen on the trip report.

Happy travels,

Matt
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Jun 14th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #6
liloandwaldo
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thank you all for good info. am still working on an itinerary; so hard to choose with so many wonderful places to see. still haven't figured out how best to return from seville to lisbon--any suggestions.
Matt, I love you report-hope to be able to do the Duro train trip from Porto--seems to be just the kind of thing we'd love.
 
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Jun 14th, 2006, 07:53 PM
  #7
 
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Lilo,

About the number of nights in Portugal: I think it's a shame to spend so many nights in Lisbon & then skip central Portugal...

Is there any way you could rent a car in Lisbon and drop it off in Porto? This way you could work your way North & still get to see the beautiful countryside. Perhaps spend 2 nights in Lisbon,(stopping in Sintra on your last day there), 1 night in Tomar (also nearby to see Fatima & Batalha, etc,) 1 night in Luso (Bussaco forest, thermal spas or Coimbra) and then 2 nights in Porto, including the Douro day cruise.

I'm partial to the Beiras region & I wish more travelers would stop there to smell the roses.
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Jun 15th, 2006, 06:50 AM
  #8
liloandwaldo
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Thank you for the suggestion. We would really prefer renting car, but at this point driving in Portugal is too intimidating--we're in our seventies--so I need to work out a trip using public transport that's fun and easy. We actually love small places, the countryside and people watching. We've seen so many museums, cathedrals and big cities, but from what I've been reading, Lisbon and environment has so many "musts"; besides, on the first day we' don't arrive until 6 pm.
Would love to see some photos of scenery in more northern parts of the country. At this point I'm not even sure about Porto anymore; have been reading that it's mostly an industrial city. It's very confusing. It's just like Seville, some people hate it and some put it on the must list.
 
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Jun 15th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Drivers in Portugal are Europe's worst and there are too many of them.

When I visited Porto a few years ago, I loved it. At that time it was unspoiled by too many tourists and was oozing with old-world (I was goind to say "charm," but that doesn't captire it).

Seville, on the other hand is so over-run by tourists that those who work in hotels, restaurants, and shops are so fed up that visiting that city is a throughly charmless experience. And, if hell is as hot as Seville, I'd rather go to the other place.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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For guided / organized tours, check with Tours For You (www.toursforyou.pt)

They do a very good job.
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