Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Very excited for first trip to Portugal: 7 nights
Notices

Very excited for first trip to Portugal: 7 nights

Reply

Apr 5th, 2012, 09:53 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Very excited for first trip to Portugal: 7 nights

We are excited to see Portugal for the first time, in late August. We have booked airfare into Lisbon, then we will travel to London from there. We are in our early 60s, like to walk as much as possible, want to stay in one place for at least 3 or 4 nights (no less).

So, first question is: stay in Lisbon the entire 7 nights, and take day-trips from there? Or would we miss seeing an outstanding town or site, by doing that?

If so, we could stay in Lisbon 3-4 nights, and another place 3-4 nights. What do you think? We are not hectic travelers. We prefer to take our time to explore.

I already booked the Hotel Avenida Palace in Lisbon for 7 nights, taking advantage of a special deal, but we can cancel or change without penalty. This hotel seems to be in a good location for exploring Lisbon? It has very good reviews.

The Sheraton Lisboa has their special 40 euro offer available for two nights. But reviewers say it is in a business district and not very lively with restaurants, etc?

Also, we would prefer to use public transit, and are wondering if that will serve us well. or do we need a car?

We have not yet booked transportation from Lisbon to London, but we plan on flying.

Thank you for recommending your favorite sites in Portugal!
PeaceOut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 10:35 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
The food is specatular, especially the bread. The people may seem a little morose but they are very kind.

While in Lisboa be sure to take the train to Sintra. I am the furthest thing from a romantic, but there is a true storybook quality about that town.

If it is on the menu try the espada, the ugliest fish in the world.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...IISQ8wSN0Mz_DA

Have a great time.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 11:30 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,471
Visit Sintra and stroll Cascais. get to Belem, too. It would be comfortable to be at same place for 7 days IMO, but as I said earlier, I am not an expert.
lincasanova is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,743
I think Evora would be an easy do-it-yourself by train / bus from Lisbon. Also there are companies that do a day tour to I think Fatime and Obpios (something like that). We are going to Portugal in May and we will be spending 5 nights in Cascais and doing Lisbon and Sintra from there. We had planned to stay in Lisbon for the 5 nights so I had investigated day trips from there - I am sure there is plenty for a 5 day stay in the area.
suec1 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 12:05 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
I would split between Lisbon & Porto (3 hrs by train or bus). You can always fly to London from there. You don't need a car (presently combined metro/tram/bus/lift day pass is 5 euros). Sintra is 2 euros o/w from Rossio (40 min). I was skeptical about Porto but now prefer it to Lisbon.
hkto is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 12:53 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,830
I would also split between Lisbon and Porto. From Lisbon you can make an easy daytrip to Sintra (although Sintra deserves more than one day).
We ourselves did it the other way: we stayed in Sintra for 5 nights and daytripped to Lisbon. So glad we did, 'cause we found Lisbon to be very hectic. Much preferred Porto over Lisbon. Stayed in Porto for 3 nights.
MyriamC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,224
I personally would not split my time between Lisbon and Porto for a first trip. But this is your trip. I could easily spend the whole time staying in Lisbon but I understand wanting to see more of the country.
There is so much to see in and around Lisbon....Belem, Sintra in and of themselves will burn three days easily.
If you want to venture outside of Lisbon I would either go toward Evora and the Alentejo. Or I would head toward Obidos and the coast which will be a lot cooler in August, believe me.And a car for part of the trip would give you a lot of flexibilty to explore outside of the city.
But whatever you decide maybe you might want to meet up for a Lisbon GTG. We will be there at that time too.
Sher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2012, 05:53 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 10
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you very much for choosing the Avenida Palace, hope you have an enjoyable stay. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
Sincerely Yours
Pedro Costa
AvenidaPalace is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2012, 07:11 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,372
Lisbon is a great city, but 7 days might be too much in one place. Evora would be a great destination for a few nights, since it's just big enough to not get bored, and the surrounding countryside has lots to see. I would recommend renting a car for this part of your trip - driving in the flat, uncrowded countryside near Evora is very easy, and you can explore pre-historic ruins, sleepy little villages and spectacular hill towns near the Spanish border. Just realize that central Portugal gets very hot in the summer. Another nice spot for an overnight (especially if it's hot!) might be Sesimbra, a small fishing village/resort town with a great beach just an hour south of Lisbon.
zootsi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2012, 07:37 AM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Thank you, everyone!

(Wow, I am surprised that the Avenida Palace found this thread. Maybe they can comp me a night or two for advertising for them! haha)

I think we might have to cut one night from Portugal, having 6 instead of 7. Still looking for conference and hotel confirmations in London, so I'm not sure yet.

DH loves trains, so I think we will avoid getting a car. We are most interested in seaside towns and seeing interesting spots near the ocean. We prefer not to have to pack/unpack, move hotels, etc., as that always seems like a huge chunk of vacation time wasted.

We are not opposed to day-tripping by train to a destination up to two hours away, if we can get there and back in one day.

I will check out flights from Porto, though, just in case.

More suggestions?
PeaceOut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,848
The train system is pretty good (and good time keeping) I'd take trips out to Evora and Faro. Many people would say Faro in August (you must be mad) but you get to see lots of interesting things on the journey and the station is right on the sea. You step out into what looks like a little rough area, but the actual town centre is good and there are some good local restaurants/shops as summer/beach tourists tend not to come into Faro.

No real need for a car for the whole trip.

Lisbo to Porto is a good train journey and if you have an interest in Port wine then worth a trip. Porto is nice in a slightly de-sheveled way but it is a long journey.

I have a bunch of links at http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/Algarve_Guide.php which might prove useful
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2012, 08:42 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 78
Sintra is the best. Rent and car and travel the cost.
Jill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2012, 05:24 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 10
Thank you for the advertising, unfortunately the comp night is not possible but if there’s anything else…
Jill is right, visiting Sintra is very important, and by car you can do the all coast, through Guincho, Cascais and Estoril, in this area without a car you will miss a lot.

Best regards

Pedro Costa
AvenidaPalace is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2012, 05:37 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 65
Sintra is easily accessible by train. We also loved the town of Cascais which was once Portugese royal retreat. The waterfront area of Lisboa was redeveloped for the 1998 World Expo and has many attractions (the Oceanarium, the cable car, the entire water front development). We spent 2 weeks traveling Lisboa and Southern Portugal by rented motorhome and fell in love with the area. The people are friendly, kind and generous with their time. If you have the transportation, I highly recommend getting off the beaten path in the South. That being said, be aware that many of the tourist areas are dominated by Sun-seeking retirees from the UK and the Netherlands (I am sooooo envious!).
KMacK_ca is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,830
I agree with Pedro. Rent a car for the Sintra & neighbouring seaside resorts part. Getting to Sintra from Lisbon by train is easy but once in Sintra station you will have to take a bus to get to the centre. If you could rent a car over there, it would be very easy to get into the city and to the beaches.

On the other hand, the most beautiful beaches (IMO) are in the south of Portugal: Algarve. Many places are overrun by sometimes loud tourists but you can easily avoid these places (such as Albufeira, Praia da Rocha, Lagos) by staying in the fairly unspoilt eastern Algarve. Tavira - close to the Spanish border - is so pretty and authentic. And the beaches - which are in fact islands - are long stretches of the finest white sand.
Another two months before we'll be there again ...
MyriamC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2012, 09:46 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5
Hi,

I traveled to Portugal years ago and we did Lisbon & Lagos. We took a bus directly from Lisbon to Lagos. It was a few hours (maybe four?) but it was worth it. Lagos was a beautiful place. I have heard Porto is like that too. People were extremely friendly, food was great, and it was very relaxed. We were able to take a boat ride with one of the locals that took the little motor boat through the caves there and it was great. We also did parasailing which was very fun. I would definitely check it out if you are looking to combine the Lisbon sightseeing with something a little more relaxing too! Enjoy.
mstillwell820 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2012, 09:49 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Thank you, all! We are not sun-seekers, and I particularly do not enjoy hot weather. So maybe we should head north, not south of Lisbon?

Anyone care to suggest a daily itinerary for us, based in Lisbon, using public transit to see towns and sites on the coast, north of Lisbon?
PeaceOut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2012, 04:26 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,848
North of Lisbon will be as hot as South of Lisbon, you are going in the hot season. If it gets really hot you will soon understand
1) why the day should be broken into 8-12 and 4-8 with a sleep in the middle
2) why town squares have a good restaurant on the shady side.

Have you found http://www.cp.pt/cp/displayPage.do?v...c0RCRD&lang=en

yet. A very useful planning tool with a good english section.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2012, 06:56 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,515
In August I would certainly avoid the Algarve, it will not only be hot but crowded.

If you only have six nights (five days) I would just stay in Lisbon. I spent seven nights there in 2008 - see http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ing-lisbon.cfm - and went back for more last year.

With seven nights (six days) you could consider taking the train to Porto. With longer I would explore the Duoro valley from Porto, but you don't have time. Instead, you could cnsider a day trip to Evora from Lisbon.

You don't need a car. You can get a day pass for all the transport to and around the Sintra/Cascais/Estoril area. You don't need to go to Porto to taste port - visit the Solar do Vinho do Porto in Lisbon.

The Avenida Palace is in an excellent location. It is close to the place I stay (Residencial Florescente), close to the Rossio station (for Sintra etc), the metro, the funicular, the elevador and bus and tram routes.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2012, 10:58 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Great suggestions. Thanks again! I will read your travel report and check that link.

The more I find out about Portugal, the more I look forward to this trip!

Any more day-trips with transport tips are most helpful.
PeaceOut is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:44 AM.