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Where to spend Easter in Portugal

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Feb 1st, 2016, 05:24 AM
  #1
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Where to spend Easter in Portugal

My husband and I (couple in our 60's) have recently booked a week in Portugal as a break from our trip to Paris in March, hoping for warmer weather. I didn't initially realize that our dates (March 22 to 29) include the Easter weekend. We've been to Portugal once before and on that trip we travelled North from Lisbon to Porto, so we've visited Sintra, Belem, Obidos, Coimbra, the Douro valley and various other villages in between.

On this trip we'd like to see places we haven't seen before, so we thought we'd head south from Lisbon. Our proposed itinerary at present is to rent a car at the airport and then head to Evora for 3 nights, head south to Albufeira for 2 nights, then back to Lisbon for 2 nights. But when I looked more closely at Albufeira it did not look like an appealing place to spend Easter, or really any time, as we're not beach people. We would like to find a picturesque small town or village with some kind of traditional Easter celebrations. Any suggestions or comments from the Portuguese experts? Or should we just head back to Lisbon and spend more time there?
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Feb 1st, 2016, 09:20 AM
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Depends on what type of surroundings you're comfortable with...and would thereby enjoy the most...city, smallish towns, sea coast, or? I would suggest if that smallish town or village you describe is appealing, try
Marvao less than two hours drive north of Evora.

High on a mountain top, it has a small pousada with great eastern views of the plains in Spain. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. You qualify for senior rates but make reservations early. Pousada folks can tell you about local Easter celebrations in Marvao.
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Feb 2nd, 2016, 07:13 AM
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Thanks for your response, Tower. Marvao does look interesting. We were thinking it would be nice to head towards the coast, but the Algarve seems so touristy and commercialized, while we were hoping for maybe a sleepy fishing village. Are we being unrealistic?
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Feb 3rd, 2016, 04:30 AM
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Not touristy and commercialized in March. Google Carvoeiro (small place), Tavira or Lagos.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 03:56 AM
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Thanks, lobo mau. I'll check those out. Any idea what Easter celebrations will be like?
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Feb 4th, 2016, 08:15 AM
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A second for Marvao----it is special.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 09:22 AM
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Dear Baladeuse (nice name). The impression you got from one place is very much related with realistic expectations you form previously.
Any town or village in Portugal will have one street procession on Easter Sunday or previous Thursday or eventually the Thursday of the previous week (it changes from place to place). To have a glimpse of it, google "procissão senhor dos passos" (images).
Please be warned that there is nothing in Portugal as dramatic as Semana Santa in Seville (as an example).
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Feb 4th, 2016, 10:05 AM
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Lobo...so good to see a post from you. I agree on Seville on Semana Santa...we experienced it and it was unforgettable.
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Feb 8th, 2016, 08:18 AM
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Bob...once again we agree...amazing for two Fodorites to do so. Hope your recovery continues favorably. Gotta get you out there traveling!!
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Feb 9th, 2016, 04:01 AM
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tower, is always a pleasure reading from you. There will be in the near future a Museum of Jewish heritage in Alfama/Lisbon. I think this might interest you and I'll keep you posted.
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Feb 9th, 2016, 07:46 AM
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Well, all this agreement on Marvao and Seville is really making me rethink my plans, but I think we will have to plan on Easter in Seville for another future trip. For this trip, Evora, Marvao and Lisbon seem like a good plan, but I am hesitating on Marvao because I have difficulty with climbing and steps. I have made cancellable reservations. Also looking at Nazare. Any thoughts?

Thanks to all for your help.
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Feb 9th, 2016, 09:13 AM
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Fatima on Easter?
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Feb 9th, 2016, 10:27 AM
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Thank you Lobo....
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