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11 Day trip to Portugal, Sept-Oct 2022, Itinerary help please

3 adults traveling to Portugal for 11 days in late Sept-early Oct with husband & adult daughter.
Flying into Lisbon, out of Porto.
Question, is this itinerary covering too much?
Should we skip Algarve to avoid lots of driving time?

Day 1: Lisbon x 3 nights
Day 2: Lisbon: explore Lisbon
Day 3 : Lisbon, Day trip by train to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Day 4: Lisbon, rent car for 3 hr drive to Algarve (sleep in Salema)
Day 5: Algarve: drive south to Cape Sagres (sleep in Salema)
Day 6: Evora: drive 30 min to Lagore, then 3 hours to Evora (sleep Evora)
Day 7: Coimbra: Morning in Évora; afternoon drive 3 hr to Coimbra
Day 8: Porto: Morning in Coimbra. Afternoon drive 1 1/2 hr from Coimbra to Porto in the afternoon. Drop off rental car in Porto
Day 9: Porto
Day 10: Porto
Day 11: Porto: Douro Valley visit or to day trip to Braga and Guimaraes
Day 12: Fly out of Porto back to NYC

Posted by
2 posts

Here are my thoughts:

Skip Algarve
While in Alentejo region, besides Evora, there is Estremoz ( 27 miles NE of Evora).
During your Lisbon stay, a side trip to Sintra is a highlight not to be missed and deserves ample time for exploring. Estoril is famous for its casino and to be blunt, the antithesis of quaint. Cascais has its own charm and it is worth a short stop.

On your way to Coimbra, stopping in Obidos would be another memorable experience at this quaint hilltop town enclosed by 13th century walls.

Happy travels and make sure to eat a pastel de nata everyday!

Posted by
1380 posts

Skip the Algarve! There are too many places between Lisbon and Porto to more than fill your time that are much more charming. If you want a beach, there are many between the two big cities.

Sintra will take a full day and then you won’t be able to see all the palaces. Don’t try to combine it with Cascais or Estoril.

Coimbra, Tomar, Obidos (short visit), Alcobaça, Batalha and maybe Aveiro are interesting places between Porto and Lisbon. Coimbra deserves more than one night so you can drive out to Conimbriga while there.

Posted by
6113 posts

As many of us have said many times, unless you want your trip to be a blur, don’t try to squeeze in Porto down to the Algarve in a holiday of less than 2.5 and ideally 3 weeks.

I would skip the Algarve at that time of year - I have had mixed weather then with days of sea mists - particularly as you don’t plan on spending much time there. Several of the restaurants in Salema close for the winter at the end of September. Sagres is a windy spot even in the heat of summer, so take a thick jumper with you!

You will be lucky if you can drive it in 3 hours in my experience even on the rather dull toll road. The more interesting route runs near the west coast, but this would take most of the day to drive including stopping for photo opportunities. All your drive times are optimistic - add a third. What is Lagore? Lagos?

Sintra, Cascais and Estoril are all worth seeing but they can’t really all be seen in one day. You could easily add days to Lisbon without running out of things to do or have a couple of nights to see Alcobaca, Tomar and Batalha.

Posted by
81 posts

This is all very helpful. We are looking to do a similar trip in late Oct/early November.
Is the Azores something that can be done at that time of year. How long would we
need to spend there to experience it? We would like to do Lisbon, Porto and the Azores
if possible and makes sense then.

Posted by
11 posts

I am doing a 10 night Portugal trip with the wife and 4 other couples in September. Here is our itinerary.

Flying into Porto. 2 nights in Porto.
Then to Coimbra for 2 nights.

Then to Lagos (Algarve) for 2 nights.
Finish in Lisbon for 4 nights.

Had several friends who have been to Algarve region and loved it and Rick Steve's has it ranked right behind Lisbon as a must visit area in Portugal. We are renting a large catamaran for a full day with a captain one of the days there. It's an amazing value if you have a larger group.

Posted by
2 posts

Stan, I’m happy to hear you’re going to The Algarve. Almost every person on the RS message boards say not to go and to go to other beaches. The Algarve looks absolutely stunning to me and unlike any other beaches I’ve looked up when listening to ppl on here who suggest other spots to go in Portugal. I’m so excited for my trip to Lisbon, Lagos, and Évora this October and I will be back on here to let everyone know my thoughts on all of it.

Posted by
219 posts

I am portuguese, living in Portugal. In the North.

If I have hollydays (like a week or so) and it's not possible to go out of the country (for many reasons), well... I choose Algarve. Because the weather, temperature of water, wind, etc, it's completely different from the western coast. That has lovely beaches, of course, but they are just not for me.

Althoug Algarve is still the Atlantic ocean, the waves and the temperature of water are completely different. Of course I never stay in the places mentioned in fóruns. I do my own search.