I have 3 nights booked in Porto and 2 nights at a pousada in Geres National Park. I have the last 3 nights booked in Lisbon. I know we can't fit everything so I'm looking at skipping Coimbra and Nazare and spend a long travel day when we leave Geres to drive the Duoro River Valley and go to Evora for 2 to 3 nights and on the Algarve for 2 nights and back to Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra. This will be late May-early June. We'll be driving after we leave Porto and return car when we first get to Lisbon. Is the trip from Geres to Evora too much to do in a day? I'm wondering if we should skip the Algarve and stop in Coimbra and stay in Nazare and then on to Evora and then Lisbon. We don't particularly want a lively beach crowd and beach time but do want coastal time. I read a lot of postings about other itineraries with great advice but nothing that quite fits what we have planned so far. Any suggestions?
I guess it depends on your likes and interests with the area between Porto and Lisbon, without taking into account the Algarve. If what is written about the towns in Rick's book seems appealing, focus in this area. Nazare, Cascais, and even the coast near Sintra and Lisbon have beautiful, scenic coastlines. There is so much history for Coimbra, Obidos, Batalha, etc. worthy of staying in this area. For me and my family, and having enough vacation time, the Algarve is more total immersion in the art of relaxation and amost constant beach time. By skipping the Algarve for this trip, you save about a day of travel to there and back to Lisbon, around 6 hours total without traffic. Even Lisbon itself could easily fill a week's visit! I hope this offers a little more to ponder for your focus on where to visit. I know some others on the Portugal forum have some great insights as well and you should look forward to their input. Enjoy the planning!!!
Thank you. That was very helpful! Do you think a travel day from Peneda-Geres to Evora is doable if we still want to get the Algarve in? thanks, Lisa
Does your 2 week itinerary include 2 travelling days to get to Europe? You may already have 8 or 10 nights booked. I would do one day less in Porto.
It is a long way out of your way to go to the Algarve - where in the Algarve were you planning? I would skip the Algarve and instead get some beach time in Foz do Arelha where you can visit the old walled village of Obidos and Caldas de Rainha for the markets.
Your day from Geres to Evora is far too long - 6 hours driving with no stops or hold-ups. You will not have time to drive any of the Douro or see Coimbra, which would be a pity.
I would suggest Porto (including a day on the Douro) - Geres - Coimbra - Evora - Foz do Alrelha or Sines - Lisbon.
Sure, if you really want to include the Algarve, it is doable. However, Jennifer points out some great ideas/reasons against it. Travel times are real factors in what can be accomplished and what should be accomplished. If you can add a few extra days to your vacation, head to the Algarve. If not, savor what is available between Porto and Lisbon with the days you have and not feel exhasted trying to fit everything and everyplace in. The greatest thing about Europe, and Portugal, is the insatiable attraction to return again and again.
We'll have 12 days not counting the travel days. I appreciate your suggestions. That helps a lot. thanks
Lisa, for what it's worth, I'll be in Portugal late May, flying into Porto and working my way down to Lisbon, with stops in Coimbra and Evora. Was originally wanting to include the Algarve but felt it would be too much travelling. Will probably add a shorter day trip while in Lisbon. Like you, I'm not looking for beach time but wouldn't be against some coast time.
Hi David Thanks. It sounds like we are on the same track. I'm working on where to get the coast time in and am looking to find cottage or something in a smaller village where we can do some hiking so was looking at the suggestion of Foz do Alrelha or Sines after Evora.
If I do get some coast time in, it will be from and around lisbon. My planning is a little more restrictive as I'm using public transport. Have a great trip.