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20 nights Portugal mid August 1st time input appreciated.

Well it has been several years we have not travelled due to the Plague
And now we are thinking of Portugal. I like a slow paced travel and feel 21 days is a good amount of time to enjoy a new country. We enjoy getting to learn and explore an area. So a few questions.

should we use airbnbs or hotels?
What's areas of the towns would you suggest.
is August-Sept a bad time?
Was thinking 6 nights per city area to enjoy. maybe 4 nights in smaller areas.
what places should we explore. would consider a mix of train or car possibly bus.
6 nights Lisbon
Evora, Porto, Sintra any other options 4 nights each?
2 nights Lisbon to finish

Of course I will read posts and research places but its nice to have experienced advice.


Posted by
148 posts


My only input would be that Evora (inland) would be unbearably hot in August. If you have flexibility, Sept/Oct would be better (and less crowded)


Posted by
21720 posts

I am with Dennis when it comes to temperature in Spain and Portugal. That is a hot time -- late September into early Oct would be better. Personally we use hotels since we have had some marginal experiences with airB&B. Others love them, but we don't.

Posted by
338 posts

We were in Portugal in August last year. Inland will be too hot, so I would suggest sticking close to the coast. We only spent a day in Lisbon and then headed north where the temperature was more pleasant.

Evora can get over 100 degrees in summer, so I personally wouldn't book any accommodations. Evora can be a day trip from Lisbon (which also can get hot), so you can decide that later depending on temperatures.

I enjoyed Northern Portugal (Guimarães, Braga, Pointe de Lima ,and Vianna do Castelo) and the Silver Coast (Obidos, Batalha, and Alcobaca). A car would make that portion easier.

Julie Dawn Fox Blog covers some of the smaller towns in more detail, so take a look.

We did a mixture of hotels and apartments (not airbnb).

Posted by
1179 posts

Wait until September or October. Then Evora is doable but I’m not certain I would stay four nights if you don’t have a car. I certainly wouldn’t stay in Sintra four nights but I’m not a fan due to the crowds. The palaces are great though so definitely go - but for a couple of nights rather than four.

I agree with the idea of a town north of Porto or even one of the Douro valley towns. The other poster mentioned very nice places. Coimbra is also lovely, but 2-3 nights is enough. If you are willing to rent a car, you could home base in Coimbra or even Tomar and drive to Alcobaca, Batalha and, maybe Obidos for day trips.

On my scouting trip before moving, I stayed in Porto, SanMartinho do Porto and Lisbon over three weeks. It was a relaxed pace and I really got a feel for the country - enough to make me choose it for my move!

Posted by
3354 posts

I would agree with others who recommend later September/October. Several years ago we started our tour in Lisbon the first week of September and it was 104 degrees. We did a day trip to Sintra pre tour as well. Fortunately as our tour progressed the temperature was tolerable. We ended in Porto. The Douro Valley and Porto were relaxing. A nice end to a memorable journey!

Posted by
33 posts

I'm a pousada fan and you can checkout web site. Oftentimes rates are lower for more nights and you get a regional flavor. I'm in agreement with exploring Braga, Guimares. Depending on your interests, Lisbon is a good base for day trips as well. Sintra, Cascais, Arribada , Queluz, Mafra, Ericeira. If you are driving you could make a nice loop. The St Vincente coast is very scenic . More freedom with car and less timetables.

Posted by
147 posts

Thanks for all the great advice.
I am looking at September or October.
More time to plan now.

Posted by
1289 posts

Two suggestions. If the cost is the same you could fly into Lisbon and out of Porto or vice versa, but I think that's more expensive. That would avoid backtracking.

If you're flying round trip, then if possible go directly to your first town and just end in Lisbon. You will have all your Lisbon days together and gives you more time for your other towns.