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9 nights in Portugal - itinerary questions

We will be arriving in Porto from Santiago, Spain by bus 4-30 after having walked a week on the Camino Ingles. Our general idea is to spend 3 nights in Porto and 5 in Lisbon with day trips to Evora and Sintra. We will be using public transportation. I had hoped to spend a night in Evora but it might be easier to have Lisbon as our base and add a night to either Porto or Lisbon. We were in Portugal over 30 yrs ago and excited about a return. We will be in Spain during Santa Semana and starting our trek in Ferrol the day after Easter. We attended the RS talk on Portugal and interested in booking our accommodations soon. Any thoughts about changes to our plans? Thank you.

Posted by
3690 posts

Your plan sounds fine. It's easy to get from Porto to Lisbon by train. I visited in May and did it in the opposite direction. I added a few nights in Coimbra on the way north. It's a nice diversion from the tourists in Porto and (especially) Lisbon, but Coimbra is pretty small. The university at the top of the hill is the highlight, but it's a charming town otherwise too. There are Roman ruins nearby that I did not feel compelled to go see.

I also stopped in Tomar as a little train detour between Lisbon and Coimbra. Lovely little town, not yet very touristy - but I understand Rick Steves will be adding it to his next Portugal book, so surely that will bring more people to Tomar. I did a day trip in addition to Nazare on the coast - a town long celebrated by Rick Steves and others, a well-known touristy town. But I loved it, too. I wish I'd spent a night there and one fewer in Coimbra.

I didn't get to Evora. I did Sintra as a day trip by train from Lisbon. Spending a night in Sintra with as much time as you have wouldn't be a mistake - it's a nice little town as well but very mobbed with tourists in the day time. You could see more in two days than in one, and two days would let you space it out.

Posted by
2780 posts

Your plan is fine. Unless you want a very rushed trip, I would stick to what you have planned, as adding Tomar, Nazare, Obidos etc is easier with a car in your timeframe.

Evora is a long day from Lisbon by public transport, but possible.

Cascais and Sintra are possible day trips from Lisbon by public transport.

Porto to Lisbon will take 5 + hours door to door.

Posted by
3690 posts

There are direct buses from Porto to Nazare and to Tomar (I prefer trains, but the buses are sometimes easier in Portugal). So it's really not a big deal to add them to this itinerary even without a car - though adding both stops might be a challenge between Porto and Lisbon.

Posted by
330 posts

I think 3 nights in Porto is good. I would add the extra night in Lisbon and do day trips including Evora. I got to Evora at 9am by train from Lisbon and had a full day of sightseeing in by 3 pm. I spent the night but I would have been fine heading back to Lisbon. Book your train tickets at a discount about 2-3 months out. The fast train from Porto-Lisbon(2.5 hours) was 20e. Enjoy the Camino Ingles, walked July 2017 and celebrated St. James Day at the Cathedral. Buen Camino.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all for your feedback. It was very helpful- did add a 4 th night to Porto and 5 in Lisbon. Will book train in about a month.i appreciated the different ideas for side trips. Appreciate the good luck on the Camino!