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Algarve, Evora, or Porto

We have six nights in Portugal. Was thinking of renting a car and heading out of the city, rest of the time in Lisbon. If we had our heart set on renting a car for two days and traveling outside Lisbon, would you head south to the Algarve, or Go to a town like Evora and take in a Beach town south of Lisbon? Or do something else?

We will be there in November. Thanks.

Posted by
409 posts

Two days with a car...1 day and night in Coimbra, next day visit Nazare/Sitio-Batalha-Alcobaca-and finish in Fatima and stay overnight there. Why do I recommend this? This offers the biggest bang for your time. Coimbra has lots to do during the day and is a gem at night! Day 2 is full of things to see as well, and the driving distances are not that bad between towns. The nightly procession in Fatima is something to see...AND experience. Everything to see and do is in Rick's guidebook. Just my opinion...good luck

Posted by
917 posts

I would definitely not head to the Algarve. It takes much more time than some great sites closer to Lisbon and November will not be a prime time for that area.

I really enjoy Evora. The old walled town is lovely, there is a great megalithic tour you can take and lots of wineries you could visit fairly close to town.
In only two days, you won't really have a lot of time wherever you go outside of Lisbon. Read RS, search the net then make the decision based on your interests.

BTW - you can very easily spend 6 days in Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra. It would really give you a chance to experience Lisbon rather than rushing from place to place.

Posted by
4690 posts

I hope you realize how completely different are the three destinations you proposed. We skipped the Algarve, because I believe it is primarily modern vacation and golf development. Our favorite town on our drive away from Lisbon was Guimares, where we stayed in a modernized convent, run as a full hotel. You didn't mention Coimbra or Tomar, which are also very attractive, maybe more attractive than Porto. Portugal also has some Roman ruin (and mosaic floors in situ) sites that are less crowded than in other countries.

Our visit to Fatima was for sightseeing, rather than faith. But has been an important destination for a long time. We also visited Bom Jesu for the same reason. Also consider the Jeronimos (sp.?) Monastery, for history not religion. Evora also has a Pousada hotel, I think. You need a GPS in Portugal. We bought our own, rather than renting from the car company.

Posted by
312 posts

I really enjoyed Porto.
Take a look at the town of Aveiro. They have a really cute beach area. I want to go back there and stay there.
I didn't have a car. I started in Lisbon (3 days), half day in Sintra, then the train to Porto (2days) and 1/2 in Aveiro. Then to the airport from Porto.
Enjoy your adventure.

Posted by
4166 posts

We love Portugal. The people are wonderful.

In my opinion, going to the beach can be done in the USA, which waste your time on the beach in Portugal when there is so much to see of the country.

Lisbon is worth 3 days for sure. Evora, Sintra and other nearby towns are great and can be done from Lisbon. If so, extend there for a couple more days.

I highly recommend Porto. It is special. Try to see some of the Douro River valley.

Also, you can stop in Sintra, Obidos, Batila and other places along the way to Porto. If you stay in Porto, don't miss the wonderful InPatio Guesthouse Bed and Breakfast. It is the best, ever.