Hello - I'm going to the Algarve region and tacking on a trip to Evora in late May/early June. I have about 9 days. I'm interested in Sagres, Salema, Lagos, Tavira and Evora. How best should I divide my time? Probably would need to do hotel stops in Tavira and Evora for at least a couple of nights. Trying to figure out if I should pick a base spot between Sagres/Salema/Lagos and then visit all three during 4 or so days or pick two for hotel stops. Thanks for any advice.
Is this your first visit to Portugal? I'm wondering about your focus on the Algarve.
I presume that you are hiring a car for the duration?
Are you flying to/from Faro?
Evora is quite a long way from the Algarve - the best part of a 4 hour drive each way from Tavira or Lagos assuming that you will be using the faster but rather dull toll road. The non toll road will take quite a lot longer. If using Google Maps, add 25% as they always under estimate.
I would opt for Lagos as a base, as there is a better choice of accommodation, restaurants etc. Lagos to Sagres is only a 40 minute drive, so I would not change accommodation. Personally, I would give Salema a complete miss, as it’s been ruined by over development. Sagres is a cold, windy spot, popular with surfers, so take something warm to wear. The beaches north of Vila do Bispo are worth visiting and are less busy than those on the southern coast.
If you are travelling to/from Lisbon, I would opt for Lagos or Tavira plus Evora OR drop Evora and focus on the Algarve, otherwise you are going to spend too long in transit.
Lagos to Tavira is an hour on the toll road or 2 plus hours on the non toll road. Make sure you hire a car with a transponder if you will be using the toll roads.
Most of the accommodation is apartments/villas rather than hotels.
Thank you both for the thoughts. Sorry, should have clarified. I've been to Portugal before - went to Lisbon and many points north - Porto, Coimbra, Obidos. Also, my plan is to fly in and out of Lisbon - staying an extra day there at the end. My plan was to rent a car and drive the entire time.
Highly recommend the Pousada in Evora.
Why are you focused on the Algarve? You can go to better beaches in Florida.
Lisbon, Porto and in between is wonderful. Evora is a nice day trip by train from Lisbon.
We did the following a few years ago:
Left Lisbon and had 3 nights in Salema ( daytripped to Luz and Sagres)
Drove to Tavira stopping in Lagos on the way ( Toll road)
We only did 1 night in Tavira because the wind was terrible but I think usually I would enjoy 2
Drove from Tavira to Evora taking the scenic highway close to Spain. On my map it shows as IC127. We stopped in Mertola on the way up. I don't remember it taking 4 hours, but I wasn't really paying attention. It was a pretty drive.
We spent 3 nights in Evora and daytripped out to Estramoz and Villa Vicosa.
I'm inclined to agree with others that Lagos might be a better home base than Salema. We really liked the Alentejo region and would enjoy spending more time there too.