We are planning an 8 day road trip this October prior to departing on a cruise from Lisbon. We will be flying into Lisbon, renting a car and traveling up to Porto, Douro Valley, Belmonte, Marvao, Elvora and then back to Lisbon where we will return car and then spend 3 days seeing Lisbon prior to departing on cruise.....want to visit wineries and enjoy Portuguese wine and port... looking to stay in wineries and pousadas. We would appreciate any recommendations for this trip.
The Pousada Convento in Evora is a very nice place to stay, in historic center. We didn’t want to leave.
If you are landing after a long-haul flight, driving any distance is a bad idea - both lack of sleep and jetlag can severely impact your mind and body - it's the equivalent of DUI. A car will be a hindrance in Porto. The alternatives I would suggest are
- fly into Porto OR take the train to Porto on arrival, then rent a car for Douro Valley, Belmonte, Marvao, Evora, drop the car in Lisbon.
- spend 3 days seeing Lisbon, then rent the car to Evora to the Douro, drop it in Porto. Take the train to Lisbon on the day of your cruise.
You can take a walking tour of wineries in Porto. Stay in a Quinta in the Douro Valley (I loved Quinta de Maroccos).
Car rental - it's worth paying the daily fee for a toll reader for the convenience and time saved. If you aren't on the toll roads, add about 50% to the estimated driving times. You probably won't be comfortable driving on the narrow 2-lane roads without shoulders through the hills at the posted speed limits. The legal blood/alcohol limit for driving when drinking in Portugal is under 0.5 - in the US it's .08. The driver should probably not drink at all, other than tiny tastings. One glass can put you too close to the limit.