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Evora, Tomar, Nazaré?

Hi All,
Im staying in Portugal for 6 days/6 nights (I know, its nothing). I am planning on 4 in Lisbon and using the other two for further afield (my thought was two 1-night stays). Initially I was thinking Evora and Nazaré. Concrete itinerary looks like this.
1 - arrive 11a (sleep lisbon)
2 - lisbon (sleep)
3 - lisbon (sleep)
4 - sintra? cascais? (sleep lisbon)
5 - depart in rental car for ? Arrive midmorning (sleep ?)
6 - depart for town ?? Arrive midmorning (sleep??)
7 - morning in ??. Drive to airport for 5p flight

I know Nazaré is considered cheesy by some, and it wouldn't be a base for day trips but a destination in itself (although maybe stop between Tomar and it in F or B, as I would then have the next day in Nazaré for several hours to walk around before leaving for the airport - lets say Im out and about by 8a and leave for the airport at 2).

Posted by
5245 posts

With only six nights, I'd probably spend them all in Lisbon or at least somewhere close to Lisbon. And I wouldn't want to be far from the airport in Lisbon on the final night, even though you have such a late flight out. Some people report enjoying a quiet night in Sintra when most of the tourist are gone, so that's one possibility.

Tomar is a lovely little town. It would make an easy day trip from Lisbon by train.

Nazaré is kind of cheesy and tacky, but I loved it. You could visit it as a long day trip (bus) from Lisbon but not sure it's worth it. I know you could rent a car and drive up there but I wouldn't want to stress about getting back to the airport from there on the final morning, just a personal preference.

Posted by
387 posts

Sintra is a full day trip ... Cascais was nice but I would pick Queluz (very close to Lisbon) with the National Palace and Gardens (aka the Portuguese Versailles) ... maybe stop there on your way north to Nazare and Tomar ... both Batalha and Fatima are close to Tomar and both are worth a visit, then stop in Santarem on the way back to Lisbon ... we stopped at all these places on our 2019 trip ... Portugal is beautiful, one of our best trips ever.

Posted by
6055 posts

I would only change sleeping places for a big advantage or a really special attraction. It's been some time since we were in Lisbon, but we found that (gasp) long-day bus tours from LIsbon were an efficient, affordable, effortless way to see three or four disparate attractions in a single day. Often 8AM-7PM on the bus. Back then, with Garmin but not Waze, navigating in Portugal was annoying with a car. If you need the American feeling of independence and four wheels, you won't be interested in this solution to your problem.

Here are a few thoughts to run through:

Posted by
1218 posts

Thanks all,

My thinking stems from experimenting with the "base + side trips" model of travel in Greece and hating it. We typically travel with short stays of 1-2 nights built in between longer stays. The prospect of spending 4 hours RT on a train to Tomar for a day is, well, not how I would like to spend that time. But Im taking everything here and thinking hard.

The other aspect is: Im gun-shy about public transport with Covid being what it is in Europe right now (maybe Im paranoid, but I guess Im ok with that ;p ). And I do love the freedom of a car.

Finally, Im traveling with a 14yo, and she has requests too. She wants Sintra, and she's interested in Nazaré...

Posted by
5245 posts

Jessica, it's important to know your own travel style. I prefer public transportation, though I've driven in Europe a few times. I also don't mind one night stays in some cases. If you want to rent a car, I understand driving in Portugal (outside of the big cities) is easy.

Posted by
245 posts

Hi Jessica, I have a similar number of days and kind of a similar plan as you! However after Lisbon I will be in Madrid for an event. Sintra is apparently a day trip or at least 6-8 hrs back. Cascais is surprisingly barely mentioned in ricks book but folks on the forum bring it up often. I’ve heard good things about Evora from my Spanish friend. If your daughter is interested in a spot, it might be worthwhile to make the hike there so she feels included (and the effects of her choices and planning). Nazare drive sounds interesting, though it’s in a different direction for Evora x but then the drives are not too long for us Americans - also heard that it’s easy to drive outside of big city.

Posted by
1218 posts

Thanks everyone. Ive traveled a lot and driven a lot on my travels, so that is not concerning. I did end up changing our plans and now have 6 night in Lisbon. I think we'll 'trade' Cascais for Nazaré as a day trip. And visit Evora as a day trip (and Sintra). So 3 days in Lisbon and three 'out'. We then head to Italy. I do discuss all the options and changes with my daughter. I show her comments on RS too ;) She'll get to decided the day to day. I am more involved in the macro plan. Thanks again

Posted by
8926 posts

We had lunch by the beach in Nazare, saw the ocean and moved on. I would not want to stay there with so many wonderful places to visit in Portugal. Evora is wonderful.