A friend and I are planning a trip to Portugal in September or October (our dates can be flexible so advice on which month would be better would be welcome!). We're both experienced travelers in our mid-60's, but this will be the first time either of us has been to Portugal. We're thinking of 8-10 days. I'd like to see Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto (and from my reading, Sintra, Evora, and Cascais). I love architecture and design, the arts, local crafts, my friend is a photography buff, and she'd probably also enjoy a golf afternoon if that could be arranged (I'll be happy with a spa or a lounge chair by a pool for a few hours!). We were also discussing the possibility of going on to Salamanca and then Madrid, departing Madrid back to the States--does that make sense?
Is this too much/too little? How many nights in each place (would it make sense to limit hotels to Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto and do day trips to the other towns)? is the driving relatively easy? Apartments/hotels/pousadas?
I don't want to run ourselves ragged, but I would like to get as much flavor of the country as possible. Thanks for any advice in helping me sort this out!