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Getting from Nazare to Douro Valley and Itinerary-Help

My Daughter and I are traveling to Portugal in May. We would like to take public transportation as much as is reasonable. I am having trouble finding how to get from Nazare to Douro Valley. What is the. best way? We want to stay a few days exploring the valley and considering taking a tour or renting a car?- Any thoughts? Any input on this itinerary is appreciated.
Taking from Rick Steve's itinerary with modification our " still in progress" itinerary is :
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon (sleep in Lisbon)
Day 2: Lisbon (sleep in Lisbon)
Day 3: Lisbon
Day 4: Lisbon, side-trip to Sintra by train (sleep in Lisbon)
Day 5: Evora Tour- Return to Lisbon
Day 6: Nazare (Fatima, Batalha and Obidos- Group Tour) (Overnight in Nazare)
Day 7: Nazare to Douro Valley
Day 8: Douro Valley
Day 9: Douro Valley then travel to Porto
Day 10: Porto
Day 11: Porto
Day 12: Depart Porto

Posted by
724 posts

I’m pretty certain you won’t find a group tour of the places you mention leaving from Nazaré. There would be tours leaving from Lisbon - and returning there.

If you want to spend a night or two on the Silver Coast, you would likely want to rent a car. Driving in that area is very easy, especially if you pick up the car outside of the Lisbon area.

And, you might want to research other towns than Nazaré for your base. RS loves it, but it’s not my favorite. Óbidos is on the way to this area, so it may be possible to stop there for a couple of hours (all you will need IMO).

To get to the Douro, you will likely need to get to Coimbra - where you can take the train to Porto. From Porto there, you can take the train to the Douro.

Posted by
3000 posts

Days 5 to 9 shout “hire a car” to me. I would add another day to this element and reduce your time in Porto by the same, so that you can also see some of the other interesting towns in this region.

Personally, I don’t rate Nazare, but geographically, the location is ok as a base for exploring. Day 6 would be impossible without a car.

Posted by
10 posts

Kathryn and Jennifer, Thank you for your insight and recommendations. I thought about renting a car so with your recos we will plunge forward and rent a car for days 5-9 and explore the area independently and omitting the group tour . I was afraid to drive but I hear that its not bad. Going to reduce the time in Porto and use the time to explore other areas.

Posted by
23 posts

Use Google Glenda (the Google maps lady) and listen to her intently when you are coming up to a round about as to which exit to take to escape it. Once we figured that out everything was super easy, although admittedly we didn't drive in any cities - rented the car in Coimbra, drove to Nazare, to Obidos, visited a salt harvesting place we found randomly, back to Nazare, and back to Coimbra over a 3 day stretch.
Also - something that we didn't know - the cars use diesel, and the color of the handles is opposite of what we were used to (in Washington state). We almost made a tragic error when refueling! Thankfully my rudimentary Portuguese allowed me to question the attendant (and the symbols on the car gas cap also helped)
Driving on the right side of the road was good as well - have not yet tried the UK driving.