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Honeymoon advice Nov 13-19

I'm seeking advice on any thing worth doing. Especially seeking ideas requiring advanced ticket purchases, any dining recommendations dinner/breakfast (Madeira, Porto, Lisbon, Sintra), Port wine tastings, museums, bars/clubs, and hiking. My fiance and I are an active 34 years old. We have a 12 day, extremely "busy" honeymoon. The first 6 days of our trip are in Portugal (remainder in Barcelona). I've created an account on www.cp.pt/passageiros/en, but haven't purchased tickets yet. If interested in offering tips / advice for us, here is our outlined itinerary ( and for the record :) I wanted to stay the whole 12 days in Portugal).

Arrive in Madeira 11/13, stay at Castanheiro Boutique Hotel 2 nights.

Wednesday 11/15, 7pm depart the beautiful island of Madeira for Porto

11/15 & 16 stay at Pestana Vintage Porto. Where should we go for Port Wine tour/tasting with limited time? Great dining?

11/17 mid-morning train from Porto to Lisbon with stop in Coimbra for lunch & site seeing. I understand that only 1 of the Coimbra stations has luggage lockers... Advice?

11/17 & 18 stay in Lisbon at the Internacional Design Hotel on south side of Rossio Square. Nightlife recommendations? Dining? Museums? Advanced ticket reservations?

11/18 day trip to Sintra by train. Any advanced ticket purchase requirements for touring castles? Tour guides?

Sunday 11/19 - depart Lisbon 2pm by plane THANK YOU!!

Posted by
17145 posts

I'm sorry, but your itinerary is nuts. You are traveling and traveling and spending almost no time at each destination. Example: You are giving yourself one full day and a very few hours in Lisbon, and you're going to Sintra.

I love Madeira--have been there twice--but wouldn't recommend going for just two days when there is much to enjoy on the Portuguese mainland. If you're trying to assure yourself of some warmish weather, I'd suggest limiting your trip to Madeira or, worst case, Madeira and Lisbon. Be aware that Madeira can get rain.

I like the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon a lot. It has works in a lot of media and is not terribly large.

Posted by
281 posts

I agree with acraven that you are trying to fit an awful lot into 6 days. However if you do stick with that itinerary here are my suggestions. I've not been to Madeira.
In Porto for Port Wine tasting just go across the Ponte Luis bridge to where all the port houses are. You can just walk here. Take a tour of the cellars, and then you can choose how many types of port you wish to taste. We went to Offleys and enjoyed it, but I suspect they are all similar. You can also go to the Wines of Portugal tasting room in both Lisbon and Porto. In Porto it is on the side of the Stock Exchange building, which is also a palace and well worth a tour.

Skip Coimbra for this trip. The train does not stop in the historic section, and you will have a minimum 30 minute walk or else a second train to get to where you would want to start sightseeing. Add that time to seeing Lisbon.

For nightlife people often recommend the Baixa Chiado area of Lisbon. Maybe take a look at hotels up there instead as you only have 2 nights. We stayed on the other side near the Castle ( Alfama) area and our favourite restaurants were up there. As you only have a couple of days in Lisbon check out Rick Steves walks in his book ( and I'm sure on this site somewhere). It will give you a good feel for the city in a day. Keep in mind both cities have a lot of uphill!

Posted by
4065 posts

Sorry, but way, way too much time in transit and not enough time relaxing and sight seeing.

In November, there is a fair chance that there maybe weather issues affecting Madeira airport that may scupper your plans. This airport is prone to wind problems delaying flights, sometimes by a day or two. I would scrap this and focus on Porto and Lisbon, which would still be a hectic schedule given your limited timescale.

Posted by
3351 posts

After the stress, activity, and planning associated with most weddings (granted, yours may be different) why do you want "...a 12 day, extremely "busy" honeymoon."? You will probably need time to relax and decompress. Strongly suggest this might be a case where "less is more". You want good memories of places, food, wine, and time together -- not just memories of train stations and watching the world go by a window. Don't mean to rain on your parade, just food for thought. May you love long and prosper.