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Itinerary advice, please

Hello,

I will be arriving in Porto and I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for a two week stay. I'd like to visit Porto for a few days and then visit northern Portugal, since I have already been to Lisbon and southern Portugal. However, if there are towns between Porto and Lisbon that are highly recommended, I'd like to go there. I am mostly interested in picturesque towns and beautiful scenery, both in the mountains and by the sea. Nice beaches would also be great!

I'd prefer not to rent a car, if possible, but am open to it if necessary.

I'd also love recommendations for good areas/guesthouses to stay in Porto for my first few nights. Thank you in advance!

Posted by
58 posts

I too liked Coimbra a lot, and can recommend it. Also, closer to Porto, I would recommend Guimarães, which will fulfill your interest in "picturesque towns." It's often treated as a day trip from Porto, but it certainly merits at least one night. (I think I spent four nights there myself, but I like to spend time "getting into" aesthetic, historic towns.)

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Faedus,

Can you recommend a place to stay in Guimaraes, and day trips from there? I'm thinking of using it as a base.

Thanks!
Karen

Posted by
58 posts

Assuming nothing has changed since my Dec. 2017 visit, I can recommend the Hotel da Oliveira, where I stayed, located on a charming narrow street in the historic center, just off the plaza of the same name. As of my stay, their restaurant had an outdoor seating section that overlooked the plaza itself, which is featured in nearly every illustrated guide to the region.
I didn't do any day trips myself, but one that I'm aware of (and I honestly can't think now of why I didn't do it) is the Citânia de Briteiros, or "British Citadel," an ancient Celtic site dating back over 2000 years.

And though it's probably too close to town to be considered a true "day trip," there is also the park on top of the nearby Penha hill, from which good views of the region can be had. It's best reached by cable car from a station a short walk outside the town center. (On the afternoon I chose for the visit, the cable car station was closed for some reason, so again I can't comment from personal experience.)