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Itinerary advice - Porto, Lisbon and inbetween

We are taking our first trip to Portugal in September, we arrive in Porto September 8th, and depart Lisbon September 21st. We have already booked a Lisbon hotel September 15 - 21, and plan to do a few day trips from there (Sintra, Cascais, Belem).

I'm not sure how to divide the time in and around Porto. We would like to do the train ride to Pinhao (or possibly Pochino), can this be done as a daytrip from Porto - or does it warrant an overnight? I'm currently thinking of the 8 - 13 in Porto with daytrips (the 8th will be just dinner and sleep). Then travelling via train 'someplace' for the 13th and 14th and then onto Lisbon. Is Coimbra the best choice for the two night stop - or would it be better to stay in Sintra for the two nights? The Algarve looks lovely but seems too far afield and potentially too crowded at that time.

We plan to use Trains and Buses only. Any suggestions would be appreciated! We love good food, city wandering, trams and trains of all kinds, museums and like a relaxed travel pace for just soaking up the feel and flavors of a place.

Posted by
921 posts

Coimbra is a good choice for two nights between Porto and Lisboa. It's on the train line and likely has enough to keep you busy for a full day. Conimbriga, outside of Coimbra,is a roman settlement with ruins. You could likely find a tour to these ruins if that interests you.

While in Porto, Guimarães and Braga make good day trips if you need more to keep you busy.

You are correct IMO about the Algarve being too far. And, I agree that Sintra works well as a day trip.

Posted by
312 posts

I agree with the others on Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon.

Coimbra is very nice, but I also explored Obidos. We only spent a day there, wished to have stayed longer.
I believe there is a bus to get there, don't know about a train.
Here's a website to check out: http://www.obidosportugalguide.com/tourism-guide/obidos-things-to-do-see-sights.html

From Porto we did a day trip to Aveiro. Make sure to go to the beach there (Costa Nova), really cute striped colored beach houses.

Have a great trip.