Headed with my 4 year old to Porugal arriving July 25th early am. 2.5 days in Lisbon, take fast bus to Opidos (recommended by a friend for the castle and relaxed atmosphere.) 2 days there then 5 nights in Porto. ( We will go by car service which is expensive but, I prefer over renting automatic car. August 3, 4, 5 I have left open and trying to figure if I want Nazare on the way back to Lisbon or maybe Cascais for relaxed end to our trip. The challenge is the car service Porto to Nazare is very expensive. Another choice is to stay around Porto the last 3 days but, I kinda hate to miss Nazare. Any thoughts? I probably will daytime to Sintra Day 2 of Lisbon. Thank you for your thoughts. Someone told me, if I see Nazare, I will want to live there! Not going to go to Algarve as I can save that for a different trip.
I have no experience traveling with a 4-year-old, but Lisbon is a lot larger than Porto, and you're giving yourself only 2 full, non-jetlagged days there.
You will probably find Obidos very touristy during the daytime. That may not feel as relaxing as you're expecting, though I'm sure it wlll be nice and quiet in the evening and early morning.
As for Nazare, I believe folks who've been there recently have not been impressed. It wasn't all that exciting to me, either, and I was there decades ago when it wasn't as touristy. But in any case, I think Flixbus travels from Porto to Nazare (though not frequently), or you could take the train (more fun for your child) to the nearby town of Valado and get a taxi from there. You'd be changing trains in Coimbra, and the total train time would be about 4 hours. I don't think there's a need to pay for car service all the way from Porto in this situation.
Good advice from acravan above. My advice in short: Not nearly enough time in Lisbon, especially with a day trip to Sintra. Skip Nazare altogether. If you are looking for a nice beach town to relax consider Obidos will be jammed with tour buses so perhaps tour for a day as it is interesting but I would not linger. If you are looking to relax in a beach town consider Ericeira. Cascais is beautiful and very worthwhile but will certainly be busy in August (but nice).
I mostly agree with the other posters. Not enough time in Lisbon and taking the train is quite easy and so much less expensive. Nazaré is not worth the extra hassle of getting there - especially if you were to pay for a private driver. I have been to Nazaré twice and still am not impressed. The beaches are nicer at Ericeira and São Martinho do Porto is ideal for a child with very calm water.
I do differ in my opinion about the crowds - this summer. There are some tourists about but so many less than usual. It would be a good time for Obidos but I don’t think I’d stay two nights. There is simply not enough to see for that amount of time. A couple of hours was enough for me.
Of course, I’m partial to Cascais after living here almost six years. The tourists are less but August is traditionally the busiest month. But, it’s good for children with a large park (Marechal Carmona) with ducks, chickens and peacocks roaming freely, a smaller park with old carousel and the beaches are small and calm enough for a young child.
Great advice! I think I will leave my last 3 days open that way I can see more of Lisbon or possibly end with one of those other beach town. Nazare sounds like a skip as foes the car service. Even Sintra sounds like it would be packed.