We are trying to plan a trip to Portugal & trying to see the following places: Lisbon, Nazaré, Évora, Sintra & really want to see the beaches & rock formations of the Algarve area. While we’d like to visit Porto & the Douro Valley, we are having trouble figuring out if we’d be better off with just the southern part of Portugal & maybe even adding Seville on at the end & flying out of there. Or if we should try to figure out how to get Duoro & Porto in our itinerary. Any suggestions will be appreciated! Flying from the US & also plan to rent a car for part of the trip. We plan to try this in 12 days?!?! Going end of April-beginning of May ( leaving before the pilgrimage to Fatima) Is it way too much??? Btw we don’t love shopping, or countless cathedrals or lots of tourists! We DO LOVE Nature, archeology, and history!
How many nights will you have on the ground in Portugal?
Don't plan to rent a car in Portugal and drop it off in Spain without checking on the international drop charge. It is usually very high.
Probably 12 days on the ground in Portugal & possibly Spain. Yeah, we looked into the rental car drop off charge & the average was like $900! So we figured we’d drop the car in Faro maybe & either take a bus or hire a driver? Not sure. If it’s too much hassle we won”t go. I just figured we won’t visit Seville again when going to Spain & this may be the closest I’ll get!
Lisbon can easily fill 4-5 full days plus day trips to Cascais and Sintra. Evora is better with an overnight stay. I don’t like the overrated Nazaré. Scrap it if you are going to the Algarve beaches.
Porto is compact and can be seen in a day, but you will need at least another full day and ideally a second for the Douro.
I think Porto - Lisbon - Algarve is a rush in 15 days (and you have less), as is adding in Spain.
If you want to see the amazing rock formations up close without the crowds, head to the western coast between Zambujeira do Mar and Vila do Bispo rather than the southern Algarve coastline. These beaches are amazing, although it may not be beach weather at that time of year.
I wouldn’t consider doing all you have mentioned in 12 days! Pick central Portugal and either the Algarve or Porto - not both. It’s simply too much rushing around. And, especially with the transportation limitations between Portugal and Spain, I wouldn’t add on Sevilla.
Lisbon, Evora, Sintra and maybe Porto will more than fill 12 days. The train is easy between all of these places so you can avoid renting a car.
Nazaré is overrated and there are beaches much closer to Lisbon.
Thank you so much everyone! Those are great planning tips!!! I knew I’d get some good info. on here! Take care & happy travels!