My adult daughter and I are going to Portugal the end of Feb., beginning of March for 8 days, 8 nights. We are still undecided on part of our trip. We love charming towns, castles, history, art, and of course great food and wine. So far we are starting in Lisbon for 2 nights, 1 night in Sintra, and the last night in Lisbon since our flight home is early. We originally were going to stay in Coimbra 2 nights so we can tour Conímbriga, then Obidos for 1 night, and Evora for 1 night and try to fit in a tour of the megaliths. We are now debating dropping Evora, changing Coimbra to 1 night, and adding two nights in Porto. Either way, we'll be in Coimbra for Shrove Tuesday. I know the advice is to avoid one night stays, but we like getting more time in smaller towns. Advice?
You don't mention how you will be traveling? Car, train?
Spending a night in Óbidos is kind of a waste IMO. If you are driving from Lisbon to Coimbra, you can easily stop in Óbidos for a few hours. I think we spent 2-3 hours there and I didn't feel shortchanged.
There is really no way to spend only one night in Evora and see the megaliths. And, Evora is out of the way of your other destinations. If you must do Evora with the megaliths, it needs two nights. The megaliths were the highlight of my trip to Evora!
I really like Porto, but it seems as though you will be spending more time traveling than actually seeing the cities. You could divide your time between three places - Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto and actually be able to enjoy all three. Sintra is a very easy day trip from Lisbon. Of course, neither Lisbon or Porto are small cities... That said, Lisbon hits all the bases of the things you list as enjoying. Slowing down a bit and enjoying fewer places will likely be more enjoyable than spending half (or more) of your trip just traveling from place to place.
Sintra can be covered from Lisbon as a day trip - no need to move accommodation.
Obidos is the most overtly touristy place that you have listed, so I would drop that in favour of Evora, which is very interesting and could also be done as a day trip from Lisbon. Porto is also interesting, but is more travel in a relatively short timescale if you have to back track to Lisbon. I assume that you are hiring a car to fit all this travelling in?!
We will be traveling by train.
Thank you for the feedback. Do you recommend dropping Porto and splitting our stays between Lisbon and Coimbra and doing day trips to Obidos and Evora or keeping Porto, Lisbon, and Coimbra and dropping the day trip to Evora?
It seems you have too many locations for only 7 days. You will be spending a lot of time on trains. Spending 1 night in Sinra, Obidos, and Evora amounts to .5 days in each location. Have you check the train schedules and the length of the trips? With 8 nights you could leave Lisbon for the end since you have to be there anyway. Agree that Sintra is best as a day trip from Lisbon. One idea is 2 nights in Porto, 2 in Coimbra, and 4 in Lisbon, spending a day in Sintra. Or swap Evora for Porto. It's always hard to pare an itinerary. Have fun!