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Late December - one or two nights outside Lisbon

We would like to rent a car and drive somewhere. Somewhere within a few hours (I wanted to train to Porto but husband says that's too far) so - idea is drive to Nazare and see big waves then go to some cave east of there. Spend night in Obidos and next day drive to Sintra and then back to Lisbon.

I need ideas!! Travelers are my husband, 18 year old son and 18 year old nephew. I understand it will be cold and possibly rainy. We have a total of 5 nights in Portugal. So we are thinking maybe two nights Lisbon, two nights elsewhere and last night (NYE) in Lisbon. This trip is a special treat for my nephew who's life has kinda been sucky (no parents and lives with his grandparents). Background - prior to Portugal we are spending 3 nights in Venice.

Posted by
4022 posts

Nazare is overrated and December isn't the best time for the coast. At that time of year, much will be closed.

Sintra is best as a day trip from Lisbon by train. Evora is a quaint place to visit c90 minutes from Lisbon - see the bones chapel, walk the old aqueduct, wineries and the old city centre.

Posted by
808 posts

Thanks. Maybe I will reconsider Evora. We visited years ago.

What is your feeling on Tomar and Obidos?

Posted by
11158 posts

I haven't been to Obidos, but I spent two nights in Santarem and did a day trip from Santarem to Tomar.

Santarem has two gorgeous churches; the Igreja da Graça is more famous, for its rose window, but the Igreja de Marvila has the most stunning tile work I've ever seen. There are also great views over the Tagus River, and the town just has a lovely vibe.

Tomar has sights related to the Knights Templar as well as a synagogue, but the most memorable thing for me was the Museum of Matchbooks. They come from all over the world and are fascinating - wait till you see the Nazi one!

Santarem is an hour from Lisbon on frequent trains, and Tomar is another hour on the same line. So, you could see both in a day. Note that while while you can walk to Tomar's attractions easily from the station, Santarem's train station is in a valley below the town, and the walk up is very difficulty (no sidewalks) - take a cab from the station to the center of town.

I didn't drive, so I don't know how easy or hard it is to drive or park for these places.