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Late January Itinerary Suggestions

Hi Everyone.
My wife and I are planning a last minute trip to Portugal on January 21 for about 10 nights. We have been to Lisbon once before in March, 2020 and absolutely loved it! Our trip got cut short at the time due to things getting locked down at home (Canada).
Looking for a suggested itinerary for about 10 nights starting in Lisbon. Our original plan was to stay a few nights in Lisbon then head down to the Algarve. However after reading a few posts about the Algarve, I am starting to question our plan.
I realize it won’t be beach weather and we aren’t looking for a jam packed itinerary, but we are open to any ideas you guys have for us.
Thanks in advance
Conor

Posted by
796 posts

I have only been to Lisbon and Sintra so far so I can't offer too much first-hand advice. But I will suggest visiting Sintra if you haven't already done so. We visited as a day trip from Lisbon, but if you have the time, I recommend spending a night or two in Sintra so you can see more sights and enjoy the ambiance.

Our daughter loved Porto, and it's on my bucket list, so that could be a suggestion along with the Douro Valley. Although I don't know what the weather will be like in Porto in late January. Other places I have read about but have not visited yet are Evora and the monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaca.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
5467 posts

January is one of the most miserable months in Portugal - cool and wet. I certainly wouldn’t head to the Algarve then as many places will be closed.

Lisbon - Evora - Obidos - Caldas da Rainha - Tomar - Alcobaca - Batalha- Coimbra and if you have time, Porto.

Posted by
1767 posts

My understanding is the Algarve is best during the summer months so good idea to skip it. Since you’re spending time in Lisbon you can take day trips to Sintra (30-minutes by direct train) and Évora (1h 30m by direct train.
I would then depart Lisbon and go to Coimbra and sleep there for three nights (2h 15m by direct train) and take a day trip to Porto (1h 30m by direct train).

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far. Is there a car rental company you would recommend? I’ve never rented a car or driven in Europe but I have read Portugal is pretty good for driving.

Posted by
1151 posts

As mentioned above, February is not the best weather but it can also have lovely days. Today is dawning sunny and cold - high of 13 C. But, earlier in the week, we had three solid days of dense fog!

In ten days, I might focus between Lisbon and Coimbra and points in between. Porto will be even colder and rainier. There is a great walking tour in Coimbra (if they are still in business due to covid). Go Walks does a nice walk around town that includes the university library. Outside of Coimbra is Conimbriga- - Roman ruins with still intact mosaic floors. It’s very much worth a trip.
Tomar, Alcobaça and Batalha are also worth a visit. In the other direction from Lisbon, Evora is also a great area. It introduces you to the Alentejo area with cork trees, wineries and a great tour of megalithic stones. Google Megalithica Evoba. If you decide to visit Evora, I would spend at least one night so you can do this tour.
You don’t want to drive in Lisbon but the areas outside of the metro area are easy with great roads. I always use Autoeurope. It’s a consolidator and has great rates and service if needed.
As I’m certain you know, covid rates are very high right now with some restrictions. Be certain to be up to date with the ever changing rules both for entering the country and getting into places once you are here. Safe Communities Portugal is a good resource.

Posted by
5467 posts

Driving standards in Portugal are shocking! Most cars have dings galore.

I have used Keddy, Sixt and local companies and they have all been similar. We prefer to have a slightly older, less fancy car, where they are less sensitive to scratches and dings.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks again everyone for the suggestions. They were very helpful. We are very excited for the trip even though it won’t be ideal conditions with the weather and the pandemic. Our plan is to head to Lisbon/ Sinatra, Coimbra and Porto (weather dependant) with a few stops in between. We are leaning toward using Public transport.
Not going to push ourselves to do to much as I know we will be back to Portugal in the near future.
Once again, thank you for all the information. I’ll post back with updates.

Posted by
5 posts

Can anyone recommend a tour in Porto or do you suggest doing it on your own? Maybe some suggestions on what to do while we are there. Plan on Staying 3-4 nights in Porto.

Posted by
1151 posts

Taste Porto is a great food tour in Porto. Anthony Bourdain featured it on his last show there and it is great fun. It combines a variety of foods with some history and info about the city.