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Need help refining itinerary Porto to Lisbon with side trips

My husband and I are visiting Porto and Lisbon for 8 nights end of April-early May. We are flying into Porto, where I thought we would spend 2 or 3 nights. We will be renting a car and wondered if we should do a day trip to the Douro Valley ( and if so, where should we head?) or take one night and spend it in a quinta in the Douro Valley? Then we would proceed to 1 night in Coimbra, sightseeing as we travel. I think the night in Coimbra will be May 1 and also wonder about the extent that May 1 is celebrated in Portugal and whether sight-seeing will be impacted?
From there we will travel to Lisbon, where we would sleep for the remaining 4 nights. I am considering a day trip to Evora from Lisbon before ditching the car, and doing a day trip to Sintra by public transportation. That gives us 2 full days in Lisbon.
Thank you for thinking about this with me!

Posted by
409 posts

We did 3 days/nights in Porto and we had a rental car. One of the days we followed the "Drive the Douro" car tour in rick's book. We alao stopped at a winery for a tour during this drive. It is a full day and well worth it. The other 2 days we walked everywhere, following the advice in the guidebook. Walking around at night is even better than during the day.

Coimbra deserves a full day. The book describes what to do to enjoy your time there. I am not sure how busy it will be on May 1.

If you have never been to Lisbon, then drop Evora, and ditch the car when you arrive in Lisbon. Sintra takes another full day. Doing the 3 walks in the book is another day. Belem is another day. There are so many things to see and do in Lisbon that will take the rest of your time.

I have been to Lisbon many times and have only scratched the surface. There is never enough time, so hopefully you will go back!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Carl. After reading your thoughts, I have decided to ditch the car when we get to Lisbon and drop Evora from the plans. My husband suggested if we really want to see it once in Lisbon, we could always do a train trip, so that decides it. I'm still in the air about whether to visit the Douro valley as a day trip, although I am leaning to staying the night there to more fully experience it, and then moving on to Coimbra from there. Thanks for sharing your thinking!