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Need your opinion on the planned 2 week itinerary

We are planning a 2-week driving tour in Portugal from Porto to Lisbon. It closely follows Rick's tour with small variations. Any suggestions for improvement- changes or additional stops? We like old architectural gems, ancient ruins, old towns, vistas, and art museums. Not so interested in places "X happened here" or "Y lived there".

I tried to maximize stays in hotels to minimize unpacking/packing and have a place to relax during the day in the cities.

  1. Porto (3 nights, take a car and leave early morning)
  2. Mateus Palace
  3. Need a suggested route between Mateus Palace and Bussaco, including a Douro winery to visit/have lunch. Need to be in Bussaco at a reasonable time for dinner. Is Porto- Mateus- Douro-Bussaco too ambitious for one day? 4.Bussaco (spend a night, see the palace and the park, drive to Coimbra)
  4. Coimbra (2 nights, leave early morning)
  5. Tomar
  6. Batalha
  7. Alcobaca
  8. Nazare
  9. Obidos (stay 3 nights, visit nearby towns) Which town in that area is a better base to spend three nights and visit nearby points 6 - 10?
  10. Evora (spend the night) 12 Lisbon (return the car and spend 3 nights). A train trip to Sintra.
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1152 posts

1-3)We have not visited Mateus Palace or any Douro wineries but have stayed in Pinhao on the Douro. Have been to Bussaco but it was decades ago. I mapped out your route but don't know how far along the Douro you want to drive. Driving to Pinhao then to Bussaco would take almost 4 hours with no stops. If you find a winery before reaching Pinhao then the driving time would be less.

9)We usually stay in Nazare. If you want to minimize moving you could go directly from Porto to Nazare or somewhere in that area, about a 2 hr drive, and stay 5 nights there doing day trips. It is convenient to points 5 - 9 and is on the water so you can have nice walks in the evening, depending on the time of year. Some people like the experience of staying within the walls of Obidos but we have never done that so can't comment on that. Also, from either Coimbra or Nazare you could visit the ancient Roman ruins of Conimbriga. We once did a day trip from Nazare to Coimbra and Conimbriga (about 15 min from Coimbra). We have also spent a couple of nights in Coimbra and enjoyed that as well. If you have time at Alcobaca you can visit Pasteleria Alcoa, across the street, for some delicious pastries. Tomar is really impressive and if you have time you can visit nearby Ourem, a secondary castle sight about 30 min away.

10)Evora is a bit out of the way but worth it. Three nights in Lisbon gives you 2.5 days. A trip to Sintra is almost a must but it will take most of one day so you'll need to plan your Lisbon time carefully.

It seems that you have done a lot of research and know what you want to see and do. It looks like a good plan and is similar to trips we have done, and with the exceptions above we have visited the sights you listed. It should be a great trip!