My partner and I have booked a trip to Portugal for next June (early planning I know) for 12 days, starting and ending in Lisbon.
I'm looking for guidance on the itinerary. We are in our late 20s. For trips we prefer: seeing the major sites while still having time to relax and soak in the culture (not too many museums), eating and drinking good food and wine in outdoor cafes, and relaxing for a few days on the beach. A bit of partying in Lisbon/Lagos would be nice as well.
Day 1-3: Lisbon (with day trip to Sintra)
Day 4: Lisbon to Obidos (overnight in Obidos)
Day 5: Return to Lisbon to leave for Porto
Day 6-8: Porto
Day 9-11: Fly from Porto to Faro (and stay in either Lagos, Tavaria or Sagres)
Day 12: Fly from Faro to Lisbon to catch flight home
A few general questions as well:
1) Should I rent a car to get around the Algarve? Or not?
2) Am I missing a lot by not visiting Evora, Casias and other smaller-sized towns?
3) Am I trying to cram in too much?
4) Is there a lot of time wasted in going back to Lisbon to arrive in Porto? Would it be better to drive in between Lisbon->Obidos->Porto->Faro->Lisbon? Or not?
Thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help!