Please sign in to post.

Portugal: Coimbra, Nazaré, Évora, Lagos?

Hello, After spending 4 days in Porto, we're wanting to drive to Coimbra and Nazaré. If we don't do a tour to Coimbra from Porto that is.

After reading multiple comments, looks like Coimbra is the place to spend the night and a drive through Nazaré, just enough to get a look.
Due to our flights, Lisbon will be at the tail end of our trip.
So from Nazaré we'd like to swing over to Évora and then to Lagos. We'd like to stay in Lagos (read that Salema is really touristy) a couple/3 nights and get to see all the area beaches.
Thoughts on the itinerary above? We're planning on renting a car. Hard to tell how much time is needed to enjoy the scenery and the towns.

Back to Lisbon...
Is 4-5 days a good amount of time in Lisbon? Which areas do you recommend we stay?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
3628 posts

Hi! At what time of the year is this? I am not quite sure that Lagos / Algarve is worth the drive for just 3 nights, unless you really do not have access to any sort of beach where you live. I mean, the Algarve coast is beautiful, but not quite to the point where I'd cross the oceans to visit it.

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Balso, we're going in Sept/Oct. Would you recommend we stay longer? We'd like a 'taste' of all of portugal while we're there for 2 weeks. 3-4 days Porto, 4-5 days in Lisbon. That leaves us some time to explore other areas. While in Porto we plan on visiting the area nearby. Same w/Lisbon. Thanks for your feedback. ~M

Posted by
796 posts

What are your interests? Are you slow travelers or fast travelers? We spent 5 nights in Lisbon, and that included a day trip to Sintra. So I would definitely spend 5 nights in Lisbon including a day trip to Sintra, unless you want to overnight in Sintra. Then perhaps 4 nights in Lisbon and 1 night in Sintra. Lisbon is wonderful; it's a small capital city with lots to see and do and great ambiance.

Posted by
5483 posts

There is some great coast much closer to Lisbon that won’t necessitate such a long drive to the Algarve. Lagos is as touristy as Salema, just bigger. The whole Algarve is touristy. Nazare isn’t my favourite resort along this coast but is good for surfing.

Your timescale is great for Porto and the Douro, the lovely towns on the way south such as Coimbra, Tomar, Alcobaca, Batalha and Obidos, then swing inland to Evora for a couple of nights (also check out the megaliths) then back to Lisbon/Cascais for 5 days.

Posted by
3628 posts

A great place IMO to sample coastal Portugal is Ericeira, a pretty town above the ocean, close to Lisbon (close enough that you don't need a car). Great beaches, great food, and nearby Mafra Palace is stunning. You could also visit Sintra from there rather than from Lisbon.

Posted by
248 posts

Car rental is a great idea but in IMHO your itinerary has too much windshield time (i.e., east to Evora and South to Lagos). For lovers of history, the UNESCO sites in Portugal are quite accessible with a car. I'd suggest that you consider adding to your itinerary:
Either the Monastery of Alcobaça or the Monastery of Batalha
Tomar
Guimares
Braga
And, while not on the UNESCO list, Aviero is a delight.

Posted by
303 posts

With two weeks I would not personally prioritize Lagos. It is a long drive from Evora there and back to Lisbon. There are some lovely scenic drives to get there, but that will use much of a day.
Have you considered taking the train from Porto to Coimbra and picking up your car there?

We really enjoyed Evora, and spent 3 nights there, but we also explored the Alentejo area a bit, including some other towns such as Vila Vicosa.
5 nights for your first time to Lisbon is not too much, particularly if you are daytripping to Sintra

Posted by
16 posts

Hi kmkwoo,
Thank you for your response. We're fast travelers that enjoy a little bit of history, architecture, leisure, food and culture.

Posted by
16 posts

HI Jennifer,
Thank you for your input.

We do want to visit a beach. Definitely want to see the Southern coast. We like to get a bit of everything since we don't know when we'll be back. Covid has taught us to take nothing for granted regarding traveling (and other things too). That said, I'm not getting any younger either so I'm going to squeeze in as many sights and fun as I can..~M

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Craig,
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Great ideas and I'll review those areas. Appreciate it. ~M

Posted by
16 posts

HI Lisa,
thanks for your feedback and suggestions. Sintra is definitely on the must see list :) I have looked into the train from Porto to Coimbra. Still figuring out the logistics. ~M