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Portugal Honeymoon - Oct 8th - 17th First time from Canada

Hello new friends,

We are coming to Portugal for the first time in October. We land on the 8th and will drive directly to Alhos de Agua where we are staying at the Tui Blu Falasia. On the morning of the 13th we will drive back to Lisbon where we are staying at the Portugal Boutique Hotel in Santa Maria Maior.

Looking for any advice or recommendations as well as some Covid related preparations coming from Canada. We are both Pfizer double vaxxed. Our plan were to do two day trips to Sintras and Cascais. We are not sit on the beach for hours people and enjoy an active lifestyle (walks, hike, kayak etc). Love food and culture.

Thanks in advance!

C & D

Posted by
6585 posts

With only four days in Lisbon you may only want to do one day trip. Sintra is historic and very worthwhile. Caiscais is a beach community/ resort and you will already have spent time by the beach and the sea in the Algarve. Use that day to see more of Lisbon. Make sure you include the Belem area with many historic sites and the beautiful Monasterio de Jeronimos. Buy tickets for Jeronimos in advance.

Posted by
4737 posts

I hope that you aren’t landing in Lisbon and driving for hours to the Algarve whilst jet lagged. Portuguese driving can be eccentric at the best of times and you will need full concentration. Get a car with a transponder for the road tolls. The toll road is rather dull, but taking the more interesting routes will take the best part of a day.

The Algarve is an odd choice if you don’t want to focus on the beaches. I prefer walking up the western coast rather than the southern coast, as it’s less built up, but this is some distance from Albufeira where you are staying. Walking in the Monchique hills is interesting and the walking around the pretty Rocha da Pena is very different from the coast.

Kayaking can be difficult due to the strong currents - I have seen very fit men get into difficulty here and need rescuing!

I would opt for Cascais over Sintra for a day trip.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Suki and Jennifer. Just to clarify the beach comment was not that we don’t love the beach because we do, it’s just that we are walkers as opposed to sunbathers. I know between Faro and Lagos there are a number of interesting beaches we would like to visit.

Posted by
4737 posts

The best Algarve beaches aren’t between Faro and Lagos IMO, they are in Lagos and further west, towards the National Park. The central Algarve section is more built up.

I am not a fan of beaches with row upon row of beach umbrellas and chairs. I like Meia Praia in Lagos for a long stretch of easily accessible golden sand, Praia Dona Ana on the southern side of Lagos for cliffs and rock formations, Praia da Figueira (park in the village and walk down the mile or so to this pretty cove), Praia do Zavial (great beach bar) and the long amazing beaches along the west coast from Carrapateira backed by amazing folded rock formations.

Posted by
1007 posts

I will address the covid issues. At this time, it’s difficult to say what will be in force in October. We are due to hear new relaxation of rules after a meeting today. As things are looking better and we are at 85% fully vaccinated, I’m guessing most of the current rules will be gone by then. But, there is no guarantee.

You might want to look at the online newspapers The Portugal News or Portugal Resident in a couple of days. They do a pretty good job of exposing mandates, rules, etc.

Posted by
1007 posts

Just announced - from 1 October, testing or covid certificates will no longer be required for hotels or restaurants on the weekends. Masks will still be required on public transport and at crowded venues such as sporting events. They are calling 1 October “Freedom Day”!

Posted by
16 posts

Hi, jumping in on the October 1st day news - I am also traveling to Portugal at the begining of October. Did the changes mention anything about the testing requirements entering Portugal? I am also double vaxxed and was trying to plan out testing schedules before flying. But if they will accept my vax card- problem solved! My niece just used her card to fly into Madrid this week - I know all the countries are different but this is great news.

Any updates or clarity are very much appreciated :)