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portugal itinerary

My husband and I are taking our first real trip without kids in 20 years. We are going to Portugal, at the worst time - first week of August - yes, in 3 weeks, and still don't have our agenda set, other than our tickets.

Arrive in Lisbon at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, depart 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, giving us 8.5 days. We are mid-50s, and tend to plan to do more than we actually do. We will be renting a car.

We want to spend some time in Lisbon & visit Sintra. We are not definite about anything else.

I think I would really like to go down to Segre and see southwestern most point love cliffs, ocean. My husband is drawn to Porto.

We could just do the coast but I worry that we will miss seeing something very different if we don't go inland at all. On the other hand, I worry that we will plan on seeing too much and will spend too much time in the car.

Any itinerary recommendations?

Posted by
4038 posts

Segre - do you mean Sagres? You shouldn't go anywhere near the Algarve in August without accommodation booked and at this late stage, you aren't likely to find much. There will be a reason why accommodation is still available!

Sagres is always cold and windy, even at the height of summer - there isn't much there, but it will be full of wind surfers.

Having a car in Lisbon is a disadvantage - parking is difficult and expensive.

8.5 days is a reasonable time to see Lisbon, its surroundings and Porto, but you won't have time for much inbetween. Hire a car when leaving Lisbon and return it on arrival in Porto. Cascais and Sintra are best covered by train from Lisbon as separate day trips.

Day 1 - if your flight is on time, it will be c 2pm by the time you are at your accommodation. Take a walk to get over any jet lag. Lisbon itself deserves at least 2 full days and if you are going all the way to Porto, same there. That doesn't leave much time to see all the area between Lisbon and Porto!

Finding accommodation on the coast maybe an issue in August, so you could head to the interesting inland towns at night, such as Evora or Tomar. Book your accommodation asap.

Take the train back to Lisbon and stay close to the airport for your early departure.

Posted by
5899 posts

Drive from Lisbon stop at obidos and continue on to Evora. Then north to Porto.
Or Lisbon, stay in Coimbra overnight then Porto.
Or Lisbon, Nazarene 0the ocean, Porto.
You will love Portugal!

Posted by
244 posts

Embrace trains (comboios) and buses (autocarros).
Parking is very expensive in: Lisboa, Coimbra, Sintra, Porto.

Posted by
17088 posts

Obidos (north of Lisbon) isn't on the way to Evora (east of Lisbon), but Obidos is fairly small and viamichelin.com (probably optimistically) puts the driving time for Lisbon-Obidos-Evora at under 4 hours, so seeing Obidos and ending up in Evora could work. But stopping in Obidos on the way to Coimbra/Porto would be more geographically appropriate.

I, too, vote for going somewhere other than the Algarve on such a short trip.

Posted by
280 posts

I'm not sure if I had your time that I would bother with either the Algarve or Porto. Instead I would focus on the area closer to Lisbon. I really liked Evora, but think it may be too hot at the beginning of August.

If this was my trip I'd try something like this:
Friday to Tuesday Lisbon
Tuesday night Sintra ( it's a romantic town, this is your first trip without kids!) Also it is very touristy, so if you stay over you can see without all the daytrippers in the evening.
Pick up car Wednesday then choose from one of the beach towns ( Cascais, Nazare, lots of others)
If Nazare can daytrip to Alcobaca, Batalha.

Or if really want Porto, skip the car, and after Sintra take train up to Porto.

We stayed in Obidos our last night and drove into LIsbon, but with a 5 am flight, I think is too far.