Planning a 2-week trip w/a friend September 18-Oct 3. We are both late 50's, active; enjoy charming small towns, wine, hiking/biking, strolling villages, eating local food. We don't need to see every church and castle but of course enjoy some of that. I prefer to minimize travel time by staying in one place and doing day trips if possible.
Looking at 4-5 nights in Porto (side trip to Durous Valley), 4-5 nights in Lisbon (side trip to Sintra and maybe Cascais?). Considering spending the last part of trip going in Algarve and staying in Lagos. It would require most of a day to get from Lisbon to Lagos door to door.
In your opinion, is it worth it to make the trip down to Algarve region or should we stick to visiting the north and Lisbon?
I realize there are beaches near Lisbon but the photos of the beach caves look so amazing.
Also wondering if Lisbon and Porto are "too large" -- I love towns with a village feel but with good restaurants and shops. To give an idea, some favorite places I've stayed are St. Remy, France; Positano, Italy; Cesky Kromlov, Czech Republic; Taoromina, Italy. Should I consider staying in Cascais and day tripping from there?
This is a trip badly needed for a respite from some personal traumatic events so I am trying to plan the best possible experience. Thank you so much.