We have booked 10 days in Portugal, and plan to spend about 3 days in Lisbon, then rent a car. We enjoy historical sights, exp. castles, and beautiful scenery. Does anyone have any recommendations? Is there enough to see in 7 days, or should we cross over into Spain, and if so, what would you recommend?
A wonderful town in the north is Viana do Castelo.
It is about 4 hrs from A Coruna, one of Spain's prettiest cities. Viana has glorious views down the coast, is a fine walking town and is home to some of Europ's friendliest people
One place we enjoyed very much in Portugal was Coimbra, with a day trip to the Bucacao Forest.
Both great places if you value atmosphere over blockbuster sights (which also sums up Portugal, come to think of it).
Guidebooks are great ways to find places that meet your personal tastes, whatever they are.
I second everything that's been said and would add a few more recommendations. There's a wonderful Roman archaeological site at Condeixa Nova, which I recall as being close to Coimbra. There's also a great pousada (similar to Spanish paradors) there. In that area, Batalha is also worth a visit. Obidos, a charming, small medieval town, can be visited as a day trip from Lisbon, or on the way up the coast. If you're thinking of dropping your car in Spain, be forewarned that you'll pay a huge fee for the privilege. I say save Spain for another trip.
There is plenty to see in 10 days in Portugal. I mean you could always go to Spain but Portugal is amazing and you can easily spend all 10 days there. In fact, Portugal is my favorite European country! I have been 4 times in the last two years. 3 days in Lisbon is good. You can also spend a day in Sintra which is an easy commute from Lisbon. Regular trains there take about 40 minutes. There are beautiful castles - Pena Palace stands out. Also, National Palace and Moorish Castle. Moorish and Pena will give you unforgettable views over the countryside. There is also a quaint city center with shops and restaurants. Also, I liked Quinta Regaleira (sp?) in Sintra which is a mansion with amazing grounds and much freemasonry symbolism which i find interesting. after time in lisbon and sintra you can venture inland to Evora. it was about 2 hours or so by bus. Evora is an interesting walled city. churches and scenic pedestrian streets. i enjoyed my time there. 1 day is fine. you can also head south to the beaches of the Algarve. It was about 4 hours by bus to get down there ( i know you will have a car at this point though). i went to Lagos but there are many coastal cities. typical small beach towns....just relax!!! so my suggestion: Lisbon, Sintra, get the car and go to Evora, down to Algarve, circle back to Lisbon for your flight. HAVE FUN! Portual is the best!
We spent 8 nights in Portugal in March. We visited Evora, the Algarve and Lisbon. There was plenty to see and do. The Algarve was great; however, I would stay away from there in the summer--too hot and too many tourists. Our trip was perfect; there was nothing I would have changed. If you want more information, send me a private reply.
Just returned from Portugal and Spain. I hear that Evora is worth seeing (southeast of Lisbon). We didn't have a car and the time to adjust our schedule, so we missed it. We stayed in Villa Nova de Milfontes in the south (close to Porto Covo) and Porto in the north. Lots to see with each region having their own lifestyle and climate.
p.s. we found the prices in Portugal to be more reasonable than Spain.
I second Christy's recommendation to take a day trip to Sintra. My husband and I just got back from 2 months in Europe and our day trip to Sintra was one of the most memorable days of our entire trip. We really loved the Moorish fortress. Safe travels!
I agree with everyone else. There is more than enough to see in 7 days. If the Algarve is too British for you, consider Porto and a cruise on the Duoro.