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Portugal in March

We are going to Portugal for 7 days at the end of March. We are planning 3 nights in Lisbon. We are considering going south to Salema but are concerned about the weather. We are not sure if going to a beach town in March will make sense. Your feedback on the weather at this time of year would be helpful.

We are also wondering if it makes more sense to stay around Lisbon and explore the cities and towns there. Your feedback on the spending the 3 additional days would be helpful. We tend to use trains and buses in Europe and are hoping not to rent a car.


Posted by
3247 posts

Hi Michael,
As I recall it took most of the day on a bus to get from Salema to Lisbon--also, I would imagine that off-season in Salema would be quiet though it's a great place to visit.

I think that I would look for cities closer to Lisbon--going north, Coimbra (about 2 hours from Lisbon) and Porto (about 1 hour from Coimbra) are interesting cities to visit in Portugal.

Posted by
842 posts


We did Portugal two X Mass ago and were walking in ocean water and having a great time.

By all means spend at least three days in Lisbon, then spend the balance of the time in the Algarve, and do day trips from your coastal base.

Rent a car! We were told about Guerin rental agency, and got some fantastic prices. We even used it to visit some of the towns that were near Lisbon.

The freeways in Portugal are brand new,and there is hardly any traffic. You just can't see the area without a car.

Ther were four of us, so we rented an apt. in Lisbon and one in Tavira. Both were good bases to explore from.

You have picked a fantastic time to see Portugal!

Posted by
233 posts

I was also in Portugal for only 7 days, but at Christmas last year (December 2007). The weather in Sagres (in the Algarve) was great then during the day (sunny and warm, only a light jacket or sweater needed [note that I am from Michigan, so 50s in winter is warm for me]; I even went bicycling out to Cape St. Vincent), but the nights were very cold (but my quarto had heat and heavy blankets). I would imagine that March weather would be even better. I stayed four nights in Lisbon (with a day trip to Sintra; three nights in Lisbon probably would've been plenty) and two in Sagres (taking the high-speed train to Lagos and then the bus), and it was one of my favorite trips ever. I got around fine without a car.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you for the helpful input. It looks like we may not do the Algarve this trip.
Although that could change.

Here's our itinerary:Well here it is, our trip to Portugal. We arrive Friday a.m March 20. We are planning 4 nights in Lisbon. Friday, Saturday soak up Lisbon. Sunday day trip to Sintra. Monday, a day trip Cascais. Tuesday a.m. we leave for Coimbra. On the way we will take in Obidos, and Nazare arriving in Coimbra on Tuesday evening. Weds. Roman ruins for a 1/2 day and that night in Coimbra. On Thursday take in Coimbra and depart for Lisbon on the 4:45pm train and arrive around 7pm. Stay in Lisbon Thursday night and depart for home Friday a.m.

No car. Bus to Obidos, Nazare, and Coimbra. Train back to Lisbon.

Are we staying in Lisbon too long?

Your feedback is appreciated. Thank you

Posted by
3247 posts

Hi Michael,
I think that your itinerary sounds great--I don't think that 4 days in Lisbon is too much. When we were there we took the tram to the St. George Castle, went to Belem for custard tarts at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, had dinner in the Alfama neighborhood, went to a fado performance, and visited the Port Wine Institute.

In Coimbra we really enjoyed our visit to the University.

Posted by
22 posts

I was in Saleema in August and it was COLD. Also, stayed with friends in Lisbon in August and the nights get chilly.

It reminded me of summer in Seattle---but now that my blood has gotten used to east coast summer heat--it was cold.

Porto is a whole other Portugal---most of my friends from Lisbon rave about it and the train connection is very good.