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Allocating TIme in Portugal

by Travelmisses Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM

We have 10-11 days to spend in Portugal this summer. We are committed to 3 days in Lisbon and 3 days in the Algarve. Preferences are history, culture, and architecture. Where would you recommend going and staying?

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by cachaseiro Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    If you are staying in Both Lisbon and Algarve then you would probaply not want to travel too far north and in that case i would recommend Evora as an obvious place to visit.
    That is just a small detour between Lisbon and Algarve.

    A little north of Lisbon you have Sintra which is also very historical and pretty and a good place to visit.

    And you could decide to drive down to the Algarve along the spanish border and visit the town of Mertola where you have a very nice castle.

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  • Torgut's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by Torgut Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    I also recommend vehemently Évora and support Mértola if possible - although it's going to be damn hot. A must is: Monsaraz (reachable from Évora in your way to Mértola and/or Algarve).

    Additionally I will add Tomar, 100 km north of Lisbon - easy connection by train. The whole region of Tomar is very interesting (accordingly to your criteria of culture, History, architecture) - Google for Batalha, Almourol, Alcobaça.

    Also I advise you to check Óbidos.

    Anyway, I wouldn't go to any of these places in the Summer... eeekk... extremely warm weather and people, people, people everywhere. :-)

    I could go on and on, as there is little of the country I don't know. But I will others present their suggestions too.

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  • yvr's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by yvr Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Well, three hours north of Lisboa by train is Porto, absolutely a great place to visit if you can fit it in. I just came back from there and really enjoyed it.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by rexvaughan Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I would certainly second Porto and Batalha and would add Coimbra which has one of the oldest universities in Europe and lots of beautiful and interesting architecture.

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  • rafi.of.gali.gali's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by rafi.of.gali.gali Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Very good suggestions so far. You should map them and see what route suits you best. If you don't want to stay much on the road, it's a matter of choosing either north or south. Lisbon and its surrondings (Sintra, Estoril, Cascais) are a must, Evora and Monsaraz are worth the detour if going south to the Algarve.

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  • colares's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by colares Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Please keep in mind, that July and especially August is the holiday period in Portugal. thus make sure that you book your accomodation in due time in the Algarve and any other place close to the ocean, you want to see.
    Sintra, Cabo da Roca (Europes' most western point), Cascais and the convent in Mafra are absolute "must see" in the Lisbon area. Sintra has a nice and moderate climate even in summer and the various gardens are lovely to visit at that time of the year.
    Further north, Tomar is a must, as well as Coimbra (the university!).
    If you want to invest the time, take a train from Porto up the Douro river to Pinhao and back by boat. There are organised daytrips available. Its really worth a day to see see the area were the Portwine is grown.
    Enjoy your trip

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  • elgar22's Profile Photo

    by elgar22 Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    In Lisbon, there is an abundance of all the things you have listed. Make sure to get to the Monument at Belem and if you have a half day take the train or drive to Cascais up the coast. Sintra and Evora as recommended above are also well worth a visit if you have time.  If you have a car in the Algarve, drive out to the extreme south west to Sagres, there is a small fort with fantastic cliff top walks and views. Further east at Portimao, take a boat trip up the river to Silves, this is absolutely lovely. Each of these would make a good half day excursion.

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  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by TooTallFinn24 Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Terese- My experience with Portugal is mainly in the Algarve last year. I am assuming you are going to rent a car from Lisbon and come back to Lisbon? Before leaving Lisbon I would take the short trip to Sintra and spend a day there. Also I like the idea of going east first to Evora and see the amazing ruins. You can then drive down to Beja and some of the other inland towns on your way down to the Algarve. In the Algarve, I would recommend staying in either Tavira or Lagos, in my opinion the two prettiest towns. Definitely also make it out to Sagres and Cape San Vicente.

    There is a new toll road in the Algarve. The locals hate it and with the prices charged I can see why. Best thing to do is stop at the first gas station on the toll road and buy a two or three day pass. Gas in Portugal last year was 1,80 per liter which translates to about $ 9 a gallon US, so be sure and get an economical car. See my VT page on it for more information.

    Coming back to Lisbon I would definitely stop in Seismbra (sp) a small fishing village south of Lisbon and in Sines.

    Have a great time!

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  • kevin36's Profile Photo

    by kevin36 Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    I would say it depends on how you are going to be mobile? (Car)
    Driving is easy in Portugal but I would recommend you get FULL waiver Insurance.
    we used: "Car Hire" - Lagos Transportation Tip by kevin36
    on the way down towards Lagos (Algarve) stop off at Fortaleza de Sagres: "Fortaleza de Sagres" - Lagos Things to Do Tip by kevin36
    You will need a head for Heights.
    Lagos is a very Cosmopolitan Town, and I would have to say I am Bias,I loved it there.
    You are going to be very pushed in 6days,but im sure you will love it.
    "Lagos Algarve" - Lagos by kevin36

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  • Travelmisses's Profile Photo

    Re: Allocating TIme in Portugal

    by Travelmisses Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    fantastic and very useful answers. I have rated all of you.

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