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We're going to Portugal next month for 2 1/2 weeks. We fly into Lisbon on 4/23. We have a timeshare in Cascais (Hotel Vila Gale Village) for a week, then drive to Evora for 2 nights. From there we'll make our way north, hopefully seeing Tomar, Batalha, Alcobaca, & Coimbra in short succession. Then we do a few nights in Pinhao & Regua to see the Douro Valley before ending up in Porto. I plan to give the car back either in Regua (& take the train to Porto) or outside of Porto so we don't have a car there. We fly back from Porto on May 9th.
It will be a whirlwind trip-there are so many places I want to see in Portugal, & so little time!
I'll let you know how it worked in May!
Thanks Lynne. Looks like we'll be criss-crossing each other with some overlapping time with each other! We're starting in the Algarve, ending up in Cascais, same timeshare, with a week in between for Porto and Douro Valley.
Originally I thought we'd spend a couple of nights in Porto, but today I decided we should stop in Aveiro for a couple of nights on the way north, where there are some scenic canals and lagoons ... park the car at our hotel there, and make a full day trip into Porto by train, it's about an hour away. Then after those 2 nights, head towards Pinhao and points east. This will spare us the stress and hassle of inner-city driving, parking, luggage schlepping etc. It's less time in Porto but mostly I wanted to see the river area, and take in an old town walking tour, and I think we can do that in a day.
That's today's idea at any rate. Hope I'm not short-changing our time in Porto, so I may keep reading. After Aveiro, I've got us booked into a house in a vineyard above Pinhao for 3 nights, and then 2 nights at a quinta near Foz Coa Archaeological Park which we want to visit at the end of the Douro Valley. There are so many possibilities, obviously we can't do them all. I could come up with a different idea by tomorrow of course.
I think we're going to keep our car during our week at Cascais, are you? We'd have the option of turning it in early, but I have it booked til the end of our stay, imagining we'll use train into Lisbon a couple of times and then do other things. I've hardly started planning that last week yet.
We'll be in Portugal and northern Spain in May as well.
The original plan, when I first arranged this trip many moons ago, included a visit to Belgium (Brugges and Brussels). But after the Paris terrorist attacks, and all the news reports that Brussels was a terrorist stronghold, my wife refused to go to Belgium. So I salvaged this trip by switching to a Portugal and Spain itinerary.
After this morning's terrorist attack at the Brussels airport and in the city of Brussels, my wife gets to say "I told you so."
If you have a car, you'll also have more choice over which wine estates you pop into for tours and tastings, although you'll need to be very careful not to drink much if you're the driver. It will also give you the freedom to discover some of the Douro wine villages. I really love that place and I can visit it very often.
We stayed in Porto for 18 nights last march. Lovely Airbnb, reasonably priced, a bit out of city center, but with metro across the street. Walks to restaurants were a bit long and somewhat hilly for these old legs, but my wife made it. Loved The city. I would not take a car there, though. Prices generally less than in Spain...so the lowest in Europe, as I understand it.