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Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Limerick, Ireland
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27 posts
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Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Hi guys,

Myself and my girlfriend are heading to Portugal in September. We like to relax but also like to see a bit of every country we visit. 2 weeks lying in the sun in a tourist resort isn't really our thing. Although dont get me wrong- we want a chance to chill out on this holiday too, but we'd like to see something of the real Portugal. We were thinking of maybe flying into Porto and out of Faro and see a few places down the coast like Aveiro or Lisbon (or any other suggestions people may have) and ending up in somewhere like Lagos to relax for maybe 4 days?

My question is- is this realistic to expect to be able to do this in only 2 weeks? Will we be spending all our time travelling? We were also thinking of doing this by public transport- is this realistic?

Would welcome any suggestions people may have.

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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1. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

It's around 400 miles and there is plenty to see, so as long you as you are fairly strict with yourselves in terms of how many days where, I see no problem. It would be very easy to get wrapped up in say Lisbon and the surrounding area and suddenly find yourselves with one day left to get to Faro.

One item - there is a big medical conference in Lisbon in mid September and from what I read elsewhere in TA every hotel room in the city is booked solid. Otherwise, in September, you should be able to make bookings as and when.

As far as public transport is concerned it is cheap and travelling between cities and within them is not a problem. There is often however little or no train or bus service once you get off the beaten track.

Porto - Aveiro takes an hour or less on the local suburban trains and costs €2,80

Aveiro - Lisbon takes 2 - 2hrs 30 and costs 20 Euro on the Intercity trains and 26 on the faster ALFA trains.

Lisbon to Faro by train takes 3 - 4 hours and costs about 20/26 Euros as above.

I suggest you look over to the right and click on the items concerning train travel here, also coach travel. Especially note that reservations are compulsory for all long distance train travel here and that they are strongly advised for coaches if travelling on Friday afternoons or Sunday evenings.

Coaches are often not muchy slower than trains and cost the same or a little less. I prefer the comfort of the train.

Around Porto there are also the cities of Braga and Guimaraes well worth a visit. Both are an hour or so by local train from Porto and €2,80 each way also. There are stacks of places around Lisbon as well as the city itself eg Sintra, Cascais, Mafra, Tomar as well as the city itself. A bit further afield are Obidos, Nazaré and Batalha. You will need to do your homework and decide on what to see and what to leave out.

I would also suggest Evora as worth a day of your time.

I hope that helps. Off you go, start planning.

Limerick, Ireland
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2. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Thanks cubsur. Thats great info. Especially the Medical conference bit.

Ya we were a bit worried that it might be too much to take on but as you say, the fast train is always an option if we find time getting away from us. Ideally we'd like to start in Porto spend a few days, maybe see a few places around it. Head south spend a day or two in somewhere between Porto and Lisbon. Maybe a few days in Lisbon and then head south to Lagos to relax.

We've only a rough idea so far but thanks for the suggestions. Ideally we'd like to stay in maybe 4 locations and then maybe have day trips to other places. Porto, Aveiro, Lisbon, Lagos are our intial ideas but open to change.

As you say-time for the homework and planning.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Wales, United...
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for Fuerteventura, Istria
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3. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

May be interested in my recent trip report and photographs which covers Porto, Guimarães & Braga :-

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g189180-i598-k44…

Have a fantastic trip!!

Limerick, Ireland
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27 posts
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4. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Thanks for the advice guys. In the end we decided to fly into Lisbon and out of Faro. Thought it might be a bit too much to fit into too weeks. Hopefully this will allow us to take our time and see the country between Lisbon and Lagos. Will definately look into some of the places recommended.

Thanks Welshtraveller- we will have to keep your report on file for our next trip to Portugal.

Antwerpen, Belgium
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5. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

That's a pity, that you won't be seeing Porto. It's a lovely area, not only the city and the portwine, but certainly the countryside around the Douro Valley.

Around Lisbon I would certainly visit Sintra. It's well worth a few days to see all the palaces/gardens. It's a 40 min. direct train ride (4,20 euro roundtrip) from Rossio (Lisbon) to Sintra. Then a short busride into the centre.

Porto, Portugal
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6. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Hi Hernethehunter,

Two weeks might be a long time to spend between Lisbon and the Algarve. Beautiful scenery but it can become a bit monotonous after a few days - endless rolling plains of cork and olives,a bit like spending two weeks in Offaly and Laois (cork and olives excepted, plus the grass is a bit greener on Offaly than the Alentejo)

The great thing about Portugal is the variety it packs into a small space - Lisbon to Porto is a three hour train journey in a fast comfortable train and the landscape changes before your eyes. Northern Portugal is green and mountainous and Porto is Portugal's version of Limerick - people who don't live there think it's rough but locals know it's full of friendly down to earth people. Beyond Porto lies the Douro Valley which by itself is worth coming to Portugal for. Further north it gets really mountainous and before you know it you're in Spain.

So if you haven't already made firm bookings, then think again - the north of Portugal is well worth a visit.

Anyway, hope you enjoy your stay whatever you decide.

Edited: 11 August 2011, 23:41
Limerick, Ireland
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27 posts
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7. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

Thanks guys,

We have already booked our flights. It's a pity we wont get to see Porto and the surrounding area but it was just proving a bit inconvenient to fly into... who knows maybe we'll get a train up. On a bit of a budget also... Anyway the plan at the moment is to stay in Lisbon for a day or two, maybe stay in one of the nice towns around it for another few days and then make our way down to Lagos or somewhere in that area. Thanks for the suggestions guys (amboseli and HCMh)

Edited: 13 August 2011, 00:33
8. Re: Porto to Faro- realistic for 2 week holiday?

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