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Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

Marin County...
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Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

Hello my husband and I are going to Portugal for 11 days/12 nights next Fall for the first time. We love hiking, little old villages, castles, beautiful coastline and meeting the locals. We prefer historical sites that are outdoors to museums and dining al fresco at little family run places to fancy restaurants and prefer a small place with live local music to the Dance/Club scene. We will rent a car once we leave Lisbon and will split our stays between guest houses and pousadas and/or apartments. We hope to spend under $150/night for accommodation but will spurge on a pousada. We are going to forgo the Algarve and Alentejo on this trip so we can focus in on the areas between Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley. Here are my initial thoughts on itinerary and I would appreciate any suggestions on towns and accommodations and timing of our stays (such as spend more time here and less time there):

Nights 1,2 -- Lisbon, arrive late in pm; see Lisbon sites

Nights 3, 4, 5 - Stay in one of these towns to see all (we will have car) Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Night 6 -- Obidos or Nazare to explore these towns and coastline

Nights 7, 8 - Porto or Vila Nova de Gaia to explore these towns

Nights 9, 10, 11 - Peso da Regua or some other town along Douro river so we can hike, kayak, wine taste and explore little villages from a riverside base

Night 12 - Lisbon (very early flight in am)

Thank you:)

Jennifer from California

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

Nights 1,2,3 -- Lisbon, arrive late in pm; see Lisbon sites and Sintra, Cascais/Estoril, by public transports, no need for a car.

Nights 4, 5 - Drive north to Óbidos/Nazaré, on your way go to Mafra, stay in one of these towns to see all. You have places like Alcobaça, Batalha, São Martinho do Porto. Near Batalha you have the actual location of a medieval battle that you can visit. http://www.fundacao-aljubarrota.pt/?idc=15

Night 6 -- Stay in Coimbra, visit Conimbriga.

Lisbon, Portugal
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

Hi Baklava. For the first 5 days I think you should add 1 day to Lisbon because Cascais and Estoril can be seen in just one day. Besides, you can use Lisbon as your base. For the rest of the trip I suggest, as you like castles, that you check out Almoroul castle, and for little villages see Piodão. As far as the other places you mentioned is concerned, Óbidos and Nazaré are great for the purposes you refered. Consider a night at Coimbra, has a lot to see, and on your way to Porto don't miss Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal. For the final part you could use one day to explore the Gerês a great place for hiking. As you are hiring a car check out www.coordenadasgps.pt for the gps coordinates and many other suggestions. For other possibilities see www.visitportugal.com. Have a nice trip and come back to see the south, Algarve and Alentejo are not to be missed ;)

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

As you'll rent a car, you're able to visit villages and towns that are too remote to reach by public transport.

If I were you, I woudn't limit your journey to the coast line. Well, you already go along the Douro river.

some suggestions:

- Obidos is like an open air museum, too touristic and too perfect to be real, so don't stay there too long: you can see the town in 3 hours time.

- Nazaré is truely nice, and although it's a touristic beach resort, it has kept its local charm.

- Visit one or more Unesco World Heritage convents, the nicest being the one in Tomar (very lovely town too !) and Batalha.

- Don't miss Coimbra, old Portuguese capital and thanks to its university with lots of nice atmosphere.

- Aveiro isn't a must in my opinion, not a lot too see over there.

- other nice villages in the Beiras - but probably not on your route - are close to the Spanish border, like Monsanto.

4. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first trip to Portugal

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