I will spend 8 days (6 full days) in Portugal at the end of October and already got some great advice. Am now reading up some more, but so many places appeal to me for daytrips... whereas I think I want to spend a maximum of 4 days doing daytrips outside Porto and the rest in Porto.
Viana do Castelo, Barcelos, Guimarães, Amarante, Coimbra, the train ride to Pinhão or Pocinho (too far?) all appeal to me, but I need to narrow it down.
I'm not looking for museums, cathedrals and important historical sights per se, I prefer soaking up atmosphere (hoping to come across lazy towns with old people sipping coffees and enjoying sweets, as I saw a lot in Ericeira), wandering around pretty streets with azulejos, cozy squares and sitting in nice cafes (maybe hearing some fado in the evenings? I have taken note of some cafes that might have fado in Porto), sniffing the sea air on beaches, watching landscapes from trains, and I like markets and flea markets.
Is Coimbra different enough from Porto to make it worth the trip?
Which of the small towns to the north best suits my tastes, or can some be combined easily?
As for a train ride along the Douro, which is a nice town to have as a destination for a daytrip (max. 3 hours one-way) and have nice views from the train on the way over there?
Is it worth going to Viana do Castelo for the sea air and open views or is the beach near Porto nice enough (for a walk)?
Thanks for any opinions.