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The planning begins - Portugal

MarciK

New Member
Hi!
I am a retired travel professional. I have planned many trips to Portugal for others over the years, but have not gotten there myself. I’m just starting to plan for end of September- early October 2023. My husband and I are an active late 60’s early 70’s couple, with interests in history, art, wine and local culture. I am tentatively thinking about basing in Lisbon for 4 nights, training to Porto for a few nights and want to stay at Six Senses Duoro Valley for 2 nights. I appreciate any suggestions, recommendations, etc. Thanks in advance. Marci
 

Deborah

10+ Posts
Welcome, Marci. Portugal is wonderful. I don't know if driving is something you would consider, but because our two weeks in the country were proceeded by two weeks in Spain we were driving. We rented a car in Madrid and dropped it off in Lisbon.
Before our final week in Lisbon, we drove south from the Galicia region of Spain. We started in the Minho and worked our way south to Lisbon along the west side of the country.
We stayed in a small hotel in on the edge of Penda-Geres National park. While there we visited the park and several fantastic historic cities like Guimaraes, Soajo, Ponte De Lima and Braga. We spent a couple of days doing one night stays as we worked our way south, and then ended up in Lisbon for a week where we rented an apartment on Praca Luis de Camoes in the Chiado neighborhood. It has been quite a few years, so I don't know how much of my specific info is actually still relevant.
 

Colo

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Marci welcome! Cannot help with Lisbon, but we truly enjoyed Porto. Make sure you have good walking shoes! The steps can get tricky!

Dinner reservations are a must at most places. Highly recommend ODE Porto Wine House. It is small, quiet, excellent menu and wine list! Pictures of our dinner and restaurant are on my trip report Day 2. (October in España).

We were very surprised how crowded the city was being shoulder season, but not unreasonable. There is so much to see and do, but do check out the train station. Enjoy your trip.
 

sharonov

10+ Posts
Last April I spent two weeks in Portugal by myself. I'm a truly slow traveler, so limited the area that I covered. I rented an apartment in Lisbon for a week--there is SO much to do there and so much to see, and I didn't want to be rushed. A week was not enough. I never rented a car, though there was a time when I would have done so when it was time to leave Lisbon (definitely not IN Lisbon--driving would be a nightmare and the public transportation/Ride Share options are excellent.
I met some. lovely ladies through a FB group, Over 60 Solo Women Travelers, and so had dinner companions a few nights.
I then took a bus to Obidos for a night, even though Rick Steves said it would be too touristy. I loved Obidos and wished I had allocated two nights instead. Then a train to Coimbra, where again I spent a night, visited the spectacular library, and lamented not staying longer.
Finally a train to Porto, where I spent 5 days, 4 nights. One thing I did was a wine tour/boat cruise in the Douro Valley. Here's where I wished I had rented a car and spent a couple of days driving up the river. The scenery is beautiful and there are numerous wineries. I'm not even that crazy about port, but liked the tour.
In those two weeks I never got to southern Portugal. The Algarve, from what I hear, is spectacular. I joined two Travel Portugal groups on FB and got a lot of tips and information from other travelers. But since you've already arranged trips for others, you probably know quite a bit. I knew very little.

As someone else said, be careful walking in the cities. The sidewalks are beautiful and made of tiles, and get very slippery when wet. One lady I met slipped on the sidewalk during a rain and broke her ankle in two places. It looks months to heal.

Anyhow, I hope you have enough time for Slow Travel. It makes all the difference
 

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