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2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Hi all,

My wife really, really wants to go to Portugal this year and unfortunately due to other circumstances, we can only go during the end of the high tourist season (mid-August to September). We'll also be traveling with our son who will be 18 months old at that time. There is so much to do and see in Portugal that I'm getting a little overwhelmed with the planning. Because we'll have our son with us, I don't want to move at too frenetic of a pace around the country, but I would still like to see as much as possible without returning home regretting that we did not see, explore and absorb the culture enough.

I'm also strongly considering renting a car for most of the long distance traveling and we'll probably use public transportation (bus/trams/trains) within the cities we stay in and even possibly for day trips.

Places we want to see (although it may not be realistic with the time we have) are below. Any help/suggestions on things we SHOULD/NEED to see and things that we can probably skip out on would be greatly appreciated. Also, suggestions/recommendations on how long we probably should stay in each location.

Planning on flying in/out of Lisbon and contemplating using Lisbon as our main hub for most of the entirety of our stay (to save on dragging around all of our luggage everywhere we go for overnights).

1. Lisbon (4-5 nights???)

2. Sintra (day trip from Lisbon)

3. Evora (day trip from Lisbon)

4. Coimbra (2 nights??? probably will probably be overnight each way when we go to/from Porto)

5. Porto/Douro Valley (2-3 nights???)

6. Madeira (one of things we're both really looking forward to) (2 nights???) (fly in/out from Lisbon)

7. Alentejo Coast (most likely Vila Nova de Milfontes - 2 nights???)

8. Evora (1 night??)

9. Back to Lisbon

Thanks and appreciate any help that I may receive!

15 replies to this topic
Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,427 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

2 nights in Madeira is nothing... if you HAVE to do it then stay at least 4 nights and cut part of the itinerary in the mainland.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
2. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

@ptnov64 - thank you for that information. Definitely something we'll have to discuss then since it's a decent chunk of the trip.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

I am very curious to see what people say. My husband and I are planning a trip for End May/Early June with our son who will be 20 months. I am having a hard time coming up with our itinerary due to time restrictions & not wanting to feel rushed. This is our current plan:

Porto - 4 nights (day trip to Douro Valley)

Coimbra - 3 nights

Sagres - 5 nights

Lisbon - 5 nights

I am debating if I should serve off time in Coimbra and add a stop in Evora between our drive from Coimbra to Sagres. My good friend who just came back from a wedding in Evora said we could skip it due to it not being that tourist friendly.

Also, I have a few friends who have gone with children and RAVED about Martinhal resorts. We are going to stay at the one in Sarges.

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,427 posts
57 reviews
4. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

My good friend who just came back from a wedding in Evora said we could skip it due to it not being that tourist friendly. That's an odd comment considering the hundreds of tourists that are there everyday...

If you have to go to Sagres (be aware that it's very windy and it can be rather cold at night) then your itinerary is the normal that 90% of the tourists do (the majority spends less time in Coimbra).

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

I agree! Especially since Rick Steve's lists it as something you should try not to miss....

We had a friend that said we should not miss Sagres. But I'm indifferent, especially since it seems a little out of the way. Could Cascais coined accomplish the same thing? a beach / sun feel?

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
57,777 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Sagres is about the fortress, and in there the museum to Henry the Navigator, Cape St Vincent, tall cliffs and big waves. And yes it is always windy down there at the very bottom left hand corner of Europe. There's nothing but several thousand miles of ocean between there and the USA.

The Martinhal resort complex is a mile or so outside the town of Sagres, which is relatively unspoiled by mass tourism. If you drive a little way north the coastal area is designated a national park. There are some stunning beaches, a few small towns and very nice scenery in between.

Algarve, Portugal
Level Contributor
166 posts
38 reviews
7. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Evora is lovely but you probably dont need to do it twice. You should be able too the majority of the main sights in a day

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,427 posts
57 reviews
8. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Could Cascais coined accomplish the same thing? a beach / sun feel? Of course! And also Sesimbra and also... I could list a number of beaches, but if it's Martinhal that you want then it's another thing, because Cascais has very good hotels but not Martinhal.

Algarve, Portugal
Level Contributor
166 posts
38 reviews
9. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Hi ptnov64. Actually there is a martinhal in cascais now. I have not been but pictures look nice:

https://www.martinhal.com/cascais/en/

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,427 posts
57 reviews
10. Re: 2 weeks in Portugal mid-August to September with a toddler

Great, that way even that it's possible...

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