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Portugal October 2018

Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
Portugal October 2018

We are planning our first adventure to Portugal from October 8-22 (approximately). We have decided not to rent a car. We were thinking to fly into Porto or Lisbon and thinking of the following itinerary:

Porto - 3 days, then train to Algarve region

Algarve - 8 days, then train to Lisbon

Lisbon - 3 days

Any suggestions would be great. We are pretty flexible with how long we stay in each place, but really only have the 2 weeks to work with. Thanks in advance.

18 replies to this topic
Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,763 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: Portugal October 2018

If those are your interests it's feasable by train... as you can imagine there's much more in a country with such a long history. But you are choosing to stay for the longest time at the region that it's beach and not much more (yes, there's some history and nature there but that's not the strongest point).

Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Portugal October 2018

We are ending a 6-week Europe trip with 2 weeks in Portugal. We thought we'd enjoy some relaxing beach time at the end, which is why we thought the Algarve area would be nice. We are open to other suggestions, provided there are good options for dining out and some shopping.

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,188 posts
41 reviews
3. Re: Portugal October 2018

The official beach season here in Albufeira, the biggest and busiest resort town in the Algarve, comes to an end in mid-October. However last year the weather stayed really nice until well into November, some beach chairs etc were still available. Other resorts 'close' a bit earlier but the beach is always there.

Almost everything for tourists stays open until the end of October, which is the time of the week's mid-term break for most British schools. You wouldn't therefore have any problems finding places to eat and drink, especially in the larger towns such as Albufeira which has 25,000 residents.

But the weather cannot be guaranteed that late in the year. As ptnov64 says, there are some things that can be visited and done if it should be raining, but not on the scale of Lisbon or Porto. There are several large shopping malls around the region, the museums and other archaeological sites to visit also. Small bespoke shops in towns are also open of course, cinemas show films in English etc.

Porto to the Algarve is 6 - 7 hours by train but you do get to see a good variety of countryside. Back to Lisbon will take around 3 - 4 hours depending where you start from. Some very cheap tickets are available if you buy them more than a week in advance from the official website at www.cp.pt

We do have local train and bus service around the Algarve, but schedules are often irregular and infrequent. If you plan to go visiting as it were, you should be able to get a decent deal for rental car at that time of year. If you plan to stay in and around a town, you can get around on foot or by city bus or taxi. Parking in many town centres is limited, cars were not planned for when the towns were laid out sometimes over 1,000 years ago.

I hope this helps your thinking.

Edited: 12 February 2018, 19:50
Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Portugal October 2018

Thank you cubsur. That is some great information.

Edited: 12 February 2018, 20:39
Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: Portugal October 2018

Another question cubsur: We are thinking we may skip Porto and add a day or two in Sintra. Afterwards, head to Algarve. Would you recommend we stay in Lago or Faro if we wanted something a bit quieter than Albufeira? I'm sure we could add a day trip to Albufeira while down in the region.

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,763 posts
57 reviews
6. Re: Portugal October 2018

Faro is a working town not a resort, so look at Lagos.

Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: Portugal October 2018

Thank you. We have booked 5 nights in Lagos. It and the surrounding areas look beautiful.

Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
576 posts
18 reviews
8. Re: Portugal October 2018

SSU60 -

I’m not a Portugal expert, but can share opinions from our first-time experience last fall. We can understand you wanting a longer stay at the end of what is probably a busy time in 2 countries…we like to do the same on our trips (& often to escape some less-than-desirable weather at home!). It doesn’t all have to be about seeing sights. Despite numerous forum comments making the Algarve sound less attractive to visit, we enjoyed 10 days in Alvor after a lot of driving & sightseeing the areas we wanted to cover in Portugal. We did some more from that as a base point (had a car from the time we left Lisbon) & could spread it out, instead of feeling we had to do something every day. We saw Lagos on 1 visit, Carvoeiro, the western tip, Tavira, Silves, & others. There was still more I felt we didn’t cover.

Lagos is probably a good bet for your purpose if you haven’t a car, but we wouldn’t have wanted to do without it.

So you mention 5 days in Lagos, & I’m wondering how you have split the rest of your days in Portugal. We very much enjoyed Douro (plus Porto & a couple points north of there too), but feel that was part of our “busy” time, & I don’t think it should be rushed. Maybe you will go back & that could be part of another trip. We are going back this October to see more areas & sights, but not Porto/Douro, nor the Algarve.

Re Sintra, we spent 2 nights there & saw 3 “sights”, plus our own “walkabout” time, & I think that should be included with your time in/near Lisbon.

Enjoy!

Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
9. Re: Portugal October 2018

Thank you Googler55. We are considering renting a car from Lisbon to travel to Algarve and then back to Lisbon. We could use Lagos as our home base to do day trips around the Algarve. We haven't priced out car rental, tolls, gas, VS train, but we think it will give us much more flexibility. Do you think it makes more sense to rent a car? We had some bad experiences driving in Italy last year which is causing our reluctance to drive in Portugal.

Toronto
Level Contributor
59 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: Portugal October 2018

Googler55 You have a very impressive Travel Map. We will also be including Prague, Budapest, Venice, Cinque Terre and Tuscany on this upcoming adventure. I will search other forums to see if you have added recommendations in any of those forums. Tuscany is not new for us but all of the other locations are. We'll be busy!!!

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