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Yes..yet another itinerary question !

British Columbia...
Level Contributor
408 posts
29 reviews
Yes..yet another itinerary question !

We are a senior couple planning a trip to Portugal and southern Spain in October for 28 days. We are flying in and out of Lisbon and are planning (at this point anyway) to backpack and not book too many places in advance. I had hoped to include a Douro river cruise for about 5 days but it looks like most of the October cruises are booked. Maybe a week in the Azores? This is as far as I've got..4 nights in Lisbon! then thinking Porto...over to Seville..Granada, Cordoba Ronda.?..We would like to spend the last 5 days or so relaxing ..Malaga, Nerja? Algarve? and then back up to Lisbon to fly home. I am getting overwhelmed with this..hoping I could get some good info whether or not this is too much in the time we have. Thanks for any info you could pass along.

4 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
2,410 posts
158 reviews
1. Re: Yes..yet another itinerary question !

I could spend 28 days in Portugal alone. Public transportation between Spain and Portugal can be difficult other than flying OR picking up a rental car in Lisbon and once again returning the rental car in Lisbon. Most of the large rental car companies have insurance that will cover you in Spain IF you inform them of your travels. Are you thinking about renting a car?

As to reservation in advance, most hotels and B&B's will give you a better rate if you book in advance. Public transportation in Portugal is good in certain areas. For example, the train to Porto from Lisbon is about three hours and can be very reasonable if purchased in advance (60 to 8 days). You don't want a rental car in either Lisbon or Porto since both parking and driving is difficult.

Please do tell us more about your interests and if you plan to only use public transportation.

British Columbia...
Level Contributor
408 posts
29 reviews
2. Re: Yes..yet another itinerary question !

Hi Claudia..thanks for replying. We will not be renting a car so will be relying on buses and trains. We are hoping to backpack to avoid heavy suitcases with transportation, but not quite sure if I have the discipline to pack light !! we'll see. Hubby and I are not huge museum fans. I never tire of beautiful churches, castles and monuments, but my husband does, so to keep him happy(lol) I will have to plan some tours that include some activity such as hiking and biking. As said, I was hoping to do a Douro river cruise but will have to keep searching for availability in early October. Will be going to Porto and Sintra and some of the smaller towns in that area for sure.

I am truly interested in Seville..and south..including Granada, Ronda and Cordoba and would like to spend some time relaxing in the sun along the Costa del Sol. We will also be exploring the Algrave. Will it be about the same temperature there as opposed to CdSol? We will have to be back in Lisbon for flight home.

. Thanks again for your advice.

Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
132 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: Yes..yet another itinerary question !

In Sintra you can combine your interests. Walk/hike up to the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace area, then maybe some more hiking. This can be either a long day trip from Lisbon or a stayover.

See parquesdesintra.pt/en/…

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
369 posts
18 reviews
4. Re: Yes..yet another itinerary question !

To help you with the transport part:

Trains: https:/…Train-time-results

Buses: https://www.rede-expressos.pt/en/

If you buy train tickets in advance you can get good discounts. If you're over 65 always check for the senior discounts also.

Regarding itinerary the difficult part is the connection from Portugal to Spain. From Algarve you can get a bus to Seville but when you return to Portugal you have to backtrack to Algarve or get a bus to Badajoz/Elvas. If you choose to do that I recommend a day or two in Evora. You can also return to Faro and take a bus to Évora there (if you check these places looking at a map it's easier to prepare an itinerary).

In Portugal check this towns with easy access from Lisbon or from Porto to see if they appeal to you: Sintra, Cascais, Coimbra, Tomar, Guimarães, Braga, Viana do Castelo, Covilhã. For nature walks check Gerês. For beaches (besides the Algarve): Sesimbra, Ericeira, Nazaré, Peniche.

Weather could be good beach weather (I've had great beach days in early October) or it can rain a lot. That time of the year is a gamble.

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