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Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

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Australia
posts: 2,319
reviews: 65
Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Hi

We are young at heart, adventurous 60/70 who normally travel to Greece, Italy and or Turkey for about 12 weeks each year.

Next year we are considering Portugal and need help planning an itinery.

We normally travel everywhere by public transport. We would perhaps spend 7 or so in Portugal and would like to see as many areas as comfortably possible in that time. We enjoy slow travel and staying perhaps 7 days or more, in each area and taking public transport for day trips to visit other towns and areas.

We enjoy old cities with narrow streets and lots of exploring. Sitting with a coffee and watching the world go by. Shopping and some Cultural visits but not into visiting every museum or church.

We are independent travellers.

We have been recommended that we visit Lisbon of course,

Lagos (the old city), Albufeira (old town) and Porto.

We enjoy dining out and staying out late at dinner and perhaps a drink or coffee after. We are happy to perhaps fly from one city to another rather than spend 4 hours or more on a bus.

We enjoy sitting in a restaurant or cafe overlooking the beach for the views but dont sit on the beach as we live near the beach at home. Enjoy soaking up the atmosphere and culture of European countries.

We dont want to find ourselves in an area where there are all Irish, British Pubs and 24 hour parties.

So some starting advice to help our planning would be great.

Have read Lonely Planet guide, but as usual they mainly list the Museums, a few places to stay and where to eat. That doesnt really give you the true feeling for the place.

I know that the Largos area is an area that a lot of young people go to party but have been told that the Old town is definately worth visiting.

Thanks in advance for any advice. Not sure of the months but will probably run away from the winter here so June, July, August/ September sometime.

Janderra

South Australia
posts: 23,033
reviews: 12
1. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

The Algarve is a very popular destination for visitors from the UK and North europeans in the summer months, with cheap flights when booked early being the atrraction.

Similar to Spains coastline many expat UKand european citizens have purchased holiday property, or moved there,accordingly the popular coastal regions of the Iberian Peninsular cater for northern european expectations.

Lisbon
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
posts: 9,730
reviews: 44
2. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

My first advice is, don't come in August, if you can come on early June. If you like to see local traditions June is the month to be in Lisboa and Porto, both cities celebrate their patron saints. Lisboa on June 13 (Santo António) and Porto on June 24 (São João). Stay in Lisboa from june 7 to 15 and then on Porto from June 16 to 25, from these 2 cities you'll have the best and more diversified public transports to do day tours to surrounding towns and villages.

"We enjoy old cities with narrow streets and lots of exploring" and "We dont want to find ourselves in an area where there are all Irish, British Pubs and 24 hour parties." that's a tough combination if you want to visit the Algarve in the summer... The best place, if the beach it's not your main purpose, it's Tavira. There are great beaches around Tavira but you'll have to take a small ferry boat. I think that the "so called" old town in Albufeira has nothing to offer compared to the real old towns of Tavira, Faro and Silves.

You can fly from Faro to Porto or vice-versa, but it can be expensive if you don't use low costs like RyanAir; from Lisboa to Porto and vice-versa use the train it's a 3h journey and it's confortable.

Have a look at visitportugal.com/Cultures/…default.html.

Galway, Ireland
posts: 225
reviews: 59
3. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Can;t give you lots of travel advice but can reccommend Lagos old walled town with narrow streets to wander round lots of lovely restaurants and little shops. We have visited in August but our preferred time is September when the majority of the crowds have gone so I would expect June would be just as nice.Don't find Lagos to be full of English/Irish pubs there are pubs for the young ones but it is one of those places that seems to cater to all age groups. I hope this helps a little I am sure wherever you decide to visit in Portugal you will enjoy.

Australia
posts: 2,319
reviews: 65
4. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Hi

Thank you everyone for your input. That gives me somewhere to start.

As I said we would probably spend 6/8weeks in Portugal in total so have lots of time to visit a number of places.

We normally travel August, September and October as we like to celebrate my birthday early October in Europe. We would continue on and visit Italy mid September/early October. Also it isnt worth us visiting Europe for any less than 8 to 10 weeks because of the cost of airfares from Australia.

About $2700au or more, each return airfares from Australia.

By the way why is August so bad to visit. I know that lots of places in Greece start to close down as soon as the summer holidays are over on 31/8/2012, Last year we literally had restaurants closing down around us every night and in mid September we were often the only ones in restaurants. We like the atmosphere of busy restaurants and lots of people around, which is why we visit parts of Italy later in the season as it is always busy there.

I will look more into some of the suggested places

Janderra

Lisbon
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
posts: 9,730
reviews: 44
5. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Things don't close on August 31, they just slow down a little. But if you like to be surrounded by thousands of people then the Algarve in August is the place, the majority of coastal towns/villages will also be packed. Inland it's totally different, things will be calm. Choose what's best for you, 6/8 weeks will allow you to do it.

yorkshire
posts: 1,370
reviews: 10
6. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

August is packed in Lagos people from all over portugal flock there.

There is a great atmosphere, but it is really crowded.

I would suggest you arrive in Lagos around the last week in august and stay into September , you will experience both.

It is also worth a trip to Seville.

In September all the Portugese have gone home, the restaurants like it because you seem to get many British and other Europeans visiting who have money to spend.

bristol
posts: 163
reviews: 1
7. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Hi been to lagos twice in September lovely time to visit all resturants open and bars went to Greece so quiet didn't have the atmosphere like lagos

lincoln
posts: 460
reviews: 25
8. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Loved Lagos in September , I am sure you would to. I agree with paultugal Seville definitely and I would add Cordoba and on the way maybe visit Ecija but not in August its supposed to be the hottest place in Spain, we have visited this area towards the end of October and the weather was lovely.

Australia
posts: 2,319
reviews: 65
9. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Hi

OK so if we try to tack on Seville does that mean flying there or train and what amount of time are we talking.

I would like to visit northern Portugal, southern Portugal, Lisbon and any other interesting areas, so not sure what order to do them in.

We would probably start and end our journey in Rome and continue on to Southern Italy for the last few weeks.

Are there any cheap airlines flying from Rome to Spain or Portugal.

We dont want to rent a car, nor be on the move all the time. Also long overnight train journeys are not the way we like to travel.

The more places that are suggested the more confused about how to streamline the trip.

I have always wanted to visit Seville but had considered doing it on a seperate trip, but if it is close by and easy to organise it may be an option on this trip.

Janderra

yorkshire
posts: 1,370
reviews: 10
10. Re: Help with planning a trip to Portugal in 2013

Hire a car its about 3 hours drive from Lagos

Edited: 12:19 pm, December 17, 2012