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is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

North Vancouver...
Level Contributor
18 posts
is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

Hello experts. My wife and I are in our mid-fifties and are very excited about our first trip to Spain and Portugal in September. We are fit and energetic and love to explore new areas (history, culture, scenery, people). This will probably be our only and last trip to Spain and Portugal so would really appreciate your suggestions/critique of our planned itinerary for the portion in Portugal.

-Day 1 arriving by land (rental car, train or bus?) from the north in Porto

-Day 2 and 3 in Porto

-Day 4 from Porto to Coimbra

Day 5 Coimbra

-Day 6 from Coimbra to Nazare

-Day 7 Nazare

-Day 8 Nazare to Lisbon

-Day 9 Lisbon

-Day 10 Lisbon to Evora

-Day 11 Evora to Salma

-Day 12 and 13 Salma

-Day 14 Salma to Tavira

Is this number of days in each place reasonable? Should we rent a car or use public transport?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!!

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
26,141 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

I'm a fan of renting cars when such an amount of moving around is involved, but public transports you'll lose a lot of time dealing with the reduced offer available (except around Lisbon and Porto).

-Day 6 from Coimbra to Nazare - Nazaré has not good transport connections, so it's not a good base.

-Day 7 Nazare - I suppose that you don't want to do surf, so 2 nights in Nazaré why?

-Day 8 Nazare to Lisbon

-Day 11 Evora to Salma- I suppose that you mean Salema, it's a village with almost no public transport connections and with no character nowadays, for such a long stay it's not a good base.

If you like "history, culture, scenery, people" why are you spend so much time in the algarve? It's mainly a beach destination...

Royal Tunbridge...
Level Contributor
2,721 posts
521 reviews
2. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

Seven bases in 14 nights is way too much time spent in transit and not enough time actually seeing places.

You don't need a car in Porto or Lisbon. Public transport works OK between major cities but is not as good if you try to get off the beaten track. I have never been to Portugal and not hired a car and I have been nearly 20 times. It gives so much more flexibility, despite driving for me on the "wrong" side of the road!

I hope that you haven't used the dreaded Rick Steves guide book as a guide - his favourites are Nazare and Salema, but he obviously hasn't visited for the past decade of more and the info is very out of date.

Nazare isn't my favourite beach along this stretch of coast - I don't care for rows and rows of beach ubrellas, which this resort has aplenty.

You are short changing Lisbon, only having one day there and no time for Cascais or Sintra. Personally, if you having beach time at Nazare, I would drop the now over-developed Salema. Public transport is poor in Salema.

If you add time to Lisbon, head straight from Evora to the charming Tavira.

September is a popular, busy month in coastal Portugal, so look at accommodation asap as the best will already have sold out.

Vaughan, Canada
Level Contributor
185 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

lbj17, I just bought Rick Steves book last night. Wish I waited til I saw your post. Do you have a better guide that you recommend?

Also, we were planning to stay in Nazare as a base for a couple of nights as it' seems so close to Alcobaca, Fatima, Batalha, and Obidos. Would you recommend another location? We are trying to avoid too many hotel changes.

Thank you!

Edited: 6:18 pm, May 02, 2017
Level Contributor
4,758 posts
83 reviews
4. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

When you stay in Porto visit, at least, the neighboring cities of Guimarães and Braga.

In the north central region of Portugal do not forget Tomar, a town that deserves a visit. Nazaré is interesting due to the bigger waves never surfed, but the beach of "Consolação" in Peniche (near Óbidos!) is much better.

In Lisbon you should visit Sintra, Cascais and also Sesimbra.

In the Algarve, Salema is no longer what it was in the time of Rick Steves. In the Algarve region, there are much prettier places and beaches either on the south coast or on the west coast!

Edited: 6:52 pm, May 02, 2017
North Vancouver...
Level Contributor
18 posts
5. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

ptnov64, lbj17,Viriato_2016, Thanks for the very helpful advice. Kudos for volunteering your time to help travelers out.

I'll endeavour to pay it forward.

We will definitely adjust accordingly. Cheers!

6. Re: is this a good plan for spending 14 days in Portugal?

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