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Itinerary advice, please

Berkeley, CA
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Itinerary advice, please

Yes, more itinerary questions when it is impossible to know what the other person likes or what will work out best.

Porto-Braga- Guimarães by car

We plan to drive from Porto to Braca and Bom Jesus, perhaps stopping at Citania de Briteiros on the way to spending 2 nights at Guimarães. Google shows this as 1hr 37min, and there will be the usual overhead of {actual spots in cities, parking, taking interesting detours aka getting lost}. Is this a reasonable albeit longish day? I am happy with a couple Baroque church interiors in a day, unlike, say, my feelings about Trecento art.

And the route from Porto to Braga? Google shows E1 as fastest (50 min) and A28/A11 as slightly longer (54 min). Is one much prettier or more interesting or easier driving? Rain makes easy more important, and sparkling weather makes pretty more important.

Guimarães-Douro by car

I’m thinking of Guimarães to Mateus. Google offers south then east (A11/A4) or east then south(A7). The A4 route has the new long tunnel. I haven’t decided if that is a good thing or not. How do the views and anything else compare for these routes?

From there, we want to drive the Regua->Pinhao route. Are we missing out on great stuff by not doing the portion west of Regua?

Thank you

3 replies to this topic
Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon
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1. Re: Itinerary advice, please

Porto to Braga is only 55kms away and the road it's the A3 (or E1), forget the others. it's not a long day if you plan to end at Guimarães and visit this city on the other days.

"How do the views" the views to what? Mateus, makes sense if you want to visit the house and gardens, if not then it's just a detour to use highways instead of "normal" roads.

Edited: 1:48 pm, January 29, 2018
Cabeceiras de Basto
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2. Re: Itinerary advice, please

From Guimarães to Vila Real (Mateus is on the outskirts of this town) both options are good. I prefer the A7 eastbound and then A24 southbound, because you get less heavy traffic and there are no tunnels, but in terms of views both itineraries are attractive. Travel time about an hour. From Vila Real and beyond, if you drive back to Porto the A4 is the logical option, so you will have the chance to cross the Marão tunnel (5.5 km) on the way. In the Douro valley the scenery is fantastic everywhere but the more you go upstream the better, so don't mind skipping the stretch west of Régua. The road Régua-Pinhão is very scenic, but climb also uphill from Régua to Lamego, one of the most ancient and proud historic towns in Portugal. It's a short drive and it's worth it.

Berkeley, CA
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3. Re: Itinerary advice, please

Thanks, ptnov64 for the Braga advice. I didn't want to take a route that was a couple minutes faster and vastly less scenic--easy to have happen. Right now (weather and mood dependent) I do want to see the Mateus gardens. I like gardens. My partner, the driver, will decide whether to tunnel now that I know the routes are comparable otherwise.

Our next stop is Coimbra. Given your suggestion,paulopin63, we will probably start that day near Pinhao, drive west back to Regua and then south via Lamego and on to Coimbra.

These were decisions that I just wasn't resolving from guidebooks and online info. Thanks again.

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