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North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

New York City, New...
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North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

I am starting to look at visiting Portugal this summer with my husband. We have a bunch of questions.

From the pictures, it looks like the south has hi-rise hotels and golf courses, etc- really built up.

We are looking for old, rustic, quaint. Fishing villages or winery chateaus. Not concerned about price.

We can either do 5 days in late June or 10 days in August.

I am starting to sketch this out but i think Porto for 2 (1?) days, then a cute fishing village (where?) for 1, and/or a Douro valley hotel. We will spend the last night in Lisbon.

Are 1 night in Lisbon and Porto enough?

Lisbon, Portugal
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1. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

1 night it's not enough neither to Lisboa nor to Porto, if you really want to visit the cities.

We don't have "chateaux" in the sense of the french ones. Ours are not residential palaces, they are medieval defensive castles.

By south I think that you are referring to the Algarve, there's much more than the Algarve in the south, look at the Alentejo, either for beaches or wineries. http://www.costaalentejana.com.pt/

…turismodeportugal.pt/en/wine-turism

visitportugal.com/Cultures/en-US/default.html

Porto, Portugal
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2. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

I also don't think a day in Lisbon or Porto is enough. For 5 days, I'd stick to just one region. For example, Porto, Douro valley and say Aveiro for the fishing village.

The alentejo is also a great region to visit, beautiful beaches, great wine and great food. Lisbon and Alentejo is also doable in 5 days.

If you decide to come in August for 10 days, then I'd put these two together, 5 days up north and 5 days in Lisbon and Alentejo.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

From my somewhat limited review it appeared the southern part was petty but very built up. I will look at the area you suggest.

If I were to do 5 days I still need to fly into Lisbon so are u suggesting not staying in Lisbon?

If 5 is not enough then we may go to Greece for 5 (we go there a lot ) and do Portugal as a longer trip in August.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

By chateau I mean I don't want to stay in a Hyatt or other large global modern looking hi-rise chain. Ideally we don't want to be near them , or water parks golf courses etc.

Rather, something rustic. Maybe restored midieval building, old mansion, farm house Etc. so I was leaning north bc the photos of the south were not for us

Lisbon, Portugal
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5. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

If you're asking if 5 days is enought to visit Portugal, I have to say that it's not. But this is my opinion.

Lisbon, Portugal
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6. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

For really seeing the old and quaint in Portugal, I also think 5 days is too short. A lot of the old and quaint of Portugal is outside the usual tourist route, and in most cases, would be better visited by car. For that, you need to factor in driving time -- in the south, this would be in the Alentejo region (no, this is not the south of the high rises and golf courses (Algarve). Then there is the central part towards the Spanish border all the way to the Douro the northern border regions. You could follow themed routes of medieval villages and castles, etc., 64novpt's suggested links above would give you some ideas. There are excellent accommodations in all these places to suit a range of preferences.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

wow- thank you all- the Alentejo region appears to be perfect from the pictures! just what I was looking for.

We are thinking 9-10 days, late August (I know August and crowded is hot but that is when we take our "long" vacation every year to the Mediterranean).

New Jersey
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8. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

If you like the old and historic, the North of Portugal has it in spades. I loved exploring the backroads of the Minho and Beira Alta, and there are a lot of inexpensive and atmospheric places to stay. Alentejo has its charm, but more wide open and barren (think grain vs. rocky mountains with goats).

9. Re: North Portugal better than south for old and quaint? 5 days?

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