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Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Tynemouth
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Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

We are planning a trip to Porto and the Douro Valley, hopefully in September. When there, we will be travelling around using public transport. I've done lots of reading of guide books and posts here on TA and have made the following list of places that we would like to visit. The question is, should we stay in Porto the whole time and do day trips to these places from there, or should we split our time between Porto and another one, or two bases. If the latter, where would be a sensible (and attractive) second base:

Peneda Geres National Park (possibly a tour with Oporto Adventure Tours)

Braga

Guimaraes

Amarante

Lamego

Regua to Pocinho or Barca (is the scenery better appreciated from train or boat? I think we would prefer to use the train if the views are just as good)

Amarante and Lamego sound like the sort of places we would like to stay, but would either of them be a sensible choice without a car?

Lisbon
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1. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Hi,

I believe that probably is better to use Porto as you base and explore from there.

You can also find a few suggestions here: http://www.portoportugal.com

However, I should add that I think that for the kind of trip you're planning, you would most probably be better off renting a car.

The cities up north that you're planning are less tourism oriented than in other parts of the country and going around in public transportation may eat up a significant share of your time.

I'm not saying that it isn't feasible to do it...just that you may end up spending a lot of your time handling the transportation issues and not enjoying your visit to Portugal.

Sometimes tourists worry about driving in a foreign country... However, unless you have some particular limitaion in this regard, I think is safe and easy to drive in Portugal.

cheers,

miguel

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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2. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Divide your stay between Porto and the Douro valley, if you really want to explore a little bit of the Valley, if you stay at Régua there will be buses to Amarante and Lamego. Personally I think that a day tour to Gerês is to not enough, the park is too big and diverse, you'll take at least 2h each way to reach the closer area and that way you'll have a snapshot of one particular area, not the park.

Algarve, Portugal
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for Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
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3. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

I agree with 64novpt to divide time between Porto and the Douro valley.

If you can, do spend more days in Gerês, it's very much worth it.

Here's another company for tours:

portugal4all.eu/uk/…parquepeneda.htm

The train from Régua to Pocinho is running right along the river. You'll have good views.

If you like to take a boat tour you can take short trips from Régua.

Tynemouth
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4. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Thanks everybody for your input. I did think that Regua might be a sensible second base, transport wise, but it doesn't look particularly attractive in the 'photos I have seen. Perhaps I am wrong?

Algarve, Portugal
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5. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

I prefer Pinhão over Régua. From there you can also pick up the train and busses and Pinhão also has shorter boat tours.

Tynemouth
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6. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

How often do the buses run between Amarante and Regua, and Regua and Lamego? I have the links to the bus websites but unfortunately they are only in Portuguese.

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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7. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Regua is not the nicest of the towns but there you'll have the public transports that you need, not the case at Pinhão. Here's an example for Régua/Lamego also in portuguese santosviagensturismo.pt/horarios/…20VISEU.pdf

Lisbon
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8. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Using Rodonorte website http://www.rodonorte.pt/ I can see that from Amarante to Régua, during weekdays (Mon-Fri) you have to change bus in Vila Real and there are 2 every day:

8h50->10h25 and 15h20->16h25

Than there are several other options for Fridays (unless holiday when they run on thursdays) and for Sundays.

Lamego-> Régua, using Transdev transdev.pt/fotos/… on weekdays, it seems you have one abut every hour or so.

Still think you should consider renting a car. but I'm always a minority in this regard here in TA. Each one shares the experience it's more confortable with...

cheers,

miguel

Looking at this schedule is the reason why I said you should consider renting a car...

Porto
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9. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

Porto is better to use as a base. You can contact Portotours, they can advise and book different tours to Douro Valley, to Peneda Gerês and to the other cities you choose.

Maybe you can stay one or two nights in the Douro Valley, see this accomodation options near Régua:

- Quinta do Vallado www.quintadovallado.com

- Quinta do Tedo www.quintadotedo.com

10. Re: Stay in Porto for whole trip or multi-centres?

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