Travel

Portugal - Update

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  • May 20th, 2019 10:15 am
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[OP]
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Portugal - Update

Thinking of taking a river cruise in Portugal, Douro River. It is a short river and only an 8 day trip. We will have a few days in Porto.
Is going to Lisbon before or after for about 3 days worth it? Anything else worth seeing in Portugal? Not really interested in renting a car and driving allover the country. Would like to plunck ourselves in a hotel and day tip from here.
Or we can go to Madrid/Barcelona, where we have been before.
Suggestions?
TIA.

Update:
Well, 2019 was out of the question. We are partial to Scenic cruises and they are all sold out so, it had to be for 2020 and it was nearly sold out too so, we booked for next April as they only had a few cabins left. Geez, gotta book a year in advance because they sell out so fast.
Anyway, couldn't make up my minds so we will do them all. LOL We will spend 3 days in Lisbon prior to the Douro River cruise and then 3 days in Madrid after and end with 4 days in Barcelona, then home.
Last edited by Pete_Coach on Apr 11th, 2019 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aug 15, 2009
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I want to Lisboa at the end of the trip and it was worth it. So much things to do.

Porto is a a calm city with less things to do.

If you like beaches and relax Faro is a good place. Visit the Sintra palace is another one. However it's down south of Portugal.

I traveled by train. So much easier !
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Mar 31, 2019
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Honestly, I love Portugal.

Went to Obidos and Berlengas (30 min ferry ride from Peniche) and had a good time less tourists

The Doro cruise was a snooze fest for me but I am not into river cruising either.
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If you ask an average European where to go for short and quick vacation, Lisbon would be pretty close to the top of list.

It is sort of what Vegas is to them for us, so lots to do and prices are pretty good. If you or your mate love to shop and dine, it is even better.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 12:15 pm
Not really interested in renting a car and driving allover the country. Would like to plunck ourselves in a hotel and day tip from here.
Lisbon would suit your needs, then. There's plenty to do in the city, and Sintra is a train ride away. Lisbon's relatively small, so you can see a lot of the major sites by walking/public transit without too much hassle.
hdom wrote:
Apr 7th, 2019 2:23 pm
It is sort of what Vegas is to them for us, so lots to do and prices are pretty good. If you or your mate love to shop and dine, it is even better.
I found consumer goods to be more expensive in Portugal than they are here.
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We’re in Lisbon right now ! We will be here for two more days, before taking the train to Porto to spend 3 more days. We’re taking an excursion to the Douro Valley on one of them.

So far we love it here, lots to see and do and easy to get around.
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Good deal could be had for luxury brands and at outlets. Luxury brand set price are usually lower than other cities plus is a relatively easy tax return at the airport.
Ninja Robot Pirate wrote:
Apr 7th, 2019 3:20 pm
Lisbon would suit your needs, then. There's plenty to do in the city, and Sintra is a train ride away. Lisbon's relatively small, so you can see a lot of the major sites by walking/public transit without too much hassle.



I found consumer goods to be more expensive in Portugal than they are here.
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knuks101 wrote:
Apr 7th, 2019 8:27 pm
We’re in Lisbon right now ! We will be here for two more days, before taking the train to Porto to spend 3 more days. We’re taking an excursion to the Douro Valley on one of them.

So far we love it here, lots to see and do and easy to get around.
Lisbon (and Portugal) is such an underrated destination. Lots to see and do, great food and relatively cheap by European standards.
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Talamasca wrote:
Apr 8th, 2019 5:37 pm
Lisbon (and Portugal) is such an underrated destination. Lots to see and do, great food and relatively cheap by European standards.
Agreed. Food and booze are cheap !
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All IMO - Last year we spent almost 2.5 weeks in Portugal - Lisbon / Douro and Porto. We rented a car and drove from Lisbon up and back. We did a short Douro cruise (2hrs) and it was enough! It is stunning but I’d find it boring after a day or two. With all that said Porto is good for 3 - 4 days and Lisbon you could spend a week if you do a few day trips. We also spent 3 nights in Douro which was awesome especially if you like wine! So with all that said if you plan to do what you mention I would spend my extra time in Lisbon - awesome city with a great vibe. food and wine scene. You can always do day trips via guided tours to some of the other smaller cities around.
Last edited by Motoss on Apr 9th, 2019 12:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
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We did Portugal 3 yrs ago for March Break on the SATA deal through flight centre $350 rtn with a stop over in Ponta Delgada Azores on the way back. Managed to snag an upgrade to 1st class on the way to Lisboa.

We stayed 2 days in Lisboa lots to see in Baxia, Belem and tram rides up to the hills of Lisboa with 2 day pass which covers the airport too. Picked a rental car up went to the Algarve and Cascais, Sintra and Cabo de Roca.

I found Portugal and the Azores quite affordable compared to Paris.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 12:15 pm
Thinking of taking a river cruise in Portugal, Douro River. It is a short river and only an 8 day trip. We will have a few days in Porto.
Is going to Lisbon before or after for about 3 days worth it? Anything else worth seeing in Portugal? Not really interested in renting a car and driving allover the country. Would like to plunck ourselves in a hotel and day tip from here.
Or we can go to Madrid/Barcelona, where we have been before.
Suggestions?
TIA.
When are you going Pete?

Lisbon is okay- but I would go do something different. IMHO Spanish cities have way more to offer then Lisbon (and I like Porto better personally).

Fly from Porto > Ponta Delgada. Check out the “Azor Hotel” (great location - very eclectic feel- easy to day trip). The Azores & Ponta Delgada itself is totally different from the continent. Amazing cheese stores... cuisine is different too. You could day trip to > Furnas > Lagoa de Fogo > Sete Citadedes> lots of seaside small towns to explore. I know you said you didn’t want to rent a car but it’s an island pace with relatively little traffic and easy to park (no charge).

It’s about 2 hours from OPO and another 5ish hours from toronto. SATA has a new aircraft they operate on that route- you can easily score business class fairly cheap (YYZ-OPO then return OPO > PDL for a few days > YYZ)
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About Portugal being cheap: I’m sure that’s the case, compared to other European countries. However, with the exchange rate right now, we don’t find it much cheaper than Canada (except for booze Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes)
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BrunetteGirl wrote:
Apr 8th, 2019 10:18 pm
When are you going Pete?

Lisbon is okay- but I would go do something different. IMHO Spanish cities have way more to offer then Lisbon (and I like Porto better personally).

Fly from Porto > Ponta Delgada. Check out the “Azor Hotel” (great location - very eclectic feel- easy to day trip). The Azores & Ponta Delgada itself is totally different from the continent. Amazing cheese stores... cuisine is different too. You could day trip to > Furnas > Lagoa de Fogo > Sete Citadedes> lots of seaside small towns to explore. I know you said you didn’t want to rent a car but it’s an island pace with relatively little traffic and easy to park (no charge).

It’s about 2 hours from OPO and another 5ish hours from toronto. SATA has a new aircraft they operate on that route- you can easily score business class fairly cheap (YYZ-OPO then return OPO > PDL for a few days > YYZ)
Not sure, either this Fall or next Spring.
The reason for Lisbon is it is easy to get there. We are really leaning going on the river cruise leaving from Porto. We went on a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam last year and really enjoyed it. Loved the excursions and food and leisurely float down the rivers.
We have been to Madrid and Barcelona so that would be an alternative. Lisbon just seemed like a good place for a few extra days, one or 2 to see the city and a couple more for day trips.
We will be flying through London and want to spend a few days there on the way back to see a couple shows.
Last edited by Pete_Coach on Apr 9th, 2019 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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knuks101 wrote:
Apr 9th, 2019 3:40 am
About Portugal being cheap: I’m sure that’s the case, compared to other European countries. However, with the exchange rate right now, we don’t find it much cheaper than Canada (except for booze Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes)
+1. I've been to Portugal in 1985, 1993 and Nov 2018.

It was really cheap in '85 and has gotten progressively more expensive with EU membership plus ease of travel.
I read recently that Lisbon/Portugal has been discovered. Very true, lots of crowds now and prices have risen accordingly.

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