I am going to go over the days we spent in each city and what I would have done differently. Portugal is a pretty diverse country and each city had its own feel. Even though Portugal is small, I feel it is worth making multiple trips to this country to fully enjoy each vibe.
We did the following route:
- Landed in Porto, rented a car and left for Sintra right away.
- Stayed in Sintra for 2D/1N
- Left in the late afternoon for Nazaré.
- Stayed in Nazaré for 1N/1D
- Left early morning for Porto
- Stayed in Porto for 3D/2N
- Left for Duoro Valley around noon.
- Stayed in Duroro Valley for 2N/2D
- Left early morning for Faro
- Made a pitstop in Evaro for a late lunch.
- Stayed in Faro for 1N/1D
- Left in the afternoon for Lisbon
- Stayed in Lisbon for 1N/1D
- Headed to the airport late afternoon and took off in the evening to Chicago.
It was a jam packed driving schedule, but I am very thankful to have a taste of Portugal, especially while i was pregnant. Thank you, Mr. Lumberjack for driving the entire trip. Here are a few things I would have done differently on the road trip after experiencing the car ride.
- I would have stayed an extra night in Sintra. Sintra is a quiet town, so there isn’t much to see. The town though is very beautiful and well kept. After a long flight, the extra day would calibrate you better to the time.
- I would have skipped Nazaré for this time of year. Nazaré is a beach town, known for surfing. We went specifically for beach time, but it was a little chilly and dead. A local told us we were in the off season. However, I would come back in the summer. This town looks like a fun, happening place.
- Next, I would stay an extra day in Porto. I absolutely love Porto. It was my favorite city the entire trip. It is the perfect amount of city life and quietness. There is a lot to see and experience, and EAT.
- For Duoro Valley, I would have saved that for a separate trip. Duoro Valley is a 4-5 hour drive east of Porto. It is wine country and certainly beautiful. However, getting to the houses was absolutely gut wrenching. The narrow roads wind around the mountain; They are steep and don’t have railings on the sides. If you dare drive, I would make the most of it and stay as long as you wish. I really liked the location and isolation, because it is really good to just lounge sometimes. You just need to make the dangerous drive worth it.
- I would skip Evaro and go to Coimbra instead. Evaro was on the way to Faro and we decided to use that as a break during the 7 hour drive. It is supposed to be a historic town. The town is small and nothing really stood out to me there. I believe Coimbra would have been the better option and staying there a couple of nights would have been fun as well.
- I would have skipped Faro on this road trip and save it for a separate trip (maybe when you roadtrip from Faro to south of Spain). Faro was really far from Duoro Valley and we lost a day driving there. Also, it is not near any of the other cities to make a convenient loop back to Lisbon. Faro was a place for relaxation. To get to the cool islands and caves, those required day tours, so next time, I would spend at least 3 days in Faro.
- Lastly, I would have stayed an extra day in Lisbon. Lisbon has a city charm. It isn’t bustling with people, but there is left. It is hard to explain. There are a lot to see but also a lot of hills. Therefore, I would have liked to take our time walking, resting/taking our time and then eating.
What do you think of the itinerary? Is it too much or too little of exploration? Comment below if you would replicate a similar roadtrip around Portugal. Until next time, my friends.