View Full Version : Anyone been to Portugal?
03-10-2004, 07:09 AM
Hi, I'm still trying to plan my honeymoon. We had decided on Banff but then FI changed his mind. Oh well. Now we're thinking about the coast of Portugal. I think I've fallen in love, but I don't know any one who has been there. Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, etc? Thanks!
Edited to add: we're going in October.
03-10-2004, 07:56 AM
Hi Jill! Portugal sounds perfect! I have never been but one of my very good friends is Portugese and has been many times. I can ask her for some info - are there any specific places you want to know about?
03-10-2004, 07:57 AM
Unfortunately, I don't have any tips for you. Just wanted to say that my mom was there a few years back and she LOVED it! They may have even gone around that same time of year. There was so much to see and they were out doing things each day. She still talks about how great it was.
03-10-2004, 08:02 AM
I've been three times though I didn't plan the trips so my knowledge is sketchy.
One thing though is temperature. If you are planning for a "beach" vacation, Portugal is going to be kinda cool in October along the coast. There is A LOT to see in Portugal (a lot of people combine Portugal with Spain, but I don't recommend it unless you have a substantial amount of time). For history, exploring and such I would recommend Lisboa and north. Oporto is where my family is from and it's where all the port caves are :) For a more beach like relaxing vacation, I would recommend the pensaos in the south like Algarve etc.
Feel free to elaborate a bit more and I will help if I can.
Portugal is beautiful, the people are incredibly friendly and generous, and the food and wine is to die for :cool: There are so many wines and ports that don't make it across the sea...going to Portugal is a great way to check it out :D
03-10-2004, 08:12 AM
Its okay if it's not warm enough to swim. As long as we can walk along the beach, etc. We have been thinking about the Algarve region. (Truth be told I'm most excited about the food and wine as you mentioned). We also thought we could do a day trip to Gibraltar. We only have about 9 days, so we probably wouldn't do much more of Spain than that.
What airport do you fly into when you go? Lisbon?
I would love any hotel/city/food suggestions your freind has- thanks Ann!
03-10-2004, 08:30 AM
Well if you are going to the south, there is an airport at Faro. But you will probably get the best/most number of connections flying into Lisbon.
If I were you I would skip Gibralter, but that's just me. :D I would fly into Lisbon and then drive down to the southern end and spend the rest of the trip down there as it's incredibly romantic. The most expensive but the most beautiful would be to stay in a pensao off the coast which is a Castle that was renovated into an inn/guest house.
I'll be back with some specific recommendations..my mom was there more recently than I was so I'll drop her a line.
03-10-2004, 11:09 AM
I don't have any information for you, but I wanted to tell you that my parents went to Portugal for their honeymoon. They were married October 30, but they left a week after their wedding. That was over 27 years ago, of course. They enjoyed it, but people always wonder why they chose it. (It was because my grandmother was a travel agent and found them a great deal, but they had to wait a week for it.)
Enjoy yourselves! We haven't decided on our honeymoon yet, but we're more into tropical vacations. :)
03-10-2004, 12:01 PM
Thanks. FI wanted tropical but I'm not a tropical type of gal- I like to be able to explore. Luckily we're getting married during hurricane season so I was able to use that as an excuse!
You will LOVE Portugal. I went 2 years ago and we are going back next month for 17 days...cannot wait.
The Algarve is of course the lower part of Portugal across from Morroco, it is VERY touristy and very busy. The beaches are beautiful but alot of people from Germany, and other countries of Europe. Your best bet is to land in Lisbon and drive, it is about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive by freeway. You might want to consider going along the coast it might add about 2 hours on your drive but is well worth it. There is a beautiful beach about 1/2 hour out of Lisbon called Casis (probably wrong spelling) that is GREAT, the food and wine are soooooooo good, and the people are wonderful, you will truly have a great time.
When we go we like the Northern part of the country much more. Smaller towns, and along the coast is beautiful. Just not as warm.
The country is really small, not even the size of the state of Indiana. You will love the history, it is one of the only countries in Europe that has never had a land war, they have all been at sea so the churches are some of the oldest in all Europe. There was an earthquake in Lisbon in 1711 and much was destroyed in the city but the small towns are great.
Ok, as you can tell I could go on for hours...
If you have any other questions, just PM me.
I don't need to wish you a great trip because I know you will have one.
PS My husband is the reason we started going also, I had no cule about Portugal until then, but it is now one of my favorite places in the world...
03-10-2004, 12:53 PM
Do you think it will be really touristy during October? I had heard its bad during the summer, but I was hoping since its the off season...
Are there trains that we could take instead of driving? We're hoping to not rent a car.
I did my study abroad in England during college and my host mother would go on and on about German tourists. We would ask her why they were so bad, and she couldn't she would get so mad..finally we got to the root of the problem- when there were buffets the German tourists would eat all of the potatoes. I always think about that when I hear about German tourists- this woman had a lot of bizarre stereotypes.
October should not be so bad with tourists, the season is pretty much from May to September. And yes, you can take a train to the Algarve, the only thing is you will miss so much. I really don't blame you, I got an international drivers license thinking I would maybe do some of the driving, I never even open the drivers door, they are really crazy drivers...one of the highest mortality (spelling) countries in Europe. We pretty much stuck to the off roads and never really had a problem once we learned about the "round a bouts".
Back to the train...there are alot of trains and you can take trains on day trips as well, they are great for that. You can take a cab from the airport to the train station and they might even have a shuttle.
Just enjoy, what I did when I found out we were for sure going is I went and checked out alot of travel books when I found the ones that were the most usefull I bought them. I even took them with us and refered to them all the time. You might want to think about that.
As far as German tourists, I really have no idea, in fact I am 100% German but born in the States, so that was the big joke when anyone complained about the German tourists.
If you need anymore info...just ask
12-16-2005, 07:43 AM
I'm resurrecting this old thread because we are considering a trip to Portugal at the end of March. It sounds like everyone who posted here really liked it...how about those of you who have been there since this thread? How many nights would we want to spend in Lisbon for seeing the city plus day trips, versus how many nights out of Lisbon? We aren't beach people so much, so not concerned about missing the high season at the beach.
12-16-2005, 07:52 AM
I lived in the Azores many years ago. The islands are beautiful and have become a popular travel destination. A must see if you are going to Lisbon. There is an American Air Force base on Terciera Island called Lajes Field. Maderia Island is another interesting spot because of it's wine production.
I second the recommendation re: the wine! Rich and dark.
If you have the time while visiting Portugal, a trip to Spain would be a terrific destination as well. Madrid is an amazing city.
Enjoy your travels!
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