Spain - Portugal

Travel Forums Europe Spain - Portugal

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Spain
1. Posted by kzz (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hey travel gurus :). Friend and I are looking to travel to Spain and Portugal from Nov17-Dec01 (2 full weeks). I looked around the forums and some itineraries but had a hard time deciding which places go as there is so much to see. We narrowed down to 5 places Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Porto, and Lisbon; that we would like to explore.

Is that feasible given our time frame and does anyone have any suggestions on how many days we should spend in each place? Also, if anyone has suggestions on the travel path that would be appreciated! We are flying from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

2. Posted by JenniferWhite (Budding Member 22 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Those cities are great to visit, I haven't been in Seville yet, but in Barcelona and Madrid I would recommend you to stay 3 full days on each city at least. I believe their are tours in Portugal where you can visit around 7 cities in 8 hours on a road trip. So I believe you can visit a lot of cities in a couple of days in Portugal, depending on how much you want to do.

3. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 403 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

>Is that feasible given our time frame

Yes.

> suggestions on how many days we should spend in each place

I would very strongly advise against taking any tour which takes you to 7 'cities' in just 8 hours unless you just want to tick boxes.

Lisbon deserves an absolute bare minimum of 2 full days: one for itself and one to include a visit to Belem (tram 15 from Lisbon) for the Jeronimos monastery and its pasteis (pastries). 3 full days would be much better.

Sintra (an easy daytrip by train from Lisbon's Rossio station) deserves at least one full day of exploration, though even with one full day it'll be hard to fit in both palaces (the National Palace and Pena Palace) and the Moorish castle...and you really shouldn't miss the unique and rather mysterious gardens of Quinta da Regaleira (take a torch if you can):

http://www.regaleira.pt/en

From Lisbon you can also get to Estoril and Cascais by commuter train from Cais do Sodre station. That's another easy daytrip.

Porto (train from Lisbon Oriente station) deserves at least one full day. Two or three would be better, allowing you to take a cruise along the Douro and/or a train trip to Aveiro (from Sao Bento or Campanha stations).

Coimbra, Obidos, Evora are feasible daytrips by train or bus from either Lisbon or Porto.

Faro (train from Lisbon or bus from Seville) is worth a visit, not least for the Rio Formosa lagoon. Potential daytrips: from there you can take the bus or train to Lagos, Sagres, Silves, Albufeira...

Bus times and details in English: https://www.rede-expressos.pt/en/

Train times, details and fares in English: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Sep-2018, at 15:10 by leics2 ]

4. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 590 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

When you say two full weeks are you including or excluding the flight time from Toronto? It is certainly doable but it might be a bit tight as you have to think about the travel time between most of the cities as they are long distances and will probably take about a day each out of your sightseeing time just to travel between the cities. It also depends how long you want to stay at each city and if you want the option to explore surrounding areas or will you only focus on the cities.

5. Posted by kzz (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for the feedback everyone, really appreciate it. Its our first time in Europe so we're a bit lost. I believe we have about 14 full days (fly in on Nov 16 and fly out on Dec 01) of exploring and travelling time between cities Ideally, we want to spend at least 3 days in Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona and allocate the rest of the days in Portugal for Lisbon and Porto. If time permits, we'll do the day trips as suggested as well.

6. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1868 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I went to Portugal several years ago in November. Heavy rain almost every day. Spain has a fair bit of rain then too.

7. Posted by avieira67 (Full Member 3 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Travelling between Porto and Lisboa consider to take the plane. Can be a good option to save you both time and money, Check Ryanair.

8. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 403 posts) 4w 1 Star this if you like it!

>Travelling between Porto and Lisboa consider to take the plane. Can be a good option to save you both time and money

I disagree.

Trains between Porto and Lisbon take 3 hours or less. Once you have added in time (and cost) of getting to and from the airport, plus time for bag-drop, security and luggage reclaim, flying is not going to be quicker.

Standard (i.e. second-class, safe and comfortable) train fares Porto to Lisbon range from 24.70 euro to 30.80 euro. Even Ryanair is unlikely to match that fare and it certainly won't if the traveller has checked baggage. And, from this November, Ryanair will only allow bags which fit under the seat to travel free. You'll have to pay extra to take larger cabin bags.

Take the train. It's faster, it's less hassle, you'll see much more, it will almost certainly be cheaper than flying and is certainly considerably greener.

https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Sep-2018, at 00:45 by leics2 ]

9. Posted by Ibantici (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6d Star this if you like it!

I you wan to try something different, November-December are the perfect months to visit the Islands of Portugal and Spain. A trip to to the Canaries is always a good idea, especially to enjoy the perfect weather that they have.