Trip south from Lisboa
Trip north from Lisboa
Itinerary for 8 days by car:
Day One Aveiro and environs:
Coninbriga Roman ruins, Santa Joana Museum, Salinas, Costa Nova, Gafanhas
Stayed at nice private apartment Casa Pirosa, near Aveiro center. Aveiro is a nice canal town, very overrun with tourists in the summer, but also means it has all the things tourists like (pubs, live music, restaurants, shops, etc).
Day Two Cinfães and environs, the heart of the Douro Valley:
Castle Santa Maria de Feria, Castle of Palva, Roman bridges, old port, Miradouro Teixeiro
Stayed at the very nice Cerrrado dos Outeirinhos Hotel, run by a retired school teacher.
Day Three Guimarães and environs, the beginning of Portugal:
Guimarães Castle, Paço dos Duques, Braga (Bom Jesus de Braga, Sé de Braga (Cathedral), Misericórdia de Braga). I cannot praise Guimarães enough, possibly my favorite town. The lively Medieval town center is just lovely. This is the city where Portugal was founded.
Stayed in the old center at the nice Alojamenti Local F&B.
Day Four Monção and environs, heart of Vino Verde:
Fortaleza Monção, Palácio da Brejoeira and winery, Vina Nova de Cerveira, Caminha, Mirafouro Sta. Luzia). Stayed at the very nice and quiet winery Solar de Serrade.
Day Five Viana do Castelo and environs:
Barcelos, Vila Real - Casa Mateus, Lamego, S. João da Pesqueira, Marialva
Stayed in the fine Enjoy Viana (Gueste House) in the center.
Day Six Marialva (Vila Nova de Foz Coa) and Grutas de Foz Coa. Must see the neolithic rock carvings by tour at night. The carvings are best seen in relief with a strong flashlight.
Stayed at the nearby Casa das Freiras, previously a small nunnery in a town with not even a shop, it is so small. Very nice place.
Day Seven Xisto towns and environs: Charming small villages from centuries ago in one of the most stunning areas of Portugal. Wonderful Monsanto is the highest point in Portugal.
Stayed at the wonderful Casa Ti Augusta in the heart of the Xisto region.
Day Eight Return to Lisboa. I excluded Porto because I had been there before. If you have not been, then you need to add another two days and see it. If you want to take the train up the Douro River and the Boat back, both start and end at Porto and add another day. Need a car, though Porto itself is two hours by train from Lisboa.