Thursday, 8 November 2012

10 days in Portugal in January

The Algarve is not exactly clement in January! I live here. The far western Algarve does have spectacular coastal scenery, (you would need a car) and we do do rental apartments here. I would suggest if your mind was really set on it, head for Lagos rather than Tavira. Alternatively, I would plan on a trip that took in Lisbon and environs, Coimbra, Porto, (possibly including day trips to Braga, Guimarães or up the Douro River on a wine tasting tour. ). Given the cost and hassle of fuel, tolls and the likely weather in January, I would suggest to plan to travel by long distance coach. The train service between the above centres is good BUT given the current and anticipated penchance of the local rail workers unions to announce stoppages at short notice, plan on using coach travel. Further, if you do end up hiring a car, be aware that most rental vehicles this side of the pond are manual shift. If you require a automatic shift remember to specify this when reserving and be prepared to pay a premium. As regards apartments, also bear in mind that there are excellent reasnably priced Pensão/small Hotels throughout the land. In Coimbra, I would recommend Residencial Victoria andin Lisbon, the Portuense and Florescente near Rossio, If you do visit the Algarve and come to Lagos, have a look at the Vila Galé Hotel, the Marina Club ApartHotel and the Hotel Marina Rio, all of which will probably have excellent offers on in January via