Thanks to those who responded to my first inquiry about going north or south. My colleague and I are heading north however I need some advice about the suggested iternerary below.
Arrive in Lisbon (Sat.) and take train to Coimbra, stay at Hotel Astoria.
Next day train up to Porto, find a day boat trip to Pinhao, try to stay at Vintage House Question: In case they are booked, are there other alternatives?
Take riverside train back to Porto on Monday (stay one night) Question: Should we try to make it up to the Minho area? We have to be back in Lisbon Tuesday night.
Your trusted travel advice is much appreciated.
If you decided to go north... it's decided! But I think that you should have booked your flights to Porto (maybe saving money). Flying to (and from) Lisbon, I would rather use the short time available around Lisbon.
Now, allow me one question:
Why are you stopping in Coimbra? The only boat that I know, on Sunday, from Porto to Pinhão
leaves at 9.30, (arriving at 7PM) which means that you must be very carefully with your (early) train in Coimbra. Unless your flight arrives early in the morning you will have no time to see much in Coimbra.
Take my advice: if you can, change your flights to Porto (thus Minho would be possible, but in a rush), or the program to Lisbon. you will win in both situations.
I don't know any other good hotel in Pinhão, but it's low season.
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