Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

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worthit
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

Hello BHs:

Looking for susggestions to optimize an upcoming vacation.

Planning on a trip to Lisbon in April 2023 and trying to add another nearby destination to cover as much as possible. Currently thinking of spending 4-5 days in Lisbon and then flying to Nice and spending 5-6 days there before returning to the US. The idea is to keep Nice as the base and perhaps cover Monaco. Marseile and other near by cities as day trips. Is this a doable? Another option I am considering is may be exploring a city or 2 in Spain even though that may require us to spend a lot more days. We can only spend a total of 10 days so not sure which one will yield the best returns for the amout of time we have and money we may end up spending on this vacation.

Thanks in advance.
invest2bfree
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Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:44 am

Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by invest2bfree »

worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm Hello BHs:

Looking for susggestions to optimize an upcoming vacation.

Planning on a trip to Lisbon in April 2023 and trying to add another nearby destination to cover as much as possible. Currently thinking of spending 4-5 days in Lisbon and then flying to Nice and spending 5-6 days there before returning to the US. The idea is to keep Nice as the base and perhaps cover Monaco. Marseile and other near by cities as day trips. Is this a doable? Another option I am considering is may be exploring a city or 2 in Spain even though that may require us to spend a lot more days. We can only spend a total of 10 days so not sure which one will yield the best returns for the amout of time we have and money we may end up spending on this vacation.

Thanks in advance.
Have you traveled south of Portugal and middle Portugal?

Algarve region is amazing. Also middle portugal has some great monasteries and castles.

If you still want to travel then Seville is close by a 6 hr drive from lisbon.
billfromct
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by billfromct »

I don’t know if this still is the Portuguese restaurant standard, but when I was in Portugal about 15 years ago, when you go to a restaurant, they bring out a lot of appetizers & put them on the table.

Of course, the tourists think they are free, but they are not. We just told the server “no gracias” & they take them away.

I would 2nd the Algarve & Seville if you are renting a car. We did the same itinerary when I brought my teenagers to Portugal 15-18 years ago on our 2.5 week Summer vacation.

bill
theplayer11
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by theplayer11 »

worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm Hello BHs:

Looking for susggestions to optimize an upcoming vacation.

Planning on a trip to Lisbon in April 2023 and trying to add another nearby destination to cover as much as possible. Currently thinking of spending 4-5 days in Lisbon and then flying to Nice and spending 5-6 days there before returning to the US. The idea is to keep Nice as the base and perhaps cover Monaco. Marseile and other near by cities as day trips. Is this a doable? Another option I am considering is may be exploring a city or 2 in Spain even though that may require us to spend a lot more days. We can only spend a total of 10 days so not sure which one will yield the best returns for the amout of time we have and money we may end up spending on this vacation.

Thanks in advance.
Personally, 4-5 days in Lisbon is too much if you only have 10 days and want to see other cities. Definitely add Sintra as day trip.
Monaco and Marseille would not be on my list for day trips from Nice.
THY4373
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by THY4373 »

theplayer11 wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 7:26 pm
Personally, 4-5 days in Lisbon is too much if you only have 10 days and want to see other cities. Definitely add Sintra as day trip.
Monaco and Marseille would not be on my list for day trips from Nice.
+1 on Sintra I truly enjoyed it and didn't hit everything I wanted to in one day a couple of years ago so when I hit Lisbon again this March I am going to go to Sintra again. I'll also echo that Monaco is ok but I'd pick Seville, Barcelona or Madrid over it any day of the week. Of course if you are trying to get your country count up then by all means go for it (that is mostly why I went). I spent two days there and it was nice enough but not a lot there truth be told in comparison to a lot of other European cities.
koryg75
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by koryg75 »

You should really say what your interests are to help guide you.
TravelGeek
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by TravelGeek »

billfromct wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 7:23 pm I don’t know if this still is the Portuguese restaurant standard, but when I was in Portugal about 15 years ago, when you go to a restaurant, they bring out a lot of appetizers & put them on the table.
We were in Lisboa recently. In at least one seafood restaurant the waiter brought freshly baked bread and some fish spread (think lox spread, but it was a different type of fish) and explained that it was not included. We enjoyed in anyway - it was a couple of Euros, I think.

But I don’t think this necessarily will help the OP decide where to go. :)

Personally, I would stay in Portugal. Spend a few days in Lisboa, then rent a car to visit the Algarve and/or Porto. Southern France is worth visiting, but I think it deserves a separate trip. Lots of interesting sites and cities.
Ztx
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Ztx »

Depends on what you like: city hopping or spending many days/weeks and thoroughly exploring one place. We prefer the former and 3 days in Lisbon were plenty for us and we were ready to change the scenery (we will explore Porto on the next trip).

Train connections to Spain are pretty much non-existent for practical purposes (no high-speed rail) so , unless you drive, you would have to fly anyways. And if you fly, then just pick what interests you most : Spain or South of France. We picked Spain and a similar situation and flew to Seville (where we rented a car) but both regions are beautiful!

enjoy your trip wherever you decide to go!
index007
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by index007 »

Portugal (Lisbon) seems like a confirmed country and it appears like you are debating between France (Nice) and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)

Agreed, 5-6 days just for Lisbon is a lot, although it is a great choice as a base in Europe and definitely my favorite entry destination from US to Europe

I would categorize the experience with culture, food, geography, architecture on the identical side for Portugal and Spain but of course unique. Seville, Toledo and Malaga are a bit closer from Madrid than Barcelona. If you are interested in some short day trips from Spain. Some call Costa del sol (Malaga) the inexpensive version of South of France. So you could experience the beaches and shores of Spain on this trip and visit South of France on the next..

Either or none of the three countries would disappoint!
Last edited by index007 on Sat Nov 12, 2022 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not WB or JB, but would like to drive through Matera
travelintime
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by travelintime »

If you make it to Nice, Dolce Aqua, Italy makes a nice day trip. You’ll take the train from Nice to Ventimiglia, Italy, and then a bus from Ventimiglia to the hill town of Dolce Aqua.
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Watty
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Watty »

worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm We can only spend a total of 10 days....
I would suggest getting the Rick Steves Portugal book and then just spending the entire time in Portugal. 10 days is really not a lot of time and if you fly somewhere else that will eat up the better part of a day with getting to the airport, flying, then getting settled into your next location.

Depending on how you are counting your days when you say "10 days" the day you arrive and the day you leave may be limited so it could be more like you only have 8 full days there.
worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm in April 2023
Be to check to see if you will be there for Good Friday and Easter since that may impact your travel plans. I don't know about Portugal but in some countries some things may be closed and many local people may be traveling around then.
Pacific
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Pacific »

There is much to see in Portugal besides Lisbon! Porto, Sintra, the Algarve, Madeira, Pico, etc.

Sounds to me like you are trying to see too much in a relatively short period of time.

By the way, there are a LOT of Americans who have moved to Portugal -- and I mean all over Portugal, including the Azores.
neilpilot
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by neilpilot »

We've visited Spain many times, usually spending a few days in either Barcelona or Madrid and the remaining 1-2 weeks along the coast near Malaga or the Balearic Islands. This year Semana Santa is April 2-8, and this an amazing annual event. Do those dates coincide with your visit?

I've been to celebrations in Malaga as well as several smaller towns along the coast west of Malaga. I've hear the celebration in Seville is also wonderful.
neilpilot
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by neilpilot »

We've visited Spain many times, usually spending a few days in either Barcelona or Madrid and the remaining 1-2 weeks along the coast near Malaga or the Balearic Islands. This year Semana Santa is April 2-8; this an amazing annual event. Do those dates coincide with your visit?

I've been to celebrations in Malaga as well as several smaller towns along the coast west of Malaga. I've hear the celebration in Seville is also wonderful.
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worthit
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

Thanks all.

To answer some of the questions.

We have never been to South of France nor Portugal. Will be our first visit to either of the regions. Just trying to take advantage of the proximity. Planning to leave 31st of March and returnng either the 9th or 10th of April 2023 to the US. So in essence we may only have a full 8 or 9 days to explore. We prefer a mix of city and country side. Prefer not to rent a car, rather have a guided tours if available to explore some areas.

So it looks like we can only one do either or (Portugal or South of France) and not both. I understand Lisbon can be explored in 2 days. Does this leave enough time to explore the rest of the regions in Portugal? If so, can we do a couple more cities e.g; Porto, Sintra, the Algarve, Madeira, Pico etc. with the addtional time available?

Thanks.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Since Spain is between Portugal and France it makes more sense to combine Portugal with Spain.

I did that on a trip this spring and did a driving loop starting in Lisbon, to the Algarves and returning through southern Spain. Total time was two weeks and could easily have been more.

April is a good time because (1) it's not too hot, particularly an issue for places in Spain and (2) not too crowded in the Algarves.
Barcelonasteve
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Barcelonasteve »

I’d pick Madrid. It should be a quick, direct flight so you won’t lose the whole day getting there. Madrid itself has plenty to see and do and eat and there are easy, short train trips to magical places like Toledo so you can travel without losing much time, toting bags, checking in and out of hotels, etc.
ColoradoRick
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by ColoradoRick »

Dear Worthit: we just got back from 33 days in Europe (that's too long by the way, we had 2 groups of friends that wanted to travel with us and we got carried away).

We spent 12 of the days in Portugal (3 in Lisbon/2 in Sintra/2 in Obidos/2 in Coimbra and 5 in Carvoeiro).

It totally depends on what type of person you are. Our 2nd group of friends we travelled with love the hustle and bustle of large tourist cities. My wife and I suspected and this trip verified we are small town people and we like to visit small towns like where we were born. We feel you meet nicer people, have a slower pace, and can get closer to the culture without the pressure of crowds.

So not knowing which you are and to give a generic recommendation, I too would only recommend 2-3 days in Lisbon, and instead of Nice, try Cape Ferrat. We used Rick Steves travel book and found a place on the waterfront cheap but it was clean, but its best years were behind her. That didn't bother us.

If you crave the bussle of big cities I would recommend either Barcelona Spain or Seville Spain. Both were beautiful particularly Seville at night. However again I don't like the big cities and Seville had terrible air pollution and high temps in late October when we were there.

If any of this resonates, please feel free to PM me. Been to 5 European countries and by far Portugal is my favorite and especially the Algarve (warm Riviera type weather and Alentejo which has a high plains desert, cork trees, great cheap wine, and very warm beautiful people.) All the best.
ColoradoRick
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by ColoradoRick »

An addendum to what I wrote: many travel people like to check boxes or tell their friends they've been to the popular places. If you pick the Algarve and Alentejo like we did, you don't get much in the way of bragging rights.

If you want to hit world popular spots go to Barcelona or Seville Spain, or Nice France or Madrid as someone else mentioned. In April I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.
btraven
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by btraven »

Fly to Madrid. It's a great city with plenty to see. From there, day trips by train are possible for Toledo, Segovia, Ávila, El Escorial, Aranjuez
Starfish
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Starfish »

Lisbon is nice but Porto is more interesting IMO. Sintra is worth a full day at least, finish the day in Cascais. Obidos is a fortified village between Lisbon and Porto, check it out, it's nice.
The shortest distance for you would be south of Spain which is also great. Barcelona it's probably my favorite city, but I also love Valencia which I greatly recommend. I don't know a lot about Nice.
Take trains or public transportation. If driving, read at least on the rules of the road. You still need very good parking skills if you want to drive in the city.
Starfish
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Starfish »

ColoradoRick wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 8:07 pm If you pick the Algarve and Alentejo like we did, you don't get much in the way of bragging rights.
Algarve is pretty much one of the most popular places for vacationing in Europe.
eddot98
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by eddot98 »

Comments in bold.
worthit wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 1:03 pm Thanks all.

To answer some of the questions.

We have never been to South of France nor Portugal. Will be our first visit to either of the regions. Just trying to take advantage of the proximity. Planning to leave 31st of March and returnng either the 9th or 10th of April 2023 to the US. So in essence we may only have a full 8 or 9 days to explore. We prefer a mix of city and country side. Prefer not to rent a car, rather have a guided tours if available to explore some areas.

So it looks like we can only one do either or (Portugal or South of France) and not both.A wise decision. I understand Lisbon can be explored in 2 days. That’s possible, but not advisable. Take a few more days and really get a feel for Lisbon. You won’t be disappointed.Does this leave enough time to explore the rest of the regions in Portugal? No, but you can pick and choose a few cities or areas to explore. If so, can we do a couple more cities e.g; Porto, Sintra, the Algarve, Madeira, Pico etc. with the addtional time available? Porto is over a 3 hour drive north of Lisbon. The Algarve is 3 hours away in the other direction. Sintra is a must see and it is an easy day trip from Lisbon. Cascais, Alcobaca, Obidos, Fatima, Batalha, Evora, and Coimbra are great places to visit.
We visited Portugal twice for a little over two weeks each time and we didn’t see everything that we wanted to. Our first trip was Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Nazare, Fatima, and the Algarve. Our second trip was Sintra again, Porto, Alcobaca, Batalha, Porto, and Evora. Each trip we based ourselves in Sintra for 5 nights (Ritz Penha Longa Resort on Marriott points - DW is Titanium for life and we were upgraded to a 3 room suite and we were treated like royalty) and Lisbon for 4 nights one trip and Porto for 4 nights on the other trip. For a small country, there is a lot to see in Portugal. We rented a car on both trips.

Thanks.
curmudgeon
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by curmudgeon »

To my mind, the south of France is better visited with a car; a lot of interesting places are just too spread out to conveniently visit with public transportation. Keeping things simple and not renting a car would make me vote for Lisbon plus either Barcelona or Madrid. Each has not only the city itself, but also some good day trip options to nearby spots that don't require a car.

Lots to see in all three cities, but I think picking two is a good option for this length of trip. I'd probably choose Lisbon and Barcelona for myself, but I can understand why some would opt for Madrid (or Seville or Valencia or Granada).
thedaybeforetoday
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

I've been to two times over the past 20 years to Nice, Monaco and Barcelona . Never been to Portugal, though it's on the list but I can't comment.

For me and what I like (sun, beach, temp, cost effective, culture, sports, friendliness of the natives, public transport), Barcelona wins hands down.

Actually, been all over a majority of western and eastern Europe, and Barcelona is on the short list of where we might spend a good chunk of time in retirement.

If you don't want the beach, have you considered Madrid? Save you on some traveling.
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
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Raraculus
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Raraculus »

I've been to all of these cities. If I had to visit just two cities again, I would recommend Barcelona first, then Lisbon. Madrid was okay, and Nice's only benefit was its beaches.
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Bogle7
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Lisboa

Post by Bogle7 »

We spent 10 days in Lisboa. Loved the city.
I have a list of reasons to spend another 10 days there.
Just go to Lisboa and don’t waste time traveling.

https://juliedawnfox.com/why-visit-portugal/

We have also spent 6 days in Barcelona.
Old fart who does three index stock funds, baby.
Topic Author
worthit
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

Thank you, all for responding and providing much needed suggestions. I think we may end up just doing just Portugal and saving South of France and Spain for another trip and time. There seems to be a lot of interesting places to cover in Portugal. May be we will try to fly to Madeira, if time permits.
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Bogle7
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Portugal !

Post by Bogle7 »

worthit wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 1:22 pm I think we may end up just doing just Portugal…There seems to be a lot of interesting places to cover in Portugal.
Coimbra - university, funiculars, food
Porto - travel up the Douro by boat, bridge, trams

https://juliedawnfox.com/ - so much information
Old fart who does three index stock funds, baby.
Topic Author
worthit
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

Bogle7 wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:03 pm
worthit wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 1:22 pm I think we may end up just doing just Portugal…There seems to be a lot of interesting places to cover in Portugal.
Coimbra - university, funiculars, food
Porto - travel up the Douro by boat, bridge, trams

https://juliedawnfox.com/ - so much information
Thank you for sharing this. Lots of good stuff in there.
invest2bfree
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by invest2bfree »

worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm Hello BHs:

Looking for susggestions to optimize an upcoming vacation.

Planning on a trip to Lisbon in April 2023 and trying to add another nearby destination to cover as much as possible. Currently thinking of spending 4-5 days in Lisbon and then flying to Nice and spending 5-6 days there before returning to the US. The idea is to keep Nice as the base and perhaps cover Monaco. Marseile and other near by cities as day trips. Is this a doable? Another option I am considering is may be exploring a city or 2 in Spain even though that may require us to spend a lot more days. We can only spend a total of 10 days so not sure which one will yield the best returns for the amout of time we have and money we may end up spending on this vacation.

Thanks in advance.

Here is a trip report we did in July-

June 29th 10pm Fly TAP flight to Lisbon. Me, my mrs, kids 9,9,12.

June 30th

- Took rental car in Lisbon and drive to Armaco De Perra.

- Avoid Sixt it was 1.5 hour wait, hertz was empty.

- Get a automatic, it was expensive though.

- I was planning to drive a stick but mrs insisted I take the automatic.

June 30th- July 4th – 4 nights Days in Armação de Pêra

Stayed at a Apartment on the beach.

July 1st

- benagil caves.

- Carvoeiro boardwalk

July 2nd

• Cape st Vincent.

• Sagres Fort

• Ponte piedade boat tour.( Need Cash) Amazing boat tour.

July 3rd

• Did a beach day, kids swam.

- Hung out in Armacao De Pera,

- Did a boat tour.

July 4rd to July 6th (2 Nights)

Address Hotel Louro

July 4th

- Drive to Obidios

- Walk the Castle Dinner at the castle.

July 5th

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça,

Continue to the monastery of Batalha to see its imposing Manueline Gothic architecture,

Visited Convent of Christ at Tomar.

Should have done Fatima but missed it.

Headed back to Obidos climbed the walls of the fort.

July 6th to July 11th (5 Nights)

Hotel Portuense Lisboa

July 6th-

Drive to Lisbon and return the car.

Walk along shops at Centro District,

July 7th

• Day trip to Sintra

- Took Uber to Pena Palace.

Did the interiors and exteriors.

- Quinta da Regaleira

- Took train back to Rossi.

July 8th

Belem Tower

In Belem, Toured the Ajuda Palace,

Pastéis de Belém,

• Jerónimos Monastery

July 9th

- Miradouro de Santa Luzia

- Castelo de S. Jorge

- Mirador de Graça

- Santa Justa Lift

July 10th

- Elevador da Bica

- Took the tram,

- Did the 2 hour Took took tour.

July 11th

Fly back to States
Topic Author
worthit
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

invest2bfree wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 5:12 pm
worthit wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:57 pm Hello BHs:

Looking for susggestions to optimize an upcoming vacation.

Planning on a trip to Lisbon in April 2023 and trying to add another nearby destination to cover as much as possible. Currently thinking of spending 4-5 days in Lisbon and then flying to Nice and spending 5-6 days there before returning to the US. The idea is to keep Nice as the base and perhaps cover Monaco. Marseile and other near by cities as day trips. Is this a doable? Another option I am considering is may be exploring a city or 2 in Spain even though that may require us to spend a lot more days. We can only spend a total of 10 days so not sure which one will yield the best returns for the amout of time we have and money we may end up spending on this vacation.

Thanks in advance.

Here is a trip report we did in July-

June 29th 10pm Fly TAP flight to Lisbon. Me, my mrs, kids 9,9,12.

June 30th

- Took rental car in Lisbon and drive to Armaco De Perra.

- Avoid Sixt it was 1.5 hour wait, hertz was empty.

- Get a automatic, it was expensive though.

- I was planning to drive a stick but mrs insisted I take the automatic.

June 30th- July 4th – 4 nights Days in Armação de Pêra

Stayed at a Apartment on the beach.

July 1st

- benagil caves.

- Carvoeiro boardwalk

July 2nd

• Cape st Vincent.

• Sagres Fort

• Ponte piedade boat tour.( Need Cash) Amazing boat tour.

July 3rd

• Did a beach day, kids swam.

- Hung out in Armacao De Pera,

- Did a boat tour.

July 4rd to July 6th (2 Nights)

Address Hotel Louro

July 4th

- Drive to Obidios

- Walk the Castle Dinner at the castle.

July 5th

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça,

Continue to the monastery of Batalha to see its imposing Manueline Gothic architecture,

Visited Convent of Christ at Tomar.

Should have done Fatima but missed it.

Headed back to Obidos climbed the walls of the fort.

July 6th to July 11th (5 Nights)

Hotel Portuense Lisboa

July 6th-

Drive to Lisbon and return the car.

Walk along shops at Centro District,

July 7th

• Day trip to Sintra

- Took Uber to Pena Palace.

Did the interiors and exteriors.

- Quinta da Regaleira

- Took train back to Rossi.

July 8th

Belem Tower

In Belem, Toured the Ajuda Palace,

Pastéis de Belém,

• Jerónimos Monastery

July 9th

- Miradouro de Santa Luzia

- Castelo de S. Jorge

- Mirador de Graça

- Santa Justa Lift

July 10th

- Elevador da Bica

- Took the tram,

- Did the 2 hour Took took tour.

July 11th

Fly back to States
Thanks for the details. Sounds like you had a blast! Hope to recreate something similar.
michaeljc70
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I was in Portugal last week. IMO...I would go to Portugal and Spain. With the exception of Monaco being close, Nice doesn't have anything that is that interesting beyond beaches. Marseille was a working port and is not that interesting. Monaco is something to see....but there is more to see in Spain if you haven't been.

I don't know your travel history, but having been to a lot of Europe, Portugal wouldn't be my first choice. We had a great time. I am just saying that if you are looking for fantastic museums/palaces/churches/etc. Portugal is a very small country. I really enjoyed it, but I would recommend a lot of other European countries first. I think I enjoyed it so much because I wasn't looking for a lot of cultural stuff. Don't get me wrong..they have it. But no palace/church/museum in Portugal will impress you if you've been to the major capitals in Europe. YMMV

We enjoyed the leisure of our trip. It was very easy to get around (other than the steep inclines of the streets). It seemed everyone spoke English and people were friendly. Very navigable. Good food. Pretty. The trains to Porto and Sintra were easy. But again, I've been to 50+ countries and wouldn't tell people to go to Portugal before a lot of other countries.

Lisbon seems overrun by digital nomads. A friend that went 3 years ago told me it was cheap.....I didn't think so. It wasn't expensive either though.
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worthit
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by worthit »

michaeljc70 wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:04 pm I was in Portugal last week. IMO...I would go to Portugal and Spain. With the exception of Monaco being close, Nice doesn't have anything that is that interesting beyond beaches. Marseille was a working port and is not that interesting. Monaco is something to see....but there is more to see in Spain if you haven't been.

I don't know your travel history, but having been to a lot of Europe, Portugal wouldn't be my first choice. We had a great time. I am just saying that if you are looking for fantastic museums/palaces/churches/etc. Portugal is a very small country. I really enjoyed it, but I would recommend a lot of other European countries first. I think I enjoyed it so much because I wasn't looking for a lot of cultural stuff. Don't get me wrong..they have it. But no palace/church/museum in Portugal will impress you if you've been to the major capitals in Europe. YMMV

We enjoyed the leisure of our trip. It was very easy to get around (other than the steep inclines of the streets). It seemed everyone spoke English and people were friendly. Very navigable. Good food. Pretty. The trains to Porto and Sintra were easy. But again, I've been to 50+ countries and wouldn't tell people to go to Portugal before a lot of other countries.

Lisbon seems overrun by digital nomads. A friend that went 3 years ago told me it was cheap.....I didn't think so. It wasn't expensive either though.
Thanks. What other countries would you suggest in Europe? The bolded part is why we are also looking to go to Portugal. Been to few countries in Europe but not a world traveler by any means. I have long list to explore but getting there one at a time.
michaeljc70
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by michaeljc70 »

worthit wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:53 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:04 pm I was in Portugal last week. IMO...I would go to Portugal and Spain. With the exception of Monaco being close, Nice doesn't have anything that is that interesting beyond beaches. Marseille was a working port and is not that interesting. Monaco is something to see....but there is more to see in Spain if you haven't been.

I don't know your travel history, but having been to a lot of Europe, Portugal wouldn't be my first choice. We had a great time. I am just saying that if you are looking for fantastic museums/palaces/churches/etc. Portugal is a very small country. I really enjoyed it, but I would recommend a lot of other European countries first. I think I enjoyed it so much because I wasn't looking for a lot of cultural stuff. Don't get me wrong..they have it. But no palace/church/museum in Portugal will impress you if you've been to the major capitals in Europe. YMMV

We enjoyed the leisure of our trip. It was very easy to get around (other than the steep inclines of the streets). It seemed everyone spoke English and people were friendly. Very navigable. Good food. Pretty. The trains to Porto and Sintra were easy. But again, I've been to 50+ countries and wouldn't tell people to go to Portugal before a lot of other countries.

Lisbon seems overrun by digital nomads. A friend that went 3 years ago told me it was cheap.....I didn't think so. It wasn't expensive either though.
Thanks. What other countries would you suggest in Europe? The bolded part is why we are also looking to go to Portugal. Been to few countries in Europe but not a world traveler by any means. I have long list to explore but getting there one at a time.
It really depends what you like to do. London, Paris and Rome probably have the most cultural stuff to do and I'd start there if you are into that stuff. If you are Christian or interested in Christianity Rome is very interesting. I also liked Vienna, Madrid, Budapest and Munich a lot. The Scandinavian countries are nice, but very small. One way to go about it is pick a region and spend a few days in any interesting cities that are fairly close. I went to Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Bratislava on one trip and the longest train ride was just a few hours.

Depending on how long you are in Portugal, there are definitely cultural things to do. It is just on a smaller scale than the bigger capitals.

Maybe it is just me, but after traveling a fair amount I am at a point in my life where I am not going to see churches, museums, palaces, etc. unless they are really special/renowned.
JasonHutt
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by JasonHutt »

worthit wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 1:03 pm Thanks all.

To answer some of the questions.

We have never been to South of France nor Portugal. Will be our first visit to either of the regions. Just trying to take advantage of the proximity. Planning to leave 31st of March and returnng either the 9th or 10th of April 2023 to the US. So in essence we may only have a full 8 or 9 days to explore. We prefer a mix of city and country side. Prefer not to rent a car, rather have a guided tours if available to explore some areas.

So it looks like we can only one do either or (Portugal or South of France) and not both. I understand Lisbon can be explored in 2 days. Does this leave enough time to explore the rest of the regions in Portugal? If so, can we do a couple more cities e.g; Porto, Sintra, the Algarve, Madeira, Pico etc. with the addtional time available?

Thanks.
It still isn't clear what aspects of travel you value. Do you usually use cross-country tours? Are museums important to you? Is food important? "Countryside" is usually best done with a rental car in Europe.

With that said, if you're into high culture, then combining Lisbon and Madrid could be easily achievable in 9 days. If you fly into one and depart from the other coming from the US you won't waste much time. Despite what you might have heard or read, Lisbon is by far the most interesting place in Portugal. You can also easily day trip by public transportation to Belem for another knockout experience. I much, much prefer Michelin Green Guides to Rick Steves (even though he seems to crib from Michelin in his recommendations).

Madrid--which is a crazy city--offers numerous knockout sights. It also makes a day trip south to Toledo (the former capital) easy. Madrid also has the Prado, which is a kickass art museum (even if it is poorly organized). You can also go north to Segovia, which is a model of small town charm, with a wonderful Roman aquaduct and tasty suckling pig (the local specialty). Again, I recommend the Michelin Green Guide for advice on what to see.
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Peter Foley
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Peter Foley »

If you prefer cities to beaches, Porto and Sintra would be nice additions to Lisbon.

Again, preferring cities and culture, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Ronda are all drivable and worth your time. Each needs about 2 days to do it justice.
Mister A
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Mister A »

I won't speculate on pace and scheduling, but focusing on your listed choices, I found Barcelona underwhelming. It's a great city and there are worthwhile museums and restaurants, but maybe the club scene is the big draw and that's not really my thing. Madrid is more polished and offers some wonderful daytrips (Toledo and Segovia), but Seville was the most impressive of all to me, and you can visit Granada and Cordoba for additional amazing historical interest. Andalucia might be one of my truly favorite places I've been.

Nice is comparatively expensive, and very different from stereotypical Provence. However, it has many, many options for fine dining and "mature" non-club nightlife, a magnificent view with lots of water activities, and easy daytrips. I highly recommend Eze (do the hike up the Nietzsche Trail if you're an active sort), Monte Carlo, and, in particular, Saint-Paul de Vence. (I spent a week there and wasn't quite tired of it, but moved on to Aix and the Luberon Valley.)
JasonHutt
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by JasonHutt »

Mister A wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:28 pm I won't speculate on pace and scheduling, but focusing on your listed choices, I found Barcelona underwhelming. It's a great city and there are worthwhile museums and restaurants, but maybe the club scene is the big draw and that's not really my thing. Madrid is more polished and offers some wonderful daytrips (Toledo and Segovia), but Seville was the most impressive of all to me, and you can visit Granada and Cordoba for additional amazing historical interest. Andalucia might be one of my truly favorite places I've been.

Nice is comparatively expensive, and very different from stereotypical Provence. However, it has many, many options for fine dining and "mature" non-club nightlife, a magnificent view with lots of water activities, and easy daytrips. I highly recommend Eze (do the hike up the Nietzsche Trail if you're an active sort), Monte Carlo, and, in particular, Saint-Paul de Vence. (I spent a week there and wasn't quite tired of it, but moved on to Aix and the Luberon Valley.)
Seville is a great place, and it now has reasonably fast train connections to Cordoba and Granada. The latter has one of a tiny number of unquestionably first rate secular Islamic buildings, the Alhambra. It was built as a temporary palace but was not destroyed when Catholics re-took Spain, even though destruction was ordered, as I recall. That's the only sight worth traveling to Granada for--allow at least 4 hours to visit--but what a sight! When I visited, I stayed at the modest hotel on the grounds. I could see some of the buildings at night. Talk about romantic.
neilpilot
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by neilpilot »

JasonHutt wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:13 pm
Mister A wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:28 pm I won't speculate on pace and scheduling, but focusing on your listed choices, I found Barcelona underwhelming. It's a great city and there are worthwhile museums and restaurants, but maybe the club scene is the big draw and that's not really my thing. Madrid is more polished and offers some wonderful daytrips (Toledo and Segovia), but Seville was the most impressive of all to me, and you can visit Granada and Cordoba for additional amazing historical interest. Andalucia might be one of my truly favorite places I've been.

Nice is comparatively expensive, and very different from stereotypical Provence. However, it has many, many options for fine dining and "mature" non-club nightlife, a magnificent view with lots of water activities, and easy daytrips. I highly recommend Eze (do the hike up the Nietzsche Trail if you're an active sort), Monte Carlo, and, in particular, Saint-Paul de Vence. (I spent a week there and wasn't quite tired of it, but moved on to Aix and the Luberon Valley.)
Seville is a great place, and it now has reasonably fast train connections to Cordoba and Granada. The latter has one of a tiny number of unquestionably first rate secular Islamic buildings, the Alhambra. It was built as a temporary palace but was not destroyed when Catholics re-took Spain, even though destruction was ordered, as I recall. That's the only sight worth traveling to Granada for--allow at least 4 hours to visit--but what a sight! When I visited, I stayed at the modest hotel on the grounds. I could see some of the buildings at night. Talk about romantic.
Been to the Alhambra on 2 separate visits, but I have to say I was more impressed by the Royal Alcázars of Seville.

We've taken several trips to Spain, and have always spent a percentage of each trip in the south and/or the Balearic Islands.
Mister A
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Re: Lisbon and South of France (Nice) or Lisbon and Spain (Barcelona or Madrid)?

Post by Mister A »

JasonHutt wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:13 pmSeville is a great place, and it now has reasonably fast train connections to Cordoba and Granada. The latter has one of a tiny number of unquestionably first rate secular Islamic buildings, the Alhambra. It was built as a temporary palace but was not destroyed when Catholics re-took Spain, even though destruction was ordered, as I recall. That's the only sight worth traveling to Granada for--allow at least 4 hours to visit--but what a sight! When I visited, I stayed at the modest hotel on the grounds. I could see some of the buildings at night. Talk about romantic.
I would also offer that as a university town, Granada also has good, lively local restaurants and tavernas that are worth sticking around for and serve plentiful tapas. Because the transportation situation was tricky a few years back (the train was temporarily not running all the way through from Seville), I stayed the night, and didn't regret it a bit. I seem to recall there's a system of stairs that lead down from the hill if you stay up there and can reach the restaurants that way. Makes a very memorable evening out.

Cordoba has the mosque, alcazar, and an interesting old Jewish quarter, but I got an ice cream cone after and took the bullet train home to Seville when I was done. Fine city, but a working city.
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