Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail

5 days back on the tourist trail

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valencia 2013

I’ve just got back from a quick sight-seeing trip overseas. Well, I say overseas, but it was just a hop and a skip across the border into Spain, so I did not fly over the sea at all.

A few people asked me why wasn't I going to holiday somewhere in Portugal?
It was a fair question, I have yet to visit anywhere South of Lisbon or North of Porto, and there are loads of places I do want to see, and hope to, one day.

One of the reasons is when I do, I would like to spend a bit more than 5 days.
I'd like to take a few weeks at least, driving around the Portuguese countryside, and coastline, moving from place to place, when I felt like it.

Portugal is bigger than a lot of people realize, and with the winding roads, getting around can take quite some time.
For instance, to get to the holiday resorts of the Algarve such as Albufeira, which is 427 kms away, it would take 6 and a half hours, if I didn't use the toll roads, and to go to the Northern parts of Portugal such as Braga, would take over 4 hours, without any stops .

The other reason was, I wanted to visit a city. I love Porto, Lisbon, and Coimbra, but I fancied going to somewhere I hadn't been. My perfect short holiday is exploring a new city. There is always so much to see and do, new foods and drinks to try, and I enjoy puzzling over the language, and working out how to use the public transport( i know it might sound weird to some)

After checking out budget airlines, I had a list of options. From Porto with Ryanair I could go to Rome, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Bremen, Marseille, Barcelona, Dublin, and Valencia to name just a few. Easyjet from Lisbon gave me Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Geneva, Venice and loads more options.
I could even catch a train to Madrid, or some other Spanish city if i fancied (one of the great things about living on the mainland.)

First I ruled out the ones I had been to, ones with difficult times of arrival, and then checked out accommodation, and prices.
After ruling out a few more, I then looked at information about things to see and do, and eventually arrived at Valencia ( Milan was a close second).

In my next post(s) I will tell you more about my trip to city of Valencia , and how i found life there compared to my rural hideaway .

Here a few photos to be going on with in the mean time.

Author: portugalholidayguide

I love making and creating , and trying out new ideas .

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