|Subject: Re: Portugal questions|
Welcome to TheTravelzine and thanks for your kind comments.
We stayed in both Britania and Lisboa Plaza. They are owned by the company that also owns Janeles Verdes, which is away from the city center. Lisboa Plaza was somewhat more expensive than Britania - the former more business oriented, the latter more boutique in feeling. Both are well-located.
Coimbra is an excellent choice for an overnight stop. The university is an interesting place to visit and the ancient streets leading to it will be bustling with the students arriving for the new academic year.
You will need three nights to do Porto properly. It is a fabulous city, which this year was chosen as The World Cultural City for 2001, along with Rotterdam. Major renovation and reconstruction has been done to preserve the monuments and buildings without losing the old world charm.
The best way to do the Douro is by car. The Douro River, with its tiered vineyards, is so breathtakingly beautiful that you will want to stop at many spots along the way not only to take pictures but to investigate. There are wonderful accommodations enroute, from quintas in the vineyards to manor houses, pousadas and hotels, such as the Vintage House in Pinhao. You are very fortunate to be going in September at the time of the grape harvest. We would suggest at least three days in the Douro.
We would recommend Viano do Castelo as the last Portugal overnight on your Iberian trip. Our two travelogues have details you may find helpful about all of the places we've mentioned here.
The Portuguese people are a treat; you'll enjoy them and their beautiful country.
Regards, Don and Linda