|Subject: Re: Portugal|
We appreciate your kind comments and we're happy you find the info useful. Don puts a great deal of time and effort into taking notes and writing our travelogues (I edit and post them on our web site along with my pix); I certainly don't want to steal his thunder.
You'll be covering quite a bit of territory, seeing the most important parts of the mainland. We're sure you'll love Portugal - when you return we'll have another Portugal maven in the group.
Europe of Traditions http://www.europetraditions.com/uk/membros_uk.htm (also for Ireland, France, Netherlands and the U.K.) is the umbrella group for the Solares de Portugal http://www.turihab.pt/uk/inicio.html which offers quality accommodation in private homes.
If your tickets can't be purchased as open jaw, consider flying from Lisbon to Porto on arrival. We would not suggest attempting to drive in Porto (nor Lisbon) and would plan to stay in these cities to make the most of your visits. This will minimize your car rental time and frayed nerves. Airport access by bus is easy and inexpensive in both cities. Taxis are reasonable; set the price in advance, if unmetered.
Plan to visit Ericeira, a charming fishing village on the coast, not far north of Sintra. http://www.ericeira.net/uk/ericeira/index.htm
We're looking forward to hearing comments from others who have traveled in Portugal.