Touring in spain/portugal

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claretnproud
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Touring in spain/portugal

Post by claretnproud » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:00 pm

we fancy a trip to spain/portugal and rather than hiring a car would like either to go by train or bus to different destination each day. I presume some on here may have done this. Any tips on destinations and places to visit greatly appreciated. We are early 50s and starting to appreciate the quieter spots. Nice fish restaurants etc. cheers in advance.

Bosscat
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Bosscat » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:28 pm

claretnproud wrote:we fancy a trip to spain/portugal and rather than hiring a car would like either to go by train or bus to different destination each day. I presume some on here may have done this. Any tips on destinations and places to visit greatly appreciated. We are early 50s and starting to appreciate the quieter spots. Nice fish restaurants etc. cheers in advance.
Having done a Douro Cruise last year... the train follows the Douro River from the coast up to Spain ... and would be well worth a trip if you get down to Porto...
Have a good trip :)

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by CaptJohn » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:30 pm

My wife and I drove to Marbella a few years back which was very pleasant. We took the Brittany Ferry from Pompey to Santander with our own vehicle and took a leisurely two days to make our way to the Costa del Sol. I know that you would prefer to take buses and trains but we found that taking your own car was both easy and convenient. I can recommend it for sure. It's approximately 24 hours on the ferry across the Bay of Biscay but get yourself a nice cabin on board and it's a pleasant experience. On the way back we had a couple of nights in Madrid which was great.

piston broke
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by piston broke » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:39 pm

Based in Madrid you can bus or train out to:
El Escorial and from there to Valle de los Caidos.
Segovia
Toledo
Avila

From Barcelona:
Girona
Montserrat
Down the coast to whichever of the seaside towns you fancy. Sitges, Salou

cricketfieldclarets
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by cricketfieldclarets » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:13 pm

claretnproud wrote:we fancy a trip to spain/portugal and rather than hiring a car would like either to go by train or bus to different destination each day. I presume some on here may have done this. Any tips on destinations and places to visit greatly appreciated. We are early 50s and starting to appreciate the quieter spots. Nice fish restaurants etc. cheers in advance.
Highly recommend Lisbon. One of the best cities I have been to in Europe. Absolutely loved it.

Got the train to Porto. Booked it on the day and was only around £20 or so. 3 hours journey but think there are quicker and slower options.

Personally preferred Lisbon. Weather helped as was lovely in Lisbon and lousy in Porto. A lot of people prefer Porto though. I can maybe understand why, and everyones different. But for me it felt like the poorer small brother of Lisbon in every way.

Same when it came to restaurants. May have been very unlucky. But struggled to get an outstanding meal in Porto (but for one Argentinian Steak House). Lisbon on the other hand, every single meal was at least 8 out of 10. And we were there for a week.

The train journey itself is reasonably impressive. But nothing to write home about IMO.

Overall though would highly recommend Portugal.

Spain, I have only got the trains around Costa Brava area. But its easy enough.

cricketfieldclarets
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by cricketfieldclarets » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:13 pm

Oh and one of the lads who met us in Lisbon got the train from Faro. Again easy enough.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by cricketfieldclarets » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 pm

Sea food in Lisbon was Pheonomenal. We went to Costa Caparica a couple of times and had one of the best sea food dishes ever. Only topped by a sea food restaurant in the main city itself.

The old towns and villages around Lisbon are stunning. Not too dissimilar to Porto tbf.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Claret-On-A-T-Rex » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Lived in Spain for years and the nicest place I've been (out of most of the cities) is Salamanca which is only 113km from Portugal.
I live near Barcelona but my favourite part of Spain is Asturias.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Tribesmen » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:15 am

piston broke wrote:Based in Madrid you can bus or train out to:
El Escorial and from there to Valle de los Caidos.
Segovia
Toledo
Avila

From Barcelona:
Girona
Montserrat
Down the coast to whichever of the seaside towns you fancy. Sitges, Salou

A good friend of mine has just come back from Avila , now say the pics , outstanding really .

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Quicknick » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:36 am

Both countries are brilliant. As I live in Portugal for 5 months a year, I find Spain more exotic and always look forward to motorcycling trips there. But Portugal is a great country to travel round. The trains are on time, the coaches are well-driven [in stark contract to the car driving], the people speak excellent English in the main cities and on the Algarve and are generally friendly, if a bit miserable-looking. Spain and Portugal, as different as chalk and cheese as the the tired old cliche goes.

Loyalclaret
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Loyalclaret » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:32 am

In Portugal I’ve done travel on the south coast by bus, coach to Lisbon and trains further north- all booked on the day or night before. Not too expensive and ran on time. Wife’s friend flew long haul to Lisbon and train to meet her in Algarve-said it was fine.

I’ve done similar in Spain but can’t recall other than costal train near Malaga and Barcelona which are fine.

Look forward to hearing about the Notth East when you do it.

vinrogue
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by vinrogue » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:45 am

Trains in Portugal are very good. Take a look at Coimbra (between Porto and Lisboa) where every tourist attraction is just 10 minutes away, a great University City with loads to see and do, plus you can get the 35 minute train ride to the coast (Fig' da Foz) and enjoy the windy beach and the best seafood ever, maybe even go wind surfing. Hotels in the City are smart and very reasonable.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by piston broke » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:10 am

vinrogue wrote:Trains in Portugal are very good. Take a look at Coimbra (between Porto and Lisboa) where every tourist attraction is just 10 minutes away, a great University City with loads to see and do, plus you can get the 35 minute train ride to the coast (Fig' da Foz) and enjoy the windy beach and the best seafood ever, maybe even go wind surfing. Hotels in the City are smart and very reasonable.
Portillo went to Coimbra on one of his “great continental rail journeys”, never been myself but it did look very interesting.

FCBurnley
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by FCBurnley » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:38 pm

If you want the best wines food and scenery try Ribero del Duero.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Elder statesman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:37 pm

In Valladolid at the moment, off to Leon tomorrow by train. Done most of Spain by train. Love it. As I'm over 60, I purchase a targeta dorada 6Euros per year, saving between 25% and 40% per trip. My favourite parts are Asturias, take the narrow gauge train, Galicia and Castilla y León. I like Salamanca, Toledo, Segovia too. Tomorrow is the festival of San Froilán in León. Went last year too. Buzzing, great music.
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Elder statesman
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Elder statesman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:39 pm

l
FCBurnley wrote:If you want the best wines food and scenery try Ribero del Duero.
On the Ribera in Valladolid. Excellent, with some membrillo (quince) and manchega (cheese).

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by conyoviejo » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:10 pm

Avila and Segovia are must visits if you are anywhere near ..Also Santiago de Compostella

Pstotto
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Pstotto » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:20 pm

I wouldn't bother with the train from Barcelona to Tarragona, it's a horrible double decker affair and it's dope and chavs and heat on the top deck. When you get there, the place is very difficult to find your way around from the station, it's an endless unfriendly place to wander lost, if safe enough.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by piston broke » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:21 pm

Elder statesman wrote:In Valladolid at the moment, off to Leon tomorrow by train. Done most of Spain by train. Love it. As I'm over 60, I purchase a targeta dorada 6Euros per year, saving between 25% and 40% per trip. My favourite parts are Asturias, take the narrow gauge train, Galicia and Castilla y León. I like Salamanca, Toledo, Segovia too. Tomorrow is the festival of San Froilán in León. Went last year too. Buzzing, great music.
Thank you for that. We are in Seville in November and were looking for a day in Cordoba but it was quite a dear trip. That 40% saving makes it doable.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Bangers&Mash » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:08 pm

cricketfieldclarets wrote:Sea food in Lisbon was Pheonomenal. We went to Costa Caparica a couple of times and had one of the best sea food dishes ever. Only topped by a sea food restaurant in the main city itself.

The old towns and villages around Lisbon are stunning. Not too dissimilar to Porto tbf.
Any restaurant recommendations in particular?

piston broke
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by piston broke » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:18 pm

Bangers&Mash wrote:Any restaurant recommendations in particular?
If you like Italian this is superb. I know you are in Portugal but Italian always slides down well.
http://restaurantedavincilisboa.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Hit contactos for a good map but it is near the main train station.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by cricketfieldclarets » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:46 am

Bangers&Mash wrote:Any restaurant recommendations in particular?
Yes one called populi. Its on the square by the waterfront. Very nice food. Great setting. Interior was flash but we ate outside each time (dont usually go back to the same place unless its THAT good). Staff were excellent. Was a little pricey for lisbon but worth it.

There were two more which were at least on a par if not better too. One was accross the water at caparica and a bit out the way. But the salmon was unreal.

Then a seafood place more central. I will dig out the pictures and should have their names. But honestly every single meal was pheonomenal in lisbon.

Found a great nepalese. Again name escapes me.

And an italian which was as good as any italian i have had in italy. That was called 'Garage' italian. Slightly unassuming from the outside. But absolutely amazing food.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by cricketfieldclarets » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:46 am

Oh and definitely get a custard!!!!
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alpo
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by alpo » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:12 pm

One of the guardians 10 best railway holiday journeys is along the northern coast from bilbao to santiago. Not done it but sounds great and planning for next year. Has some good suggestions.

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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by gerald112 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:35 pm

If you plan to visit Barcelona without a car, there is an opportunity to take a car rental barcelona airport. Very convenient and close to a car rental in which you can choose any comfortable car for yourself, I always rent a car there, so it's much more convenient to move around.
Last edited by gerald112 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Elder statesman
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Re: Touring in spain/portugal

Post by Elder statesman » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:57 am

alpo wrote:One of the guardians 10 best railway holiday journeys is along the northern coast from bilbao to santiago. Not done it but sounds great and planning for next year. Has some good suggestions.
Done this in sections. Fabulous. Some great stop offs. Last year our train broke down. This year our journey was terminated because of stones on the line. On each occasion, taxis arrived to take us to our destination. Great service.
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