Trip Itinerary – Madeira/Portugal/Turkey 2020

This itinerary is for Rita’s Trip to Portugal and England to finalize her British Immigration status. Since she has to be in Europe for several weeks to update her documents she will be squeezing in some additional travel destinations while there.

Boston, Massachusetts to Coimbra, Portugal via Lisbon
The itinerary for this section of the trip can be found here. Flight from Lisbon to Madeira.


Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport

CR7 Museu
Trophies and displays concerning the great footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. The museums website here will give you directions and ticket information.

Laurisilva of Madeira (Unesco World Heritage Site)
On the north-facing slopes, covering an area of 15,000 hectares corresponding to 20% of the Island, the primitive forest of Madeira has survived five centuries of human intervention. Having virtually disappeared from the European continent, it preserves its subtropical characteristics, forming the largest and best preserved laurel forest in the Atlantic islands. The site is located within Madeira’s National Park information of which can be found here.

Levada of Madeira
In Madeira, the levadas originated out of the necessity of bringing large amounts of water from the west and northwest of the island to the drier southeast, which is more conducive to habitation and agriculture, such as sugar cane production. They were used in the past also by women to wash clothes in areas where running water to homes was not available. The idea of this style of water channel was brought to Portugal by the Moors during the time of al-Andalus. Many of the levadas can be seen on short or long hikes, information for these trails can be found here.

Funchal Car Rental Information

Hotel Aqua Natura (Porto Moniz) Hotel information is here or you can book through

The Lava Swimming Pools at Porto Moniz
Information for the pools can be found here

Achadas Da Cruz Cable Car
Superb views over the lush green of Porto Moniz from the cabin of the Achadas da Cruz cable car – open everyday between 08:00 – 12:00 h and 13:00 -18:00 h!

Footpath to Achadas Da Cruz
A footpath also zigzags down. However, venturing down the 470m near vertical drop requires a serious condition! The path is a mixture of earth and sand. Information on the hiking trail can be found here. It is a two and 1/2 hour strenuous hike.
After drive back to Funchal catch return flight to Lisbon and in Lisbon board your flight to London England.
After immigration business is complete in London board your flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

Istanbul, Turkey

Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

Hagia Sophia
Sign up for Istanbul Tourist Pass here, it will give you free access to many of the sites in Istanbul. Four 21 Euros it is a great deal as each attraction is 17 euros without the pass.

Blue Mosque

Basilica Cistern

Topkapi Palace
Also free with your Istanbul Tourist Pass

Grand Bazaar

Bosphorus Cruise
Book your 1/2 day lunch cruise with hotel pickup from Viator here

Viatour Istanbul to Cappadocia with balloon ride. Get ticket information here

Return home Istanbul to Boston

Trip Itinerary – Coimbra, Portugal

This is a itinerary for a trip Rita has to take to take care of some personal business in Portugal and London.

9/12. Saturday
08:45 pm. Flight to Lisbon

9/13 Sunday
09:00 am. Arrive Lisbon
H:MM am. Train to Coimbra (TBD)
H:MM. pm. Arrive Coimbra
H:MM. pm. Check in hotel Oslo Coimbra (TBD)
H:MM. pm. Free Afternoon / Evening Coimbra

9/14 Monday
06:00 am. Breakfast at Hotel Oslo Coimbra
08:30 am. Loja do Cidadão (Cartão do Cidadão/ Cartao do Cidadao)
10:00 am. Cafe Santa Cruz
10:40. am. Igreja Santa Cruz (Monasterio)
11:30. pm. Se Velha
01:00. pm. Lunch – free pick (TBD)
08:30. pm. Fado ao Centro Restaurante/Fado Live Music
10:00. pm. Return to Hotel Oslo Coimbra

09/15 Tuesday Breakfast at hotel Arco de Armadina Jardim Botanico (picnic) Santa Clara Bridge for pictures of city Restaurant Italiano 90 minute tour of Coimbra University and Joanina Library Parade Manuel Braga (relax and people watch) World Needs Cafe Return to hotel

09/16 Wednesday Conservatoria Registro Civil Coimbra (passport) Car rental – destination Porto Lunch in Porto Check into Porto Hotel (TBD) Free day in Porto

09/17 Thursday

H:MM am. Loja do Cidadão
H:MM am. TBD
H:Mm pm. TBD

MM/DD “D-day” (TBD)
H:MM am. Flight to London
H:MM pm. Check in Hotel London (TBD)
H:MM pm. Apply Settlement

MM/DD D-day + 7 days
H:MM. am TBD
H:MM. pm. Flight to Boston

London England – Four Day Itinerary

Outlined below is a four day itinerary for a visit to the capital of the United Kingdom, London. Once your travel plans and dates of travel are firm I would suggest you make reservations and book tickets as some attractions can sell out or otherwise be unavailable. I have included links to tickets whenever possible.

Day 1

Arrive in London and get a birds-eye view of the city on the giant ferris wheel The London Eye. Get your tickets here. If going by car look here.
Continue on your orientation tour of the city with a sightseeing excursion on one of London’s famous double decker buses. These tours can be geared towards your interests; history, royals, family or views. Tickets.
Trafalgar Square is a nice free attraction and an interesting stop even if the pigeons are gone.
With your orientation of the city complete check into your hotel and relax before dinner tonight. Make your reservations to St. John Restaurant here. St John was founded by master chef Fergus Henderson and is one of London’s premier eating establishments.

Day 2

Start your second day with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens is a botanic garden in southwest London that houses the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”. You can prebook your tickets here. Parking if traveling by car here. After a quintessential English lunch of fish and chips or at a London Pub relax before your booked Theater performance tonight. London Theater is world renowned and there are shows to meet any interest from Shakespeare to Musical Theater. You can choose your show and book your tickets here.

Day 3

Tour of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is open to tourists even though it is an active place of worship. Visiting hours and ticket information can be found here. A stroll through the Abbey’s many tombs and memorials is like going through a Who’s Who of English and even world history. After lunch a trip to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum where you can mingle with celebrities and historical figures. Tickets are available here. There is no car parking at the site but if you are traveling by car you can look here for options.

Day 4

A full day packed with history starts with The Tower of London and a visit to the crown jewels. Tickets needed to the Tower and the crown Jewels can be obtained here. When you finish your tour of the tower take a stroll across Tower Bridge. An interesting change of pace is the London Dungeon. The London Dungeon is a tourist attraction along London’s South Bank which recreates various gory and macabre historical events in a gallows humour style. It uses a mixture of live actors, special effects and rides. Tickets here. Spend your final afternoon in London at the British Museum. The museum has a collection of some of the most iconic historical items you have read ever read about. See in person The Elgin Marbles, The Rosetta Stone and Egyptian Mummies. Best of all admission to the museum is free!

Day 5

A visit to Harrod’s Department Store. This is not just any store but an attraction well worth your visit. Be sure to check out the food section where you will see such exotic fare as seagull eggs (sadly only available during the spring). Your tour is complete, say goodbye to London.

Trip Itinerary (Proposed – 2008) – Mediterranean

In 2007 we made plans to take a trip to the Mediterranean with visits to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Italy and the Vatican. An ambitious itinerary to be sure but we were young and had the disposable income. Unfortunatly life got in the way and we never made the trip. We put a lot of effort into making the itinerary so we thought we would preserve it on this site. Click on the link above and take a look.

Trip Planning How To – Short Trip

Following are the steps that we take when planning a short trip over a long weekend or over a three to four day period.

  1. Step one is to identify where it is you want to go.  The most obvious locations for a short trip are individual cities, regional areas, or festivals.
  2. Once you identify where it is you are going decide if you will be driving, taking public transport or flying.
    1. If you are flying research flights and utilize any frequent flyer type benefits you may have accrued.  I always research hotels and flights at the same time prior to booking either one.  If you have the right flight book it.
    2. Research the bus and train schedules and make any arrangements needed to get to the terminal.
    3. Researching your route by car is not as important in the days of GPS but it is still advisable to look at a map before you go too get the general lay of the land.
  3. Book your accommodations for your stay; hotel. air B&B, couch surfing, etc.
  4. Yelp the area you are traveling to
    1. Use the Yelp app to bookmark restaurants in the area that you will want to go to
  5. Google the are you are traveling to to identify points of interest and activities
  6. Draw up a tentative itinerary to include the points of interest, activities and restaurants you want to take in.  Be sure to leave enough wiggle room to adjust accordingly for unseen interruptions or unexpected attractions you will want to see.

The important thing is to be flexible so that you can take advantage of the unexpected but plan enough so that you do not miss any of the highlights.