I'm glad we checked the weather in Portugal online before leaving or we wouldn't have brought the jackets. Apparently it plunges to 15 degrees C at night, and day time max is 28 degrees.
We've hired a Renault for the drive up and down Portugal, and to avoid the hassle of reading maps this time we decided to splash out and get a Garmin Nuvo GPS with the maps for Portugal loaded. After attaching it to the windscreen, you simply program in your destination and follow the spoken driving instructions. The Nuvo was quickly dubbed my "girlfriend" throughout the trip because of her calm, soothing voice. For the drive up to the Rio Douro from Lisbon you spend most of your time on the A1, so it's very hard to get lost anyway.
First night we checked into the Sofitel Lisboa, a very swanky modern hotel on the Avenida Liberdade, walking distance to the Chiado shopping district and the Bairro Alto bar/restaurant district. The buffet breakfast at the hotel's Ad Lib restaurant is to do die for so make sure you include it as part of your package if you're staying there.
We had dinner at a restuarant two blocks away called "Two Old Ladies ", featuring traditional Portuguese cuisine such as monkfish, bacalhau (you will see this dried salted cod fish on every Portugese menu), clams and prawns. OK but not super-exciting.
The following day we left Lisbon and drove to our first stop on the road trip, Sintra.