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Itinerary & Planning Suggestions for 2023

It is a non-pretentious information for a Portugal street journey alongside the shoreline. This can will let you drive alongside one of many wildest areas and most idyllic landscapes of Portugal. Info totally up to date for 2022.

It’s humorous how all of the conversations I’ve about my dwelling nation with foreigners observe a pattern.

  1. Chit-chat about Cristiano Ronaldo. Yeah, he’s an superior participant, makes some huge cash and I don’t get his love life both, bla bla.
  2. Random discussions about Portugal as a rustic.Might or might not embrace clarifications that Portugal is NOT a part of Spain.
  3. The place do you advocate to go to in Portugal?

Now, #3 is the place the dialog will get attention-grabbing.
My reply is all the time: discover Costa Vicentina on a street journey!

This text is a full information and itinerary to discover southwest Portugal on a street journey. Pumped up? Let’s begin the engines!

portugal road trip Alentejo coastline
You may virtually really feel the wild Atlantic breeze in your face, can’t you?

Why do a street journey in Portugal?

See, Portugal has million of vacationers however the overwhelming majority is heading to Porto, Lisbon and Algarve, neglecting the remainder of the nation.

And belief me: regardless of being a small nation, Portugal has a LOT to uncover. For starters, 500 km of Atlantic shoreline dwelling to an amazing set of landscapes and experiences. There are dozens of different explanation why Portugal is value visiting.

Plus, a street journey alone is one thing magic by itself. It’s all concerning the journey, not the vacation spot, proper? The journey. Sticking your head out of the window and really feel the wind journey your hair.

A street journey is likely one of the finest methods to follow gradual journey and funds journey. Not speeding issues, having fun with the second and investing deeply in attending to know a rustic.

portugal road trip itinerary travel blog trip portugal - Comporta
Comporta seashore.

Costa Vicentina: Southwest Portugal’s coast

Costa Vicentina sits on the southwestern coast of the nation, belonging to the Alentejo area.

It nonetheless retains the authenticity and wild feeling, however with the identical scrumptious meals, the pleasant folks and the gorgeous landscapes that you could find in the remainder of Portugal.

It’s characterised by dramatic seashores separated by dramatic cliffs, untouched landscapes and a uncooked Atlantic ssence exhausting to search out elsewhere. Aside from the kilometers of seashores, there are additionally quaint villages, blissful coastal cities and huge pure parks.

Whereas it’s beginning to get a number of hype, it’s nonetheless overshadowed by Algarve and usually neglected by international vacationers.

portugal road trip road trip portugal - cows in Alentejo
A cow reunion. A standard surroundings present in Alentejo.

Portugal street journey itinerary

After virtually 10 years dwelling in Lisbon, I had the possibility to do a couple of street journeys and several other summer season explorations. I’m now delighted to share with you my information for a street journey in southwest coast of Portugal.

ℹRoad journey particulars

  • Beginning Level: Lisboa
  • Ending Level: Faro
  • Advisable Length: 10 Days
  • Journey: Going south from Lisbon, it contains seashore paradises like Comporta and Odeceixe and the untouched pure landscapes of Parque Pure do Sudoeste Alentejano e da Costa Vicentina (70.000 ha of pure virgin landscapes within the west coast of Algarve).
  • Transportation: I extremely advocate renting a automotive for this journey.

Listed below are the stops I really useful on this street journey in case your journey is 10-day lengthy.

If in case you have extra time, nice, spend extra time in every place of simply take a few of my further solutions.

Portugal street journey map

Nothing like a map to see the place you’re going, proper?

I’m about to say a number of locations on this information, so I created this map to observe the journey simply.

Orange pins: Important street journey stops – most well-liked locations to base your self
Yellow pins: Scenic panorama spots – don’t miss these if you happen to’re a nature lover
Blue pins: Seashores inside route – locations for a dive alongside the best way
Inexperienced pins: Further & Add-Ons to this route – attempt to squeeze these in!

You can even open the map in a brand new window following this hyperlink. Discover detailed descriptions of a few of these locations beneath.

LISBON: Beginning off huge!

You’ll want at the least 3 days to get to know Portugal’s capital. That will help you plan, I’ve put collectively a 3-day itinerary for Lisbon, with detailed tips about what to see and do.

Strolling across the downtown is a should, however greater than ticking off vacationer points of interest off the guidelines, you would possibly need to discover the most common neighbourhoods of Alfama, and Graça.

The awe-inspiring miradouros (viewpoints) and the slim steep streets crowded with the moorish fortress on high – Castelo de São Jorge -are the true essence of Lisboa.

Be sure to reserve a while to bask in some experiences to not miss in Lisbon and to discover a few of its secret locations.

Lisboa portugal road trip itinerary
Lisbon’s gentle is one thing.

Earlier than you’re gone, don’t neglect to seize a inventory of pastéis de nata and begin your journey south, crossing both the Vasco da Gama or the 25 de Abril bridges.

Greatest lodges in Lisbon

I’ve made the exhausting give you the results you want.
It is a pre-filtered record of lodges within the most secure areas of Lisbon.

My selection: Resort Fenix Music

Charmingly music-themed resort, tremendous near the middle. Oh it comes with this gorgeous rooftop swimming pool.

ARRÁBIDA: Inexperienced and blue landscapes

portugal road trip arrabida

Stretching alongside the south coast of the peninsula of Setúbal, Arrábida pure park is wealthy in golden seashores edged by spectacular inexperienced mountains. It’s dwelling to a few of my favourite seashores round Lisbon.

The ex-libris of this space is the gorgeous Portinho da Arrábida with azure waters and a Seventeenth-century fort. Personally, I’d moderately endure a 20-min hike and attain Praia dos Coelhos to a extra off the crushed observe expertise in direct contact with nature.

Each choices guarantee an superior seashore day.

Getting round Arrábida

Arrábida is a particular place to get round. Initially, the street alongside the coast is one-way which implies you all the time want to begin your journey within the metropolis of Setúbal to get there.

Secondly, parking is a large number. Since 2018, parking can solely be finished till Praia da Figueirinha (paid). Particularly in summer season weekends, this could be a nightmare. I like to recommend you get there as early within the morning as attainable.

★ The place to remain in Arrábida ★


road trip portugal arrabida best place to stay arrabida
Picture supply: Reserving.com

Casa da Adôa

Beautifully situated between the ocean and the mountains, it’s a refreshing place to spend a day or two.

COMPORTA: The right seashore getaway

Whenever you arrive right here, you’ll formally be within the Alentejo area. I’ve praised Comporta earlier than and the way this good seashore getaway continues to be saved a semi-secret seashore vacation spot is past me was a luxurious getaway for the European elite doesn’t shock me.

Think about a small village, caught between the Atlantic, countless rice fields and the plain panorama (kind of an eu savana) of Alentejo. Oh and 15km of the wildest seashores you’ll discover in Europe.

It’s the good pitstop to disconnect and step into a brand new mind-set for the remainder of your journey. The Royal household of Monaco, who comes right here each summer season, seems to agree.

💰 My value-for-money resort advice in Comporta 💰


road trip in portugal comporta best hotel
Picture supply: Reserving.com

PORTO COVO: Summertime attraction

Title of a well known and melancholic portuguese music, Porto Covo can also be just a little hidden gem shut to the port metropolis of Sines. Someplace within the maze of shiny blue, purple and white homes you’ll discover many family-run eating places with scrumptious and cheap meals.

Portugal road trip - Porto Covo colors architecture
Element of a door of a typical home in Porto Covo.

A 5-min drive out of the city heart takes you to seashores with golden sands and turquoise waters. Attempt Praia de São Torpes – in style amongst surfers – or Praia da Ilha – with an ideal view for the small Pessegueiro islet.

The place to remain in Porto Covo

road trip in portugal alentejo southwest portugal hotel
Picture supply: Reserving.com

ZAMBUJEIRA DO MAR: Music to your ears

Zambujeira do Mar will not be notably thrilling as a city. Interval.

Aside from the MEO Sudoeste summer season pageant taking place every August (had a good time there partying my ass off on the sound of Calvin Harris!) there’s nothing a lot occurring.

portugal road trip alentejo coast travel blog
Sundown @ Carvalhal seashore.

Nevertheless, it’s a VERY attention-grabbing strategic level to spend a couple of days. There are many nice inexpensive lodging out there because it typically attracts youthful crowds.

Zambujeira is shut sufficient to discover among the finest spots like the western most level of the entire Alentejo’s coast, Cabo Sardão, and a few extra placing seashores resembling Praia do Tonel and Praia do Carvalhal. Nice mountain climbing trails out there as nicely.

Discover your home to remain in Zambujeira

Search amongst the locations to remain in Zambujeira do Mar with WiFi and a minimal general score of “Very Good”. Arduous to go unsuitable with these!

ODECEIXE: Atlantic bliss

The place the river Ceixe meets the Atlantic, lies Odeceixe, technically already within the Algarve area. However this isn’t the everyday Algarve you’re used to.

Odeceixe is well-known for one of many largest and wonderful seashores in Portugal, surrounded by big tree-covered cliffs of a large pure park. Little confession to make: that is my favorite place of all of them.

road trip in Portugal coast - Odeceixe beach
Odeceixe. Now THIS is a hell of a view!

Save 2 or 3 days to discover the environment of Odeceixe. I’ve been right here a number of occasions, however by no means stayed a couple of full day. I REALLY need to come again not just for the top-notch native seashore, but in addition to hike among the surrounding cliffs.

ARRIFANA: Cliff fantasy

Hidden on the backside of a steep cliff, Praia da Arrifana is each a postcard panorama and a paradise for surfers. Down there, Restaurante da Praia has nice grilled fish, yummy salads and can also be nice for a chill out drink on the night on the sound of the waves.

portugal road trip alentejo coastline arrifana
Arrifana shoreline. That is how nature expresses drama.

Kayaking, windsurfing, SUP, browsing and water sports activities typically are HUGE in Portugal. Should you haven’t tried these earlier than, that is completely the time to do it. Arrifana particularly is a well known vacation spot for watersports lovers.

The place to remain subsequent to Arrifana Seaside

The Amazigh Mattress & Breakfast is a good worth place to remain subsequent to the seashore.

road trip in portugal alentejo southwest portugal hotel
Picture supply: Reserving.com

FARO/ALGARVE: The right farewell to Portugal

Though I desire arms down the wild and vibe of Alentejo’s shoreline, I received to say I’ve all the time loved my time in Algarve.

Although huge tourism threatens to remove a few of its persona, it’s nonetheless dwelling to some top-notch seashores on the earth. There’s nothing unsuitable in saving 2 or 3 days to put on them. It’s the proper farewell to Portugal!

Faro is the one worldwide airport within the area and it could be handy to return again dwelling. Nevertheless there are way more stunning locations in Algarve, together with some almost-deserted islands round – just like the gorgeous Ilha do Farol. By all means don’t persist with Faro.

portugal roadtrip coastline alentejo beaches
What if I instructed you Algarve’s shoreline is filled with these unreal locations?

It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s advisable to keep away from the booze hotspots of Algarve: Albufeira and Vilamoura . These are nothing however bland touristy locations with meh seashores close by.

A barely higher possibility is Portimão, the place there are glorious seashore choices: Praia do Vau or Praia dos Três Irmãos.

Lagos is one in all my favourite areas within the Algarve. It’s a really tranquil place, despite the fact that the highest seashore there has suffered an enormous reengineering mission which made it unrecognizable. Faro airport is not any far and there are switch corporations doing the journey.

There are another nice choices round Lagos city like Praia do Camilo, Praia dos Pinheiros or Praia da Luz – the place they are saying some are nonetheless on the lookout for Maddie McCann.

Test the street journey map for different solutions for seashores in Algarve.

⚠ Watch out for the cliffs!

I keep in mind listening to on the information some deadly accident involving cliffs in Algarve each single yr. DON’T be the one on the information!

Whenever you’re standing on high of the cliffs, watch your steps whenever you’re making an attempt to get a greater view to your pictures and don’t get too shut of the sting. Additionally, there usually are not often fences on the cliff line so don’t be tempted to put your towel proper subsequent to it. Pretty much as good as a shade might really feel in a sizzling summer season day, cliff rock falls can occur anytime.

The place to remain in Algarve

Lagos is a good place to base your self within the Algarve, supplying you with entry to a collection of top-notch small seashores.

This itinerary has received a minimal really useful period of 10 days, however when you have extra time, ensure you discover different highlights of Portugal.

It’s comparatively small nation in spite of everything and you’ll simply add extra locations to your route and enrich your holidays. There are many different locations in Portugal value discovering.

Listed below are some solutions:


portugal road trip porto oporto se
The enduring Sé cathedral of Porto dominating the cityscape.

Why not begin your street journey route higher north in Portugal’s second largest metropolis? Porto could be very totally different from Lisbon – and of the remainder of the nation for that matter – in some ways.

However each are clearly nationwide winners in two issues: the sympathy of individuals and meals. Learn extra about it in my Porto information for dummies or in my weekend itinerary of the town.

porto travel guide and blog

The Important Porto Metropolis Information

Proceed studying extra about Porto on my full metropolis information for dummies. Price range, itinerary and the most effective locations to eat, it’s all in right here!

Nazaré, Portugal

Nazaré is probably the most conventional fishing village in Portugal. Go searching and spot the drying the fish and ladies with their typical set of seven-layered skirts.

Whereas the principle seashore within the city is OK to get into the water, this can be a place well-known for its GIGANTIC waves which has grow to be a vacationer attraction by itself. Praia do Norte is the situation for the world file of the most important wave ever surfed – by Garret McNamara in 2013. The monster wave was 100ft or 30m excessive and could be seen in this video.

Sintra, Portugal

Positioned the northern-most extent of the protected Sintra-Cascais Pure Park, 30km from Lisbon, Sintra shows an alluring fairy-tale nature setting. This little city has been a summer season retreat for the portuguese royal household for hundreds of years and is lush with inexperienced forests, unique flowers and beautiful structure.

portugal road trip along the coast sintra Pena Palace
Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace) in Sintra.

Be sure to don’t miss Castelo dos Mouros -the moorish fortress overlooking the village – and Palácio da Pena, a Romanticist palace on a hilltop with nice views over the complete Lisbon metropolitan space. Additionally, because you’re already within the space get a take a look at continental Europe’s most western level: Cabo da Roca. Watch out for the wind!

Évora, Portugal

Because you’re at Alentejo already, enterprise out to the inside, fully totally different from the coast. Évora particularly is drenched in historical past, heritage and tradition, making it a constrasting break from all of the seashore and ocean. Additionally, an opportunity to have a sneak peek at how’s life within the inside of Portugal.

Warning: it might probably get VERY sizzling in peak summer season months.

Seville, Spain

I do know this street journey is about Portugal, however why not take a detour and embrace yet another nation in your itinerary? Iberian energy! Seville is lower than 200km away from the portuguese border and is the cultural centre of the area of Andalucía.

There’s rather a lot to do and specifically to eat right here. Seize some sizzling churros con chocolate, jamón or a freshly-made sangria in between your go to to the town’s predominant sights. Don’t miss El Alcazar, a royal palace constructed for Moorish kings, and the magnificent Plaza de España.

Driving in Portugal

Whilst you can technically do that street journey with a scooter or bike (heck, even with a motorbike if you happen to’re in the appropriate form!), renting a automotive is certainly probably the most handy possibility to do that street journey, supplying you with complete freedom and independence.

Public transportation is NOT dependable and won’t attain most seashores and different spots talked about right here.

Renting a automotive in Portugal

For some cause I can’t perceive, renting a automotive in Portugal is barely costlier than in different international locations of Southern Europe.

That stated, you’ll be able to nonetheless discover some nice offers, specifically if you happen to guide early! I all the time use this Skyscanner or my new favourite RentalCars to check costs.

How are the roads in Portugal?

Driving in Portugal will not be wherever close to like a Gran Turismo recreation and roads are often in fine condition. That stated, you’ll have to be cautious, as we’re speaking a couple of nation with one of many highest accident charges in Europe.

Though there’s a direct freeway from Lisbon to Algarve (A2 motorway), the cheaper  and extra scenic route for this street journey is thru the regional and nationwide roads. These skip the costly toll system and go very near the coast so it’s a extra pleasurable journey.

Should you occur to move by any of the principle tolls, take care NOT to make use of the inexperienced lanes By way of Verde (a large inexperienced V). These are strictly reserved for automobiles subscribed to their automated toll fee system, so you’ll get fined and charged for the complete stretch of motorway!

Vital info for drivers in Portugal

Another helpful driving numbers to recollect – up to date to 2022:

ℹDriving suggestions in Portugal

  • Navigation: use Google Maps or Maze to drive round in Portugal.
  • Alcohol Restrict: 0.5g per liter. Equal to 2-3 small beers.
  • Velocity Limits: 50km/h within the built-up space, 90km/h outdoors of the built-up space and 120km/h on the motorways. Inside some restricted residential areas and city historic facilities the restrict goes right down to 30km/h.
  • Security: All automobiles ought to carry a security triangle and reflective jackets.
portugal road trip coast travel blog alentejo
Don’t get distracted by the views in Alentejo whenever you’re driving!

Discovering lodging in Alentejo and Algarve

Having a number of media consideration these days, the lodging in Alentejo has risen rather a lot in recent times, each in amount and high quality as resorts, rural homes and visitor homes pop up like mushrooms.

My private suggestion is Herdade do Amarelo, a shocking homestead subsequent to Vila Nova de Milfontes, however there’s a option to all tastes and pockets sizes.

To make your life even simpler, use this shortlist of the best-reviewed rural lodging within the coast of Alentejo.

Within the Algarve area, the supply lodging is far greater however the most effective locations can get totally booked with months prematurely.

What’s the finest time of the yr to do a street journey in Portugal?

Brief reply: you need to be high-quality to do that street journey wherever between April and October, as heat climate in Portugal lasts for about half a yr.

That stated, alongside this route you’ll be driving alongside a wild Atlantic shoreline, so climate could be chilly, tough and notably windy very unpredictably.

If attainable, keep away from the month of August fully. It is going to certainly prevent 20-30% of the general funds, as all the things since lodging to a single bottle of water is inflated. Plus, it’s the default vacation month in Europe so all of the cities I’ve talked about flip into mini-Algarves.

In abstract, if you happen to can keep away from peak months and on the similar time maximize the chance of heat sunny climate, come to Portugal in Might, June, July or September.

Ought to I go to Portugal in winter?

Between November and March it’s winter time and it might probably get particularly chilly subsequent to the ocean. In Costa Vicentina, neglect about seashore climate it is going to be chilly and windy, though mountain climbing is feasible. It could be an attention-grabbing time for browsing fans.

Meals in Portugal

portugal road trip food sardines

OK, virtually time for dinner on the time I’m scripting this, so let’s speak about meals. I do know that is suspicious coming from me *a daring assertion is coming* however meals requirements in Portugal are merely nice.

I actually can’t discover a higher mixture of style, worth, and healthiness in Europe. In case you are actually to take this street journey, I guess my pinkie finger you’ll not have one mediocre meal. #highexpectations

Reap the benefits of your time in Portugal to eat meals typically unavailable or costly elsewhere: fish. Grilled contemporary fish with a easy pinch of salt and herbs to season is one in all my favourite summer season pleasures. Fortunately, that’s not exhausting to search out in any respect in the complete Costa Vincentina, with equally scrumptious costs.

What to eat in Alentejo

And talking of Alentejo particularly… oh pricey. We’re speaking about one in all Portugal’s gastronomic edens! Don’t miss the large peppery olives (azeitonas) for starters and a glass of regional wine to drink. In any case, half of the nation’s wine is produced right here.

portugal road trip travel blog roadtrip - Carne Porco Alentejana
Carne de Porco à Alentejana. YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. Photograph by Anita’s Feast.

Bacalhau (codfish) dishes are frequent in addition to porco (pork), however you’ll be able to’t miss to attempt a neighborhood plate and my private favourite: Carne de Porco à Alentejana – a mouth-watering mixture of pork, wine, potatoes and clams.




Tips on how to get to Portugal

Lisbon and Porto are very nicely served by airline connections from throughout Europe and likewise from the U.S., South America and Africa.

Should you’re coming from the United States, check out Azores Getaways. They’ve nice flight + resort + transfers offers for Portugal.

5 Stars Azores from $899

Should you’re not into journey packages otherwise you’re not coming from the US, I like to recommend Skyscanner or the new on-line sensation TravelPerk to search out the most affordable flight costs.

The place to remain in Portugal

To make your life simpler, begin your search with my pre-selection of the most effective hostels/lodges/guesthouses/villas for every of those superb spots:

These embrace solely lodging with great-to-excellent score and a superb free WiFi . You may’t go unsuitable with these!

Greatest time to go to Portugal

Whereas summers are lengthy in Portugal and you’ll count on good climate wherever between Might and October, ensure you keep away from August. Except you’ve gotten a factor for packed seashores!

portugal road trip Cabo Sao Vicente
Cabo de São Vicente, within the southwestern-most finish of Portugal.

Benefit from the journey and assist me enhance this information!

You understand I all the time like to put collectively a fancy journey plan – identical to I did with my Croatia street journey information, my Japan itinerary or my island hopping information in Thailand. This one is totally different although. Being my nation, I did it with little or no analysis: it was written all from the center 💖.

This information might be up to date recurrently any further, so after you employ it and go to Portugal your self, let me know of any further solutions or suggestions, I’d love to listen to what I’ve missed!

Creating this information made me need to do that street journey it once more. It’s low cost, it’s nonetheless unspoiled by tourism and comes with a getaway feeling to it which is more durable and more durable to search out these days.

I actually hope you’ll be able to have the identical expertise. As a result of contrarily to the immense shoreline of awe-inspiring seashores of Alentejo, Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t want any extra hype!

reasons visit Portugal travel guide reasons to go

Causes to Go to Portugal

Proceed studying extra about Portugal with these 40+ explanation why it must be in your instant journey plans.

My journey suggestions legitimate wherever

  • 🏨 To seek out the most effective offers and guide your stick with free cancellation, I like to recommend Reserving.com (from my expertise, typically cheaper than Airbnb)
  • 🚗 At all times evaluate automotive rental costs earlier than you guide something (and if attainable use native rental retailers!)
  • ☑️ Journey insurance coverage is a should as of late – don’t overlook it! I like to recommend Allianz or Security Wing if you happen to’re all the time on the go
  • 💰 Use Revolut to avoid wasting in trade charges and funds overseas; it’s a game-changer!
  • ⚙️ Amazon has the most important supply in journey gear, clothes, and equipment – try my Journey Retailer!
  • ✈️ Are you coping with a delayed or cancelled flight? Airhelp might provide help to get a compensation for it!

Did this assist plan out your trip? What have I missed for a memorable Portugal street journey?
Go away a remark within the feedback beneath 👇

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