PORTUGAL ON THE ROAD: HOW TO BEST ORGANIZE THE JOURNEY. ADVICE, INFORMATION AND STAGES. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW AND YOU CAN’T MISS.
PORTUGAL ON THE ROAD: HOW TO BEST ORGANIZE THE JOURNEY.ADVICE, INFORMATION AND STAGES.
Visiting Portugal by car on a road trip is a very strong emotion. It is a country different from all other European states. It is truly unique for its history, nature and climate, strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. You will be amazed by the blue of the sky, by the bright colors that you will find in the streets, you will be fascinated by the architecture but above all by the often surreal scenery that gives you some beaches and the sea views .. Suddenly, I could feel that sense of contact so extreme and magical with nature, that you can only touch in some places in the world …
This is a tour really rich in emotions because it is able to combine really important components in a journey: fun, nature, adventure, traditions, and discoveries. I am sure that it will be a journey that will also remain in your heart … A road trip will make your holiday really exciting, because by combining many factors, every day you will feel like a child in front of discovering new things, never seen before. Every day is different and therefore unique and special. You can fill your desire for adventure, and new experiences, the thirst for culture, satisfy curiosity, and the fun of discovery.
Do not be surprised if you are catapulted into truly magical and incredible places that you might not have imagined, just a few hours from Italy.
The advice for a journey on the road from north to south is 10-15 days.
Portugal is very suitable for these types of trips because it is a country where you can breathe the air of adventure and above all the distances are not very long. From Porto to the far north to the argarve, far south, for example, the travel time is about 5 hours.
The only problem is the choice of places to visit. Because they are so many and all so beautiful and characteristic that deciding which places to exclude, will surely be very difficult.
Before leaving you need to know that the climate is colder and wetter in the north, while in the south it is drier and warmer.
I traveled in summer between July and August.
Throughout Portugal there is a strong temperature difference between day and night, which also reaches 10 ° in the summer. Another constant is the wind that is also quite strong in the north in places close to the ocean. While in the south it becomes lighter and more pleasant during the day and in the evening it often returns more insistent.
So the advice is to bring you light clothes for the day, especially in the south, but also windbreaker, sweater and hat for wind and temperature because sometimes they are very cool especially in the evening.
If you rent a car, the vehicle I recommend the most, both for prices and convenience, it is very important to know that there are no pay toll booths in Portugal but there is a single electronic highway payment system that you will be asked for. if you want to use under a small fee called: Via Verde. Equal to the Italian telepass, it will allow you to pay for the highway and enjoy the journey. The payment will be sent to your credit card later or upon your return. If you do not use this system, I advise you not to use the highway because the fines could also be very salty.
The rental price as I said with some companies in Portugal is relatively low compared to other European destinations. For a rental of 14 days I spent not even 300 euros ..
The portugal is not a destination that I recommend to motorcyclists like us, even if I think it would be wonderful to cross certain places in motion, because of the climatic conditions, often cold and often too windy in some points and that therefore would make your trip a bit difficult and unpleasant.
The same is true if you plan to rent a scooter, I recommend you do it if your idea of travel is pure relaxation and you do not decide to tackle long distances, but rather concentrate on short distances.
The transport system in Portugal is well developed and the infrastructure is good with an excellent network of roads. Public transport is cheap, easy and very efficient. There are 3 international airports only in Lisbon, Porto and Faro
Portugal has a large network of roads (about 69,000 km) and every city and village can be reached by an efficient road system
The rail system is good and consists of a large network of regional, interregional and tram trains covering the entire country.
The Portuguese railway company CP (Portuguese Caminhos de Ferro) covers most of the mainland and also has some international services all for a reasonable price.
Alfa Pendular express trains offer convenient and fast connections between Lisbon and the Algarve and between different destinations in the north. There is also a long intercity service that operates throughout the country, linking many of the major cities on both 1st or 2nd class tickets.
Lisbon and Porto have a metro system.
My journey lasted 14 days. I landed and departed from Lisbon. Where a shuttle bus service connected with the car rental company was waiting for us.
The journey was divided like this:
Departure 28 July with arrival in Lisbon where I was 2 days.
On 30 morning I visited Sintra and the Palacio national de pena.
Later we set off for Porto, and on the way we visited the Costa Nova do Prado and Aveiro.
The next day, August 31, visit Porto for the whole day and we always stayed there.
The next morning, on August 1st, we set off again for the Algarve and stopped in Agueda and in the afternoon, an unmissable stop on an interior journey: Fatima.
We sleep in the evening at Sines halfway to rest.
And in the morning, on August 2nd, we leave Sines for Lagos (in the Algarve), where we stop for a week, visiting all the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve.
We see Sagres, Lagos, Albufeira, Portimao, Loulè coming almost to Faro.
We stay in a hotel in Lagos, during these days, with typical Portuguese colors and decorative features with a beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
I recommend if you have to go around the Algarve, to stay overnight in Portimao, due to its central position compared to all other destinations. For its center full of services, hotels, shops and for the rich and lively life that is breathed both day and night. Moreover the sea in Portimao is warmer and therefore you can swim, and you will have at your disposal if you like comfort or if you are traveling with family of all those services such as umbrellas, sunbeds and catering at hand.
Before organizing a trip on the road, consult the distances between one place and another to make the journey as pleasant as possible and be able to see as many things as possible.
Porto- Algarve: about 5 hours
Porto-Lisbon: 2 hours and 58
Porto- Aveiro: 54 minutes / Costa nova do prado: 1 hour
Porto- Agueda: 59 minutes
Lisbon-Sintra: 25 minutes
Lisbon-Aveiro: 2 hours and 30
Lisbon – Algarve: 2 hours and 40
Lagos – Faro: 1 hour
For other distances consult google maps or via michelin
Portugal is a very popular destination for prices that are really low and for good food.
Here are some typical dishes of the region that I have always encountered in my journey….
Le Pasteis de bacalhau (cod croquettes made with potatoes and melted cheese)
Pork from Alentejo , served in various ways including the most popular is the Bifana , the typical round sandwich with strips of meat.
The frango , the roast chicken served with potatoes
Very good the fish I ate, among the most common dishes of Portuguese cuisine include:
Polvo with potatoes
the Pataniscas , or the cod fritters
La Dorada , the sea bream
The sardines assadas
Canned sardines , there are whole stores of canned sardines with a thousand different specialties.
La Franchesinha typical dish of Porto (very full-bodied and substantial Portuguese dish: 2 slices of toasted bread which contain a filling of pork and veal, topped with a fried egg and covered with melted cheese, all accompanied by tradition by a tasty sauce and french fries)
Pasteis de Nata, are typical Portuguese desserts made of puff pastry and a warm and delicious pastry cream inside.
Doce de casa is a typical dessert served in restaurants and taverns, a rather thick cream with a sprinkling of biscuit on top.
Ginjinha , an exquisite cherry liqueur
Here are all the must-see places on a road trip in Portugal
Surely you will be fascinated by this city, it will be tiring in some places to climb but then the view will always compensate for the effort spent. You will find yourself continually looking upwards, attracted by the splendid facades of the buildings covered with the typical Azulejos, the ceramic tiles
From the mysterious streets of the Alfama to the UNESCO World Heritage monuments, from the crazy evenings around the Bairro Alto to the melancholy notes of Fado , this city is the right place for a vacation that combines traditions and exploration. Take a ride on the legendary yellow tram number 28, greet the Tower of Belém on the banks of the Tagus and enjoy the local specialties in the taverns. Sit in the splendid Miradoures and let yourself be carried away by the sight and emotions …
Also did you know that there are also some beautiful beaches right around the city?
Find out more about Lisbon here: https://www.littlelooks.it/lisbona-come-vedere-tutto-in-3-giorni/In this article I talk to you in detail about everything you need to know about this wonderful city, first to leave, helping you to better organize your visit.
Cabo de rocha
This thinks is the westernmost point of Europe, located 140 meters from the sea. Here where the land ends and begins at the sea, so this writing was engraved right here, in this unmissable place near Sintra. A really suggestive panorama where the mythical Lighthouse is background.
Sintra and the Palacio National de Pena
It is a Portuguese municipality near Lisbon (about 25 minutes). The natural landscape of Sintra is part of the heritage of humanity such as the Palacio National de Pena, which rises fantastically on the hill. One of the most visited attractions in Portugal. A truly fabulous place!
Ericeira is now the world capital of surfing. Its coast, is Europe’s surfing reserve and the second in the whole world, it is a fascinating alternation of cliffs and inlets of beaches of fine sand….
But that’s not all because you’ll be enchanted by the beauty of its narrow streets with spectacular sea views.
The medieval town of Obidos is surrounded by ancient walls, its streets are characteristically painted, its narrow cobbled streets and then you can find the 800-year-old castle …
Here is held one of the most beautiful medieval festivals in Europe on week days between the last of July and the first of August.
Here is the party in this video:
The most picturesque fishing village in Portugal. Becoming famous for the highest waves in the world that reach up to 30 meters … From the lighthouse you can admire this great spectacle of nature! Really exciting and incredibly surreal!
Costa nova do Prado
In the district of Aveiro, Costa nova do prado is a wonderful seaside resort one hour from the city of Porto.Characteristic for its colorful houses and immense beaches of fine sand. These wooden houses with colored stripes characteristic of the place are called: Palheiros and were built in the past by fishermen to shelter and store their equipment, while over time they became holiday homes.
Aveiro is called the Portuguese Venice. What greatly enchants tourists and its center, the colors and the buildings from the Art Noveau architecture, beyond the beauty of the typical boats. Nestled between the sea and the lagoon, it is crossed by canals that were once furrowed by the colorful Moliceiros, the traditional boats that are today the main tourist attraction used for romantic river cruises.
Walking in the center of Agueda means walking among an explosion of colors and light effects. Every year in July, thousands of colorful umbrellas are hung over the streets of this Portuguese town thanks to the originality of the Umbrella sky project and as a symbol of the AgitAgueda Art Festival, which also brings incredible shows and concerts to the city! The curious initiative that began three years ago brought thousands of tourists to this place.
Porto is a city full of charm and detail. Which recognizes its tourism above all in the food and wine sector and recognizes its fame in wine.
The knowledge of Porto can only start from the Ribeira, a typical neighborhood and medieval heart of the city, since 1996 under UNESCO protection , and from where you can admire a crazy view and the boats passing under the mythical Dom luis I bridge, an iron construction realized from a close collaborator of Gustavo Effeil.
The red tiles cover the roofs of the houses and the typical Azulejos , the ceramic tiles decorated with blue and white designs, cover numerous beautiful facades.
(See my article, which will be published later dedicated to the discovery of Porto ..)
Coimbra is a lively university city, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. The Portuguese city has formed the enlightened minds of the country, and today it is the beating heart of Portugal’s nightlife.Coimbra is perfect for a romantic stop, thanks to its undisputed charm.
Famous throughout the world on a religious level. Every year it attracts millions of visitors on a pilgrimage to venerate and visit the place where Fatima appeared to the three shepherds. In fact, in the sanctuary it is possible to stop and pray in front of the tombs of these three shepherds.
The city of Tomar is located in the hinterland of Portugal. This beautiful village is famous throughout the world for its enchanting historic buildings linked to the troubled events of the Order of the Templars, whose history is firmly intertwined with that of these splendid lands. Which makes the place another unmissable stop on a tour of Portugal.
Here in the summer another unmissable event is held every 4 years! La Festa dos Tabuleiros where the streets of the city are decorated with beautiful compositions of paper flowers and typical elements of ancient and traditional festivals as well as shows, music, parades.
The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and above all the place where there are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! The most beautiful and spectacular beaches of the Algarve are certainly: Prado do Camilo, Praia do Vau (characterized by yellow clay), Praia da Marinha, Benagil cave beach, Praia de Rocha, Praia Dona Ana. But also the land of many places to visit including: Sagres, with its panoramic fortress and beautiful ceramics, the lively centers of Lagos, Portimao and Albufeira. The small pearl of Carvoeiro with its center, and the panoramic walks on the sea. The ancient and colorful city of Loulè not far from Faro.
Consider that the ocean waters are very cold even in the middle of summer and it will be difficult to swim.
In some places, however, I discovered that the water is much more swimmable, remaining warmer, it is the stretch of Portimao beach, which is also characterized by a calmer sea.
(Soon follow the full article on the Algarve)
The capital of the Algarve. Faro is a very quiet, relaxing and silent city and perhaps, for this reason, snubbed by mass tourism that considers it only a city of passage to visit the beautiful seaside resorts of the Algarve. And yet Faro deserves, for many interesting reasons, in fact this pretty and picturesque town has a charm rich in history, unusual and mysterious. A must-see is the Cathedral of Santa Maria or Igreja da Sè.Architectural masterpiece where the eighteenth-century azulejos can be admired inside. For the bravest instead you can visit the Capela dos Ossos, a very mystical place, where the walls of the latter are covered with human skulls.
I hope this article has been helpful, let me know your impressions and write me in the comments …