How to Enjoy an Amazing Portugal Road Trip

hill with old town of Porto and river Douro at sunset, Portugal

 

When Portugal is as beautiful as it is, and when it has many stunning towns that you absolutely don’t want to miss, then there is no better way to travel through the country than with your own vehicle.

 

Road trips are the epitome of freedom and adventure, and together they make for a great Portuguese vacation. Before you get too carried away, however, you do want to plan carefully. Road trips can be very stressful, which is why you will want to follow this guide instead and have everything ready before you go:

 

Be Picky About Who You Travel With

 

The best piece of advice you can take to heart when it comes to any trip is to be picky about who you travel with. Your friends can be great at home, but absolute nightmares abroad, simply because they have a different expectation on what you plan on doing. If you know your friend absolutely hates road trips, then be extra firm with what is going to happen. Let them know you aren’t changing your travel plans because this is your trip, but you would be happy to go somewhere else with them that they would enjoy later.


Pack Light

 

When travelling you always want to pack as light as possible, especially if you plan on sharing a small car with other people. Try to stick to one small bag and one carry-on per person (you’ll be able to save on flight tickets as well). It doesn’t matter if you plan on travelling for a weekend, a week, or a month. So long as you wash your clothes as you go, it is entirely doable, and once you pick out your clothes, you will realise you can dress better with less. Everyone else in your rented vehicle will thank you.

 

Choose Your Starting Destination

 

When it comes to creating your actual itinerary or road map, you will first need to consider where you want to start. Faro Airport is a great place to start for a road trip, as you can easily start from the bottom and work your way up or around the country depending on the length of your trip.

 

If you are in a rush, you can easily get from Faro to Lisbon in less than three hours, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore the lower half of the country more fully. Rent a car from Faro Airport to get started and make sure you explore the Algarve while you’re at it.

 

Create a Rough Itinerary

 

Though it can be very difficult and incredibly stressful to plan out your every move, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Go online and make note of all the petrol stations and rest stops there are throughout Portugal. Then check to see if there are scenic routes you should take, before finally selecting a small option of destinations around the route you wish to take. By having options you can pick and choose depending on how you feel on the day, and still not feel like you are missing out.

 

Rent Your Accommodation

Once you have a general idea of where you are going, you will want to book accommodation. Try to book this accommodation in places you are absolutely certain you are visiting, or at a hotel that is along the way.

 

What to Bring In Your Car

In your car, you will want to bring a few provisions to keep you safe, sane, and happy. These include:

 

  1. Plenty of water
  2. Snacks and meals
  3. A cooler to keep your food chilled
  4. Pillows
  5. Towels (for after you visit a beach)
  6. Music
  7. Headphones

 

You want to be able to stay healthy and cool throughout your trip, but you also need to account for your activities. If you plan on visiting a beach then you will get sandy or wet (or both), so having towels in the car can help keep it clean and everyone comfortable. Similarly having headphones can give everyone the quiet time they need after a big busy day.

 

Though not essential, you may also want to rent beach equipment to bring with you. The summer sun can be very dangerous, and having say a beach umbrella can keep everyone in the shade and safe.

 

There is so much to love about Portugal that you simply cannot get from just visiting its top cities. Go through in a car or on a moped, and you can enjoy the country for all its lustre and beauty. Just remember to brush up on your Portuguese before you go, as the rural communities aren’t as likely to know English as those in Lisbon would.

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