How to Plan a Road Trip to Portugal

by Vero

The Easy Way

Best Time to Travel 

Best seasons to travel: Spring (May-June) and autumn (September-October).

Summer: High season, crowded roads, coastal beaches, festive atmosphere.

Winter: Cool temperatures, frequent rain, tranquility, snow in Serra da Estrela mountains.

Popular Itineraries

Alentejo Route: Relaxation, Évora, Elvas, Monsaraz, Alentejo coast.

15-day circular route: Portugal's impressive places, North to South itinerary.

Route through north of Portugal: Porto, Guimarães, Braga, Viana do Castelo, Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Route through center of Portugal: Lisbon, Coimbra, Fátima, Tomar, Coimbra's library.

Documentation and Requirements

Driving license: Valid EU license; non-EU drivers check embassy for requirements.

Automobile insurance: Mandatory; check if home insurance covers Portugal.

Identity documents: EU citizens: ID card or passport; non-EU: passport, possibly visa.

Budget, Lodging, and Food

Establish a budget for lodging, transportation, food, and activities.

Check hotel and apartment booking websites for accommodation costs.

Consider camping as an economical lodging option; check official campsite website.

Practical Guide for Drivers: Portugal’s tolls

Road Free of Charge: "IP" or "IC" routes with no tolls, suitable for detours and leisurely travel.

Manual Toll: Traditional tolling with roadside barriers (letter "V"), accepting cash or card.

Electronic Tolling: Modern system with devices (EasyToll and Via Verde), registration, or online payment required.

Tips for Driving In Portugal

Fill up with gasoline before crossing the border from Spain. – Observe speed limits: 120 km/h on highways, 100 km/h on expressways, 50 km/h in urban areas. – Carry reflective vest and warning triangles as mandatory in Portugal. – Use electronic toll payment; prepaid or online options available.

Tips for Using Tolls in Portugal

Get Via Verde for seamless passage on toll roads. – Keep cash or credit card ready for manual payment. – Mistakenly entered electronic toll lane? Pay online within 5 days. – Seek help from service station employees or fellow drivers.

More Road Trip Tips to Portugal

– Get Travel Insurance to Portugal.

– Exchange Currency or bring a Traveler’s Card.

Learn Some Phrases and Greetings in Portuguese

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