Of all the European countries, Portugal is certainly one of those that, for whoever, like me, like to travel driving, is a real paradise.
Roads without traffic, that winds meandering around sierras, plains covered with cork oaks, through rural villages of rare and lost beauty, a rural landscape difficult to forget.
Whether you go across it in motorbike as I did, or by car or bike, this land will leave in you an indelible mark in the mind, made of landscapes that are lost in the vast space and never congested by mass tourism.
If we exclude the area that from Tavira arrives in Portimao, in the far south, and Lisbon, the starting point for those arriving by plane, you will rarely find yourself stuck in traffic, not even in the middle of August.
Portugal is an ideal destination for those looking for nature, culture, peace and emotions.
The itinerary I propose starts from Lisbon, as many could arrive here with a fly&drive and go around this magnificent country in complete autonomy without pre-established steps, except to book a couple of nights in the capital, better still, at the end of the trip. With two weeks at disposal you will be able to calmly enjoy this beautiful journey.
Portugal on the road – Week 1
Let’s start from Lisbon to the north, following the IC1 towards Torre Vedras up to Obidos (beautiful village enclosed by walls) continuing the journey traveling north towards Porto, if you want to see a nice place on the ocean, stop in Nazaré, its beach is worth the deviation.
You will thus arrive in Porto, the city as stupendous as it is decadent but of a unique charm, with its cellars of the famous wine, the bridge built by the engineer Eiffel (the same as the famous tower in Paris). Porto deserves a couple of nights, but go around it on foot, it will amaze you.
Now you find yourself in the north of Portugal, both the cities of Braga and Guimaraes are worth a visit, especially the latter, the former capital in the period when the Portuguese were, together with the Spaniards, among the most powerful nations of Europe.
The itinerary continues towards the east up to Vila Real to then go down towards the south, direction Castelo Branco.
Arrived in Viseu, leave the motorway you have followed until now, here a stretch of road that to define entrancing is an understatement, starts, from Viseu take the N232 that leads to Seja, and then climb up the 2000 mt. of Serra da Estrela, the highest point of Portugal, once you are down in Covilha, head quicky to Castelo Branco following later for Portalegre.
A visit to Castelo de Vide is obligatory, and a one-night stopover in Marvao, one of the villages most picturesque and fascinating not only of Portugal but of Europe, you will seem to relive the era of Feuds.
So far you would spent the first week, in the second you will go across the south.
Portugal on the road – Week 2
After Marvao go down south to Estremoz, Reguengos de Monsaraz, the trip here can be traced in many ways, taking the south as route, you will pass through an area of rare beauty, small towns where you can breathe a rural atmosphere long lost for us Europeans, the traffic here is completely absent, stop to listen to the silence of these spaces, go into the villages that you meet like Terena, a small village between Estremoz and Reguengos, which seems a perfect set for a western movie.
You can open by yourself the main door of the castle that dominates it, having a castle at your disposal does not happen every day, here you are in the Alentejo region, wonderful land that will bewitch you with its landscapes.
Heading down south, you will reach the area of the Serra of Monchique, where from the village of Monchique I recommend you get down to Aljezur, and from here literally throw yourselves in the ocean, from one of the most beautiful coasts of Europe without fear of contradiction, Cabo Sao Vincente, Vila do Bispo, Monte Clerigo, Carrapateria, Odeceixe, Zambuleja do mar, you will not know where to stop to enjoy the ocean.
After a few days here I assure you it will be hard to go back to Lisbon to take the return flight.
This is a tour that can be done in two weeks, about 2500 km.
In the blog you will find other posts with detailed information, on some of the most beautiful places touched by the tour.
Travel itinerary map