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Portugal is undoubtedly one of the coolest nations in Europe with its young and energetic crowd. This compact country boasts perfect year-round weather, sunny beaches, and national parks. There is something for every visitor to the region, whether they want to go off the beaten path or stick to the tourist trail. Hiring a car in this country gives you the freedom to visit all the famous monasteries, palaces, beaches, and villages. Let’s get started!
Portugal has three international airports, namely Lisbon (LIS), Porto (OPO) and Faro (FAO). Out of these three, Lisbon is the busiest airport in the country and the 16th-largest airport in Europe. This airport has a record of carrying over 29 million passengers in 2018. The biggest air carriers serving the country include Air Canada, Air France, Air Europa, British Airways, Emirates and Ryanair. These air carriers serve major destinations such as Dubai, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, and London.
When you arrive at any airport in Portugal, follow the 'car hire' signs around the terminal to find the dedicated desks. They will usually be located in the Arrivals Hall. The major car hire agencies serving the Algarve region include Europcar, Hertz, Avis, and Budget. You can reserve any type of vehicle, from a compact mini to a large SUV, based on your needs, specifications, and the number of people travelling with you. Please keep in mind that manual cars are generally the norm in the region. To avoid disappointment, it is best to make a reservation for an automatic vehicle ahead of time.
In Portugal, the two most popular modes of public transportation are trains and buses. However, nothing beats the feeling of driving in your own rental car, especially if you are on your honeymoon or with your closest pals! Do not panic if you didn’t reserve a vehicle at the airport. Car hire companies may be found all around Portugal. Hiring a car is advantageous since it offers you the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you wish. Additionally, they are quite reasonably priced!
Although Portugal's public transportation is fairly efficient, planning your own road trip is still the best option. Driving in Portugal can be either a challenge or a pleasure, depending on how well you prepare. Before you get on the road, here are a few tips to remember:
It is nice to hire a car and drive across Portugal, enjoying the beaches, palaces, villages, mansions, and restaurants along the way. The top vehicle rental companies in Portugal include Europcar, Hertz, Avis, and Budget. Renault, BMW, Peugeot, Fiat, and Citroen are the most frequently used rental vehicle brands in Portugal.
Hiring a car and hitting the road is the best way to explore any region. Portugal is known for its stunning natural beauty, valleys, and beaches. Here are a few destinations worth visiting on your next visit to Portugal:
Driving from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Vila Real de Santo António will be a worthwhile trip for beach lovers as Portugal's southern coastline offers an almost Mediterranean idyll. On this trip, you will see some of the area's best beaches as well as interesting villages with compact, North African-inspired street layouts. Highlights include the towering and ominous Fortaleza de Sagres and the golden paradise of Praia da Amoreira near Aljezur. Ilha Deserta, a lengthy uninhabited island with a picturesque seashore, is another destination that can be reached by ferry.
Fancy a good glass of wine? Drive to the Douro Valley, 222 miles away from Porto. It is an area of vineyards that follow the course of its namesake river and advance along its terraced slopes, and it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fabulous food, lavish wines, old stone towns, magnificent quintas, and picture-postcard views beckon along practically every street. The magnificent Casal de Loivos and its beautiful viewpoint, which offers an inspiring view of the Douro valley, are only 2.8 miles from Pinhao.
If visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites is your main priority, drive to Tomar. Begin this journey from Lisbon, where you can stop at Belem to explore the 16th-century Jéronimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém, which offers gorgeous views of the Tejo River. Next, drive to Sintra. This place hosts various mansions and palaces. From here, drive to Alcobaca to explore the finest monasteries in the region. If you fancy visiting a gothic monastery, drive 30 minutes onwards to Santa Maria da Vitória. Once you are in Tomaro, do visit the Convento de Cristo, a mysterious monastery built by the Knights Templar.