Portugal Road Trip Everything you need to know
Portugal is a vanlife paradise. Every year, countless vans and campers head towards the sunny south to savor the fine Portuguese life, and now we understand why. Not just because you can enjoy the radiant sun and ridiculously low prices for a long time, but primarily to relish the delightful relaxed surfer atmosphere that prevails. Planning a road trip through Portugal soon? We say go for it! Whether you head to the coast, wander through bustling cities, or venture into the countryside, every part is a gem. Keep reading for all our Portugal road trip tips.
In this article
- Useful tips
- Portugal Road Trip Route
- Campsites, Camper Stops, and Wild Camping in Portugal
Useful tips for your road trip through Portugal
- Download the app Park4night & Campercontact for the best camping spots.
- Use the ASCI discount card during the pre and post seasons (make sure to request it in advance).
- Filling up in Spain is often very cheap, so fill up your tank before heading there.
- Bringing your dog along? Ensure they have the proper vaccinations, microchip, deworming pills, and passport. Always seek advice from your vet beforehand.
- The same obligations apply in the car as in the Netherlands. So, bring a safety vest and warning triangle!
- Opt for a lot of wild camping; these are often the most beautiful spots in Portugal. Having a small portable toilet and solar panels can be quite handy.
- Avoid toll roads! Travel slowly and take plenty of inland routes to see more.
Read the article “10 useful tips for your Portugal road trip” for more tips!
Budget for your road trip through Portugal
Let’s talk money, honey! Compared to backpacking through Asia, Europe is significantly more expensive. However, we managed to stay well under budget in Portugal. On average, we spent between 30 – 50 euros, and it could have been even cheaper. We almost always found a spot to drink or eat and stayed at campsites or camper stops.
- Campsites: 10 – 20 euros
- Beer: 1.20 – 1.60 / large 2 – 3 euros
- Lunch: 5 – 8 euros
- Dinner: 5 – 10 euros
- Coffee: 1 – 2 euros
- Petrol: 1.40 – 1.60 euros
Route for your road trip through Portugal
No plan is the best plan! Grab your van or camper and discover the best spots along the way. We decided our new destination every day. That freedom is simply delightful. If you still want some guidance during your trip, quickly check out our Portugal route.
- Campo Maior is a cozy village just across the border from Spain. You can stay overnight at Camping Os Anjos. It’s a beautifully situated small campsite amidst the olive groves. The owner happened to be a Dutchman who has been living in Portugal for years. The surroundings are very nice, peaceful, yet there’s plenty to do. We found this a perfect stop.
- Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede is a place we didn’t visit, but it’s highly recommended. It’s one of the most beautiful natural parks in Portugal. If you plan to visit this place, you can stay beautifully at Camping Beira-Marvao Alentejo.
- Nazaré is a small cozy fishing village situated on a hill, but this area is mainly known for its gigantic high waves. The big wave tournaments are held here annually. Nazare has the highest surf waves in the world. Some even reach a height of 30 meters! Something you must see. If you come in the pre- or postseason, you can stand right by the sea with a great view of the famous Nazare lighthouse.
- Peniche smells a bit (because of a fish factory) and actually isn’t that beautiful. Yet, we stayed here for almost 10 days in total. We loved it here. For beginners, this is the ideal place to surf. You can rent a surfboard for about 10 euros a day. There are also numerous nice eateries, and you can wild camp everywhere. Tip! Visit Peniche in October when the surfing World Championship starts.
- Ericeira is a must-visit for surf enthusiasts. Everything revolves around surfing here. The town itself is full of great hotspots.
- Sintra is the fairytale of Portugal. In this area, you’ll find numerous beautiful castles. The town itself is also very nice to visit. Unfortunately, if you have a dog, you’re a bit out of luck because our faithful four-legged friends are not allowed in the castles.
- Lisbon, you’re amazing! I enjoyed this city so much. Lisbon is super trendy, youthful, and there’s always something going on. Definitely worth it! Wild camping is a bit more challenging here. If you want to stay at a campsite, we recommend staying near Cascais. We had a campsite just outside the city but then had to take a ferry to the city. The connection with Cascais is great and much faster than the ferry 🙂
- Creviral is a unique spot in Portugal. If you’re looking for nature and tranquility, you have to come here. Creveiral is truly beautiful. Tip! Park your van/camper and book a room at Craveiral Farmhouse. This was without a doubt our favorite accommodation ever!
- Sagres is located in the extreme southwest of Europe. Here, almost everything revolves around surfing too. There’s a wonderful atmosphere, and you can easily spend a few days. The village itself has a rich history.
Unfortunately, during our road trip, we had to suddenly return to the Netherlands, so we couldn’t visit some destinations. But no worries because this year (2020), we’re going back to redo our road trip through Portugal. We had a rough plan:
- Lagos is considered by many as the pearl of the Algarve
- Praia da Marinha: here, you’ll find one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
- Faro is the capital of the Algarve
- Tavira is among the most beautiful villages in the Algarve
Read the article roadtrip route Portugal 4 weeks for more information about our route through Portugal.
- Creveiral Farm House: one of the most beautiful places where we have ever stayed. If you’re an animal lover or nature enthusiast, you must book a night here.
- Surf in Chill House Ericeira: looking for a nice place to stay and improve your surf skills. Then this is the place to be!
Campings or camper stops in Portugal
- Wild camping on the beach at Nazare
- Peniche autocamp
- Camping Beira-Marvao Alentejo
- Camping Os Anjos
- ASA Peniche Motorhome
- Parque de Campismo Orbitur Sagres
Sights to See
- Be amazed by the gigantic waves in Nazare
- Watch the surf heroes catch the most beautiful waves during the World Championship in Peniche
- Take surfing lessons in Ericeira
- Indulge in hotspot heaven in Lisbon
- Stroll through the fairytale area of Sintra
- Visit the beautiful cliffs in Lagos