Portugal was one of the first in a series of roadtrips throughout Europe. The year before I wanted to travel outside of the European barriers, until I realised there is still so much I haven’t seen in Europe. Lisbon was high on my citytrip list, so the idea of a road trip through Portugal during summer seemed perfect.
Flying out there, my expectations were quite neutral since I did not know that much about the country. But this trip very much exceeded my initial assumptions. The nature in Portugal is absolutely stunning and still so unspoiled. Of course there is a lot of tourism, but we still managed to find beaches where literally two other people were present the whole day. So lucky! Other than that: the food is great, the people are so genuinely friendly and the culture is really interesting.
Excited to find out more? Below I will provide a detailed overview from our trip.
Quick overview of our itinerary
We kicked off our trip by flying to Lisbon with Brussels Airlines. We took a cab into the city and our trip was about to start! The hotel we picked out was located near Belèm. Whenever we wanted to go into the city center, we took the train alongside the coast. Eventually we stayed here for 4 nights, which was great and just enough time to discover this wonderful city. From Lisbon, we planned a day trip to Sintra by train, which I would highly recommend as well.
On the day we were set out to leave for Lagos, we got back to Lisbon airport first. This is where we were able to pick up the car we hired from Drive on Holiday. This was the first time ever that I rented a car by myself and luckily it went really smoothly. We got a brand new car and could easily pick it up – let’s ignore the huge waiting lines at the airport for a sec :). We picked out Drive on Holiday because we could drop off the car in a different location. This came in handy since we were driving down and would be flying back from Faro Airport.
We drove all the way down from Lisbon to Lagos. The drive takes about 3 hours but we had some stops planned along the way. Adding in the fact that we – accidentally – drove through Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. This was quite a challenge: narrow roads with steep cliffs alongside of them and by a hair we were able to avoid getting into an accident. In a hairpin bend, a truck collided with a small car and because the bends followed one another quickly, we could get our car to stop just in time. We were quite taken by this experience and drove extra careful the rest of the way.
When we arrived in Lagos, our hotel was located right in the city center which was just perfect but not that ideal when you arrive by car :). After we dropped off our bags, we had to pass through a street overflowing with terraces and people that were having dinner already. We got a lot of mad faces that day, bad karma :). Eventually we parked our car in an underground parking garage for which the price was really okay. Crisis averted!
From Lagos we visited Praia da Amoreira, Praia da Batata, Praia do Camilo and Miradouro da Ponta da Piedade. We visited quite a lot of Praias actually 🙂 They were absolutely stunning but where Praia da Amoreira was mostly deserted & very extended, the beaches in the south were a lot more touristy and mostly packed to the brim.
I already visited Tavira a year before. We were staying there for the wedding of a good friend of mine. I absolutely fell in love with this quaint little town & couldn’t wait to go back and show my travel buddy the beautiful sights it had to offer. Our hotel was situated outside of the city center so we had to drive there. This wasn’t quite as convenient but the hotel was great: it was recently renovated so it looked amazing and very luxurious. Our room had a big balcony and was modernly decorated and the hotel provided an extensive breakfast, a pool and a lot of parking lot (win for us!). We had enough time to discover Tavira and enjoy some beach days on Tavira island – yes this little town has its very own island :).
The very last stop on our Portugese road trip was Faro. We got to our hotel early in the morning since our flight would be following soon the morning after. We walked around the city center, that was at that time very chill and almost deserted. Since we were at the end of the trip, we mostly wanted to enjoy our last hours so we sat in the sun a lot, on a terrace and next to the small harbour, enjoying the city. At night we had some great tapas and again, we sat there for hours on end, talking and loving life in that moment.