Occupying a corner of the Iberian Peninsula and flanked on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is both a popular destination for beach-goers and lovers of the countryside. With friendly locals, good hospitality and a deep-rooted culture which is best seen in out-of-the-way villages.
There are international airports in the capital Lisbon, as well as in Porto and Faro, with flights mostly arriving from within Europe. Portugal is connected to Spain by rail and you can get to main towns by train and bus. Public transport is not great, however, so having a car is a must for taking in remote places.
Car Hire Portugal
Lisbon Portela Airport and Faro Airport have the best options for renting cars in Portugal. All major airports have taxi and bus transfers available but hiring a car often works out cheaper, plus it will give you the freedom to explore during your stay. We have great prices for rental companies like Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Budget who all supply car hire in Portugal. Remember, for the cheapest prices and best choice of cars you need to book in advance. If you are visiting the Algarve to play on the many golf courses here, make sure the car capacity will accommodate your clubs.
There are highways across the country and the quality of the roads is generally good. Despite the bad reputation of Portuguese drivers, getting about the country by car is a must to access its beauty spots. All major locations have excellent access roads, many of which have tolls, while secondary roads need to be negotiated with care.
Driving is on the right. You must keep your driving license on you at all times when driving, seatbelts must be worn throughout the vehicle and, on the spot fines will be issued if caught using your mobile phone.
Things To See and Do
The cities of Lisbon and Porto have a lot to offer and the coast and the mountains near to both cities are also worthwhile visiting. The Marvao, near the Spanish border and to the east of Lisbon, is a particularly fantastic drive, as is the Algarve on the south coast. Other must-do drives with car rental in Portugal include the World Heritage Sintra, the ‘Venice of Portugal’ (Aveiro), and the island of Madeira.
Best Time To Visit
June to August is the peak summer season and the best time to visit, although Portugal has nice weather year-round. Average summer temperatures reach the upper 20s (°C), with highs on the Algarve well into the 30s (°C). The Braga (Easter) week in March/April and the Festa de Santo Antonio in Alfama in June are interesting events.