Portugal Self Drive Tour
Arrive Lisbon – Pick up your rental car
This legendary city has a history spanning 2,000 years. One of the oldest quarters in Lisbon is the Moorish Alfama, home to the city’s tallest hill and the area of Bairro Alto. Visit the state-of-the-art aquarium, experience the breathtaking view from the walls of a millennium-old castle, see fairytale palaces, interesting museums, World Heritage monuments, castles, open-air markets, narrow cobbled Medieval streets, exquisite shopping, fine cuisine, lively music – you will agree that Lisbon is a most captivating city.
Tourist Class Hotel Principe Lisboa or similar (2 nights)
Spend your last day visiting museums and catching up on sightseeing some of the many castles, palaces and World Heritage monuments that you missed on Day 1. If you believe you need more time, then book an extra stay. With fine shopping and open-air markets there will be much to do. Enjoy a relaxing meal of the rich, filling and full-flavored dishes of the area.
Lisbon – Lagos – Praia da Rocha / Portimao 308.99 km*
From Lisbon drive south to the Algarve with its fishing villages, market towns and spectacular coastline. As you drive enjoy this beautiful part of Portugal. Conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese, traces of its Moorish presence can still be seen in its unique architecture and whitewashed houses. Argarve’s southern coastline consists of long stretches of fabulous sandy beaches, broken up by rugged cliffs and fantastic grottoes. End your day at Praia de Rocha, where we have arranged your overnight accommodation, a town internationally known for its sandy beaches sheltered by high cliffs. St. Caterina Fort is situated at the end of the beach near the marina, and offers a wonderful view over the surrounding area. With the town’s many bars, restaurants and Casino it is an extremely cosmopolitan vacation town.
Touris Class Club Amarilis or similar
Portimao / Praia da Rocha – Albufeira – Beja – Evora 288.07 km*
As you drive you pass through green countryside dotted by fig, almond, orange and pine trees, and the decorated chimneys of the cottages stand out against the ochre colored roof tiles. Famous for its beautiful beaches and famous golf courses Albufeira is best explored on foot through its cobbled alleys and Moorish arches. Leaving the Algarve your drive north continues through beautiful and unspoiled countryside to Beja. Here the Moorish influence can be seen amongst the cobbled streets of the old town. Leave Beja for the historical city of Evora where we have arranged your overnight stay. This region has been settled since prehistoric times – megaliths from 4,000 BC can be seen a few miles outside the city. Today Evora’s walled town contains many interesting sites with a full range of architectural styles reflecting its rich history.
Tourist Class Hotel Casa Do Vale or similar
Evora – Castelo de Vide – Belmonte – Viseu 366.93 km*
This morning’s journey takes you to the pretty Roman town of Castelo de Vide. Time seems to have stood still in the medieval atmosphere of the Jewish Quarter, with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, many with Gothic doorways. Take a short climb to the Castle that looks down upon the town. Down the hill is the newer part of the town with wider, less steep streets, and an elegant main square. From Castelo de Vide as you drive to Viseu experience the breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, gorges, streams and tiny remote villages, many seeming remarkably untouched by modern life. At Viseu we have arranged your overnight stay. It is here that the composer Hilario was born, whose composition Coimbra led to the Portuguese singing style of Fado. Whilst here sample Viseu’s fine cheeses, for which the area is renowned, and also the Dao wines.
Tourist & First Class Hotel Palacio dos Melos or similar
Viseu – Mateus – Vila Real – Porto 218.87 km*
Leave Viseu and drive through beautiful countryside of chestnut trees, vines and orchards as you come upon the village of Mateus, famous for the rose wine made on the estate once owned by the Counts of Vila Real. The manor house, Solar de Mateus, is considered to be a perfect example of Portuguese Baroque. Although the Mangualde family still live there, parts of it are open to the public. The beauty of its gardens surpasses the beauty of the building. Your day ends in the city of Porto, where we have arranged your overnight stay. Porto is built into the granite cliffs at the mouth of the river Douro and here you will find an array of architectural gems. Be sure to sample the country’s famous Port wine and seafood cuisine.
Tourist Class Clipotel Gaia or similar
Book an extra stay for a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – 460 km round trip
Porto – Aveiro – Coimbra – Batalha – Fatima – Lisbon 366.93 km*
Today, a fascinating drive. Your first stop is the city of Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal, it is surrounded by salt-flats, beaches, lagoons and dominated by the Central Canal which runs through the town. It is basically a mixture of neat fishermen’s cottages and Art Nouveau town houses with a few historic buildings. While in Aveiro taste the town’s specialty pastry, Ovas Moles, small almond shaped creations with a sweet filling. Continue on to Coimbra which is overlooked by the tall tower of its old university (one of the oldest in Europe). As early as the Middle Ages Coimbra was divided into an upper city, where the aristocracy and the clergy lived, and the lower city by the river, where commercial activities took place. Some remnants are still visible of the ancient fortified wall which encircled the city.
Continue your journey to the small town of Batalha then on to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, in the green hills of Cova da Iria. It is one of the most famous in the world, and its name comes from the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary by three shepherd children at Fatima on the 13th day of six consecutive months starting on 13th May 1917. Return to Lisbon for your overnight stay.
Tourist Class Hotel Principe Lisboa or similar or a Tourist Class Airport Hotel
Return Rental Car
- Upto 5 Pax: Citroen C4 or Similar
- 6-7 Pax: Renault Espace or similar
- 8-9 Pax: Renault Traffic or similar
- Manual Transmission
- Air Conditioning