Why did we choose to road trip around Portugal?

In En-Route, Europe, Inspiration, Our Journeys, Portugal, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

We blame it on Lisbon

Gary and I have been travelling together all through our working lives and for some reason or another, not once did we decide to visit Portugal.

Well, in 2017 we saw the error of our ways and headed to Lisbon for a mini-break. Now, we keep asking ourselves why we didn’t visit sooner.

So, we decided to go from one extreme to another and are touring Portugal north to south (and back again) for two weeks.

We love our road trips, and for us, nothing is better than packing up our own car and heading off into the unknown, from our driveway.

A view of the Ponte 25 de Abril across Lisbon, Portugal

Here are just a few of our inspirations that lured us into this road trip adventure. However, before we even get to Portugal, we are catching a Brittany Ferry from Portsmouth in southern England.
Disembarking at Bilbao in northern Spain, and from here the venture begins.


Our chosen locations for the road trip were;

Vila Real
León (Ok, so we added a cheeky stop in Spain)

A reference guide

Our recent new found love is Portugal, it is such a beautiful country. While planning our trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Portuguese road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.


I suppose this does go without saying really. However, as we only visited Lisbon, with a day trip to Sintra we haven’t seen much of the countryside of the rugged coastline.

The castle of the moors from the Palace of Pena, Sintra, Portugal

Douro Valley: We’re particularly looking forward to touring the Douro Valley and the rolling vineyards around the wine-growing villages.

The Douro valley in all its glory, Portugal

The Algarve: Hopefully having the hood down on our car and cruising along the picturesque Algarve shoreline.

The magnificent coastline of the Algarve, Portugal

Portugal’s ‘Little Venice’: Apparently, Aveiro is home to Portugal’s ‘Little Venice’, and I’m always one to enjoy a stroll along a waterway.

Traditional boats in Aveiro, Portugal


Convento de Cristo: Portugal has a wealth of history, some of which we discovered in Lisbon, but I’m interested to visit the Knights Templar in Convento de Cristo at Tomar.

Convento de Cristo, Tomar, Portugal

On our travels, we have visited a few Templar churches, one of which we found in the heart of the legal district in London.

The birthplace of Portugal: I have since found out while digging deeper into Portugal’s history that Guimarães is known as the birthplace of Portugal. So there’s no better place to start our trip.

Guimarães Castle, Portugal

The Amoreira Aqueduct: It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t search out an aqueduct.

We are close to the Spanish border while travelling north, so we’re going to make a visit to the 16th century Amoreira Aqueduct in Elvas.

Driving under the Amoreira Aqueduct in Elvas, Portugal
The Amoreira Aqueduct in Elvas, Portugal

Why not?

Embark on a road trip adventure from your own doorstep, and discover Portugal's hidden delights at your pace.

It is so easy to hop onto a Brittany Ferry and let them take the strain, while you sail down to the north coast of Spain. All the while dreaming of sunshine and pastel de nata.

Art & Culture

Bom Jesus do Monte: During our trip, we are visiting the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary near Braga. The Baroque stairway looks incredible, not too sure about the climb though!

Bom Jesus do Monte, Portugal

A Monastery or two: Also along our route, we will be taking a detour to the UNESCO sites of the Monastery of Alcobaça & the Monastery of Batalha. Important landmarks in Portuguese history.

The Monastery of Batalha, Portugal

Street Art: During our research of this trip, Portugal appears to have some incredible street art. This is always something I love to seek out.

Street Art, Porto, Portugal


Decorative tiles: One particular eye-catching point for me in Portugal is the blue and white decorative tiles that you often see within buildings or on the side of churches. These typically depict a story or a scene from day to day life.

The lobby hall of the Porto train Station, Portugal

Porto: Not only is Porto known for its delicious Port wine and the Douro River. However, the narrow, steep, lanes and the tiny terraces with wrought iron balconies look so intriguing.

The architecture of Porto, Portugal

Costa Nova: Is it true? are there really these attractive stripped houses in Costa Nova?

The beach houses of Costa Nova, Portugal

Why wait?

Start creating your own Portuguese adventure and discover the colourful city of Porto yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.


Stay local: Our philosophy is always “When in Rome” when it comes to food and drink and I’m sure Portugal will be no exception.

Suckling Pig, Porto, Portugal

Pastries: After already indulging in Pastel de Nata in Lisbon, this is a firm favourite.
So we’ll be searching out those little treats.

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

A Seafaring nation: Fish will certainly be the order of the day on several occasions, but I will definitely try and have traditionally cooked piri-piri chicken, good memories from a small local eatery in Lisbon.

Ice Cream: Oh, is Portugal famed for their ice-cream, I truly hope so!!!

Tempted to?

Discover more of historic Portugal and tour its picturesque countryside or even head south to the Algarve coastline.

You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.


Port: Who could go to Porto and not try the local tipple of Port, well, certainly not us?

A selection of ports in Porto, Portugal

Vinho Verde: I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I do enjoy a crisp, effervescent Vinho Verde on a sunny evening. So, it’ll be fun touring the hills of Minho in search of it.

Drinking Vinho Verde in Guimarães, Portugal

Have You?

Ventured on a road trip around Portugal? Which regions did you explore and do you have any special places you would love to share with us, as there is so much more we want to discover?

Inspired to visit Portugal?

Jump in your car and tour the Douro Valley, Portugal is a wonderful country to uncover yourself and create those lasting memories.

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Why did we choose to road trip around Portugal?

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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