Portugal

Portugal is the late developer of the western European countries. It is still very traditional, and the cheapest country in western Europe. The Algarve is the warmest place in western Europe during winter, and a great place to visit or stay during that time. The Portuguese are friendly, helpful, happy people, and many speak good English.

The capital city of Lisbon is one of the most vibrant in Europe. With a great city centre, and a choice of beautiful beach side suburbs, Lisbon is worthy of a stop, even in winter when it is still warm.

Regions

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Recommended Portugal

  • The Algarve – beautiful beaches, good nightlife in Lagos and Faro.
  • Lisbon – one of Europe’s finest cities.
  • Alentejo – undeveloped, warm and beautiful beaches.

Campsites and free camping in Portugal

Portugal has a good choice of campsites. Some are as little as €4 per night, for two people and a camper van or motorhome, off-season. Free camping is also very popular. Read more.

Vehicle ferries to and from Portugal

There are no ferries from the UK to Portugal. The most common choice is to take a ferry to France, or normally Spain, and then drive to Portugal. See the ferry section.

Driving in Portugal

Portugal has the highest accident rate in western Europe. However, if you take care you should not have any problems. Read more.

Crime

Portugal is a relatively crime free country. Vehicle break-ins are amongst the biggest problems, so always secure your vehicle, and leave nothing on display. Sensible parking can also reduce you risk of a break-in. Pickpockets and petty criminals operate in the big city centers, so be careful and avoid gangs of kids at night.

Costs

Portugal is the cheapest country in western Europe. You funds will go further in Portugal than elsewhere, much further than France or the UK. Generally vehicle fuel is the only thing you’re likely to find more expensive than neighboring countries. See the country cost comparison .

Information

Currency Euro (€)
Capital city Lisbon
Time zone GMT
Religion Roman Catholic and Muslim
Emergency numbers Police 115 / 112
Electricity 220v continental dual pin
Border crossings Portugal is a Schengen state

Geography

Portuguese food and drink

The Portuguese Language

Portuguese is spoken throughout. The Portuguese are very good at languages. English is spoken well by a large percentage of the population. Spanish is understood by almost all. Italian and French are understood by a good number of people. Always ask if it is ok to speak in a language other than Portuguese. Knowing some basic Portuguese will help you.

Health

There are many stray dogs and cats in Portugal. If travelling with your own pets take care, and never leave them unattended. Be cautious of stray animals, they might not be as nice as they seem, they may be carrying diseases, such as Rabies. If you feed the stray animals they probably wont leave you alone.

Sports in Portugal

Portugal has some of the best surfing in Europe, and the ideal place to spend a winter surfing. Sailing is popular on the south coast, in particular in Vilamoura.

Campervan rental in Portugal

Camping, camper van and motorhome stores in Portugal

See the list of motorhome and camper van dealers, and camping supply shops in Portugal.

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Alentejo

Impressive inland towns, pretty coastal villages, great beaches, good surfing, warm weather, megalithic ruins. The Alentejo is a great alternative to the crowds of The Algarve.

Beira Litoral

The Beira Litoral province of Beira Litoral is dominated by the city of Coimbra, Portugal’s third city. 16km southeast of Coimbra is Conimbriga, Portugal’s most extensive Roman site.

Camping in Portugal

Portugal is a great country for camping. There are a good selection of campsites in all of the popular and many quiet areas. Most are good value. Free camping is very popular in Portugal.

Driving in Portugal

Portugal used to have one of the highest accident rates in western Europe, but this has consistently improved as more and more money is spent improving the quality of the roads. Roads in Portugal A …

Estremadura and Ribatejo

The Estremadura and Ribatejo regions played an important role in Portugal’s history and have monuments worth exploring. Alcobaca, Batalha and Tomar have some of the most exciting buildings in Portugal. Ilha Berlenga is worth a visit in summer. Obidos is a stunning walled medieval village. There are great castles at Porto de Mos, Leira and Almoural.

Lisbon

Lisbon (Lisboa), the capital city of Portugal, is a compact city with enough attractions for about 4 days of visit, 2 or 3 more days if you go beyond the city. Like most european cities the street bustle and vibe is one of the key attractions.

Mountain Beiras

Do you have information about the Mountain Beiras region. Please contact us.
New Castille and Extremadura

New Castille and Extremadura

Segovia The roads from Madrid to Segovia If you wish to avoid toll roads then the M-601 and then the CI-606 roads are the obvious choice. But be aware, that these take you to the Puerto de Navacerrada ski resort, nearly 2,000m above sea level. The incline is steep and there are few places to pass, but the views are breathtaking.

Porto

Do you have information about Porto? Please contact us.

Portugal 3G and Mobile Internet

Portugal has a good 3G network. The cost is the same with all three of the major telephone companies. €1 per hour. It’s OK for light usage, but fairly expensive for those how work online, for long periods.

Portuguese food and drink

Eating out Portuguese cuisine is not as striking as that of Spain or France, but almost always cheaper. Typical meals are of a steak, fish or seafood, with salad, french fries and rice. Seafood is excellent in Portugal, and available everywhere. You will find the odd Tapas bar in more populated areas. In Lisbon try the Brazilian food.

Surfing Peniche

Peniche is one of the surfing hotspots of Portugal, the most flexible surfing location in Portugal, and probably Europe. Famous for the superb Supertubos break, Peniche offers many other excellent breaks. Beaches in the area face in all directions, except for south. Free camping is available all around Baleal bay.
The Algarve

The Algarve

The Algarve region of Portugal is one of the most popular places in Europe for campervan and motorhome owners to visit.  And for good reason.  The Algarve has fantastic year-round weather, stunning coastline, beautiful mountains, lots of …

Tras-Os-Montes

Do you have information about the Tras-Os-Montes. Please contact us.
  1. article on Portugal camping
    To say that many people speak English in Portugal is belying the truth, to say the least. Where do people get this info?
    I spent 2½ months in my campervan in Portugal 2015 and I can assure readers, there are NOT many English speakers in Porugal. Those WHO do are high-school students or the like and some others here and there, like s service station VW or a manager in a large shop…

    Reply

  2. Camper in Portugal
    Interesting testimony of Jack. It is true that one must be careful but it happens in all countries. Anyway if we are prevented is always easier to deal with situations.
    Cheers!

    Reply

  3. Portugal
    It all sounds idyllic, but there are one or two things to be aware of in Portugal, and particularly the Algarve.

    On our last trip to the Algarve a chap jumped into the back of our VW as we waited at a roundabout and asked us to follow a car in front since it was involved in stealing children. I politely asked him to leave (in Anglo Saxon, with an accompanying tyre wrench)which he did. As an ex Para I was not too worried but an elderly or infirm couple might have been frightened, or worse. The Police told us (reluctantly)this is common and is an attempt to get you to drive to an isolated area and be robbed. So keep the doors locked.

    Also, tourist spots can be overpopulated with single, usually middle aged men, who appear to be there for reasons other than the scenic. If you have children, please be aware that although the Portuguese are, in general, a lovely people, not all are either Portuguese or lovely. There are now many itinerants and illagal immigrants from the Middle East in Portugal and they have no way of earning money other than illegal, so please be careful.

    Jack

    Reply

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