Portugal has all the components for a self-drive holiday –  good weather, excellent roads, stunning scenery, mouth-watering cuisine, fascinating historical cities and a long coastline. Here are 4 varied routes to take depending on your interests, time frame and budget:

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Essential Portugal – 8 days / 7 nights

The compact size of Portugal makes it easy to drive its length in a relatively short amount of time. This itinerary takes advantage of that by driving north along the coast and coming back to Lisbon via a different inland route, essentially using both the capital and Porto as bases. After spending several days discovering Lisbon and nearby Sintra and Cascais, drive along the coast to Porto, the capital of the north. From here you can drive out to Braga and other historical spots. Be sure to stop in Coimbra on your journey back south. The city is home to Portugal’s oldest University established in the 13th century and a spectacular 18th century Baroque library.

To find out more about this self-drive holiday or book, click here.

Self-drive wine tour – 9 days / 8 nights

Flickr: mat's eye

Flickr: mat’s eye

As the name suggests, this self-drive trip focuses on Portugal’s wine growing regions. After picking up the hire car in Lisbon, drive out to Alentejo where you’ll spend three nights at the Herdade da Malhadinha Nova. Here you’ll learn about the history and production of wine in Portugal, join some tastings and have plenty of time for optional excursions including hot air-balloon rides over the vineyards, picnics in the surrounding countryside and horse riding. Drive north spending a night en route before arriving in the Douro Valley where you’ll stay for several nights. This major wine growing centre has plenty on offer including wine tastings, tours of the valley and walks through the vineyards. Drive to the northern city of Porto where you’ll be taken on a special visit to the wine cellars for a tasting session before flying home the following day.

To find out more about this self-drive holiday or book, click here.

Family self-drive – 10 days / 9 nights

Spend some quality time with the family on this self-drive tour of Lisbon and the south. Staying near some great beaches, there will be plenty of time to explore the beautiful Algarve and the Alentejo countryside. Arrive in the capital, pick up your hire car and drive down into the city. Spend several days discovering the charm of the city. We suggest a visit out to the historic village of Sintra (now a UNESCO World Heritage site), the beaches of Cascais and taking a private yacht for a sail along the Tejo River. Drive south to the Algarve stopping in Evora and the village of Monsaraz en route. The next few days will be spent discovering the beaches, coves and bays with your family. Optional activities include guided hiking, bird watching, fishing or yacht charters and dolphin spotting tours. Drive back to Lisbon to drop off your hire car and fly home.

To find out more about this self-drive holiday or book, click here.

Portugal in-depth – 12 days / 11 nights

Flickr: Oneterry Aka

Flickr: Oneterry Aka

This comprehensive self-drive tour was created for those who have a longer time frame. The itinerary includes 3 nights in Lisbon and the surrounding villages and beaches, Evora in Alentejo, Marvao, Castelo de Video, Sortelha, Belmonte, the Doura Valley, Guimaraes, Porto, Coimbra, Fatima, Santa Cruz and Cascais. The circuit starts and finishes in the capital, Lisbon. The trip can further be extended with a visit to the southern Algarve should you wish.

To find out more about this self-drive holiday or book, click here.

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