Planning a driving holiday can take a lot of time. Sights must be checked out, cozy hotels must be booked and rental cars must be ordered. Imagine if someone made a plan for you, so you can easily modify it according to your own interests? You know what? Here comes my entire itinerary for our driving holiday in northern Portugal that we did in August (2018). Start and end in Lisbon and in between visits to some of Portugal's coolest places: Porto, Douro Valley, Óbidos, Costa Nova, Sintra, Nazaré and Monsanto.
In fact I have to say this is one of the best driving holidays we have ever done. Partly because we had exciting things to discover every day, but also because we booked both good hotels and good restaurants before we left. Because everything was pre-booked and dinner was served at 20pm every evening, we had wonderfully long days to discover Portugal without having to stress.
I have listed all the hotels we stayed at, although I recommend reading my posts before booking. What I appreciate in a hotel, may not be what you are looking for at all - or vice versa. But it's a plan with reasonably long day stages and it's easy to find other hotels near my suggestions.
Basically all the restaurants that I pre-booked, I booked through the app the fork. The Fork is much more widespread in Portugal than, for example, Book-a-table, and there are often offers of between 30-50% on the a la carte menu at good restaurants if you book via the app. Very Nice!
Do you want general tips for what you need to consider when driving in Portugal? You will find my best tips here!
Day 3: Sintra
Distance: 12 miles
Early start from Lisbon to go to Sintra. Wonderful Sintra has an abundance of attractions and it is difficult to fit them all in one day. We were amazed by Pena Palace, wandered by Cabo da Roca and visited the abandoned monastery Convento Dos Capuchos. Stop by Azenhas Do Mar on the way to the night's accommodation outside Óbidos.
Day 4: Obidós, Nazaré and Conimbriga
Distance: 16 miles
We start the day early, with a visit to the beautiful city Obidos before we go to them the big waves in Nazareth for lunch. On the way to today's accommodation, we visit them Roman ruins in Conimbriga.
Day 5: Bussaco forest and Costa Nova
Distance: 13 miles
Soon in Porto! Today's lunch and afternoon are spent among the striped houses of the coastal town Costa Nova. On the way there you stop for a walk in Bussaco forest green fairytale forest. On the way to Porto, stop in Ovar to try their special sponge cake Pão-de-Ló.
accommodation: Eurostars Heroismo (Port)
Day 9: Monsanto & Serra da Estrela
Distance: 35 miles
Today we turn south, and take a long day's drive through the hinterland and the national park Serra da Estrela. Take a long lunch in one of the mountain villages, here you get real Portuguese food for cheap! You stop in the unique rock city Monsanto before settling into the night's accommodation at the historic luxury hotel Pousada Monastery of Crato.
accommodation: Pousada Monastery of Crato (upcoming post)
Day 10: Lisbon
Distance: 18 miles
Time to head back to Lisbon for the journey home after an amazing 10 day driving holiday! If you have a flight in the afternoon, take the opportunity to find designer clothes on the way to the airport in the big way Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet
Do you want to read more about Portugal? Look into my Portugal page!
Want to read more of my travel tips? do not forget to like Rucksack on Facebook!
Do you want to read more from Portugal?
In the Douro Valley's hot and dry climate, wine has been cultivated for hundreds of years according to…February 3
In the middle of the forest near Sintra, lie the ruins of the old monastery Convento…August 19
We had read about a Michelin recommended restaurant in Nazaré – Taberna D'Adelia – where…November 19