Motorhoming & Campervanning in Portugal- Final Information (2023 replace)

Planning a motorhome or campervan journey to Portugal? Wish to see among the most breathtaking locations in Europe? Right here’s all the pieces that you must know to go campervanning or motorhoming in Portugal, together with routes and locations to go to.

Don’t neglect to obtain your FREE Europe motorhome journey guidelines under that can assist you plan your Portugal highway journey.

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Motorhoming in Portugal- why it’s best to go!

Portugal has a little bit little bit of everything- dramatic shoreline with sandy seashores, caves, mountains, incredible delicacies and historical past. Oh, and wine. Heaps and many pretty wine. It’s splendidly conventional and lots of elements of it nonetheless really feel completely untouched by the fashionable world.

Top-of-the-line issues about having the ability to discover Portugal on a motorhoming vacation is that you may see the variations between the areas, attempt the native delicacies (and wine!) and actually get a really feel for the nation in a brief house of time.

It’s additionally one of many most cost-effective nations in western Europe, so you possibly can journey on a small finances with out a lot concern.

On this information, we’re going to share with you all the pieces that you must know to go motorhoming or campervanning in Portugal, together with attending to Portugal and planning your route, the place to remain (motorhome campsites, aires or wild tenting together with your camper), some highway journey concepts and locations to go to, driving ideas and different sensible recommendation that can assist you have an incredible Portuguese highway journey.

We’re additionally going to share some issues NOT to do- like use your dash-cam! (Do you know dash-cams are unlawful in Portugal?!)

If that is your first campervanning journey to Portugal (or Europe!), don’t neglect to seize your free motorhome journey guidelines which is able to allow you to plan and organise all the pieces you want.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Campervanning in Portugal- The place to go

When planning a motorhome journey to Portugal, the very first thing that you must do is resolve the place you’re going (and the way lengthy you’ve gotten in your journey!)

How lengthy to go for?

For those who’re driving from the UK to Portugal (we’ll cowl that shortly), that you must permit at the least 2 days from arriving in France (by both ferry or Eurotunnel) to get to Portugal. And that’s 2 days of just about stable driving (it’s about 15 and a half hours (1013 miles) from Calais to the north-eastern Portuguese border)

We don’t suggest visiting Portugal should you solely have per week in your highway journey. It’s too far and all you’ll do is drive there and again. After all, should you’re going to hire a motorhome and fly in, that’s completely doable in per week (extra on that shortly).

When you’ve got a few weeks, you possibly can actually discover a superb chunk of Portugal, however you’ll be doing loads of driving until you stick to simply the North of the nation.

Portugal isn’t an enormous country- it solely takes about 7 hours (470miles) to drive from North to South, so when you’re there it’s simple to see so much in a brief house of time.

Motorhoming and campervanning in Portugal- complete guide
Campervanning in Portugal

Highlights of a Portugal Motorhoming Vacation

A number of the greatest locations to go to when campervanning in Portugal embrace:

  • The Algarve – the seashores there are among the greatest in Europe
  • Lisbon – one in every of Europe’s most historic cities
  • Sintra- it actually does seem like one thing from a fairytale
  • Alentejo Nationwide Park- the most important protected coastal Pure Park in Europe
  • Porto- one of many oldest ports on this planet
  • Cape St Vincent- Europe’s most south-westerly level
  • Serra Da Estrela- Portugal’s highest mountain vary
  • Duoro Valley- should you like wine, right here’s the place to go
  • Megaliths close to Évora- these are superb!

For those who take pleasure in studying books earlier than a visit, listed below are some we suggest:

See extra enjoyable and sensible motorhoming books we suggest studying

When to go motorhome touring in Portugal 

Portugal has one of many warmest climates in Europe. As such, it’s a magnet for northern Europeans- particularly in winter.

Campervanning in Portugal in winter

Portugal is nice in winter. It’s one of many warmest locations in Europe in February with common temperatures of over 16°C.

The good factor about campervanning in Portugal in the course of the winter is that the majority issues stay open, as so many vacationers nonetheless go to, so it doesn’t all shut down like many different nations in Europe. (After all, some campsites do select to shut, however there are nonetheless lots open all 12 months.)

Nonetheless, not all over the place in Portugal is heat in winter. Count on snow and snowboarding within the mountains- particularly in Serra Da Estrela (the best mountain vary).

Touring Portugal in summer time

For us, summer time in Portugal is simply too sizzling. Common temperature within the Algarve in August is 29°C- that’s the AVERAGE. As we don’t have air-con in our motorhome, and since we journey with a canine, we attempt to keep away from sizzling locations like this and go motorhoming in Norway or different locations with mountains and cooler air.

Additionally, it will get crowded in summer time. Loopy loopy crowded. Seashores are packed and queues for vacationer sights are lengthy. Being crammed in, particularly in sizzling climate, doesn’t enchantment to us in any respect.

Get extra ideas for summer time van life and maintain your camper cool

Motorhoming in Portugal in Spring and Autumn

As with most of Europe, Spring and Autumn are excellent instances to discover Portugal. The climate continues to be heat (common of 19.8°C in April and 22°C in October), however the crowds from summer time have gone and also you would possibly even get stretches of seashore all to your self.

If you wish to go mountaineering in Portugal, it is a nice time to go to, particularly in Spring when the flowers are blooming.

TOP TIP: If you’re travelling outdoors of peak season, positively get an ACSI CampingCard– you’ll save a fortune on campsites throughout Europe, together with Portugal

Driving from the UK to Portugal

Do you know that Portugal and England have the oldest alliance on this planet, relationship all the best way again to 1373?! (Simply one in every of many enjoyable details about Portugal.)

For those who’re planning a campervanning journey to Portugal, there are a few choices from the UK, assuming you’re bringing your individual automobile (should you’re flying in and hiring, we’ll take care of that shortly.)

There are two methods individuals get their motorhomes to Portugal- drive by France and Spain or take the ferry to Spain after which drive into Portugal. There are execs and cons to every.

Typically, taking a ferry from the UK is far more costly than driving by France (relying on the time of 12 months and kind of cabin).

Ferry from the UK to Portugal

There are not any direct ferries from the UK to Portugal. You may journey with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth or Plymouth and go to both Santander or Bilbao (each on the north coast of Spain)- these are the closest ports to Portugal. (Bilbao is a couple of 5-hour drive from the Portuguese border- 480km)

A one-way journey on both ferry from the UK takes about 24 hours and reserving a cabin is beneficial. Additionally they have canine kennels onboard however you CANNOT maintain your canine within the ferry cabin with you (like you possibly can from Portsmouth to Caen).

The most important consideration to this ferry (aside from the price), is the climate. You may be crossing the infamous Bay of Biscay- and it could get ROUGH. Even in the midst of summer time.

As somebody who will get seasick (hilarious contemplating I’m ex-Navy and lived on boats for 15 years), I keep away from this crossing and like to drive from the UK by France to Spain after which Portugal, but it surely’s totally as much as you.

Driving routes by France to Portugal

For those who resolve that you just wish to drive your motorhome or camper by France all the way down to Portugal, you first must resolve should you’re going to take the ferry or Eurotunnel from UK to France (there are execs and cons to each).

The quickest route from Calais is by way of Le Mans and Bordeaux, crossing into Spain at San Sebastian. Then head in the direction of Valladolid and also you’re almost in Portugal. It takes about 18 hours from Calais and you may be a part of this route simply should you resolve to come back over on a ferry to Caen, Le Havre, Dieppe or Cherbourg.

That is our favorite route for a France highway journey as you cross some unbelievable locations (together with among the most historic locations in France!)

Can I drive to Portugal within the Winter?

Yep. I do know there are a number of big mountain ranges (particularly the Pyrenees), however usually the routes are all open, until you occur to be actually unfortunate and hit it in the midst of a snowstorm (do examine the climate forecast earlier than travelling.)

If this occurs, then we suggest stopping for the evening someplace protected (the great thing about travelling in a motorhome) after which persevering with on when the snow has stopped and the roads have been cleared. Don’t neglect you’ll need snow chains and be sure you have fitted all-weather tyres- extra on that under.

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Borders / Customs in Portugal

There isn’t a border management should you’re driving between Spain and Portugal. Nonetheless, there are restrictions on how a lot tobacco and alcohol you possibly can carry and it should all be for private use.

Additionally, now that the UK is a 3rd nation, you might be solely allowed to hold:

  • Wine/ Spirits: 2 litres
  • Perfumes: 50 grams of fragrance/ 250 ml EDT
  • Espresso: 500 grams/ Espresso extracts and low essences – 200 grams
  • Tea:100 grams/ Tea extracts and tea essences – 40 grams

You could find a full checklist of all present allowances right here

Hiring a motorhome or campervan to tour Portugal 

For those who don’t have your individual automobile, or don’t have time to drive all the best way to Portugal, you possibly can simply fly in and rent one. Simply be certain that to ask tips on how to get from the airport to the rental agency- not all of them are on the airport itself and also you would possibly must ebook a taxi.

To hire a automobile in Portugal you need to:

  • be over 21 or 25 years previous, relying on the corporate’s rental coverage;
  • present identification (id card for EU residents or a sound passport for different nationalities) 
  • have had a driving licence for a couple of 12 months

Be sure you have proof that you may take the automobile throughout a border into one other nation if that’s what you’re planning on doing. Learn the article under for different issues to examine as properly earlier than you agree to rent.

Don’t neglect, it’s YOUR accountability to verify the automobile has the required security tools. The on-the-spot fines apply to you as the driving force, not the corporate. Test upfront with the corporate what package they are going to present with the automobile and what you’ll need to deliver.

Take a listing of what’s legally required with you and examine it off one after the other as you might be given the handover. Don’t drive till you might be pleased you adjust to the native legal guidelines.

You may count on to pay round £70/ day- remember to ask the proper questions so you understand what to anticipate out of your motorhome or campervan rental

Motorhoming in Portugal- what gear do that you must carry?

Similar to motorhoming in Spain, there are particular stuff you MUST carry with you in your motorhome or campervan while touring in Portugal.

Additionally, remember to learn the secton under about dash-cams!

Don’t neglect, in case you are driving by France and/ or Spain to get to Portugal, you want all of the package required by these nations, in addition to the package wanted in Portugal. (Fortunately, should you’re used to motorhoming in France, you’ll have just about all the pieces you want already)

Issues that you must drive in Portugal- security gear

These are the stuff you MUST have with you while you’re motorhome or campervan touring in Portugal.

  • Hello-vis reflective jackets – not as strict as in France, however you need to put on them on the facet of the highway or laborious shoulder or danger being fined.
  • Warning triangle
  • Headlight beam converters– you probably have a UK automobile. These should be fitted earlier than you drive in Europe. (When you’ve got a automobile which lets you modify the beam robotically for European driving, you gained’t want these.)
  • Automotive sticker connected to the again of car or on reg plates. (NOT the EU sticker anymore!)
  • A spare wheel (and instruments to vary it!), or a tyre restore package.
  • For those who put on glasses you MUST carry a spare pair

TOP TIP: Purchase these necessities for driving in Portugal upfront. For those who wait till you’re on the ferry/ tunnel, you may spend THREE instances as a lot! See the most recent offers and greatest costs right here

Utilizing a Sprint-cam in Portugal

This warrants its personal part, as a result of so many individuals don’t realise the regulation. Utilizing a dash-cam in Portugal is prohibited. Not simply that, however OWNING a dash-cam is prohibited in Portugal.

Now, I don’t suppose for one second that the police are going to cease and search you on the lookout for a dash-cam, however I counsel you set it away safely earlier than you get to the border- simply in case.

Street journey equipment you MIGHT want when campervanning in Portugal

The next package are stuff you would possibly want to hold in your automobile, motorhome, caravan or campervan, relying on if you end up planning your highway journey in Portugal.

You’ll in all probability need an computerized toll tag- as lots of the motorways insist on them earlier than you should use the highway. You may keep away from these, but it surely’s loads of additional driving. Extra on that within the ‘toll’ part.

  • Winter tyres will not be obligatory however snow chains are necessary the place signage signifies.
  • Crimson/ white warning board signal – for bike racks or something overhanging the top of the motorhome or campervan. Traces should level into the center of the highway. Once more, it is a authorized requirement in Spain, however price having in Portugal
  • First assist package – not obligatory in Portugal (not like many nations in Europe) however price carrying. Discover out what we supply in our European first assist package right here
  • Spare bulbs for all lights within the automobile
  • Torch
  • Fireplace extinguisher
  • Street Journey snacks and water- simply in case!

Motorhomes or campers with a complete prepare size of over 12m

For those who’re travelling in/ by Spain and your outfit exceeds 12m, that you must have marker boards fitted to the again of your automobile. You may both have two small boards or one giant board however they should be positioned behind the outfit between 50cm and 150cm off the bottom.

Your marker board should:

  • be yellow within the centre with a purple define
  • be made out of aluminium
  • be manufactured to ECE70 customary

This isn’t regulation in Portugal, however I miss out on the way you’re going to get your 12m automobile prepare to Portugal with out driving by Spain…

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

What paperwork do that you must highway journey in Portugal?

For those who’re driving in Portugal, that you must carry the next paperwork:

  • Passport (or id card)
  • Driving licence (examine it’s in date!)
  • Motorhome Insurance coverage documents- examine you might be lined for driving in Europe
  • Breakdown cowl
  • Car V5 logbook (which should present your appropriate deal with)
  • Car should be legally taxed and MOT’d
  • Trailer certification (can also want a doc out of your insurer)
  • Worldwide Driving Allow if required
  • Private journey insurance coverage

Do I would like a inexperienced card to drive in Portugal?

Most UK license holders don’t want a inexperienced card to drive in Portugal. Chances are you’ll want one you probably have a trailer- please examine together with your insurer.

Do I would like a world driving allow to drive in Portugal?

Most UK residents don’t want an IDP to drive in Portugal, so long as you’ve gotten a card driving licence issued within the UK (in date, after all!)

You would possibly want one you probably have:

  • a paper driving licence solely
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

(For those who do want an IDP, right here’s an in-depth information on tips on how to get an Worldwide Driving Allow and which one(s) you want from a UK publish workplace.

Touring Portugal in a campervan- Different helpful stuff you would possibly want

We’ve been touring Europe in our motorhome for a number of years. We’ve tried all types of kit- some helpful, some not a lot.

Here’s a checklist of issues we extremely suggest when motorhoming in Portugal, however that are NOT important:

road trip journal logbook

Motorhome stopovers & in a single day parking in Portugal

In Portugal, there are a number of sorts of motorhome and campervan stopovers you should use.

  • Campsites
  • Aires
  • Free/ accepted motorhome parking schemes
  • Wild tenting in Portugal for vans

Portugal Tenting websites for motorhomes, campervans and caravans

It’s simple to seek out motorhome campsites in Portugal and so they’re very similar to campsites wherever else in Europe. Some are rustic and have very fundamental services, whereas others are designed for long-term guests and have leisure, golf equipment, swimming pools and bars!

Campsites in Portugal are sometimes so much cheaper than you would possibly count on, particularly should you’re used to different nations in western Europe. Some are as little as 2€/pp/ night- however they’re very fundamental.

Many campsites have both long-term residents who stay of their motorhomes in Portugal, or have everlasting statics or caravans which the house owners go to once they can.

There’s typically one ‘important’ or municipal campsite in every city, which is signposted utilizing blue and white indicators that can assist you discover it. Count on to point out your passport or identification on arrival and lots of locations require you to go away one passport behind the reception.

For those who’re travelling out of excessive season and are planning to make use of campsites, we extremely suggest shopping for an ACSI CampingCard membership, however bear in mind that some campsites both shut in the course of the winter or are booked up totally months upfront, so you might want to ebook one too.

Additionally, many campsites put ACSI customers on ‘lesser’ pitches (both dangerous view or no electrical or drainage). You may ask for a distinct pitch, however will normally must pay a complement which wipes out the ACSI {discount}! That is particularly frequent on the coast within the Algarve.

At some campsites, you’ll need to pay additional for bathe or electrical utilization. Be warned- the recent water within the bathe is on a timer- normally between 3-5 minutes per token.

For those who’re campervanning within the Algarve, this is a good useful resource that can assist you discover locations.

TOP TIP: For those who’re planning to remain in a single space for a very long time (30+ days), negotiate a particular price with the campsite straight. Most of them have some type of discount- some are as little as £10/ day, together with electrical.

Aires in Portugal

Aires are simply accepted motorhome in a single day parking places- typically offered and maintained by the native commune. In contrast to should you go motorhoming in Italy, aires in Portugal are normally simply known as aires, like in France or Spain (they’re known as Sostas in Italy)

There aren’t fairly as many aires in Portugal as in France and so they’re typically a little bit extra out of the best way, however the community continues to be very helpful and straightforward to make use of.

READ MORE: Find out how we discover and use aires and accepted free in a single day motorhome stopovers throughout Europe

There are a combination of personal and municipal motorhome aires in Portugal. Non-public aires are similar to a campsite, and sometimes you possibly can keep for so long as you want (not like should you go motorhoming in Germany, the place 48h is mostly the max).

Municipal aires are generally known as ASAs and are accepted in a single day motorhome stopovers, offered by the native council. At these, there’s a restriction of 2-3 nights most in a single place.

You can’t ebook motorhome aires in advance- it’s first-come, first-served, so should you’re visiting at peak instances you would possibly really feel happier reserving a campsite so that you’re assured of someplace to remain.

A great tip is to try to arrive AT your vacation spot simply earlier than lunchtime. Many individuals transfer on after. a lazy morning, and cease en-route, so you’ve gotten the perfect likelihood of discovering a spot round this time, however that’s when the day is at its hottest, so watch out.

There are only a few services at an aire. It’s best to be capable of get water and empty waste, however don’t count on eating places, swimming pools or leisure areas. Additionally, don’t hang around washing, get your awning out or put chairs out- that is tenting and isn’t allowed- the police will cease and ask you to maneuver.

It’s at all times price investing in a ebook of aires, in addition to a web-based app- simply in case you end up with out web in your motorhome (or with no wifi sign). After all, the draw back with any ebook is that it goes outdated, however don’t fear if it’s solely a 12 months or two out- most details about aires gained’t change an excessive amount of.

Listed here are some we suggest:

Different accepted motorhome stopovers and parking in Portugal

Portugal EasyCamp is a scheme which connects native enterprise house owners to motorhomers and campervanners on the lookout for protected locations to remain in a single day. For those who’d prefer to keep away from busy campsites and aires, however don’t wish to danger wild tenting, this could be the choice for you.

It really works very equally to France Ardour, with one massive difference- you need to go browsing and purchase the product or expertise BEFORE you go to the situation. You may then head there and keep for as much as 24 hours.

READ MORE: Methods to profit from Portugal EasyCamp

Motorhome camping in Portugal
Motorhome tenting in Portugal

Wild tenting in Portugal for motorhomes and campervans

Often, I’m the primary particular person to advertise and encourage accountable motorhome wild tenting. We take pleasure in it immensely and have carried out it throughout most of Europe with any concern.

Portugal has lengthy been the vacation spot for campervanners and motorhomers seeking to keep off-grid, even though wild tenting in Portugal has ALWAYS been unlawful.

Nonetheless, the nation has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of vans in recent times (very similar to wild tenting with a motorhome in Scotland) and so they have needed to take care of years of abuse and mistreatment.

The issue with lots of the campervans who go to Portugal is that they don’t have their very own services onboard- and other people have been leaving waste (of the human form) in all places. 🙁

On prime of that, many wild tenting spots don’t have any services, so individuals have been leaving piles of garbage and even emptying their chemical bathrooms into bushes or over the countryside. Instances this by 1000’s upon 1000’s of vanlifers and it’s no marvel the Portuguese authorities try to guard their nation.

In January 2021, the Portuguese authorities handed a regulation which modified the freeway code so campervans, motorhomes and caravans needed to keep on an official website. It was prohibited to park and keep by seashores and locations marked as unauthorised and it’s also prohibited to remain in a single day in any automobile park not expressly designated for caravans, motorhomes or campervans.

Wild tenting was at all times unlawful in Portugal, however was tolerated or neglected if individuals had been discreet though the principles had been modified in Might 2020 to ban campervan parking close to seashores in Portugal.

Sadly, Portugal has been abused in recent times by vans wild parking. In early 2021, Portugal banned motorhomes and campervans from staying wherever aside from campsites or aires. Wild tenting was by no means authorized to start with, and was already banned fully close to the coast, however they purchased in fines.

I’ll be trustworthy, I’ve been appalled by the images of waste and vandalism left behind by so many inconsiderate and egocentric idiots and I can’t blame the Portuguese for making an attempt to cease it.

On the similar time, I’m unhappy that a couple of idiots have ruined it for the numerous accountable and conscientious campervanners – we’re not all soiled horrible vandals.

Fortunately, in summer time 2021, they amended the regulation BACK to permit “in a single day stays in motorhomes accepted by the Institute of Mobility and Transport for a most interval of 48 hours”.

What this mainly means is that motorhome/ campers with their very own services like a fitted rest room are allowed to wild camp. After all, PLEASE don’t depart waste (of any form!) behind- we don’t need them to vary again once more!!

Wild tenting continues to be banned close to the coast, in Nationwide parks and close to protected areas. Violations can lead to a tremendous between 120 to 600€. 

Additionally, there in all probability aren’t sufficient campsites or Aires to take care of the quantity of people that go to in vans every year. There’ll must be new services, extra waste and repair factors and a brand new infrastructure and I’m unsure who, when or the way it’s going to occur.

Motorhome and campervan service factors in Portugal

There are motorhome service areas unfold across the nation. Many are on municipal aires and services embrace consuming water provide factors and locations to dump soiled water(gray waste) and chemical rest room (black) waste. These areas may even have electrical energy energy factors for charging the batteries of camper vans and motorhomes.

We discover them utilizing Park4night, however it’s also possible to use this web site (though it’s in Portuguese!)

Driving ideas for Portugal

Portuguese drivers have a luke-warm reputation- primarily as a result of the nation has one of many highest accident charges in Europe, however truthfully they’re in all probability higher than the Italians. Having stated that, they not often use indicators and can repeatedly lower wildly throughout a number of lanes to achieve an exit. So count on the surprising and also you’ll be tremendous.

Okay, let’s take care of the fundamental guidelines and a few ideas for motorhoming and highway tripping in Portugal:

  • Portugal drives on the proper
  • Autos coming FROM the proper have precedence at junctions
  • On roundabouts, autos already on the roundabout have proper of means.
  • Seatbelts are obligatory
  • Speeds are in km/h, not mph (you would possibly wish to change the setting in your motorhome sat-nav)
  • You don’t want to have driving lights on in the course of the day
  • Handsfree kits are allowed
  • It’s forbidden to make use of a dashcam or radar detector for velocity cameras
  • Street surfaces are usually fairly good in cities and cities, however may be dangerous within the countryside.
  • Keep away from cities should you’re driving in a motorhome- lots of them are too crowded and the streets are simply not lower out for big autos. Park outdoors and use public transport to get in.
  • Trams at all times have precedence everywhere- maintain eyes behind your head should you’re driving close to a tram community.
  • Emergency autos and army autos have precedence over different highway customers.
  • Chances are you’ll carry a load, corresponding to bikes on a rack, extending by as much as 10% of the size of the automobile to the rear. The load should be indicated by a board/ panel with diagonal purple and white stripes– that is authorized for Spain, however price having in Portugal.
  • Bikes or a load being carried should NOT be wider than the automobile
  • Helmets are obligatory in case you are motorcycling in Portugal
  • Winter tyres will not be obligatory however snow chains are necessary the place signage signifies.
  • There isn’t a border management between Spain and Portugal – you possibly can simply drive proper in

Roads in Portugal

There was some huge cash spent in recent times to construct new roads (therefore all of the tolls!) A lot of the main roads have been resurfaced and are fairly good, however there are a lot of older roads in additional rural areas that are in poorer situation. You may be tremendous to drive them with a motorhome or camper, however sluggish your velocity and drive with care.

Site visitors Lights in Portugal

Site visitors lights use the three color system. There isn’t a amber sign after the purple, and a flashing amber gentle signifies “warning”. A flashing or fixed purple gentle signifies “cease” and is used close to degree crossings and to offer warning of an impediment.

Pace Limits in Portugal (until in any other case signed!)

Breaking the velocity restrict may end in both an on-the-spot or an computerized tremendous being despatched to you.

Vehicles and autos below 3.5 tonnes:

  • 120 km/h (74mph) on motorways and a few twin carriageways
  • 100km/h (62mph) on main roads
  • 90 km/h (55 mph) on minor roads (out of city)
  • 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up areas

Motorhomes and Campervans weighing over 3.5 tonnes:

  • motorways 100km/h (62mph)
  • main roads 90 km/h (55 mph)
  • minor out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • city areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)

Motorhomes with trailers or caravans

  • motorways 100km/h (62mph)
  • main out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • minor out-of-town roads 70 km/h (44 mph)
  • built-up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)

Pace Cameras in Portugal

Many roads have computerized velocity cameras on in Portugal and so they’re fairly pleased to ship vacationers a tremendous by the mail.

You may additionally discover random visitors lights, which flip to purple in the midst of nowhere should you’re rushing and make you watch for a few minutes earlier than turning to inexperienced so you possibly can transfer off once more. These are surprisingly efficient!

Drink Drive regulation in Portugal

Alcohol legal guidelines are stricter in Portugal than the UK. The authorized restrict is 0.05% blood alcohol (the UK is 0.08%) and applies to the driving force of any motorised automobile. For those who’ve had your license for below 3 years, the restrict is 0.02%

– A blood alcohol degree between 0,5 g/l and 0,8 g/l is taken into account a severe offence, and it’s sanctioned with a driving inhibition between 1 month and a 1 12 months and a price fee of an quantity from 250 as much as 1.250 euros. 
– A blood alcohol degree between 0,8g/l and 1,2g/l is a really severe offence, sanctioned with a interval of driving inhibition between 2 months and a pair of years and a price fee of an quantity from 1.250 as much as 2.500 euros.  
– A blood alcohol degree of 1,2g/l or extra is taken into account a criminal offense, that may be punished with imprisonment as much as 1 12 months or price penalty as much as 120 days, and driving inhibition between 3 months and three years.

Low Emission zones in Portugal

Portugal has a low emission zone (LEZ) in Lisbon. It’s break up into 2 zones – Zone 1 and a pair of. About 33% of the town is inside it, so watch out should you drive in. Discover out extra concerning the Lisbon Inexperienced air zone right here.

Click on right here for extra detailed data about tips on how to discover zones throughout Europe.

Free motorhome parking and overnight stopovers in Europe for motorhomes and campervans

Tolls in Portugal

There are two sorts of toll in Portugal- each on motorways:

– conventional motorways with toll cubicles, the place fee is made by money, financial institution card or digital tolls.

– Purely digital toll motorways. As a way to use these roads, you MUST have an digital gadget in your automobile.

Straightforward Toll

Straightforward Toll makes use of your financial institution card and quantity plate to take funds. You enter your card particulars at a enroll location on the border and get a photograph of your registration plates taken. The system will then deduct toll fee out of your financial institution card each time your automobile passes a toll gate.

Signing up prices 0.74 euros, plus a 0.32 euro administrative price. 

This methodology is legitimate for 30 days, and the tickets issued on the toll should be saved as proof in case of an issue. You could find out extra on the Portugal tolls web site

Through Verde

For those who repeatedly use toll roads, it might be price signing as much as the Through Verde scheme which takes you thru the quick lane with out having to cease and pay.

Through Verde is the one system which works on ALL the Portuguese motorways. It additionally covers an honest part of Spanish toll roads too. You purchase a transponder after which get charged or what you employ. The good factor about them is that after you have one, it doesn’t expire, so it’s legitimate for everytime you return to Portugal.


Personally, we use e-Movis for tolls throughout Europe and we’ve by no means had an issue. These mean you can use the VIA-T lanes in Portugal

It’s price noting that you just want a DIFFERENT e-Movis tag for Spain and Portugal (one does each nations), than you do for France. So should you’re driving from the UK to Portugal, you’ll need at the least 2 e-Movis toll tags in your motorhome and also you’ll want to recollect to modify them over.

Pre-paid Toll Card

This technique is comparatively simple and useful directions are written on every card.

You purchase a pre-loaded card with both 5, 10, 20 or 40 euros. You then activate the cardboard with an SMS message, utilizing the code printed on the cardboard and the licence plate of the automobile. 

There’s a service value of 0.74 euros for every card bought. 

For those who head dwelling with credit score nonetheless in your toll card you will get this refunded – simply return it to the primary publish workplace in Portugal, the CTT.

There’s additionally a Toll Service, which is a pre-loaded card with limitless use for 3 days or beforehand outlined journeys.

You should buy these on the CTT publish workplace, on-line at or at numerous service areas.

This web site additionally reveals how a lot every toll highway will value, so could be price a glance while you’re planning your route by Portugal.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Driving in Portugal- what to do within the occasion of a highway visitors accident

It’s best to have a European Declare Type offered by your insurer earlier than you permit. Within the occasion of an accident, all events full and signal the shape on the scene after which ship a replica to your insurer for evaluation.

What to do on the scene:

  • Cease your automobile instantly however safely- out of the move of visitors if doable.
  • If a automobile is obstructing the highway, use hazard lights and put the purple warning triangle 30 metres from the scene to warn approaching visitors
  • Trade your particulars with the opposite concerned events. Make sure you get:
    • Identify and deal with of all of the individuals concerned within the accident
    • Car registration numbers of all events
    • Insurance coverage firm particulars of all events
    • Take photographs of injury utilizing a digital camera, GoPro or cellphone

For extra particulars, learn our step-by-step information on coping with a highway visitors accident in Europe

Different important ideas for campervanning in Portugal

Petrol and Diesel

Petrol and diesel are broadly accessible. Many gas stations are 24h on the primary roads and are self-service with card machines.

Petrol is Sem chumbo (95 / 98) – Inexperienced handles on pump

Diesel is Gasóleo or Diesel. Black or yellow handles on pump

Carrying gas in cans is NOT allowed, even in small quantities, so watch out you probably have a motorhome generator.

Some locations are 24h pay on the pump, however could require you to enter the store and pay the cashier both upfront or after you’ve crammed up- there might be an indication to let you know what to do. (Go away your automobile in entrance of the pump and make a remark of the pump quantity.)

You may pay utilizing money or a bank card. Many locations do NOT take American Specific. You may normally use your UK playing cards with no drawback.

NOTE: It’s unlawful to expire of petrol when crossing Lisbon’s mile-long 25 de Abril bridge.

LPG Gasoline

LPG (GPL) may be discovered at many petrol stations. There are literally extra locations than in Spain. If shopping for from a petroleum station, you might want to attend for an attendant to show the system on for you.

You could find locations which promote LPG utilizing

Bear in mind, should you don’t have refillable gasoline bottles, you’ll be unable to purchase a gasoline bottle which inserts straight onto a UK system- you want a brand new pigtail. Portugal primarily makes use of the euro connector.

READ MORE: How we discover motorhome LPG or bottles whereas touring Europe

Campervanning in Portugal- safety

Portugal has a decrease crime price than many different nations in Europe, however automobile break-ins do occur, as does petty theft and pickpocketing.

We extremely suggest paying additional consideration to your motorhome safety when travelling in Portugal. You would possibly even want to match an additional camper habitation door lock and by no means depart your automobile unattended in an unsecure space.

READ MORE: Important ideas for safeguarding your van at dwelling and on the highway

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Extra helpful issues to find out about vanlife in Portugal

Some extra ideas that can assist you take pleasure in your time in Portugal.

Emergency Numbers: 112 will get you all the pieces

Language– The Portuguese are fairly good at languages. Portuguese is spoken, together with Spanish. Lots of the youthful era converse English properly.

Foreign money– Euro

Playing cards– most main credit score and debit playing cards are accepted. American Specific is barely taken in giant shops (not at tolls and sometimes not at gas stations)

Timezone– GMT (similar as UK- sure, Spain is in a distinct time zone!)

Cellular Telephone and Web – It’s normally doable to make use of your UK cellphone and knowledge in Portugal, however there’ll probably be a cost to make use of your UK cellphone knowledge overseas. Please examine together with your UK community supplier.

Tipping- Tipping will not be anticipated however appreciated. 5% – 10% in eating places is customary in case you are proud of the service.

Retailers– Meals costs are fairly cheap. Historically, retailers are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some shut for lunch from 1 to three p.m. On Saturdays, retailers usually shut at 1 p.m. although in metropolis centres some are open within the afternoon. Many retailers shut on Sundays. Larger supermarkets could also be open, however will shut at lunchtime.

Don’t confuse Portugal with Spain- the Portuguese are very happy with their tradition and heritage. They take pleasure in life at a slower tempo and there are many queues.

Motorhome and campervan touring holiday in Portugal
Motorhome touring vacation in Portugal

Meals and Drink in Portugal

Markets are the hub of life in Portugal. You’ll discover one in each village, city and metropolis, with a variety of native produce on the market. Many individuals in Portugal solely ever eat seasonally, so native dishes will change relying on time of 12 months.

Be sure you have money (together with small change) and produce your individual baggage. Be warned- the markets are sometimes held within the greatest automobile park in town- which is commonly the place the motorhome parking is. Take note of the indicators in these automobile parks- they are going to say when the market is and in case you are unable to park on sure days.

Native dishes in Portugal to attempt embrace:

  • pastel de Belém/ pastel de nata- DELICIOUS custard tart
  • Francesinha – ham and cheese sandwich
  • Caldeirada de Peixe -stewed fish
  • Salt cod or bacalhau

Touring Portugal with a canine

Portugal is slowly turning into extra dog-friendly. Canines at the moment are welcome in cafes and eating places and are allowed on trains- be sure you have a muzzle and their paperwork.

Learn extra: modifications affecting travelling to Europe with a canine after BREXIT

They don’t seem to be allowed on many seashores in summer time and will not be allowed into public locations like museums. Small canines in crates are allowed on buses and trams; giant canines are unwelcome on most of them.

Don’t neglect how sizzling it will get in summer time and to verify your canine is snug. Do NOT depart them in your motorhome or camper on a sunny day- vans warmth up identical to automobiles do. Listed here are some tricks to maintain your canine cool on a highway journey.

To return into the UK you’ll want a vet on the continent to manage a worming therapy after which permit between 24 hours and 5 days earlier than re-entering the UK.

Be warned, there are MANY stray canines (and cats) in Portugal- greater than I’ve seen wherever else in Europe. Feeding them is a bit like feeding seagulls…

Utilizing a drone in Portugal

You’re allowed to take and fly your drone in Portugal, however they’re VERY sizzling on privateness legal guidelines and recording individuals with out their permission- particularly should you then add the footage to Youtube or one thing.

READ MORE: What’s the perfect journey drone (and the way to decide on)

Drones and comparable remote-controlled flying units should be saved at the least a minimal 150m from individuals, autos and buildings that aren’t linked with the drone operator. Flying should occur in daylight solely and as much as a most top of 120m. By no means fly nearer than 5km to airports. The drone should at all times stay throughout the sight of the operator.

Please examine for native rules and army or different particular restricted areas the place all of the aforementioned actions are forbidden by regulation. Listed here are present guidelines.

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