The Portuguese Republic occupies a rectangular chunk of land on the west coast of Spain on the Iberian Peninsula. The Portuguese mainland may be divided into five regions (Porto, Central Portugal, Lisbon, Alentejo and the Algarve) and there are two island chains off the west coast, Azores and Madeira. All five mainland areas have some coastline. Whatever your destination, including the islands, you will find a company to rent car in Portugal. Some hire companies offer GPS and cell phones.
Hiring your own vehicle enables you to really dig deep into the history and culture of this fascinating country, which has been continually inhabited since prehistoric times. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit, this country has the 19th highest quality of life in the world. It was a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and joined the European Union in 1986.
Porto (Oporto in English) is located in the north of the country. It is the second largest city in Europe. Here, you can get in touch with Mother Nature in the natural parks, tour the Gaia wine lodges or take the family to the Serra do Geres.
Central Portugal offers all manner of water sports on glacial lakes. You will also find abseiling, rock-climbing and whitewater rafting. Linhares is the place to go if you want to test your nerves at the thrilling sport of paragliding.
The alpha city of Lisbon is the nation’s capital. Known as ‘Lisboa’ to the locals, it has both coastline and a river. Time your visit precisely, and you can watch the Estoril Formula One Grand Prix. Lisbon is also a great place for the golfers in the family, with the three courses of the Sul do Tejo on the Coasta Azul (blue coast).
Time passes slowly in Alentejo, mainly because of the searing heat. Drive to Evora to explore the nation’s Roman roots. Don’t leave without exploring the sheer cliffs and tiny beaches. At the southern tip of the country the Algarve has coastline and sunny beaches to the east and south. It is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Its beaches are some of the best in the world and explain why the natives live their lives outdoors.
Both island groups, the Azores and Madeira, have automobile rental facilities. The Azores (Acores to the locals) are composed of nine different islands. This is a good place for dolphin watching, mountain climbing, or diving and swimming. Madeira Natural Park is the world’s largest evergreen forest. The island is also known for its fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
An essential piece of information for any motorist in the country to be aware of is the existence of electronic tolls on some of the highways. These are found mostly in north and central Portugal. They are paid by one of three types of electronic device: electronic license plate, temporary device (best for short stays) and devices obtained from a toll entity (these are great for those staying a long time in the country).
To rent car in Portugal, you must have a valid driving license and you must also be of adult age since this is the only way a company that is giving the vehicle to you can be assured that you are legally allowed to handle a vehicle on Portuguese roads.
Visit us at Maiellano Car Rental and let us help plan your next trip to Portugal car rental and vacation package!