Car Hire in Portugal: Faro, Porto & Lisbon.

Car Hire in Portugal: Faro, Porto & Lisbon.

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Portugal is one of the best countries to visit in Europe, and it is just waiting to be explored. We can help you find the perfect vehicle that will get you where you want to go. We understand that you may have some questions, and our professionals are here around the clock to answer them.
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Tips, Driving Information, Travel Guide...

Car Hire Portugal

Choosing the perfect country to visit is tough enough, but that choice is then narrowed down by trying to select one place within said country to visit. The easiest way around this conundrum is to rent a car at your original destination point, as this opens up a world of travel opportunities for you. If Portugal is your country of choice, there is a better than average chance that Lisbon, the capital city, may well be your point of arrival. It’s easy to find a car hire at the Lisbon Airport, after which you are free to travel as you wish. We will be taking a closer look at Lisbon in this piece, and we will also explore Porto and Faro, a pair of fantastic destinations that are easy to get to via hire car. Before we do that, though, we should probably talk about the driving regulations in Portugal.

If you want to hire a car in Portugal, you will need to be at least 19 years old and be in possession of a valid driver’s license. It should be noted that some types of vehicles require you to be older, so check with the hire car company first. There are plenty of car rental operators in Lisbon, so finding what you want should not be too difficult. You are required to wear a seat belt at all times when you rent a car in Lisbon, and you will be driving on the right side of the road. If you are pulled over, be prepared to pay an on the spot fine to the officer, with payment due in Euros. The speed limits will be listed in km/h and are as follows:

  • Motorways – 120 km/h
  • Main Trunk Roads – 100 km/h
  • Built-up Areas – 50 km/h
  • Secondary Roads – 50 km/h

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These speed limits are for most cars, but they may be different if you are driving a motorcycle. Lisbon police strictly enforce these speed limits, as they also do with the wearing of seat belts, and driving under the influence. Get to know the layout and controls of your hire car before you hit the road, and also be aware of the main rules and regulations. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the top travel destinations in Portugal, starting out with Lisbon.


Car Hire Lisbonne

If you are traveling to Portugal from an international departure point, you will most likely land in Lisbon. The airport is close to the city center, so it’s a very short ride via hire car to get to your destination. We recommend that you pick up some maps and travel guides to help you find you way during your stay in Lisbon. The city is a stunning mixture of new and old, and you will have a lot of fun things to cram in while you visit.

Once you hire a car at Lisbon airport and are checked into your hotel, you will want to get exploring ASAP. What you do first will depend upon what you are interested in, and Lisbon certainly has something to offer for people of all tastes. The Bairro Alto is a great place to start, as you can eat, get some shopping in, and get a look at the many different cultures that make up the stunning city of Lisbon. It’s also the spot to head to if you like a little bit of nightlife.

If you are looking for a little taste of history, there are a couple of places in Lisbon that we can recommend. The Belem Tower is a fortified building that is as beautiful as it is imposing. It’s also now listed as a World Heritage Monument, so definitely a place that should be on your “must visit” list. Another grand building in Lisbon is Sao Jorge Castle, which sits on a hill and serves up some magnificent views of the city below. If you are looking for a fun family day out, then the Lisbon Oceanarium is a must. It is currently the largest aquarium in Europe, and is a place where you can easily kill a few hours.

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The next destination that we are going to talk about is Faro, which is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive via hire car from Lisbon. The easiest route to Faro from Lisbon is to travel south on the A2 Motorway.

Faro Travel Guide

Car Hire Faro

It is not everyone who wants to fly into Lisbon when they visit Portugal, which may explain why Faro Airport is also a popular destination for millions of visitors each year. Faro serves as the capital city of the Algarve Region in Portugal, and the Faro Airport is a mere 7 km outside the city proper. Getting a hire car in Faro is easy, and it’s a short, straightforward drive from the airport to the city, which is handy of you are used to driving on the left instead of the right.

There is a reason why the Algarve, and Faro in particular, is such a popular destination, and it all has to do with the amazing beaches in that part of Portugal. Manta Rota is one of the best beaches on the mainland, but a short trip across the water will take you to Tavira Island, which is where many people go to surf, camp, and laze around on the beautiful beaches. While it may seem as though Faro is nothing more than a place to park the hire car and hit the water, there is actually much more to see and do there.

The Arco da Vila is a stunning piece of Moorish architecture that now serves as the gateway to the old city. If you were to pick just one spot in Faro for a photo opportunity, this may well be it. If you want to learn a little more about the history of the city, then we suggest that you spend some time at the Castle of Silves. It’s a wonderful historic building, as well as an excellent place to get views of the city and the surrounding hillside.

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Faro is an excellent spot to get away from the real hustle and bustle of the city, but there will come a time when you want to get back to where the action is. One way to do that is to take the trip along the A2 and A1 to Porto. If Faro is your starting point, then be aware that you will pass through Lisbon on this almost 5-hour trip.

Things to Do in Porto

Car Hire Porto

Travel north along the A1 from Lisbon and you will soon arrive in the wonderful city of Porto. Alternatively, you could make Porto Airport your point of entry if Porto is where you plan on spending the majority of time on your Portugal visit. Like most airports in Europe, the Porto Airport is just a short drive from the center. When you hire a car in Porto, you need only travel about 11 km to get to the city, which is a very easy drive indeed.

Now that you have your hire car, what should you see and do while you are in Porto? One of the first things we recommend doing is paying a visit to the Ribeira (Riverside) district, a colorful patch of the city that will make you feel as though you have taken a step back in time. It’s a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat, and perhaps even enjoy a lovely glass of Port, assuming of course that you plan on leaving your hire car back at the hotel.

If you are on the lookout for a Porto travel guide, we suggest that you pick one up at the stunning Livraria Lello, a world-famous bookstore that is known for its amazing selection, as well as the glorious red staircase in the center of the shop. You don’t need to be traveling somewhere else to visit the Sao Bento railway station, as simply taking some time to explore and check out the amazing architecture is reason enough for a visit. A trip along the Douro River is a relaxing way to spend a few hours, but if you are looking for a little more excitement, then plan on visiting Porto later in the year, as that is when you will be able to take in a professional soccer match.

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Each of the three cities that we have discussed here are great in their own right, but when you have a hire car at your disposal, you need not settle on visiting just one. They are close enough together to be well within reach, so why not add Lisbon, Porto, and Faro to your travel itinerary.