How to go to Portugal by car

How to go to Portugal by car ?

Country of fado, azulejos and crossroads of multiple cultures, Portugal can offer a great tourist experience to its visitors. However, if you want to go by yourself and experience a real "trip" to discover the roads and landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula, the car may be a good option. For those who wish to try the adventure, here are some tips to prepare you to avoid any complications during the trip from France to Portugal.

How to get to Portugal by car from France ?

Nowadays, travel by car is democratizing and becoming a means of travel adopted by many individuals during the summer. Whether it is for a trip to England under the Channel or to Italy by car, in Europe, there is no lack of opportunities to ! Among the most beautiful and accessible destinations: Portugal.

Many roads connect France to Portugal. All of them pass through Spanish territory. The highways you can choose from are mostly toll roads, but can save you some time compared to other toll-free roads.

We have selected two routes that will take you to one of the two most emblematic cities of the country. You can also plan your own route on the Google Maps application.

The Paris-Lisbon trip

If you live in Paris, you will have to take the A6 freeway, which has to be paid for then the A10 freeway along the Aquitaine region, passing through the cities of Poitiers and Bordeaux. You will then have to take the A63 road passing near Biarritz and leading to the French-Spanish border.

When you arrive in Spain, take the AP 8, also a paying highway, then take the A1, E 80 and finally A-P-1 through the Spanish cities of Burgos, Valladolid and Salamanca. At Ciudad Rodrigo, take the A-62 near the border village of Vilar Formoso.

When you arrive in Portugal, take the E802, A-23 and E1 highways to reach the capital of this Portuguese-speaking country.

The Paris-Porto route

The route is approximately the same to the E-80 highway in Spain. Then take the A66, then the A52, you will arrive at the Portuguese border by taking the A24 road. Then take the A11 to the E1 freeway which will take you to Porto.

From this city, if you want to go further south, you can pass by the cities of Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, and Aveiro, nicknamed the "Portuguese Venice".

How to best prepare this trip by car ?

A trip by car through various countries can be difficult if you don't prepare everything in advance. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises that could spoil your trip, remember the following points:

The route map and the cost of the trip

To avoid getting lost on the way and having bad surprises in terms of budget, think about planning your trip in advance and make sure that your money will cover the entire trip. Remember to take breaks during your journey by car and book hotels to rest.

Also, try to plan your expenses. The majority of Portuguese highways are paid, so you will have to plan the amount of their use, while trying to avoid the cost of the road’add to that the cost of fuel and rooms.

Finally, check the weather and the current situation. During the warm season, forest fires are common and can even cause temporary road closures.

The required documents

Portugal being a member of the European Union, you will be able to enter freely provided you have a valid identity card or passport. However, you will need to make sure that you have documents such as your license or your car insurance with you in case of a problem. In case your insurance does not cover travel outside the border, it is possible to get insurance online quickly and cheaply.

How to best prepare for this road trip?

The condition of your car

The most important element of the trip is your car. This is the vehicle you will spend most of your trip in, so make sure it is in good condition. Check the engine, but also other functions such as air conditioning, brakes and tires.

Bring a spare tire and if possible, learn how to mount it.

The luggage

Luggage should be limited to the essentials so as not to overload your vehicle. Remember to take with you an emergency box, a cooler, batteries, GPS and clothes that can fit the occasion.

How much driving time do you need to plan for? 

The time reserved for the journey varies according to your choice. However, you can count on more than 16 hours by car for an uninterrupted trip from Paris to Lisbon, and it can take up to three or four days if you decide to travel 4 to 5 hours a day. In the case of the Paris-Porto trip, we count about 17 hours by car.

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