Car Hire Portugal
Easy and fast car booking for a great stay in Portugal! Check the tempting car rental deals and read the available car rental reviews!
Situated in the south-western tip of Europe, Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula and is bordering Spain. The country has rich culture and many lively cities, as well as a beautiful countryside. Once being among the poorest countries in Western Europe, today Portugal is part of the European Union and is now prosperous state. Portugal is country that has outstanding landscape diversity with beautiful shores and green mountains, with spectacular slopes and vineyards, with desert-like area, golf courses and fantastic beach resorts.
Portugal has long and rich history of 900 years and even if small in size, it has played an important role in the world’s events taking a major part in the New World Discoveries. The country enjoys one of the warmest climates in Europe with average yearly temperatures between 15 and 18°C. The finest way to see all the beauties of the island is by using the car rental services of the local and international car rental companies.
The biggest cities in Portugal
Portugal is a country that is small in size, but rich in beautiful settlements. Among the biggest one are to be mentioned:
- Lisbon – this is the national capital of Portugal and is also known as the ‘city of the seven hills’. Great car rental search is available at Lisbon Airport.
- Aveiro – that city is also known as the Venice of Portugal
- Coimbra – in this city is located the ninth oldest university in the world
- Evora – this city features many museums
- Braga – this is the city of Archbishops
- Funchal – that is the capital city of Madeira
- Porto – this city is located along the Atlantic Ocean and the river Douro. It can be explored with the car rental deals at Porto Airport.
- Viana do Castelo – this city is famous for hosting the festival Nossa Senhora da Agonia.
- Albufeira – this is the main tourist resort in Algarve area
- Faro – that is the administrative centre of the Algarve region
Driving in Portugal
The cities of Portugal is challenging to drive an auto hire in, yet the countryside is worth to be seen as it is very beautiful and the sights are rewarding. The road conditions in Portugal vary, there are wide streets and narrow streets. The local drivers and short-tempered and do not always follow the rules. The drink driving is a problem and currently the tolerated limit in the blood is 0.19 g/L and fines are serious.
Those that decide to make car booking for a holiday car hire should know that:
- The traffic is on the right-hand side of the road.
- The big cities have well-maintained highways.
- Driving in Lisbon and Porto should be careful, as the local drivers do not respect the speed limits and the lane markings. The rush hours are in the early mornings and in the late afternoons.
Car rental tips for Portugal (insider tips)
Automobile hire is the best way to explore Portugal. In the country are to be found many offices of local and international car rental companies. The car reservation is easy to make and should be done in advance, especially during the peak of the holiday season in the warm summer months.
Portugal has marvelous mountains and wonderful monuments, old and very romantic churches, luxurious palaces. It is also a home of popular beaches and incredible coastline, perfect for surfing. The nightlife in the country is hectic as well, especially in the cities of Porto and Lisbon, in Algrave and Albufeira. Those travelers that decide to use the cheap car rentals can also observe the wild life in the Azores Islands and Madeira, where they can see the Douro alley and the Natural Reserve of Peneda-Gere, as well as Serra da Estrela.
In addition to the main cities of Portugal that definitely deserve to be seen, the other sites that require attention and which can be reached with the rental vehicles include:
- Obidos – and its Roman settlement, located on a hill top
- Peneda-Gerês National Park
- Douro & Coa – and its beautiful river valleys
- Praia D’El Rey
- Cabo da Roca – that is the westernmost point of mainland Portugal and the European continent. It is placed near Cascais.
- Serra da Estrela
- Coa Valley – a lovely site that is part of the World Heritage List
Did you know?
- Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries and is spoken by 236 million people in Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Sao Tome, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Principe, and Equatorial Guinea, and also in East Timor, Goa (India), and Macao.
- Portugal is the oldest country in Europe with the same defined borders since 1139. The first King of Portugal was proclaimed in 1139 and the country remained a kingdom for 800 years almost until 1910.
- Portugal is the largest cork producer in the world with 70% of the world’s cork exports. The country also has the largest cork forest.
- One of the oldest universities in Europe is in Portugal and that is the University of Coimbra, established in 1290.
- Portugal has the longest bridge in Europe – The Vasco da Gama Bridge. It is in Lisbon and is 17 kilometers long.
- Portugal is one of the world’s top surf spots with a coastline that spans over 800 kilometers and has 364 days of surf.
- Lisbon is four centuries older than Rome. It is the second oldest European capital after Athens.
- Portugal was the first colonial power to abolish slavery in 1761, almost half a century before France, Britain, Spain, and the United States.
- In 1755 Lisbon was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in European history with 9.0 magnitude, followed by a tsunami, and fires.
- In 2008, Portugal became the first country to compulsory use fingerprints on identity cards.
- The Portuguese eat more shellfish and fish per head of population than any other country.
- The brandy used in Portugal is imported from South Africa.
- “Porto” or Port is a sweet red wine originally from Portugal
- The oldest bookstore in the world is in Portugal’s capital and it was established in 1732, placed in the capital of Portugal – Lisbon.