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Hire a campervan in Portugal

If you’re seeking an unforgettable adventure, hire a campervan in Portugal and explore this enchanting country on the Atlantic fringe of Europe. Embark on a journey from the rugged cliffs of the Algarve to the lush vineyards of the Douro Valley, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and history of charming cities like Lisbon and Porto. Explore centuries-old castles and UNESCO World Heritage sites that showcase the country’s heritage, indulge in delicious seafood delicacies and local wines, and enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the Portuguese people. Whether you’re seeking the tranquillity of nature or the vibrant buzz of city life, hire a campervan in Portugal and enjoy the freedom to experience it all at your own pace.

roadsurfer campers in Portugal

  • 4
  • 4

Surfer Suite VW T6.1 California Ocean campervan

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Automatic pop-up roof
  • Park-assist and rear camera
  • Cruise and distance control ACC, GPS
  • 4
  • 2

Couple Cottage Motorhome without a pop-up roof (600)

  • 130 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance & tempomat
  • 4
  • 4

Road House Motorhome with pop-up roof (540)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.

Your roadsurfer perks

Unlimited mileage

Free 2nd driver included

Rebook or cancel with the Flex option up to 48 hours before departure

Roadside assistance

Free camping equipment and kitchen utensils included

Discover all your advantages

Your road trip in Portugal

From the dramatic Atlantic coast to the colourful buildings of the cities and the rolling hills of the wine valleys, Portugal is one of the best countries in Europe to explore by campervan: taking around six hours to drive north to south, you’ll spend less time behind the wheel and more time soaking up the sun and the sights. You can hire a campervan in Portugal year-round as the weather in the Algarve is warm and welcoming through the winter, when storms hit the Atlantic coast. Otherwise, Spring and Autumn showcase Portugal’s natural beauty at its finest, while summer crowds bring with them an addictive electric atmosphere where cities and coastal resorts come to life.

Driving rules in Portugal

Stay safe when you hire a campervan in Portugal by reading up on the key rules of the road before you go! We’ve compiled a few of the most important ones below:

  • Make sure to drive on the right-hand side of the road in Portugal. This means that road users turning left have priority unless otherwise marked.
  • The general speed limits on Portuguese roads are 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on non-urban roads, and 120 km/h on highways. However, always pay attention to posted speed limit signs, as limits can vary depending on the type of road and location.
  • Overtaking should be done on the left-hand side, and you should return to the right-hand lane after completing the manoeuvre. Always check for clear visibility and use indicators when changing lanes.
  • Roundabouts are driven around anticlockwise, and drivers already on the roundabout and coming from the left have priority. Always make sure to use your indicators to signal your intended direction!
  • Motorways in Portugal are almost always toll roads. See the ‘Paying Tolls in Portugal’ section below for more info.
  • Take care that you don’t miss important signage in cities! In some cities, paid parking zones operate during certain hours, and others have limited access zones.

Paying tolls in Portugal

Motorways in Portugal are toll roads. They are either equipped with booths to pay on-site or are electronic toll roads.

  • Payment on-site: You can pay the toll conventionally at the exit of most roads. Please pay attention to the signs marked with a “V” (Via Verde) on green background, as those are reserved for people with transponders, and you should not drive on these roads if you don’t have one.
  • Electronic toll roads: Our cars with Portuguese plates are already registered on the electronic toll system. You can check your outstanding payments on this website by inputting the number plate. Please keep in mind that it can take up to 48 hours until it appears in the system. Alternatively, payments can be made at post offices and shops marked with “Payshop” flags.
  • If you are driving from outside of Portugal, it is important to register the car on the Easytoll system. As soon as you enter Portugal, you will pass through a toll booth. There is an entrance for non-Portuguese vehicles on the side where you will receive a receipt with an identification number and your number plates. When you drive through electronic toll roads, your plate will be scanned. From then onwards, the process is the same as for the Portuguese number plates mentioned above.
  • Alternatively, you can register digitally with Easytoll before you enter the country. The time you are allowed to spend on toll roads is limited and spending the night at a rest stop is not advisable.
  • There are also free roads, marked with “EN” but the travelling time might double if you choose them.

Camping in Portugal

When you hire a campervan in Portugal, you’ll find a variety of campsites that cater to campervans. Check ahead for availability in high season, and to make sure the campsite is open in low season. Here are some common types of campsites you can expect to find, as well as some info on wild camping:

  • Wild Camping: While not illegal in most areas, it is forbidden to stay in a camper overnight between 9PM to 7AM, otherwise you might be fined. Wild camping is also generally not tolerated by locals in Portugal. The golden rule of leaving no trace has been broken one too many times, leaving popular wild camping spots covered in litter, destroying wildlife, and angering communities who rely on tourists paying for accommodation. Luckily, the country has plenty of beautiful campsites suiting all budgets, needs, and preferences.
  • Full-Service Campsites: These campsites offer a range of amenities and facilities for campervan travellers. They typically provide designated pitches with electrical hook-ups, water connections, and waste disposal facilities. Full-service campsites often have on-site amenities such as showers, toilets, laundry facilities, restaurants, swimming pools, and playgrounds.
  • Basic Campsites: Basic campsites provide essential facilities for campervans, including pitches with or without electrical hook-ups. They may have shared bathroom facilities, but their amenities are relatively limited compared to full-service campsites. Basic campsites are often situated in scenic locations, offering a more natural camping experience.
  • Beachfront Campsites: Portugal’s extensive coastline offers beachfront campsites where you can park your campervan just steps away from the sand and sea. These campsites often provide beautiful ocean views and easy beach access.
  • Rural and Nature Campsites: Portugal’s countryside and natural parks are dotted with campsites that allow you to immerse yourself in nature, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and outdoor activities. They may have basic facilities and be a little more rustic, allowing you to better connect with nature.
  • Independent and Local Campsites: If you are seeking the thrill of wild camping but want to respect nature and the local communities, find and reserve a unique camping experience through the roadsurfer spots App. Whether it’s secluded sites nestled amidst vineyards accompanied by evening wine tastings, a stay at an organic farm trying the local produce, or surf campsites right on the beach, there’s a perfect option for everyone!
Camping on the farm in Portugal with roadsurfer spots

Camping on the farm

Camping in Portugal by the ocean with roadsurfer spots

Camping near surf spots

Camping in the Algarve with roadsurfer spots

Camping in the mountains

Events & festivals in Portugal

Portugal has plenty of fascinating events and festivals that embrace the diversity of Portuguese culture, so why not plan your road trip around one of these when you hire a campervan in Portugal?

Lisbon Carnival, February/March, Lisbon: Lisbon Carnival is a vibrant celebration featuring colourful parades, lively music, and festive costumes. Join the revelry as the city comes alive with street parties and performances, showcasing the energetic spirit of Portuguese culture. Other cities also celebrate carnival, so keep an eye out for celebrations wherever you are!

Festival Internacional de Chocolate de Óbidos (International Chocolate Festival), March, Óbidos: Chocoholics will delight in this annual event held in the charming town of Óbidos. The festival celebrates all things chocolate, featuring impressive chocolate sculptures, tastings, workshops, and a wide array of chocolate-infused treats to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Holy Week, Eastertide, whole country: Holy Week, leading up to Easter, is a significant religious observance in Portugal. Cities like Braga, Óbidos, and Bragança hold processions, biblical re-enactments, and religious ceremonies during this time, providing a unique cultural and spiritual experience.

Rock in Rio Lisboa, June (even-numbered years only), Lisbon: One of the biggest music festivals in Portugal, Rock in Rio Lisboa gathers renowned international artists for a multi-day extravaganza of live performances. Held every two years, this festival attracts music lovers from all over the world, providing an unforgettable experience with a diverse range of genres and incredible stages.

Feast of Saint Anthony, 12-13th June, Lisbon: Lisbon’s beloved patron saint, Saint Anthony, is celebrated with great enthusiasm on June 12th and 13th. The city transforms into a lively street party, with parades, traditional dances, and people eating grilled sardines while enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Festa de São João (Saint John Festival), Porto, 23rd June: The Festa de São João is a lively street festival honouring the city’s patron saint. Join the locals in the lively street parties, where participants exchange playful hits with plastic hammers and enjoy fireworks displays, live music, and traditional food and drinks.

Porto Wine Festival, November, Porto: The Porto Wine Festival is a fantastic opportunity to indulge in Portugal’s world-renowned port wine. Enjoy tastings, vineyard tours, and cultural events in Porto, where you can savour a wide range of exquisite wines and learn about the art of winemaking.

Popular travel regions in Portugal

It’s hard to narrow down the best spots to visit when you hire a campervan in Portugal, such is the breadth of incredible places to see! That said, read below for a round-up of some of the very best:

Lisbon and Sintra: The vibrant capital city of Lisbon is a must-see, combining history, culture, and a bustling atmosphere. Explore the narrow streets of Alfama, visit iconic landmarks like Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and indulge in the city’s lively food and music scene. Sintra, a fairytale destination nestled in the hills, is only a 45-minute drive from Lisbon and definitely worth the trip. Immerse yourself in the romantic atmosphere and wander through lush gardens and extravagant palaces, such as the colourful Pena Palace and the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira.

Porto and the Douro Valley: Known for its historic charm and the world-famous port wine, Porto is a captivating city with colourful buildings, stunning bridges, and winding streets. Explore the area and visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Douro Valley, a famous for its terraced vineyards, where you can indulge in wine tastings and enjoy breath-taking views of the river.

The Algarve: Located in the southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve is renowned for its golden beaches, picturesque coastal towns, and year-round pleasant weather. Relax on stunning beaches, explore charming towns like Lagos and Tavira, and enjoy outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and golfing.

Évora and the Alentejo: Stretching across the south-central part of Portugal, Alentejo is a region of vast plains, cork oak forests, olive groves, and charming villages. Savour the region’s renowned wines and traditional cuisine, and visit the likes of Monsaraz and Marvão where you can admire medieval castles and enjoy panoramic views. Step back in time in the historic walled city of Évora with its impressive Roman Temple and Gothic Cathedral.

Serra da Estrela: Explore the natural beauty of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park: hike through valleys, discover charming villages like Manteigas and Belmonte, and enjoy winter sports during the colder months.

Peneda-Gerês National Park: Situated in the northwest, Peneda-Gerês is Portugal’s only national park. It offers stunning natural beauty with lush forests, sparkling rivers, and granite peaks. Discover cascading waterfalls, hike scenic trails, and encounter wildlife in this unspoiled rural paradise.

Surfing in Portugal

Portugal is home to some of the best surf breaks in Europe, and the world championship tour comes to Peniche each year. There are some amazing places to stay at near these spots when you hire a campervan in Portugal if you’re looking for the full surf vibe experience.

  • While not generally thought of as one of Portugal’s top surf spots, Aveiro has a gentle beach break at Praia da Barra which is a wonderful place for beginners to learn to ride waves. roadsurfer spot ‘Secret private house garden by the beach’ is ten steps from Praia da Barra!
  • Located just north of Lisbon, Ericeira is a World Surfing Reserve and one of Europe’s top surf destinations. It offers a variety of breaks suitable for all skill levels.
  • Peniche, a peninsula on the central coast of Portugal, is known for its consistent surf conditions. Supertubos, one of Europe’s best beach breaks, hosts the prestigious World Surf League Championship Tour event. Other popular spots in Peniche include Baleal and Praia da Consolação. roadsurfer spot ‘Da Silva Surfcamp’ in Peniche is the perfect place to park up and enjoy this buzzy surf town, take surf lessons, and relax.
  • Nazaré is famous for its enormous waves, particularly during the winter months. Only suitable for experienced big-wave surfers, it holds the record for the largest wave ever surfed, attracting big-wave riders from around the world. While it’s not a place most of us can surf, it’s definitely worth a visit just to see the monstrous rollers coming in. roadsurfer spot ‘Espaço Lirium Ricardo Ferreira’ is a twenty minute drive from Nazaré. Camp surrounded by nature near an edible garden, with bicycles available for rent.
  • Located in the southwestern tip of Portugal, Sagres offers a range of surf breaks with consistent waves. Try Praia do Tonel and Praia do Beliche. roadsurfer spot ‘Casa da Horta’ at Bordeira beach is the perfect place to stay just north of Sagres, where you can rent bikes and surfboards, as well as book horse rides.
  • Situated in the Algarve region, Arrifana is a picturesque beach with consistent surf conditions and a relaxed atmosphere. Stay at the above-mentioned Casa da Horta, just a half hour drive south of Arrifana.
  • Close to Lisbon, Carcavelos is a popular surf spot with consistent waves and a vibrant surf culture. It is easily accessible and suitable for all skill levels, making it a great option for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Hire a campervan in Portugal

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