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What do you do in a 3-day road trip through South Portugal? I received dozens of suggestions and recommendations on my response box in the Instagram stories – Magical towns, breathtaking cliffs, and beautiful beaches. We followed your tips and visited some of South Portugal’s top spots.
In this post, I’ll list the spots you should definitely visit on a road trip through the south of Portugal and give you an estimate for the time needed to discover these places.
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The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
When we arrived in Lisbon, we got handed over the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for the next 3 days.
My first impression: chic car! The red Eclipse Cross not only made a visual impression from the outside but was also very spacious inside, with comfortable and modern equipment. With the automatic gearshift, driving was convenient. And thanks to the rear-view camera, parking was easy as pie.
The Eclipse Cross is a sporty coupe SUV with the four-wheel drive system and exceptional design. We got along well in the city, as well as on the highway and country roads. The driving pleasure was particularly high in the many curves through the Portuguese steppe landscape.
We wanted to fully exploit the first day of our road trip through South Portugal, so we went directly to the city center.
The dreamy capital of Portugal offers a lot of magical views, magical sceneries and sleepy corners. Photo spots everywhere! Purple flowering trees, a bright blue sky, and temperatures above 35 degrees surprised us on the first day of June of the year. The historic city invites you to discover, walk and enjoy. I have never experienced such a relaxed city. Despite the rush hour, it was very quiet and nobody seemed stressed. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather that the people of Lisbon enjoy almost 365 years a year.
Our first stop was the Senhora do Monte viewpoint. From there you have a magnificent view over the entire city. Except for the harbor level, the whole city is at a slight height. To reach the city center, you need to walk downhill most of the time. On recommendation, we visited the old quarter Alfama, which runs along the coast. Unlike other European cities, I did not discover fast-food chains and fast-fashion stores, but rather small fruit shops, tourist shops and cafés. These “slow” shops go much better with the southern, relaxed vibe of the city.
The sweet retro trams complete the historic cityscape, which is characterized by mosaic-decorated facades and colorful doors. Lisbon is just beautiful. If it had not been so hot, we would have preferred to travel longer distances on foot. Before heading to the hotel, we ate delicious juicy bowls & wraps at Juicy and treated ourselves to a green juice as a refreshment.
In the south of Portugal is the Algarve region. There you will find not only dreamlike sandy beaches, sleepy towns and breathtaking steppe landscapes but also a lot of tourists. We drove to Albufeira first, but were disappointed and moved straight on. The city made the impression of a place for partying and beach vacation. So we moved straight to Lagos, where we were not disappointed.
Lagos is small but nice. Within 2 hours, we had seen the majority of the narrow streets in the city center and diligently shot photos. Here, too, tourism is booming, but the enchanting old town is definitely worth a visit. Especially the different pastel tones and traditional doors shape the cityscape in a unique way.
As my high-speed Internet ran out, we erred several times through the same streets to find a suitable place for lunch. Fortunately, we found Beats & Burritos and were very happy with our bowls. Similar to Lisbon, Lagos is at a slight height, with a harbor and a boardwalk.
For the visit, you should plan half a day. Close to Lagos, there are beautiful bays with spectacular rocks that could be visited on the same day. We drove back to the hotel for dinner in Santiago and therefore had no time for a beach stay.
Road Trip Day 3
On the last day, we decided to go to Lisbon again because we liked the city so much. There is so much to discover! Even two half days did not seem enough to us. That’s why we’ll definitely return someday to visit all the delicious vegan food spots and photogenic Insta spots we couldn’t visit this time (like the Pink Street).
You guys sent me so many tips through Instagram. Unfortunately, we couldn’t cover them all but perhaps you can integrate them into your route through South Portugal.
- Sintra near Lissabon
- Porto & the vegan buffet “Daterra”
- Sol Hostel in Lagos
- LX factory in Lissabon
- Mercado der Santa clara (Lissabon)
- Arrábida – “where mountains kiss the sea”
- Praia de Marinha
- Castelo San Jorge
- Praia do Alvor in Portimão
- Sesimbra (beach)
- Praia do Barranco (beach)
- Benagil Caves (boat tour)
- Praia Dona Ana
- Ponta da Piedade
- Praia do Camilo
Thanks for reading & enjoy your next road trip! 🙂
Tip: Check out my blog post about the road trip we did through Northern Italy – the region is spectacular!