Portugal is famous for a lot of things but I haven’t ever heard anyone talk about how amazing some Portuguese roads can be. Of course, everyone has heard about Portimao and Estoril, some of the most famous race tracks in the world. Of course everyone has heard about the Algarve region with its stunning landscapes and wonderful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Of course everyone has heard about the lovely Porto wine and the delicious Portuguese traditional food. But I have absolutely never heard someone talking about how amazing some Portuguese roads are and how much fun you can have driving there.
Our latest driving holiday has begun in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, and an astonishing city. With a history of over 2000 years there are plenty of things to see and admire in Lisbon. The combination of old any new makes this city one of a kind and definitely a muse see place in the world.
Of course, we were there to find some amazing roads. And that’s exactly what we did. And, at this point, I must argue with the one saying that that one can find perfect roads only in mountains. In Portugal I have encountered some wonderful coast roads with long curves and some very nice cities along them and, while going up in the hills, I was greeted by an astonishing view from a long and twisty road. The pictures I took can hardly describe what my eyes saw and my body felt while driving.
We left in the morning the city of Lisbon and we went to Cascais on a very nice road through some beautiful villages. The road is beautiful but not that spectacular as it goes through a lot of villages and has some traffic restrictions. After passing Cascais, the road just opens up. We were greeted by the Atlantic ocean and the road ahead kept just getting better and better. No more passing through villages, no more traffic restrictions. At some point we left the coast road and we went uphill towards the city of Sintra, a must see place. The road was twisty, with short straight lines and rewarding bends. Sintra is located at the limit of the Natural Reservation Sintra-Cascais, a natural park that contains some wonderful roads. Don’t be afraid to exit the main road. Try as many roads as possible. They are good maintained and the view is just great. From Sintra, we went north, towards the city of Peniche, by using also the coast road. We tried to avoid the highways as much as we could and that is our advice to you. While being very good for fast commuting, they don’t offer the same views and the same sensations. From Peniche, passing near the Natural Reservation “Serras de Aire”, we headed to another national park, called “Serra de Estrela”. And what a surprise we had. An incredible road surrounded by an amazing landscape. The pictures we took would lie about how beautiful everything was. On our way back we passed by “Serra de Malcata”, another must see place. The trip back to Lisbon wasn’t as rewarding as all the other places we visited but we saw some things to visit next time in Portugal.
So, what have we learned from our trip to Portugal? First of all, don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because no one speaks about it the way you wanted doesn’t mean that you won’t have a wonderful experience. Second of all, never be afraid of exiting the highway. Nowadays we are all caught in a stressful way of life, we want to move fast and we don’t care about what surrounds us. Stop for a moment and do something different. Break your routine. As some say, every once in a while, stop to smell the roses. Last, we’ve learned that you will always find a great road near a Natural Reservation. Thanks for reading!
As always, we advise you to take time to prepare your trip. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t move or drive under pressure and try to relax and enjoy the views. Always respect the traffic rules, the other road users and stay safe no matter what!