Portugal porto sunset
Portugal alentejo costa vicentina shutterstock
Portugal peneda peasant
Portugal douro wine views c hotel

Porto to Lisbon Signature Drive


When is the best time to go?

It is possible to take this trip at pretty much any time of year but for the best balance of temperatures, rainfall and visitor numbers, we advise you plan to travel from late March through to June and then late September through October. During these times of year you should be able to swim in the sea in the south and enjoy pleasant walking temperatures inland and in the cities.

When is peak season?

Peak season is from mid July to end of August but we do not generally offer this trip during that period as the area is busier with summer holiday makers from Portugal, and it is too hot for most. September in Douro can be busy as it is harvest time.

How far ahead should I book?

If you have a limited travel window and specific dates we suggest you book around nine months ahead. If you are flexible with dates, then three – four months ahead should be fine.

How much carbon is generated on this trip and how is it mitigated?

Total carbon generated on this trip: 548kg per person
Carbon mitigated by us:
877kg per person

As Yvon Chouinard, of Patagonia, Inc. rightly declared: “To do good, you actually have to do something.”

Therefore, for every kilometre travelled by road, air and sea on your Pura Aventura holiday, we carbon balance it by a mile - i.e. by 160% of your trip's carbon, from your front door and back again, irrespective of whether we book your international travel or not.

This is one of the travel industry's most ambitious and innovative schemes and has recently been praised by Wanderlust, Condé Nast Traveller and The Independent.

Is this trip suitable for solo travellers?

Most of the costs of this holiday are fixed so going solo will usually mean you pay nearly the same for one person as you would for two. If you enjoy time to yourself then the experience itself will be absolutely lovely, and safe.

How active is this trip?

A major advantage of having your own car is overall you have complete control over how much or how little you do on any given day. We, or our local hosts, provide you with maps and walking routes for a variety of walks in each place but you don't have to do them.

Other activities available include horse riding or mountain biking. Down on the coast kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing are possible. If you want to be less active we can include more cultural options. Generally, it can be as active as you want it to be.

What if I get lost or need some help?

Although this is an independent self-drive holiday, we are always on hand to help and advise should you need us. You will be given a local support number before you travel - we are always on hand 24/7.

How comfortable will I be?

Very. In Porto, you stay in a restored mansion in the heart of the old city. It's an aparthotel, so while you probably won't be cooking, you can enjoy the space. In the Douro, your hotel is an historic quinta, with very comfortable rooms, a lovely pool and excellent hosting..

In Marvão the hotel has a lovely restaurant, with wonderful views over the plains. Your hotel in Évora is near the city walls, with a lovely terrace and very comfortable rooms. Over on the coast, you can enjoy great hospitality, delicious food, and a swimming pool. End the trip in the capital, staying in a delightful hotel nestled within the castle walls.

Will I meet the locals?

For sure. From start to finish, this trip takes you deep into the heart of Portugal's engaging and varied culture in both the cities and rural areas. We are sure to include time with our local guides at key moments in the journey.

What type of vehicle can I expect?

The vehicle will be suitable for the destination, the distances you are expected to cover, roads, and number of people travelling. For two people travelling to Portugal you can expect a medium-sized vehicle such as a VW Golf or Seat Ibiza. We can’t guarantee the make and model. Speak to us if you prefer a larger vehicle.

If you need an automatic car, that's no problem, though we do need to know in advance as most are manual transmission. Cost of automatic cars tends to be higher.

Generally the hire cars include one named driver. You can add drivers locally and pay locally. The charges do vary depending on the location but it is usually no more than Euro 10 per day.

Can I take my own car?

Yes, that isn’t usually a problem. Let us know and we will price your holiday without a hire car.

Can I make changes to this trip?

Absolutely. This trip can be tailored to suit you so speak to us if you would like to include more activities or extend your stay to include other parts of Portugal.

What is the payment process and is my money completely safe?

We take a 15% deposit to secure your holiday, with the remainder due eight weeks before your departure.

Your money is 100% protected through our ATOL licence if your trip includes a flight booked through us, or through our ABTOT bond if it does not. Either way, this protection provides a cast iron financial guarantee and helps you book with complete peace of mind. Because the contract between us exists here in the UK, you get this protection regardless of where you live

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Travel with Pura Aventura

Exceptional Holidays

Best in class holidays, service, characterful hotels, lovely locals, food and beautiful walks - that's what our clients tell us they love about our holidays, as noted in the highest possible 5* Feefo Platinum Award.

ATOL and ABTOT protected.

Certified B Corp

We are one of the first UK travel companies to be certified B Corp – regarded by The Independent as the premier sustainability certification, and described by Which? as "meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance".

Meeting a shepherd, Picos de Europa

Award-winning Travel Positive

We are proud to have been recipients of awards from both Wanderlust and LUXLife for our sustainable Travel Positive initiative, that includes balancing carbon by 160%, and providing 1% of our revenue to the planet.