Portugal travel itinerary and basic travel costs 10 days road trip from north to south

PORTUGAL | travel itinerary and basic costs of our 10 days road trip

Katja PORTUGAL | MADEIRA Leave a Comment

Just a few more days and we´re off to Portugal! As we were searching on where to go for this year´s autumn holidays, we had two conditions. It had to be warmer than at home and it should not be too far. Somewhere where 10 days would be just enough to enjoy a little bit of everything – historic towns, beaches, nature, good food and pleasant climate. In the end we were deciding between Spain and Portugal and chose to fly to Porto, because there was a better flight connection.

As we prefer to be independent in terms of moving around we are renting a car – we will be driving approximately 1500km with it, all the way to Algarve coast in the south and back to Porto. It might sound a bit much for a good week, but we´re totally used to drive long distances in Germany so it should not really be a problem. We booked our accommodation in advance, because we do not want to waste time searching for a place to sleep after a long day on the road, plus we really wanted to stay at some nice places this time. Nice does not automatically mean expensive, just comfortable & on a good location– possibly with our own kitchen, a terrace and with private parking. 2 times we are staying at organic farms/wineries.

TRAVEL ITINERARY | Portugal road trip with a rented car


Spending the first 2 nights in Porto, checking out the attractions (churches, markets, maybe even a museum if Lu is up for it), eat good & drink even better and just enjoy the local architecture (it´s supposed to be stunning).


We pick up the car in Porto and drive slowly along the river through the famous Douro Valley, which is the worlds oldest wine region. I reckon we will be making lots of shorts stops on the way, before reaching our quinta (country villa) close to the town of Pinhao.


The more we looked at all those huge hotels directly on the beach the more we were sure we do not want to sleep in one of them. So instead, we booked a quinta 5km inland from the beach in Lagos, where it is going to be more peaceful. Besides enjoying good wines on the organic farm we are looking forward to discover the nicest beaches and coves Algarve has to offer! Hopefully the weather will still be nice and maybe we can even swim ;).


A day in Lisbon sounds like a crazy idea, but we´re doing it anyway ;). We will have 2 nights and are staying close to one of the Hop on-Hop off bus stops. We intend to take that bus and let it drive us from place to place. I tried this with Lu in Berlin last year and it´s really a good way to go around a city if you do not have much time and if your kids are too small to walk 10km ;). As I was in Lisbon already years ago it will be interesting to see how much different it is now.


On the way to Nazare we want to make a stop in Obidos and if there is time also in Sintra. In any case we should come to Nazare before it gets dark to check out the views from the famous cliff.


Hoping not to oversleep the alarm clock, all there is left to do now is to drive for around 2hrs to Porto airport and fly back home.

BASIC TRAVEL COSTS | Portugal road trip with a rented car

We could have saved some money by renting a smaller car (we have a VW Golf now) and could get cheaper flights (but the travel time would be at least doubled and we would have to change flights somewhere). Also, we could have stayed in cheaper hotels or camped in tents but as I said, we decided to have a little more comfort this time ;).

  • PLANE TICKETS: 510€ for us 3 together (Lufthansa, Frankfurt – Porto – Frankfurt)

  • AIRPORT GARAGE: 80€ for 10 days (reserved online, 2 months in advance)

  • CAR RENTAL: 136€ for 7 days (excluding a booster child seat, we are bringing our own this time)

  • ACCOMMODATION: 700€ for 10 days for us 3

To this there will be additional costs for the gas, highways, food and some entry fees. More about it all when we come back!

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