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Looking for assistance in planning route from Porto to Lagos by Car

I am traveling to Portugal in June and we are starting in Lisbon and then taking the train to Porto. From there we want to rent a car and take the day to travel down to Lagos. I am looking for help in planning a route, including road numbers if possible. We are happy for it to take all day; stopping at scenic views, nice towns, stopping for lunch even a beach if possible.
We would prefer to drive along the coast, if that is possible , as opposed to taking a major toll highway.
Thanks!
Jennifer

Posted by
4026 posts

This is a hideously long drive! Without stopping and using the toll motorways is likely to take in excess of 6 hours driving at the speed limit and not getting lost/delayed getting out of Porto. The tolls are the best part of €100.

There isn't a coast road as such for the majority of the journey, so you would have to make detours into towns and villages to see the sea. I drove from Melides, near to Sines, (2/3 of the way from Lagos to Lisbon) down to Lagos last June, avoiding the motorway and travelling through Aljezur. It took c 5 hours of actual driving time, so on this basis, Porto to Lagos would be 11/12 hours non stop.

You may want to consider flying as an alternative or spreading the driving over several days.

Posted by
2520 posts

You can check out the routes and customize them as to use of motorways at Via Michelin. It is a looong drive and, as mentioned will cost about $100 in tolls and fuel. With a minimum of 6 hours behind the wheel, assuming no delays, you won't have too much time to visit some great cities and towns along the way. Coimbra, Batalha, Fatima, Alcobaha, Nazare, Obidos and Sintra are all worthwhile visits on the trek south. Perhaps consider staying overnight on the way to Lagos to allow meaningful visits to some of these. There is just so much to see. Do some research by getting a guidebook and follow your interests.

Posted by
9 posts

We have already booked two nights in Porto and then the following three nights in Lagos. I have to get to Lagos in one day. We still prefer driving to other means of transportatiion ( I am not a great flyer, so flying is the least prefered method of transport. )If we did drive and took the motorway, is there a good stop in the middle somewhere. OR are we better to take a train and then rent a car when we arrive in Lagos. Do you see anything from the train on the way?
We are three drivers and we don't mind it taking the whole day.

Posted by
9 posts

I could cancel Porto all together and then we would rent a car and drive from Lisbon to Lagos instead. This gives me extra nights to book. I' m wondering if I do this if we should book something along the way, can you do a scenic coastal drive from Lisbon to Lagos, and if so where would you stop. The other extra night we have i would add onto Lagos. (then we have three nights in Seville Spain.
Thanks everyone for all the advice,

Posted by
9 posts

Jennifer, Philip, I am going to cancel Porto , we will have to go back to Portugal to do it another time. Since we are arriving in Lisbon and then going on to Lagos and then Spain, it makes more sense to take the extra time and see some of the coast between Lisbon and Lagos.
It sounds like you both know the area, can you recommend sites, etc. We might even stay somewhere overnight and make it a two day trip to get to Lagos.
Open to all suggestions,
Thanks

Posted by
276 posts

I think you have lots of options, but if you are giving up Porto, what about taking those nights for Evora. It is a lovely town.

We did a beautiful drive the opposite way from Tavira to Evora. It went through Mertola. You may end up on the toll road driving along the south coast then for a bit to get to Lagos, but to be honest the extra time you have to see places makes up for the tolls I feel.

Posted by
2520 posts

I totally agree with Lisa. Visit Evora, it's a great little town and there's a nice guided walk in Rick's guide. And make sure you have dinner at Botequim de Mouraria - the best resto in the city. Only about 12 seats at a counter, make reservations if you can. Food there is fantastic. The other recommendation is to take a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.

Though I drove from Seville to Lagos and then on to Evora and from Porto to Lisbon, I don't remember any special coastal roads. If you ever want beautiful coasts and beaches, visit Sardinia and Corsica. I spent 2 weeks there in September and October and the islands and scenery blew me away. Mountains, beaches, great food. Highly recommend it!