Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Thu May 05 2016

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  • Sam Schuler | May 5, 2016 9:00 AM ET

    The Best Day Trips in Portugal

    The Best Day Trips in Portugal

    PHOTO: There is much to see beyond the cities in Portugal (Courtesy Auto Europe)

    The Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Porto are sure to keep enthusiastic travelers busy for at least a couple of days. However, when visiting Portugal you simply have to save a few days to venture out of the cities and into the countryside, where you will not only experience the local culture, but also magnificent scenery and places of historic interest.

    Taking day trips and exploring the areas surrounding Lisbon and Porto is made easy by renting a car in Portugal with Auto Europe. To make it even easier, we have put together a few day trip itinerary ideas for you.

    Best Day Trips from Lisbon

    Arrange an affordable car rental in Lisbon and you’ll enjoy beautiful scenery and an easy drive to any of the following destinations in Portugal

    Lisbon to Sintra

    Green mountain scenery, royal palaces and magnificent parkland. This is what you will encounter at Sintra, less than an hour’s drive from Lisbon. Some of the castles in this area date back to the 8th and 9th centuries, during the time of the Moorish rulers. Must-visits are the National Palace or the Pena National Palace. Then keep on driving until you get to the breathtaking Park of Monserrate. If you still have time, seek out the cliffs of Cabo da Roca where you can stand on the western edge of Europe.

    Lisbon to Cascais

    Depending on how thorough you are, you can combine this trip with Sintra or make it a day on its own. Cascais is a traditional fishing village on Portugal’s wild Atlantic coastline. Sample the catch of the day during lunch in the city’s pedestrian-friendly old town or seek out a sheltered, sandy beach for a day of relaxing in the sun. Cascais is also home to Casas das Histórias, an unusual contemporary museum housing the work of artist Paula Rego.

    READ MORE: 6 UK Road Trips To Try

    Alentejo Drive

    Discover the beautiful region where almost half of the world’s cork supply is produced. The Alentejo region southeast of Lisbon is also home to vineyards and olive groves, making it ideal for a leisurely drive through its gentle plains, sampling the local produce as you go. Whatever you do, don’t miss Evora. This picturesque town is not only the region’s main tasting centre; it is also a UNESCO world heritage site boasting a Roman Temple among other significant structures.

    Best Day Trips from Porto

    Wine lovers will fall in love with the beautiful wine regions around this coastal city and with a car rental in Porto you’re free to explore this wonderful region at your leisure. Here are some of our favorite drives:

    Douro Valley by Car

    Another UNESCO site, the beautiful Douro Valley is best known for the production of port wine. Leave your rental car for a little while to take a cruise along the Douro River for the best vantage point from which to admire the vineyards on both sides.

    SEE MORE: Why Choose Auto Europe

    The Historic City of Braga

    Although it is Portugal’s third largest city, Braga has a pleasant country feel to it. Filled with baroque monuments which make for wonderful photo opportunities, Braga’s biggest attraction is the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary. The sanctuary, with a church and gardens, is on a hill just outside the city.

    A Gorgeous Castle in Guimares

    The medieval world heritage university town of Guimares is just an hour from Porto by car. It was one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2012 and proud home to a thousand year old castle. Visitors can also take a cable car to Penha Park, perched on a hill overlooking the town.

    Enjoy Day Trips in Portugal by Car with Auto Europe

    Many travelers are discovering just how much Portugal has to offer. With the affordable cost of travel, delightful weather and beautiful architecture and fresh seafood and delicious wine, Portugal is emerging as one of the best kept secrets in Europe. Enhance your dream vacation with the perfect Auto Europe car rental.


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Sam Schuler Europe by Car

Sam Schuler Sam Schuler is a travel writer, photographer, graphic artist and a member of Auto Europe's marketing team in Portland, Maine. An Oregon native, Sam has enjoyed trips to France, Italy, Bermuda, and Mexico on multiple occasions. Sam continues to draw creative inspiration from his travels, documenting many of them in a variety of mediums, including travel blog writing and photographic exposes.
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