Portugal: Car Rental
Local Travel Info in Portugal
Internal Flights and Major Airports in Portugal
Portugal has three mainland international airports at Lisbon, Oporto and Faro, as well airports on the islands of Madeira and the Azures. Internal flights between these destinations are also common with TAP, Portugal's national carrier and PGA Portugalia Airlines both operating domestic flights.
Getting to and from the Airport in Portugal
Transport is fairly cheap and straight forward to and from airports in Portugal. There are taxi ranks outside waiting to take arrivals to the city centres. From Lisbon to the city centre you should expect to pay around €10-15, while in Oporto it should cost between €15-20, and Faro €8 in Faro. Transfers from Funchal airport in Madeira should be between €18-24 while the fare from the airports of Pontiff Delgado and Aorta, both on the Azores should come between €6-8. Transfers between the airports of Lisbon, Oporto and Funchal should take around 20-30 minutes, while the other airports are much closer, around 10-15 minutes, to their respective city centres.
There are several buses from Lisbon airport that run regularly (no.'s 44, 745, or 83), however, if you have large luggage it is recommendedd to take one of the Aerobus or Aeroshuttle services which run every 20-30 minutes. A ticket can be bought from the driver directly for about €3. There are regular bus connections from all of Portugal's airports, usually directly outside the terminal building, while from Oporto you also have the option of taking a train (metro) into the centre.
Renting Cars in Portugal
Car hire firms can be found in all of Portugal's major cities as well as in most main towns. Many international companies have branches here, although you are likely to find local firms with better rates. However, you should check the car more carefully and check the type of insurance they have if you choose to use one of the local car hire firms in Portugal. To hire a car in Portugal you must have an international driving licence, have held a licence for at least a year and be over 23 years of ages. Cost of car hire in Portugal can differ depending on the time of year, but expect to pay from €12 (low season) up to €30 (high season) per day.
To book car rental in Portugal online, view our Car Hire section for Portugal . We offer Ok Alpha users the latest special offers and best rates available for car hire in Portugal . We advise you book your Portugal hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.
Drivers Licence Requirements in Portugal
Traffic in Portugal drives on the right and continental rules apply. The international sign system is used and unless there are signs to the contrary, traffic from the right has right of way at squares, crossroads and junctions. Seat belts must be worn at all times and child and baby seats must be used by all children up to the age of 11. Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front seat while the car is in motion.
The speed limits are 60kph (37mph) in towns and 90kph(55mph) on other roads. The speed limit on Portugal's motorways is 120kpn (74mph). There is an on-the-spot fine for anyone caught breaking the speed limit.
UK drivers in Portugal must have a valid UK driving licence and be over 18 years of age. The use of mobile phones whilst driving and parking against the flow of traffic are both illegal. Parking on pavement, except where permitted can result in the car being impounded for a period of a month up to a year. Crossing white lines, failing to stop at red lights and ignoring police signal can all result in losing your licence from between two months and one year. The is also hefty €1250 for overtaking on the right on a motorway. The legal alcohol limit in Portugal is 0.05%, being caught driving whilst above this limit can result in a fine of up to €2500 and two years in prison.
Portugal by Bus
Domestic bus services in Portugal are generally faster, though they may be little more expensive, than similar train journeys. Private bus companies operated networks that span most of Portugal's main towns and local destinations. There are three types of bus in Portugal. Expressos are fast inter-city connections with tickets costing between €13 and €26, Rapidos are fast regional buses while Carrieras, are the slower local buses operating in towns and cities.
In most cities there is a flat fare, payable to the driver, although in Lisbon and Oporto, you can buy special tourist tickets from information kiosks. International companies such as Eurolines and Busabout also operate in Portugal. Busabout is a good option for those on a budget operating tours between many European cities including Lagos and Lisbon in Portugal.
Portugal by Taxi
Traditionally taxis in Portugal have been black with a green roof. These days however, there are being phased out in favour of a beige colour scheme. Taxi's in Portugal have an illuminated sign, which light up when the taxi is vacant. When the taxi is taken a green light is lit, two green lights mean that the higher rate is being charged. The higher rate, about 20%, is charged on public holidays, weekends and between 10pm and 6am. The starting rate for a taxi hailed in the street in Portugal starts at around €5 with a standard flat rate fee of €3 added if luggage is placed in the boot compartment. Tipping of about 10% is standard, though this is at your own discretion.
Cycling in Portugal
Cycling in Portugal offers a fantastic way to see the country. However, there are few purpose built tracks for cycling in Portugal, the Portuguese see cycling more as a sport than a leisure activity. Nevertheless, the mountains around the Algarve and Alentejo area have some great treks with extraordinary scenery. If you can get away from the busiest areas such as the cities and the main resorts of the Algarve, you'll find miles of well tarmacked and quiet country roads through picturesque villages and hilltowns, spectacular mountain landscapes, rugged coastlines and beautiful sandy beaches that are perfect for cycling in Portugal. There are many places to hire bikes in Portugal with prices starting at around €10 per day.