The Portuguese Republic lies on an oblong shape of land on the Iberian Peninsula, west of Spain. There are five regions in the Portuguese mainland. These are the Algarve, Alentejo, Lisbon, Central Portugal and Porto. Two archipelagos are located off the west coast of the country – the Azores (Acores to the locals) and Madeira. Wherever you plan to go, there are companies where you can rent car in Portugal, even the islands. You may also be able to hire GPS and cell phones.
When you hire your own vehicle, you get the freedom to explore the culture and history of this exciting country at your own pace. People have lived here since prehistoric days. The country was one of the founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Economic Intelligence Unit has declared it the 19th best quality of life on earth.
Oporto (Porto to the natives) is situated in the northern part of the country. Perhaps surprisingly, it is the second largest city in all of Europe. Not totally urban, however, as your car can take your family to the Serra do Geres and other natural parks or on a tour of the Gaia wine lodges. rent a car abu dhabi monthly
Central Portugal offers all manner of water sports on glacial lakes. You will also find abseiling, rock-climbing and whitewater rafting. Linhares is the place to go if you want to test your nerves at the thrilling sport of paragliding.
Lisbon, an ‘alpha’ city, is the capital of the country. The locals call it ‘Lisboa’ and it is unusual because it possesses both a river and a shoreline. Try to take in the Formula One Grand Prix at the nearby Estoril racing circuit. With three golf courses on the Sul do Tejo, it is also a fabulous place for golfers.
Time passes slowly in Alentejo, mainly because of the searing heat. Drive to Evora to explore the nation’s Roman roots. Don’t leave without exploring the sheer cliffs and tiny beaches. At the southern tip of the country the Algarve has coastline and sunny beaches to the east and south. It is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Its beaches are some of the best in the world and explain why the natives live their lives outdoors.
The archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores both have ample auto rental companies. There are nine different islands in the Azores (the Acores to the natives). Here you will be able to swim, dive, go mountain climbing or dolphin spotting. The island of Madeira houses the largest evergreen forest in the world. It is also well known for its spectacular display of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.