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  • Immagine del redattoreVanessa Valenti

Planning: Portugal on the road - Seville - Lanzarote

During this winter lockdown we spent our time planning, dreaming and hoping for the summer, for the end of the pandemic, and finally being able to take a plane and start traveling again. Planning this trip took us long, it was very demanding but also a fun process, it kept us going. We started with the idea of ​​touring Portugal in a week and going back to Italy, then we went with: "why not adding another week at the seaside?". So we started looking for destinations that could be convenient to reach from the south of Portugal . The options were the Azores, the Balearics or Lanzarote, and finally the got the last one. There was no departure from Faro, so we decided to take a plane from Seville, and here's how we added this one too.


So, here you are our entire itinerary in details:

06.26.2021 - 07.11.2021 : 15days

Sat 26th BLQ ✈ OPO Porto

Sun 27th Porto

Mon 28th Porto ➙ Coimbra

Tue 29th Lisbon

Wen 30th Sintra ➙ Lisbon

Thu 01st Lisbon ➙ Vila Nova de Milfontes ➙ Cabo de Sao Vicente ➙ Lagos

Fri 02nd Lagos

Sat 03rd Albufeira

Sud 04th Faro

Mon 05th Seville

Tue 06th Seville SVQ ✈ ACE

Wen 07th Lanzarote

Thu 08th Lanzarote

Fri 09th Lanzarote

Sat 10th Lanzarote

Sun 11th ACE ✈ BLQ




A long journey, intense but full of wonderful places, will certainly be worth it! Obviously, according to your needs, you can cut it into several parts: just go around Portugal, or travel only in the north/south, get to Seville or to Lanzarote, use this guide as you want! By following these tips you can better plan your trip according to your needs. I hope to be able to summarize here all the information and make you save hours and hours on the internet looking for help as I did!

Portugal On The Road

Portugal is a beautiful country, from north to south, I literally fell in love with it. I can't even tell you what I loved most.


Itinerary: Porto - Coimbra - Lisbon - Sintra - Lisbon - Vila Nova de Milfontes - Cabo de Sao Vicente - Lagos - Albufeira - Faro


We traveled in late June and early July, perfect weather, always sunny and sometimes light wind (a bit cooler only in Porto), not too crowded. The roads are in excellent condition and with little traffic, which allows you to enjoy your journey in total relax. Booking accommodation is very easy both by relying on private apartments and real hotels. Transportation is excellent, we traveled by train, bus and car and never had any problems.


For details on what to see and where to eat, just click the various links for each article:


Seville

Initially Seville was not on our itinerary, we added it later in order to be able to take the plane to Lanzarote; in the end we had a day and a half in the city, which was enough to get around it and to make me fall in love with it, despite the scorching heat! I highly recommend going there in spring or autumn, after 36 hours under the sun and 40 C we were exhausted, we could not have held up more!

Click here to discover our 36 hours itinerary in Seville.


Lanzarote

Lanzarote is an island of the Canary archipelago, next to Africa, but in Spanish territory. Unlike Tenerife, where we had been in April, it is entirely deserted and made of volcanic terrain, ideal for surf lovers, or for those who, like us, want to have an experience in a van without limitations and enjoy a few wild days and in complete freedom. Click here do discover our five days itinerary in Lanzarote with all the advice on where to sleep, the best beaches and how to organize your stay on this island.



Planning

But now, let's get to the logistics of this long journey and start planning it together. We divided the itineraty in this way: - 8 days in Portugal: some road trips in this country are 10 or 15 days, and honestly before the departure I thought we would be a little tight and always in a rush but actually we did it very well enjoying everything to the full. I won't lie to you, it wasn't a relaxing trip, especially the northern part, but I wouldn't do anything different.

- 2 days in Seville: they weren't planned, it was more dictated by logistical issues but you know what I tell you? They looked just fine. Seville is not very big, it doesn't take too long to get around it, so if you happen to be there you will be able to visit the most important places of interest in a few days. - 5 days in Lanzarote: it seemed a little bit to me, but in the end I was ready to go home. The island is not so big, it turns well, there is little traffic and if you are not interested in surfing it will be enough to see almost all of it and go back home full and satisfied.

Here we are with the most important part in planning our trip: transport and accommodation. We booked almost everything in advance with free cancellation in winter, and we really saved a lot. For 15 days, including all accommodation, transport, activities, gasoline, dinners, and so on and so forth, we spent € 1300 each: a daily budget of less than € 100, therefore, always doing everything we wanted to.

TRANSPORT

For our road trip in Portugal we chose to make the first part to the north relying on public transport. From Porto to Lisbon we always moved by train, as all cities are well connected, cheap, and with short and fast routes. There are many car rental in Porto, but I read, during my endless research to plan the trip, that Porto and Lisbon are very busy, difficult to get around by car, not to mention the parking, same thing for Sintra and Lisbon, all narrow and cobbled streets, accessible only to residents. So we decided to go with public transport and we were super satisfied with our choice: I can assure you the north is difficult by car, and it would cost a lot. I know that this seems like a lot of train journeys, schedules to be respected, as well as a great grind, we too were a little scared, but in the end everything went very well, never a delay or the slightest problem. It was definitely the best choice and I highly recommend it! But let's see the details!


FLIGHTS

  • BLQ - OPO Sat 07.26 flying with Ryanair (6.45 p.m. - 8.35 p.m. -1h) 35 € each, including 2 hand luggage each + 1 hold of 10kg

  • SVQ - ACE Mar 07.06 flying with Vueling (6.35 p.m.- 7.40 p.m. -1h) 70 € each, including 2 hand luggage each (trolley in any case on board) + 1 hold 15kg

  • ACE - BLQ Sun 07.11 flying with Ryanair (10.35 a.m. - 3.30 p.m. + 1h) 63 € each including 2 hand luggage each + 1 hold of 10kg

CAR

From Thursday 07.01 to Sunday 07.04 Pick up at Lisbon Airport and drop off at Faro Airport. We booked in advance through RentalCars with the Sixt company, and we had no problems; they gave us a brand new Seat Ibiza with Diesel, super-equipped and with assisted driving that went great. It cost € 125 for the rental + € 60 for the tax to have it returned to another place than where we collected it. Petrol is a little more expensive than in Italy, while Diesel is more or less the same price: with a full tank we managed to do all the expected lap!


TRAINS AND BUSES

  • Alfa Pendular train from Porto (Vila Nova de Gaia - Devesas) to Coimbra (12.42 p.m. - 2.09 p.m.) € 8.65 each

The Vila Nova de Gaia station is in the south of Porto, quite outside the city: we went there by foot, long enough, if I had to do it again I would definitely take a taxi. Once there, we were informed that there was a train strike, but the staff was very kind, they changed the train that luckily left at the same time, but it was cheaper than the one we booked, and they even reimbursed us the price difference!

  • Alfa Pendular train from Coimbra to Lisbon € 24 each (7.38 a.m. - 9.22 a.m.)

Coimbra station is just outside the center, which in any case is very small, super easy to reach by foot, it took us just 8 minutes from where we were staying.

  • Regional train from Lisbon (Rossio station) to Sintra, € 5 round trip 40 min

Going to Sintra by train is the best option, it's hard to get around by car. There is a bus that connects all points of interest in an excellent way and runs every 15 minutes. The departure is from Rossio station, the main one in Lisbon, in the center, easily reachable both on foot and by bus!

  • Flixbus from Faro to Seville - 2h30min 11€ each

By bus we comfortably crossed the border from Portugal to Spain.


ACCOMMODATION Premise: Enri and I are part of the “low cost, high yield” team! We never have great needs in terms of accommodation, also because we usually spend just enough time to sleep, otherwise we go out early in the morning and come back late in the evening. We prefer to spend more on the go, at dinner or doing things, than to sleep. So we always chose low budget accommodation! We booked practically everything on Booking.com to take advantage of free cancellation (with Covid until a few weeks before we did not know if we could leave) so Booking.com is the best. On AirBnB there is a free cancellation option, but they keep you a fixed fee, so we didn't want to risk it except for Lanzarote. The Banana Camper was too beautiful and unique, so we booked it on AirBnB, risking to lose 50 euros, which for us was a fair compromise. We booked everything in February, so well in advance, finding excellent solutions both in terms of position and characteristics that in such a long journey were essential for us (washing machine in a couple of places, wifi, flexible check in and check out).

Hotel located in a convenient location in Porto, arriving from the airport by metro or to explore it entirely on foot. It cost us very little, old building and the room was a bit ugly, but still clean and there were towels, soap and free wifi.

Mini apartment in the center of Coimbra, right in front of the old Cathedral and a 200m walk from the University, the main attraction of the city. Super convenient to always reach on foot even from the station. As I said, little one, but with a kitchen, bathroom and a bed, everything we needed.

Excellent location, in the Alfama district. From here, we always moved comfortably on foot, and we also arrived on foot from the station. The staff is super nice and helpful, we got there early in the morning and the apartment was not ready yet, but they eventually kept our suitcase, left us phone contacts and they informed us as soon as they were ready. They also provided us with lots of interesting tips for sightseeing and also for our trip to the Algarve. Apartment equipped with washing machine, iron, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and sitting room!

Check in a bit complex, the owner will provide you with all the information to enter in full autonomy at any time, telling you where she leavea the keys (gigantic bunch with a series of doors), but in the end it is not so difficult. Excellent location just beyond the historic center, easily reachable on foot, and with parking 30 meters from the apartment. The house is huge, featuring 4 bedrooms with private bathrooms and shared spaces such as the kitchen and the gigantic living room, as well as the equipped garden. We were the only guests, so we thoroughly enjoyed the house in solitude!

Definitely my favorite accommodation in Portugal! Guesthouse with multiple rooms all with private bathroom, all furnished in a maritime style, super cute, with a gigantic and well-equipped shared kitchen, as well as a terrace with an incredible view of the city! Washing machine and iron available on the terrace!

Perhaps the ugliest of all, but the cheapest we could find, and we had to stay there very little! Convenient location returning from the airport after having delivered the car, and close to the old city, where you can spend the evening. A little old hotel, really nothing special and not very organized. The reception staff spoke only Portuguese, not even a word of English, it was not easy to make yourself understood!

Guys, this hotel was totally crazy! It cost us nothing, and we were literally in front of the Cathedral of Seville, right in the center! Spectacular view, modern hotel, fully automated entry and exit via personal codes, modern decor, spotless, fully equipped! Really a coup, strategic recommended!

Talking about our Banana Camper in 4 lines is impossible, to find out more, keep following @ lethergoit and stay up to date, click here for the article on our van experience in Lanzarote!


☞ COVID PAPERS

Let's come to the least fun part, but perhaps the most useful for those who want to travel in this period of restrictions from Covid .. the damn documentation! So, honestly, more streamlined bureaucracy than our trip to Tenerife in April, but still some mandatory steps.

Portugal

To enter Portugal, showing a valid Green Pass (printed or on the phone) before boarding is enough, and fill in the Public Health Form on the Portuguese health site which will issue you the usual QR code, also to be shown in one format or another before boarding.


Spagna

Same goes for Spain: Green Pass or Public Health Form with QR code. At the airport in Lanzarote they did not have the QR code reader so they wanted the vaccination certificate or the swab, so bring a copy for safety. In case you need to carry out the return swab from Lanzarote, a screening point has been set up at the airport just at the entrance for rapid swabs.


Guess I told you everything you need to know to plan your trip to these magnificent lands; if you are interested in what to do and see once there I refer you once again to the links of the respective articles.

In case I forgot something or if you need more information commented below, I will be happy to help you!

Have a good trip (:



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