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PORTUGAL BY MOTORHOME ON NATIONAL ROAD 2

PORTUGAL BY MOTORHOME ON NATIONAL ROAD 2

PORTUGAL BY MOTORHOME ON NATIONAL ROAD 2
PORTUGAL #VANLIFE
We left home with 13 days free ahead, along with a couple of friends, also with their van. We hadn't set the number of days to make the road, it was going to be in our own style: "let's go and see". One thing we were sure of, this journey would aim to promote Portugal, so we made some partnerships, in order to promote hotels, restaurants, local businesses, who wanted to join us in a sharing of experiences and stories to tell!
We went towards Chaves to start the mythical N2 road. We went to @templo_n2 to pick up our passports (they are scarce, so send a message confirming the stock) and buy some N2 stickers for Pingu and we were greeted by Daniel's sympathy who welcomed us with a coffee and a delicious Chaves pastel. Here you can also buy the guide of the national 2, with great suggestions of stops, it was with him that we planned the trip. It was already lunchtime and the pastry covered a little hole, but there was still hunger, so on Daniel's advice we went to Casa Costa Restaurant (esplanade) to eat a wonderful place. But we couldn't start without the photo at the "0″ mark...

Now we were ready to hit the road.
DAY 1

First stop, Lagoa do Alvão in Vila Pouca de Aguiar. A super green place, very natural and quiet. It's a great place to have meals, as it has a picnic park and great for a swim, so we took our time the

It was already sunset, so we looked for a spot in the Park4night app, and we found an amazing one at the Barragem do sordo (http://park4night.com/lieu/35696/), but we got there and there were lots of cars with music in the heights, great party and we decided to go on. We finished this first day in Mateus, near the church (http://park4night.com/lieu/40719/Parking). It was not the place with the best view, but we were hungry and that place was super quiet to stay for the night.

 

Day 2

We couldn't always leave early because Carolina has classes to teach online, so we left at the end of the morning and took a little detour (and valuable!) to São Leonardo de Galafura. The viewpoint really has an incredible view over the Douro River, a very cozy space, with picnic tables and we had lunch there. We were advised to go down towards Covelinhas and we quickly understood why...what a beautiful road! It's very worth the detour of the N2. We ended this day with a dive in Quinta do Tedo, in the Douro. We stayed here enjoying the landscape, relaxing and preparing the following days.

SÃO LEONARDO DE GALAFURA

QUINTA DO TEDO

PEQUENO ALMOÇO - QUINTA DO TEDO

 

Day 3

After a wonderful breakfast with a view to the Tedo River and another dive, we had scheduled a visit to the farm, with wine tasting. It is really a very enriching experience, to hear by the mouth of who knows, all the history of that wine region as well as all the stages of the production of that renowned Port wine. An experience not to be missed!

 

 

Of course, we were still out of our way, but we couldn't be there and lose "the best road in the world"!  Yes, you're reading well, the N222 was considered the most beautiful road in the world and all you have to do is to make the route to understand why. So we decided to take it and make the way to Peso da Régua and go up to Restaurante Varanda da Régua. What a delight, from the entrances, to the medallion, to the octopus, all great! 

 

ESTRADA NACIONAL 222

RESTAURANTE VARANDA DA RÉGUA

 

Okay, it was time to get back to the essence of the journey, the N2. Towards Lamego. We walked through the city, visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, imposing, with its stairs. But there are two things that you can't miss there: the ice creams at Gelataria Gula and the bôla da Pastelaria da Sé.

We also stopped at Vale Abrigoso, a super small but very beautiful village, and went to have dinner and spend the night in the village of Mézio. Our idea was to eat the famous sausage rice that everyone advised us at the Typical Restaurant of Mézio, but we arrived there at 8.30pm and the lady's reply was: "oh I've already thrown the rice away, I thought no one else was coming for dinner. Do you want me to make you an omelette?" We appreciate it, but we prefer to eat "redom" (yesterday's leftovers) in Pingu. Where did we stay? Right in the middle of the village football field.

 

 

LAMEGO

VALE ABRIGOSO

 

Day 4

Towards Castro Daire, technical stop to buy the famous rotten cake. Here the N2 was cut towards Viseu, so we had to make a detour through São Pedro do Sul and took the opportunity to have some dives in Poço Azul. We were told that Poço Negro was even more beautiful, but the detour would be even bigger, so we preferred not to run so far off the route. And you know what? I'm glad the road was cut and we found that place! What a beautiful thing, we spent a top afternoon there!

Next destination, Santa Comba Dão, but before that there was still time for another dive, on a nearby river beach, on the Dão River. A walk on the ecovia is also advised and those with more time don't miss the Senhora da Ribeira River Beach. We could not pass here and not stop where we were already so happy. Casas com Estória, is one of those places that deserves to be visited by so much love. A beautiful place, where the details and the decoration make all the difference, not to mention the sympathy of the owners!

 

POÇO AZUL

PRAIA FLUVIAL, SANTA COMBA DÃO

CASAS COM ESTÓRIA

 

Day 5

We made our way slowly to Pedrogão Grande and had lunch at Praia Fluvial Mega Fundeira. A very small beach, with some tables in the shade, ideal for lunch. The Barragem do cabril also deserved our stop, what a wonderful view! We know that nearby, in Pedrogão Pequeno, there is the Philippine Bridge (many people advised us to go there), but we ended up not going.

We then went to Vila de Rei and went up to the landmark that marks the geodesic centre of continental Portugal. We were then halfway there.

BARRAGEM DO CABRIL

VILA DE REI, MARCO GEODÉSICO

 

The River Beach of Penedo Furado, is one of those places that we had to stop, because the indications we had were that we could not miss it. But first we have to appreciate the views from the Miradouro do Penedo Furado. Unfortunately we caught the beach in construction and with too many people (weekend) and it was not the best experience. However, we strongly advised it, as it is very beautiful and in 2019 wooden walkways were inaugurated that connect the River Beach to the Penedo Furado Waterfall.

We ended up sleeping there, on some terraces further up. It got late and people left because the beach is quickly in the shade and we stayed there alone in the middle of nature.

MIRADOURO DO PENEDO FURADO

 

 Day 6

The village of Sardoal is so beautiful and so photogenic. In all its corners it makes you want to take out the camera and shoot. We stopped the vans and took a walk through the small centre of the village. There isn't much to see, but its colors are the most beautiful we've seen! 

 

We had just been to the Montargil Barrage, so this time we decided not to stop, but it's undoubtedly a great place, both for meals and overnight stays.

Another small detour to Lavre, at the invitation of Joana, our follower and owner of Maça Restaurant. We had lunch with the best asparagus crumbs ever, accompanied by some secret black pork. And the house wine? Woww! To end in beauty, Sericaia's beautiful, a typically Alentejan candy. In Alentejo you eat so well! If you're in time, don't think twice, take this short detour.
We loved little chapels, small churches, and as soon as we saw in the guide this one of St. Peter's Head, we had to go there. The road is on dry land, but very quiet.  
We partnered with Mercado das Descobertas and they advised us on one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever been to: Monte Góis Country House. Everything was of incredible good taste, from the rooms, to the common areas, to the exterior, everything so involved in nature, with horses, the infinite swimming pool facing an olive and cork oak field...there you could feel the real Alentejo! 
Day 7

The trip was almost over, we entered the Algarve, but we still had time for a supply stop, again on the advice of the Mercado das Descobertas, at the Restaurant Casa dos Presuntos. It's in Cortelha, right in front of the N2. We loved lunch, all very good!

From there to Faro it's about 40 minutes of pure happiness and anxiety, because we're only a few kilometres away from finishing the goal, but already of immense nostalgia, because it will certainly leave a lot to be missed.

The arrival at the Roundabout with the 738 cone is indescribable!

(They say that the road does not end there, but further on in the 738.5 cone. That is precious, in our opinion!)

So 7 days passed, 738 km, 35 municipalities, 11 districts, 10 mountains and 13 rivers.
Things to remember:

  • We're not big on history, museums, monuments, etc., so we didn't make any stops to visit these sites.
  • For those who like it, we advise the Guide of the National 2 because it has everything there explained! 
  •  We weren't very strict on the N2 route. When we thought there were detours worth taking, we did! Don't just stick to what's "on the face of the road"! 
  • One week is more than enough to make the N2. We had more days, but we preferred to enjoy them in the Algarve. Some people do it in 2 or 3 days. Each experience is a different one, depending on the objective. 
  • As the N2 crosses the interior of Portugal, we had no problem staying overnight in the van. It's super quiet, there are no specific signs for motorhomes. 

 

"Life is what we make of it. Travel is the travelers. What we see is not what we see, but what we are."

(Fernando Pessoa)