Van-Rouge Road Trip 2021 Part 3 Portugal

Three weeks from departure date and we arrived in Portugal, both for the first time, so we headed to a nice restaurant and were blown away by how nice the food was, significantly better than Spain.

The Restauarant was at Cacela Velha

Cacela Velha


We then moved on a short bit to Sao Bras de Alportel where we met up with a friend who moved there two years ago from our village in Ireland. And of course I went cycling, lovely roads inland away from the sea, it reminded me of NSW Australia.

Picnic time

And an evening meal for five people came to 68€ it was delicious

We left our friends and drove through some lovely mountain roads

Until arriving at Carrapateira

A beautiful beach but unfortunately wild camping is illegal in lots of places in Portugal so we had to drive to a canmpsite

Next day we drove up the country passing Odeceixe which was a lovely village. Parked up we saw this flock of Storks.

That night we spent the night in a car park behind the Praia das Furnas across the bay from Vila Nova de Milfontes

Seemed like a lovely spot and the first car park in Portugal that did not have no overnight Camping signs….

It certainly was a lovely beach, and the Portuguese people are just so nice.

Next day we went back down to Odeceixe as we felt it deserved another visit, I went cycling and sought out other beaches.

But we ended up driving to Vila de Milfontes for a second night, always fearful of parking in the wrong spot… Anyway the second morning we ended up getting our details taken by the Guarda de Parc National and we will see if we get a fine in the post…

From then on all our overnight parking was in the confines of a fenced campsite… Not expensive, but that is not the point, we prefer to try and park on our own and be independent.


Reserva Natural das Lagoas de Santo André e Sancha

Local fishing boats

Flamingos, shot through binoculars with phone

We then went for a bit of a drive inland, I have a Portuguese friend here who said that Evora was a cool place to go, it certainly was a very pretty town.

From there we kept heading North as I wanted to go to Portugal’s highest peak. On the way we stopped at a Campsite next to this lake.

And visited the village of Monsanto which was amazing

After Monsanto we drove up to the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, which has some beautiful valleys and Portugal’s highest mainland peak at just under 2000 meters.

I ruined the sidewall of a tyre in our campsite so spent half of Sunday finding a new one, I then followed that up with a half ride up the hill, as in not starting from the bottom, it was very cold.

Two days later we were back at the beach around about the area of Porto, however the Northern beaches were not so much to our liking, and there was a cooler breeze coming in from the Atlantic.

So after a few nights and a last meal in Viana do Castelo, we decided to head back into Spain, to go to the North Coast that we loved so much before, but this time starting as far west as possible…