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Motorhome rental made easy in Lisbon
Defined by a Mediterranean climate and the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is increasingly popular as a tourist and motorhome destination. Although the capital and largest city of Portugal, Lisbon is still pretty small compared to the other European capitals is perfect for exploring by foot once you’ve parked up your camper. The charming backstreets, overwhelming history and contemporary culture give this sun-kissed city a life of its own. From Lisbon, you can easily get to the beautiful Algrave Coast, to the South or the lovely city of Porto to the North. It is also easy to head to Spain with your campervan hire.
What you need to know about campervan rental Lisbon
The illuminated city
From simple shopping and sightseeing in a modern city or sunbathing on one of the beautiful beaches, to discovering wonders from the mid-15th century or partying to the wee hours of the morning –there are so many choices of things to do in Lisbon, it is literally a hidden gem.
Portugal is the oldest country in Europe and very proud of its heritage. Buildings are well preserved and the many cathedrals are like museums in themselves. Sé Cathedral displays artefacts and treasures from the 12th and 13th centuries. A diamond and emerald-studded monstrance on the top floor is worth a look. The Jeronimos Monastery was built in the 16th century to celebrate the rule of King Manuel I.Built from limestone, the monastery stretches the length of the square.
Next to the monastery, Belem Tower is an icon and symbol of the age of discovery. It is considered a world heritage site for its importance in history. It’s said Lisbon’s train station – OrienteStatio – is one of the most innovative in Europe, so check out the Santiago Calatrava design.
Follow the winding medieval streets of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood, Alfama, to be transported back to an ancient castle dating back to the ninth century. The Castle of São Jorge sits atop a hill, looming over the city.
With the Atlantic Ocean so close, you should hit the sand. Take a train to Cascais, which leave every 15 minutes, and head to the ocean. Carcavelos is on the way and Lisbon’s favourite beach, but carry onto Cascais to explore the little beach town.
Lisbon has a wild party scene. If you want to keep it traditional, listen to the folk music of Portugal at Clube de Fado. It also has fantastic Portuguese cuisine on offer. Or if you’re up for a bigger night, head to Bairro Alto. In this neighbourhood almost every house or shop becomes a bar at night.
Where to stay
Lisbon Camping & Bungalows is less than 20km from a beach and has two pools. You have direct access to a natural reserve and the sites are flat and shady. Explore the dense forests and make friends with squirrels.
A stay at Quinta da Cerejeira is like escaping to an oasis of quietness and hospitality. Surrounded by nature and the friendly Portuguese way of living, it’s a pleasant place to have a family vacation.
A little over an hour from Lisbon, set between the mountains and sea, is Silveira, an old farmhouse with a beautiful campsite.
Only 30km from Lisbon, Swindon Camping provides an excellent base for day trips across the region. Both beaches and mountains are less than an hour’s drive.
From seafood to traditional fare
The Portuguese have an undeniable sweet tooth. Try a Confitería de Belém – the city’s most famous custard tart. While it is sold almost everywhere, the confectionery near the Jerónimos monastery has one you’ll talk about for years to come. GinjaSem Rival has on offer another national icon – morello-cherry liquor. The drink is pungent, but the small bar near the National Theatre is a delight.
Largo Restaurante successfully combines old and new, with traditional presented in a contemporary way. This is a splurge meal, but well worth it. For the absolute freshest fish dishes, go no further than Restaurante Doca Peixe on Santo Amaro Dock. Choose how your fish is cooked and relax as you stare out to sea.
The food court at the city’s biggest fresh food market –Mercado da Ribeira –is a favourite among Lisboans. Cheeses, hams, coffee, tins of sardines, wine and chocolate all vie for your palate at the 35 pop-up kiosks. Clever dishes are created by on-site chefs for as little as five Euro.
For a rooftop terrace providing a stunning panorama, a little restaurant by the sea is the place to be. Atira-teao Rio has decent food, while tables and chairs lit by torches are set along the water's edge.
Temperatures on the rise
A popular time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October, when the weather is still warm and the summer rush has calmed down. Squeeze in a few beach days, with room to spread your towel. Summer in Lisbon sees hot temperatures and crowded shores, and winters while cooler, are still relatively warm for Europe.
Where to rent a camper in Lisbon
Pure Motorhomes are a well-established campervan rental company throughout Europe, with a variety of vehicles on offer from 2-berth to 4-berth and special long-hire discounts.
Camperline is located at Rua Maria Matos, Edificio Iglesias 2785-591 Sao Domingos de Rana. Experts on the local area, ask for specific itinerary ideas.
Big Sky has a site at Lisbon Airport and is the ideal hire company to get your campervan holiday up and running.
McRent also offers the more traditional Winnebago styled campers and have a large fleet to suit any needs.
Quick tips before hiring your camper
- Check your travel insurance. You may already be covered and not need to buy insurance through the rental company.
- You can camp free across Portugal. Remember to leave the place as you found it.
- Lisbon, Faro and Porto are the three main depots for campervan hire in Portugal. And you can hire one way for extra charges.