The 10 best roads in Portugal serves a guide to the most the roads and their natural scenery that make Portugal one of the best Motorcycle destinations in the World. Can you imagine the amazing ride of following a river’s contour with lush green vineyards, or strait empty roads through no man’s lands, where it just you the motorcycle and the landscape…With each turn you can be surprised by the fields, rivers, mountains, forests, villages and towns! If these roads won’t inspire you to take a Motorcycle Tour Holiday in Portugal, we don’t know what can.
Régua – Pinhão (N222)
The Portuguese National Road number 222 has been recently recognized by a number of travel and motorcycle rental companies as the best riding road of the world. Connecting Régua to Pinhao, its 27 kilometres will take you through the heart of the Douro Valley, arguably the most impressive wine region in the world. It follows the Douro River’s contour upstream, where you will find yourself surrounded by the lush green of the terraced vineyards. Studies say that the road has the perfect value 10-1, which means every 10 seconds spend in a straight line are followed by 1 second in a turn.
Cascais – Praia das Maçãs (N247)
20 kilometers long, the 247 road is a fantastic mountain ride through the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais with a lots of constant left-right turns. There is hardly any strait line and you always have the ocean on one side and thick forest on the other. At the end of the road is Cabo da Roca, the most western point of continental Europe. The way down to the beach is a magnificent experience, as the forest thickens making it look like the trees are going to hug you at every turn.
São Brás de Alportel – Amodôvar (EN2)
The Portuguese national road number 2, or EN2 crosses Portugal from top to bottom dividing the map in two. It is also Portugal’s longest road with 740 kilometres taking you from Chaves to Faro. Dating back to Roman origins, it has an almost mystical significance for Portuguese motorcyclists as it crosses some of Portugal’s most iconic landscapes and villages. Some even call it the Portuguese Route 66. One special stretch are the final 60 kilometres in the Algarve, where the road goes up and down along the Caldeirão mountain, giving you breathtaking views almond carob trees plantations.
Manteigas – Covilhã (N338/339)
I have to confess that is my favourite road in the whole of Portugal. It starts in the small town of Manteigas, right in the heart of Portugal’s highest mountain – the Serra da Estrela it is 30 kilometres of pure mountain drive heaven. The best time is around 3 hours before sundown. At this time the angle makes the iron particles in the granite sparkle making this drive up the glacier’s valley the real “stairway to heaven”. The recurrent abyss and creeping bushes will make you feel alive more than any other road on earth.
Tortosendo – Unhais da Serra/Fundão (N230/343)
Tortosendo is known to be the jewel of the Interior Center of Portugal because of its thermal waters and purity of the water running in the Zezere River. The road lays on the south west face of Serra da Estrela (Portugal’s Highest Mountain) and still with the protect landscape of this mountain’s Natural Park. This road will make you feel like caressing the mountain and valleys with the movement of the motorcycle. You can feel the power of the nature in its silence and beauty along these 35 kms of pure joy!
Estremoz – Redondo (N381)
Estremoz was a village of strategic importance in the defence of the Portuguese borders against the Moors. It also happens to mark km 0 of the most typical road in the flatland region of Alentejo , with its 26 kilometres connecting Estremoz to Redondo. Since almost all the turns are extremely soft the major interest of this driving on this road is the unimpeded landscape views to Megalithic monuments, never ending vineyards, plenty of crook trees and cows.
Barca d’Alva – Freixo de Espada à Cinta (N221)
This is a special road, because for 22 kilometre you will have the Douro river and its valley always beside you till the end of Portugal. After the end Spain will take care of the river. The best thing about this particular road are the frequent belvederes where you can have a bird’s eye view of the magnificence of the Douro Valley. The ride very relaxing and the views make you feel in peace and part of the nature. Very powerful.
Alcoutim – Foz do rio Odeleite (N507)
Driving from the beautiful village of Mértola, you arrive to small village of Alcoutim to start this piece of Algarve Wonder. The curves are always following the west banks of the Guadiana River as it flows to the Mediterranean. One of the highlights of this journey is the tranquillity of the natural amphitheatre produced by the mountain range of Serra do Caldeirão. On the way down to Algarve, the 16 kilometres ride goes through the most bucolic landscapes found in Portugal.
Paço de Calheiros – Senhora da Peneda (N203)
Maybe the curviest road of these top ten and probably the one with the most amazing rural beauty. No need to say more, pure joyride! The oldest villages are concentrated mainly in the Serra da Peneda and stay away from modern life. Oxen are still conducted along the streets by women dressed in black and pastors still leave their flocks graze alone for five months. In more remote areas of the park, some wolves still live, also wild boars, badgers, otters, deer and wild ponies. It’s a back to the roots ride!
Nazaré – Figueira da Foz (Estrada Atlântica)
From the fishermen’s village of Nazaré till a port town of Figueira da Foz, this road is made up of 40 Kilometres of strait emptiness. The road doesn’t even have a number and it is not part of the Portuguese Road System. It is just you, the motorcycle, the ocean on the left and Portugal’s oldest and biggest pine forest to the right. If you like riding solitude, then this is your road…