Campervan Rental in Portugal
With a campervan in Portugal, you can move at your own pace, choose your own itinerary, and have the freedom to be totally nomadic on your trip! Perhaps you’ve seen a stunning vineyard on your journey to the coast? Simply pull over and spend the day learning about wine on your own schedule. Rather rent a car? That’s also possible!
Who Should You Hire From?
Portugal is one of the main players in the road trip game, and because of this, there are plenty of companies to hire a campervan from. From big companies to vintage camper companies and smaller family-run businesses, there’s a camper for every kind of traveler!
We are big fans of Soul Campers. We’re happy to share a 5% discount on your campervan only for readers of Salt in our Hair. Make a reservation and mention the code SALTINOURHAIR in the booking form.
Soul Campers is a family-run company, and we couldn’t have been happier with our experience. Besides being extremely comfortable and equipped with everything you need for the trip, they are environmentally friendly! Our van was insulated with locally sourced cork and even had solar panels for power. Pick-up is free from the town of Faro in the Algarve. Alternatively, the pick-up can be arranged in Lisbon or Seville for a small fee.
Campervan Hire Price
The price of hiring a campervan in Portugal will vary depending on the season and the size/type of campervan you need. For example, in the summer high season, rental prices can double, as well as campsites are more expensive. Prices, on average, start from 60 EUR per night in the low winter season but will be higher if you need add-ons.
When considering what you need for the campervan holiday, take into account the extras you may need. For example, in the summer, you may want a grill, some wetsuits, or a surfboard. Most campervan rentals in Portugal provide all of these for an extra hire fee.
Important Documents for Campervan Hire
- Valid driving license – check yours is valid before arriving in Portugal. Depending on your country of residence, you may need an international driving license.
- Passport – you normally need to show some form of ID at the pick-up point.
- A printed-out rental agreement – it’s always worth printing out your rental agreement to show when collecting your campervan.
- Insurance – basic insurance is provided in most campervan hire fees, which means you will need to leave a security deposit on arrival. If you want more comprehensive insurance, it’s worth looking into having your own.
Choosing a Route
Choosing your route is one of the most exciting parts of a campervan road trip in Portugal! Consider where you are collecting the van from and the type of holiday you want. For example, do you want to explore cities and do some surfing on the coast? Or would you rather head inland to natural parks and beautiful mountains? Our 3-week Portugal route covers a bit of everything!
Toll Roads Portugal
The toll roads in Portugal are incredible for quick transport. However, the scenic routes are much more rewarding! On top of that, the toll roads are quite expensive and could add another 200 – 600 EUR to your road trip in Portugal.
Because of this, it’s best to avoid as many as possible. Additionally, you may discover some beautiful spots that weren’t on your original itinerary, even if it takes a little longer. To opt for the scenic route, just click the avoid tolls check button on Google Maps.
Campsites in Portugal
Campsites in Portugal vary from very basic to those with showers, a swimming pool, and even tennis courts. Depending on what you are looking for, there are plenty of ways to book your camping slot ahead of time, such as using websites like pitchup.com or via the official tourism page of Portugal. The app ‘Park4night‘ also shows places to park up for the night, reviewed by other motorhome users.
Wild Camping in Portugal
Please be aware that wild camping is illegal in Portugal. However, you will notice that, particularly on the coastal roads, there are tonnes of campervans parked up overnight. Generally, the authorities turn a blind eye, but wild camp at your own risk. Wherever you are, make sure to respect the nature around you and clean up after yourself.
Tip: looking for an alternative to wild camping? Consider trying ‘Portugal Easy Camp’, where you can camp on remote vineyards and farms, soaking up the wild nature of Portugal. All you have to do in return is purchase the farmer’s product/service.
Our favorite spots during our campervan trip through Portugal:
The Basics of Traveling by Campervan in Portugal
Traveling through Portugal by campervan is an amazing experience and super easy! Use these tips to make the journey even smoother.
Food and Water
There are plenty of big supermarkets to shop from throughout Portugal, such as Intermache and Lidl. Lidl is particularly cheap to shop for food and can be found in small towns, cities, and on the edge of motorways.
In the campervan, you won’t have an oven, only a stove, so make sure to take that into account when shopping. Tinned food, pasta, fresh veggies, and fruit are easy to get at all supermarkets.
Although restaurants and cafes will always bring you bottled water, tap water is safe to drink in Portugal. The taste might be not exactly what you’re used to, but if you’re worried, consider using a water purifier. Bring refillable water bottles with you to save on plastic and keep your water cold while traveling.
Campervan rentals will have an inverter, so you are able to charge your laptop, phone, and camera battery while traveling around Portugal. Only use the inverter while you’re driving unless you’re wild camping, as it will drain the car battery. At most official campsites, you will be able to charge devices using their facilities.
Portugal has a good 4G signal in many places. However, be aware that in more remote locations, such as national parks or mountains, there may be no service. Consider bringing a wifi dongle like Solis Wifi Hotspots (formerly Skyroam) if you need wifi for work while camping.
Showers and Toilets
Our Soul Campers van had a hot shower included as part of the van hire price. For an extra 40 EUR, you can also hire a chemical toilet, which can be handy if you’re wild camping. Remember that you will also need to empty the waste from the toilet tank at designated places, normally at most service stations ;-). We chose to use the toilets in supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, and campsites.
It is recommended to bring or arrange a sleeping bag to stay warm during the nights in winter. You might want to bring a pair of earplugs, to be sure. Other than that, the nights in a campervan are great! Nick is 190 centimeters long, and he fits in the bed perfectly.
There is nothing better than driving on the open road accompanied by your favorite playlist. You can use the offline mode on Spotify while driving to save data.
During the nights, especially in the summer months, it’s lovely to sit outside in the warm breeze, listen to music, and enjoy the stars. However, it’s still worth downloading some movies/series from Netflix!
Costs of Traveling by Campervan in Portugal
- Airport Hotel: 30 – 60 USD / night
- Camping: 18 – 40 USD / night
- Food: 18 – 25 USD / day
- Campervan: 70 – 150 USD / night
- Shower: 3 USD / day
- Gas: 30 USD / day
Best Time to Travel by Campervan in Portugal
The best ‘all-around’ time to travel to Portugal by campervan is either in the spring or in the autumn. During these seasons, the price of hiring a van and camping for the night is lower, and there are fewer tourists on the road. The days are still sunny and warm, and it’s a beautiful time to watch the seasons change.