The history and romance of Portugal are infused in all of the other ingredients required for the perfect holiday destination; ingredients such as pristine beaches, picturesque villages, a good dash of sunshine, a friendly welcome and an emerging food scene.
If you plan on tasting the real Portugal, car hire is a must. Having four wheels on your holiday or short break will open up a host of stimulating city adventures, golfing opportunities, inland villages, dramatic coastal scenery, and secluded spots in which to enjoy the peace and quiet that Portugal has in abundance.
Whether you fly to Faro (FAO) - “the gateway to the Algarve”, Lisbon Airport (LIS) or Oporto (Porto; OPO), pre-booking your car hire in Portugal is recommended to save you money and to ensure you get the best make and model of car for you.
Hiring a car will summon the spirit of discovery while in Portugal, and why not? Christopher Colombus set sail from these shores on a number of occasions and many of those who don't believe the explorer was born in Italy say he might have been Portuguese.
Car hire in Lisbon is advantageous if you want to enjoy the attractions on the outskirts of the capital or for travelling a little further afield, perhaps to the sublime seaside playground of Estoril in Cascais, or the historic fairytale hill town of Sintra - both less than an hour by car from the heart of the city.
If the juicy vines of the lush northern Douro Valley, home of the famed port wine, are the main objective of your visit to Portugal, consider flying into Oporto and hiring your car there. A car is essential to independently explore the wine lands. While you're in the north, use your modern car to unearth some truly ancient fossils - dinosaur footprints and the site of the largest ever dinosaur egg find can be found in the northern regions.
In the south, the beaches, resorts, golf breaks and Monchique Mountains of the Algarve are easy to reach with a hire car at your disposal.
Car hire is also useful on the rugged Portuguese island of Madeira.
Wherever you end up in Portugal, kick back, listen to the Fado (traditional Portuguese music), sample the port wine and drink in the romance of this slice of the Iberian Peninsula.
To find the best price on car hire in Portugal, compare prices online now using the TravelSupermarket price-checker tool.