Spain & Portugal 2009

In April and May 2009, we spent a month touring Spain & Portugal in our motorhome. Here is a diary of that trip:

Click here for a map of our route and click here to see the books and maps we used.

  1. Portsmouth-Bilbao Ferry Crossing
  2. Avila
  3. Sierra de Gredos Regional Park
  4. Monfrague National Park & Caceres
  5. Caceres to Luz
  6. Europe’s largest Reservoir & Neolithic Stones
  7. Parque Natural da Arrabida and Cabo da Roca
  8. Sintra & Ribeira d’Ilhas
  9. Santa Cruz, Praia Do Porto Novo & Peniche
  10. Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeiros & the Santuario de Fatima
  11. Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela
  12. A Driving Day: Manteigas to Estarreja
  13. Visiting Aveiro & Motorhome Parking at Pardilho
  14. Sunshine & Slums: Furadouro, Torreira & Sao Jacinto
  15. Lamego, 600 Steps & Torre de Moncorvo
  16. Parque Natural do Douro Internacional & Izeda
  17. Chaves, a Breakdown and a New Battery
  18. León (Back into Spain)
  19. Picos de Europas & Cangas de Onis
  20. Cabarceno, Bilbao & the Ferry

Here are the books & maps we used on this trip

This was our route:

6 thoughts on “Spain & Portugal 2009

  • I really enjoyed you posts. and found out some things I didn´t know about portugal (my country) and spain.
    the next time if you like nature and mountains you should visit the north of portugal (minho, alto minho and some part of trás-os-montes that i don´t think you´ve seen, p.ex. azibo, chaves) and the only portuguese national park (parque nacional peneda-gerês). you have the feeling of beeing amongst very high mountains (although the highest peak is about 1500m) and beautiful scenery with wild horses typical of that area (garranos). in the spanish side the park also exists – xurês.

    the down side is that there are no áreas de serviço for motorhomes so you´ll propably need to go for a couple of nights to a proper camping.

    • Hi Susana,

      Thanks for such an interesting comment. You’re right – we haven’t seen all of Portugal and I would love to go again. We’re planning other destinations this year but I am sure that we will make it back to Portugal at some point in the next few years. Although we were in Spain and Portugal for a month, there just wasn’t enough time for everything and we could easily plan another month or more exploring other areas.

      We did manage to visit Chaves but unfortunately most of our time there was taken up with repairing our van, which broken down in the town centre! We did manage a few photos, though.


  • you´re right!i confused myself… i meant bragança and in this city you have a very nice área de serviço (free of charge i think) behind de castle, a 5/10 min. walk to the old city inside de walls of the castle.

    the parque natural de montesinho is also very nice but you can only see it really as it is if you go to the tipical villages and do some treks.


    • We didn’t have time for Montesinho and the weather was very wet when we were in the area (April/May) – I would like to come a little later in the year and spend some time walking around there. You’re right – sometimes exploring by vehicle isn’t enough and you miss some of the best bits!

      Braganca was also on our list of places that we missed out – hopefully next time!

      Portugal may not have that many area de servico yet but most of them are really good and we really enjoyed using them (plus saved money over campsites!). We used this book to find them – is there a Portuguese equivalent?

  • all the trás-os-montes is very hot in summertime (in mirandela and small villages around temperatures often go up to 40º) and cold in the winter. you also have really nice beaches in viana do castelo, some desert or almost and some really surf sanctuaries with lots of people comming from around europe to surf. of course the weather is not as hot as in the sound and the water is cold.

    I don´t think we have that book here. what i normally use are lists that are created by the several motorhome associations and that tell you the areas de serviço that exist and what kind of services you might find in them. what we can buy here/have available is a book/guide that includes all service areas of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland.

    but buying a guide is definitely something to consider.

    by the way, we are trying to organize a 3 week trip to austria. some days to snowboard and others to hike and rest. do you have any suggestions?


    • I don’t know Austria all that well – I’ve only been there a couple of times for a few days in late summer/autumn. I’d like to explore Austria more, too, although I’m not so keen on winter weather! I guess the places you will be interested in for snowboarding will mostly be in the north-east, close to Germany and Switzerland.



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