Discover Portugal’s Route 66 — Estrada Nacional 2
An iconic Portuguese road trip through the eye-popping center of the country
Anyone up for an iconic (Portuguese) road trip?? We’re talking about traveling Portugal’s Route 66!!
Out for one of our first quiosque cafés in a looong time and got to talking with the lovely Portuguese proprietor about travel in Portugal. Knowing that we are from the US, she excitedly asked us if we knew about Portugal’s very own Route 66 — the Estrada Nacional 2. We didn’t but we do now!
It turns out that Frommer’s listed it as one of “the best places to go in 2019”. Here’s what they said about it:
Tourism is booming on Portugal’s sun-kissed beaches and in coastal cities like Lisbon and Porto, but canny travelers can get ahead of the crowds by exploring the beautiful, often-neglected interior. Estrada Nacional 2 is Portugal’s Route 66 equivalent, offering an iconic road trip through the headlands, winding 450 miles from the Roman city of Chaves, by the Spanish border in the north, down to the balmy southern beaches of the Algarve coast.
The road cuts through rugged and little-visited scenery, passing four UNESCO World Heritage sites, wild mountains, elegant spa towns, pristine lakes, and a string of historic towns and photogenic villages. Highlights include the majestic Douro Valley wine region, where riverside vineyards produce superlative vintages; the Casa de Mateus, an extraordinary Rococo palace; and the rolling plains of the Alentejo region, dotted with whitewashed villages famed for rustic cuisine.
The EN2 lets you linger in fabulous accommodations along the way, like the Vidago Palace, a recently restored spa-and-golf resort built on a grand scale in 1910; Convento da Sertã, a 17th-century convent turned boutique hotel that’s a hub for hikers, bikers, and kayakers; and L’and Vineyards, an ultramodern winery complete with Michelin-starred restaurant.
Visit Portugal has a page about it here:
There’s also a great 75th Anniversary webpage for the Estrada Nacional 2:
Those that have taken Portugal’s Route 66 recommend allowing plenty of time — up to three weeks if you can — to stop and explore along the way.
Whether on a motorcycle or a bicycle, in a camper van or a car, all signs point to Portuguese adventure.
Estrada Nacional 2 is at the top of our Portuguese bucket list. How about you?