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Driving /Rental Car Tips

Santa Cruz...
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4 posts
2 reviews
Driving /Rental Car Tips
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Hello,

I am traveling to Portugal on my honeymoon in early May 2011. I wanted to find out what suggestions people had for traveling around portugal. We are contemplating getting a car, but we do not speak portugese.

Also, we are flying into lisbon plan to drive up the coast to porto, then inland and down back to lisbon. Do you suggest we have a car for this? Is driving dangerous? I have heard horror stories about the aggression and death rates.

Thank you,

Lisbon, Portugal
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419 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
1. Re: Driving /Rental Car Tips
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Hi,

Not speaking Portuguese will not be a problem at all. Most people speak english as well, and those who don't will make the effort to make themselves understand.

Regarding driving, the best way by far to go up the coast from Lisbon to Porto is in fact with a car. Although some people still drive like crazy, it is nowhere near the horror stories you heard anymore. The death rate has been going down and is not much bigger than in neighbouring European countries. Highways are perfectly safe and if you have a cautious approach to main and secondary roads you should have no problems at all.

Mountainside, New...
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20 posts
26 reviews
15 helpful votes
2. Re: Driving /Rental Car Tips
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I just returned from Portugal. I love driving there! The highway system is terrific but you should know that they drive very fast. If you stay on the right you will be fine. From Lisbon to Porto you can either do a direct route on A1 or go along the coast on A8 to A17 and then A29 into Porto. Beware that the toll system is strange. There are highways with toll booths and then there are some with no tolls but an electronic system which will record your license plates and then you need to go to a "Pay Shop" to pay your toll. These are call "ESCUT". I'm still trying to figure out how to pay the tolls I incurred on the way to the Porto airport. The car rental place told me I would have to have a family member pay it for me. what????? I'm a tourist in a foreign country. Not sure if I should just forget about it. Is there anyone who has had this experience?

Mountainside, New...
Level Contributor
20 posts
26 reviews
15 helpful votes
3. Re: Driving /Rental Car Tips
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I just returned from Portugal. I love driving there! The highway system is terrific but you should know that they drive very fast. If you stay on the right you will be fine. From Lisbon to Porto you can either do a direct route on A1 or go along the coast on A8 to A17 and then A29 into Porto. Beware that the toll system is strange. There are highways with toll booths and then there are some with no tolls but an electronic system which will record your license plates and then you need to go to a "Pay Shop" to pay your toll. These are call "ESCUT". I'm still trying to figure out how to pay the tolls I incurred on the way to the Porto airport. The car rental place told me I would have to have a family member pay it for me. what????? I'm a tourist in a foreign country. Not sure if I should just forget about it. Is there anyone who has had this experience?

4. Re: Driving /Rental Car Tips

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