Portugal is one of the best countries to travel by van and we’ll tell you exactly why. Portugal is such a beautiful country with a ton of things to do. The best part? Everything is SO close together that you never have to spend too much time driving and have more time for exploration.

In this post, you’ll hear about what we think is the best camper van rental in Portugal. Yes, this is subjective because we’ve only ever had one camper van hire in Portugal – but our experience was awesome! 

Whenever we have a good experience with a company, tour, or adventure we love to share it so you can have a great experience as well. We know renting a camper van anywhere can be quite a bit of work, so let’s dive in.

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Disclosure: this post is written in collaboration with Portugal by Van. This review is 100% our own. Thank you <3

Renting a camper van in Portugal

This post is specifically going to be about renting a camper van from Lisbon since most people tend to fly into Lisbon and start their Portugal road trips from there. That’s what we did too.

Lisbon is located sorta central, so if you’re thinking about going down to the Algarve or heading up the Silver Coast (west coast) towards Porto you can do either option from there.

Portugal by Van is located right on the outskirts of Lisbon and you can easily get there by metro and from their office, you’ll be on the highway in minutes. 

There aren’t too many camper van companies in Lisbon but we had a friend who did a trip using one of Portugal By Van’s camper vans right before us and she only had good things to say. So we trusted her, and it definitely paid off. 

When renting a camper van in Portugal there are quite a few things to take into consideration. We cover all that in this post including how we camped for free in Portugal as well as our favourite campsites! If you’re looking at a complete guide for camping in Portugal specific we got you covered too.

Average cost for a camper van hire in Portugal

When looking at the cost of hiring a camper van there are a few things to take into consideration: The price of the camper van per day and the price of campsites per day. During the summer months, both of those will be more expensive and then cheaper during the winter months. 

That’s why we recommend travelling during the shoulder season (late spring or early fall) where prices are sort of in the middle. When you take everything into consideration, it’s often a lot cheaper to rent a camper van in Portugal than renting a flat and always doing day trips from those places. Plus camper van life is just a damn good time! 

Here’s a list of the costs for campervan hire in Portugal:

  • Campervan €55 – €145 / day
  • Insurance €7.5 / day
  • Campsites €10 – €20 / day (or free)
  • Food 
  • Propane tanks for cooking €2.5 / 3 days
  • Fuel (is pretty expensive in Portugal – around €1.5 – €1.7 / liter)

Which camper van to choose

Portugal by Van Van with a couple sitting in front of it.

So since there were only the two of us on this road trip we went with the smallest van Portugal by Van has. They have three different models. The smallest and cheapest one is the Fiat Ducato. And by the smallest we don’t mean it is small – it’s still quite big. There’s enough room for three people to sleep, cook, store luggage, and wash dishes. 

So we went with the Fiat Ducato! It’s quite spacious and as long as you’re not over 6 feet tall you will fit perfectly inside. I (Dom) am just over 6 feet so I did have to bend over a bit when cooking and stuff. But that’s just a part of van life, isn’t it? 

You can see Portugal By Van’s different options of vans here.

When is the best time to travel Portugal by camper van

Price guide for Campervan Rental in Portugal.

So we actually did our Portugal road trip during one of the most uncommon times which is November. There are some perks to this since campervan rentals are cheapest around this time of year because there isn’t much demand.

This also means lots of the attractions, campsites, and places aren’t nearly as busy as they would be other times of the year.

For the most part, we actually enjoyed road tripping around Portugal in November! Except for a few reasons… The downside is that the sun does go down sooner which means you will spend more time snuggling inside the van. The other downside is that it does get quite chilly at night. So make sure to bring warm clothes. 

Besides those minor things, it was awesome travelling in November. If we were to do it again I think we would go between the Medium Low and Medium High Season. 

Late May and early June (Medium low – Medium High Season) should still be nice and relaxing tourism wise. Alnd it’s aso still warm enough to enjoy road tripping along the coast and through all the small Portuguese towns.  

Next time we come and explore other parts of Portugal we’ll do it during different times of the year. It will of course cost more but we love warm weather.

Finding campsites around Portugal

Portugal is SUPER campervan and road trip friendly. There’s an app that basically has all the information you need during your trip such as where to camp (for free), where you can find drinking water, places to do laundry, and much more. 

Park4Night is the app that helps with finding everything camping-related. We used this app every day to help plan our road trip up the Silver Coast.

There’s quite a few free campsites around Portugal and also some really cheap ones that are worth staying at. Actually, our favourite campsite that we stayed at was in Ericeira. It was €12.5 for the two of us, water and electricity hookup, and warm showers! If you find your way up the Silver Coast make sure to stop by Ericeira Camping right in town.

Flush is another app you should consider downloading before your trip. It will tell you where you can find a bathroom which comes in handy if you don’t get a chemical toilet in your van.

Here’s a list of a few of our favourite campsites in Portugal. I’m sure this list will grow as we explore more of Portugal and get awesome recommendations from you guys!

Other things to know when renting a campervan in Portugal

  • Propane tanks can be bought at Decathlon. If you use it every day to make coffee, lunch, and dinner then one tank will last 2-3 days. 
  • This can be confusing but Gas = Gasoline and Diesel = Gasoleo. If you’re confused, just ask the gas station attendants to double check. 
  • There are certain places you can fill up water and drop off your waste water. Most campsites offer these kinds of services. Some free campsites will also offer this for a fee.
  • There are different types of insurance you can get that cover a certain amount of damage in case of an accident or damage to the car. We went with the €7.5 / day package since that’s what we felt comfortable with.
  • There are highway tolls in Portugal where you have to pay to drive on certain stretches of the highway. If you use Google Maps, you can turn on the setting “avoid tolls” and you’ll be taken only on the free roads.
  • During the summer months, free camping “wild camping” is a lot more under surveillance than during the winter months. Since we travelled around in November it was a lot more relaxed. We stayed at night at the Cabo da Roca sunset spot and no one said a thing. In the summer months that could be a different story. 
  • Portugal by Van offers wifi as an extra feature, so if you work online like we do, this is definitely worth considering!

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Summary of hiring a campervan in Portugal

A man and a women enjoying lunch while camping in Portugal.

Hopefully, now you’ll be well covered and know what to expect when renting a van in Portugal. There are other companies in Porto and Lagos that do campervan hire but we loved Portugal by Van so that’s the one we’re going to recommend to you 😉

Since we flew into Lisbon it was easy to do it this way. Lisbon is also an awesome city to start your road trip from. Plus we had an amazing experience with Portugal By Van so it only makes sense to share our experience! 

Have an amazing time exploring Portugal. The beautiful beaches, castles, coastline, and wine! Portugal is such an amazing country and doing it by campervan is the right way!

Have fun!

Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures

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