Guidebook Updates for Portugal

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Portugal, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Portugal

  • Some of Portugal’s toll roads — such as the A-22 along the Algarve — are now tolled electronically using cameras, which identify cars by their license plate and charge the appropriate fees via a simple electronic payment system. Each time you drive under a toll camera, a sign tells you the fee (expect to pay about €10 to cross the entire Algarve coast, which covers the width of southern Portugal).

    The toll system offers three payment options. To figure out the right option, estimate your total tolls using the calculator at, or if picking up your car in Portugal, ask for advice from the rental agency. The entire process is slick and easy.

    Option 1: A TOLLCard comes in prepaid amounts (€5, €10, €20, or €40) and is valid for one year. To use it, buy the card online or from the postal service (Correios or CTT), then activate it by sending a text message from your mobile phone. You can check your balance online, plus you’ll receive a text message when it runs out (balance is refundable).

    Option 2: TOLL Service is a three-day, €20 prepaid card that includes unlimited travel. It’s available online, at post offices, and at the Porto and Faro airports.

    Option 3: With an EASYToll card, your credit card will be charged each time you pass a toll. You can buy this card at certain payment points along the border with Spain. To do that, simply pop your credit card into the machine and take your EASYToll card. This covers your car for all toll road use for a month or until you cancel the account. To close your account, go to, and enter the “identifier number” (located on your EASYToll card) and license plate number. If you don’t cancel the account, the next driver can zip around the country on your penny.



Douro Valley

  • The Solar do Vinho do Porto information and wine-tasting center in Peso da Régua has closed.


  • The Oficina de Terra (clay workshop) on Travessa do Sertório has closed.


  • Restaurante Rosa dos Mares in Belém has closed.
  • The Monastery of Jerónimos in Belém and its tower are free only on the first Sunday of the month (not every Sunday).
  • The Vini Portugal wine-tasting center in the Baixa no longer offers free wine-tasting sessions.

For books printed before March 2013, the following may also apply:

  • The sidebar on the Carnation Revolution gives incorrect dates for President António Salazar’s rule. Salazar ruled Portugal from 1926 until 1968, when he was debilitated by a stroke (he died in 1970). Salazar’s authoritarian regime, the Estado Novo, continued in power under Marcelo Caetano until 1974.
  • Buses to Madrid: The AVANZA Bus Company runs two buses a day in each direction (8–9 hours, €47.50 each way, daytime or overnight; check schedules and buy tickets on MOVELIA).



For books printed before March 2013, the following may also apply: