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

  • Portugal’s new camera-monitored toll roads require drivers to have an activated "easytoll" card on board. If picking up your car in Portugal, ask for advice from the rental agency (you'll need to buy a prepaid "easytoll" card at, then activate it by text message). If your first use of a Portuguese toll road is at the Spanish border, you just need to insert your credit card at the toll booth to get your easytoll card. Signs near each toll camera show what you're being charged each time you pass one. Fortunately, costs are relatively low (expect to pay about €10 to cross the entire Algarve coast). Keep your easytoll card after its last use, as you’ll need its identifier number (and your license plate number) to cancel your account online once you've dropped off the car. Cancelling is important: Cards stay active a month after purchase, so if you skip this step, the next driver to rent your car can zip around the country's toll roads 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:

The Algarve

Salema no longer allows truck vendors in its town square.

The taxi and tour service in Salema run by José and Isabel has a new website and email address:,