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Portugal - practical info

Alone or with others?

Portugal is a member of the European Union, and so is one of the ‘easy’ destinations for bikers, who find here a bureaucracy that allows them to move freely within its borders, with their bike or a hired one.
Distance from Italy is such that we do not advise the first option, unless you have at least 10 days (between Rome and Lisbon the road is about 2,500kms. A plane can take you there in less than 3 hours). The classic summer holiday, of two/three weeks, makes it mandatory for you to use your bike or maxi scooter… Specially accessorised, without the compromises that you inevitably accept when hiring a bike.
If your itinerary does not take you off road, you certainly don’t need the assistance of a guide (the sat nav helps you reach your daily destination).
If instead you have chosen Portugal for its off-road possibilities, it could be worth having a local motorbike guide, a solution that is even more appealing if you are travelling alone.
In this case you could venture on part of the Transportugal route. There are those who do it whole (almost 5,000kms between Spain and Portugal) and those who choose to shorten the distances. The interesting thing is that most of it is easy and suitable for Maxi Enduros. If you are interested head towards Sagres or Braganca.
Moving on to safety. Crime rates are not high in this Country, but you need to be careful of pickpockets, muggers and thieves in the main tourist areas.
In Lisbon, you must be careful in the most visited parts of the city (particularly Belém, Baixa, Alfama, Castelo, Bairro Alto and Chiado).
It is strongly advisable not to leave on the bike accessories which can be easily removed.
We recommend to be careful when riding, especially in big urban areas, and to respect road signs (for example trams can be overtaken only when there is a special area for passengers to get on and off.) The allowed blood-alcohol concentration limit is 0.05%. The allowed limit for those with less than 3 years’ riding experience goes down to 0.02%.
The use of dipped headlights is obligatory for motorcycles both night and day.
The new Portuguese traffic laws impose non residents the immediate payment of fines, or the vehicle will be temporarily impounded.
There is a police department called ‘Polícia de Segurança Pública – Comando  Metropolitano de Lisboa, Esquadra de Turismo’ (Tourist Police Station) where you can be assisted in your own language. This department is located in Palácio Foz in Praça dos Restauradores (Tel. +351 21 342 16 23). In Oporto you can find it in Rua Clube Fenianos 11 (Tel. +351  22 20818 33).

Personal and bike documents

Europeans who want to enter Portugal need a valid passport or identity card valid for going abroad. The Italian driver’s licence is recognised and allows you to ride or hire a motorbike. Also Italian insurance of the vehicle is valid in Portugal. For other countries we suggest contacting the national automobil club.
For any modifications relating to the residual validity required for passports before leaving it is best to ask the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in your Country (or a travel agency).
No entry visa is required for European citizens.

Health conditions

No vaccination is obligatory. The whole Country has a good health service.
Italian citizens who go to Portugal temporarily for study, tourism or business can receive medical care as provided by the national health service, if they have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). EHIC substitutes the previous E110, E111, E119 and E128 forms. If you do not yet have it, you can ask your local health centre for a ‘Provisional replacement certificate’.
Before leaving it is advisable in any case to stipulate a medical insurance covering medical expenses and the possible medical repatriation or transfer to another Country.

Motorbike equipment

Fundamental are wide-capacity rigid cases. Adding internal bags makes transporting luggage during breaks easier (avoiding having to take all the cases). According to the type of itinerary, extra water or fuel tanks could be useful, along with all the technical accessories to protect the engine from rocks and blows, such as engine guards and carter protectors.
The climate in Portugal is pleasantly mild,with differences between the North (cooler and rainier) and the South, in Algarve, which is hot, sunny and dry. If you are going North – not in the summer – make sure you have a windscreen and pack the very useful rain suit.

Language, currency and other tips

Portuguese is the official language. In tourist areas people commonly speak English, Spanish and French.
The official currency is obviously the Euro. International credit cards are accepted everywhere.
Mobile networks are active all over the country. The three networks that guarantee the service are: MEO, Vodafone and Optimus.
To call Portugal from abroad you need to dial the international code 00 followed by 351.
Electricity voltage 220V. Wi-Fi service in major cities.

Emergencies (National SOS number 112)
Lisbon Tourist Police Department: 00351 213 421 623, Cascais: 00351 214 863 929
Oporto: 00351 222 081 833
Italians can also contact Linea Salute 24 (a toll-free number you can call only from Portugal for information and health assistance) 808 242424
Further information is available on the Portuguese Tourist Office’s website:
Italian Embassy – L.go Conde de Pombeiro, 6 – 1150-100 Lisbon Tel. 00351.213.515.320
e-mail: – Website:


The average cost of a litre of 4-star petrol (as of 22 February 2016) is 1.37 Euro.

When to travel

Practically in any season. Portugal guarantees at least 3,000 hours of sun a year and offers 850kms of beautiful beaches and coast roads.
Average yearly temperatures never go below 8° C at night and 15° C by day (temperatures recorded in Lisbon in January).
In the internal regions of Portugal winter becomes colder, especially when increasing altitude: going east not only do you distance yourselves from the ocean, but you reach also some hundreds of metres in altitude, and especially in the central-northern regions it can sometimes snow.
Roads are good. Motorways have tolls. You pay the toll in cash or by credit card.
The speed limit on motorways is 120km/h, 90km/h on main roads and 50km/h in

Motorbike hire

To hire a vehicle in Portugal you must be 21 or over and have a valid driver’s licence which is more than 1 year old.
Some of the organisation present:


+34 938 770 001
(To establish an email contact you need to fill in a form)


Rua de Camões, 703 – 4000-148 Porto – Portugal 


Av. Severiano Falcão, Nº 7 – 7° – Edifício Hertz
2685-379 Prior Velho – Portugal
(+351) 210 413 334 


IC2, N 42 – Matos da Ranha – 3105-458 – Vermoil, Pombal 
Tel: (+351) 236 098 652

Contents updated as of May 2023.
Your indications are always useful to update the PRACTICAL INFO.