National Road 2

8 days
Road map

Emotions concentrate. This is undoubtedly one of the ways of describing what Portugal has to offer from north to south. In just over 700 km from north to south, we discover mountains, valleys, plains, sea, rivers, breathtaking reservoirs, the best beaches in the world, classified heritage, true gastronomic treasures and much, much more…

See also:

Step 1
From Chaves to Vila Real – 2 days


Where everything begins or ends on this route of the EN2. Whatever the situation, it’s a big one! Chaves is the capital of the Alto Tâmega region and one of the oldest cities in the country. Being small, it is ideal for walking while enjoying the fresh air and discovering nooks and crannies.


A não perder:

Trajan’s Roman Bridge

It was built in the Romanization period (around 104 AD) and is one of the “postcards” of the city. Famous for its twelve arches visible over the Tâmega River, it is a remarkable piece of engineering at the time and was in full operation until the 1950s. XX, when it became pedestrian only. It’s a remarkable setting for late afternoon photographs! 150 meters from this bridge, on a roundabout, is the landmark that marks the beginning or end of this EN2 route.

Trajano roman bridge

Chaves Castle Keep

Of the original castle, only this keep remains, surrounded by a garden where some museum pieces from the region have been exposed over time. Not to be missed is the climb to the top of the Tower and register the unique panoramic view of the entire valley of Chaves.

Chaves - Torre de Menagem

Historic center and the balconies of Rua Direita

Walking through the tidy streets of the historic center and taking a look at the various suspended balconies is one of the must-do tours in Chaves. It is on Rua Direita that these famous balconies stand out the most. Typical of this area, they were born from the need to “enlarge” the area of these small houses a little. Each one with its own color and shape, over the years they have become one of the places to be included in any city itinerary.

Museum of Contemporary Art Nadir Afonso

It concentrates two huge names of Portuguese culture. The world-renowned Architect Siza Vieira, responsible for the building’s design, and the painter born in Chaves Nadir Afonso, one of the most notable Portuguese plastic artists of the last century.


An internationally renowned spa region, it is famous for its carbonated waters and above average alkalinity. No less famous is the Vidago Palace Hotel with its majestic façade surrounded by centenary trees. An authentic photograph that seems to have been frozen in the time of their majesties.

Vidago Palace Hotel
Para provar:
Pastel de Chaves

Product with a protected geographical indication, it is a very thin puff pastry with minced meat inside. It is the gastronomic delight par excellence of the city!

Folar de Chaves

Typical of this Trás-os-Montes region, meat folar (also known as meat ball) is a delicious mix of pasta and meat from the region.

Chaves Ham

Portugal has many regions known for the production of exceptional hams. But it’s the ones from Chaves that have gathered, over the years, the unanimity of being considered one of the best in the country!

Vila Real

Old town, it is the capital of the district and one of the most visited in the region, famous for its aristocratic houses, Manueline features and wrought iron balconies.

3km from the center is one of the jewels of Portuguese Baroque and one of the most visited ex-libris: the imposing Palácio de Mateus. Classified as National Heritage, it was designed by the architect Nicolau Nasoni, also famous for the Clérigos Tower in Porto. Surrounded by wonderful gardens, it is a must for its carved wooden ceilings, decoration that spans several eras and a library with around 6,000 volumes, including the famous illustrated edition of Lusíadas by Luís de Camões.

Vila Real

Just a few kilometers from the city is a village that gave its name to the black pottery of Bisalhães, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. An authentic protected treasure, it is famous for being a totally black pottery. After being molded by the potters, the pieces are baked in open ovens on the ground where local plants such as broom, pine needle and gorse are burned, which are then covered with earth which, mixed with smoke, gives the clay pieces their black color.

Para provar:
Maronesa Beef

The Maronesa breed is typical of this area and is characteristic for having a unique flavor. Some even say it’s one of the best in the world! It is always present on the menus of local restaurants and can be enjoyed in many ways, with the grilled “posta Maronesa” being one of the most popular.

Feijoada à Transmontana

Of Mediterranean origin, feijoada dates back to Roman times. It is a stew of beans and meats accompanied by rice.

It’s worth the detour!

Ribeira de Pena

Upon reaching Vila Pouca de Aguiar, give in to temptation and turn towards Ribeira de Pena. It takes just 20 minutes to reach some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, including the 60-meter-high “Cai d’Alto”. Along the Poio River you will discover some places that only the locals know. Waterfalls, lagoons, cliffs that make this landscape one of the best kept secrets.

Historic train bridge - Douro River


From Peso da Régua to Pinhão it’s about 27 km through the EN 222, one of the most beautiful roads in the world! It’s about a 30-minute drive between emblematic vineyards, in the middle of Alto Douro Vinhateiro, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it is one of the unmissable places in this region that is the birthplace of some of the best wines in the world.


Not to be missed:

The origins of Port Wine

As a unique and iconic landscape, it is an endless number of terraces torn by mountains and valleys along the Douro River and the region of many Port Wine producing estates. Many of them offer guided tours, wine tasting and accommodation.

Rows of grape vines, Douro River valley

Railway Station

Pinhão is considered as the geographical center of the Douro Demarcated Region.
When you arrive in this town, don’t miss the Railway Station building, built at the end of the 19th century. XIX, whose walls are lined with tile panels that represent the wine region to which it belongs.

River dock

Another place to visit is the river pier where you can see the typical Rabelo boats, known for transporting barrels of Port Wine to Vila Nova de Gaia in ancient times. It is also from this pier that the main tourist cruises depart. If you can, be sure to take one of these tours as it is a unique opportunity to get to know this region from the perspective of one of its main protagonists: the Douro River. Truly unmissable!

Pinhão - river dock

Viewpoint of Sao Leonardo da Galafura

It’s one of those places that really deserves the detour! A place where the famous Portuguese poet and writer Miguel Torga was usually contemplated, it has a unique view over the meandering Douro River, between mountains and valleys and with the city of Peso da Régua in the background. Being here at sunrise is one of the most calming experiences there is. But if you go at the end of the afternoon, it’s also to fill the camera’s memory card!

São Leonardo da Galafura viewpoint
Para provar:
Favaios Bread

Favaios bread is recognized for its quality and unusual design (which is why it is also called “bread with four corners”). Made from wheat, it is an extremely popular local product.

Porto Wine

This whole area, par excellence, is home to some of the best wines. For decades, Port Wine has crossed borders and is now appreciated all over the world. It is a liqueur wine and produced specifically in this Demarcated Region of the Douro.

Moscatel de Favaios

Moscatel is a grape variety and Favaios is known for giving rise to this delicious sweet appetizer. It is very aromatic and has a very characteristic taste.

Step 2
From Peso da Régua to Viseu – 2 days

Peso da Régua

Also known as “Régua”, it is one of the port wine capitals. Its history goes hand in hand with wine production in this area and, also for this reason, it is here that we can visit the Douro Museum. From its river port, the typical Rabelo boats loaded with barrels of Port Wine departed towards Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Today, with Rabelos moored and functioning only as postcards for the area, it is from here that many of the cruises depart that take us to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Site upriver.
At certain times of the year, it is also from Peso da Régua that you can take the Douro Historical Train, a ride in old carriages that goes up the old railway line, almost always by the river, to the Tua Valley, passing through Pinhão . A breathtaking walk, like almost everything else in this area!

Rabelo Boats


It is precisely through the EN2 that we pass by the beginning of the Baroque staircase of the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in Lamego. The true point of attraction in the city, it deserves all the calories burned when climbing the 686 steps. The Sanctuary is surrounded by the Parque de Santo Estevão and the view from the top is superb.
Over the centuries, Lamego has been greatly influenced by the Church and proof of this are the various monuments, churches, sanctuaries and houses emblazoned with truly remarkable artistic details. Beautiful tile panels, sacred paintings, gilded decorations, sculptures and much, much more…

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Lamego
Para provar:
Lafões-style roasted veal

The tender Vitela de Lafões is produced entirely by family businesses in the Lafões region. It is one of the unmissable dishes of the region and is typically baked in a wood oven.


District capital, Viseu is the land of Viriato, hero and leader of the Lusitanians who, between 147 and 139 BC, defeated several Roman armies and, for that reason, went down in history as one of the greatest symbols of bravery and unity of the Iberian peoples against the occupation outside.
With over 2500 years of history and human occupation since the Iron Age, it is a city with an exceptional quality of life and a place to get lost for a while.
Among squares and typical streets, don’t miss the Misericórdia Church, the Cathedral, the Grão Vasco Museum and the Museum of Sacred Art.

Para provar:
“Rancho” Viseu style

Traditional dish with an unusual mix of different meats, sausages, cabbage, pasta, potatoes and chickpeas. A dish that “snuggle”!

Goat and Veal from the Region

This whole area is characterized by the grazing and quality meat it produces. Some of the most typical dishes are veal and kid roasted in the oven with carqueja rice or giblets.


The sweet Viriato is named after the mythical hero of Viseu. It’s a V-shaped cake, made with a special dough, filled with dulce de ovo and with a layer of granulated sugar on top.

It’s worth the detour!

Schist Villages

5,000 km2, 27 villages, 4 zones (Serra da Lousã, Serra do Açor, Zêzere and Tejo-Ocreza). For true nature lovers, this region deserves time to be experienced. Take some time along this EN2 route, or come back later for a visit with many more days. You’ll see that you don’t regret it. It is the pure state of a protected landscape, unique geography, culture and people. Mountains as far as the eye can see, rivers, streams and, of course, centuries-old villages with an intact identity, made with stones from the mountains, carefully recovered and inhabited by local people or by those who made this retreat a way of life.
There are many trails, points of interest and the particularity of, with the luck of a cloudless night, being able to contemplate the starry sky like in few other places in the world. The Milky Way is seen with the naked eye, just as it has been seen for thousands of years. It is no coincidence that the Starlight Foundation awarded this region the international Starlight Tourist Destination certification.
There are 27 villages, all worthy of a visit. But if you don’t have much time, we recommend Aldeia do Talasnal. Unmissable!

Schist Village


It is perhaps one of the most visited shale villages. Built with the schist that the mountains gave, it is today the true example of how to preserve and recover this practically untouchable heritage. Located on a steep slope of Serra da Lousã, it has several dozens of rehabilitated houses and a unique view over the castle of Lousã. With a location that was once thought to defend against attacks, today it gives it a special charm when seen from afar, bursting in the middle of dense nature. Be sure to visit Talasnal, to go back in time while getting lost in its narrow and labyrinthine streets, made between the most typical schist houses in the region.

Step 3
From Pedrógão Grande to Ferreira do Alentejo – 2 days

Pedrógão Grande

Visiting Pedrógão is walking side by side with a vast natural heritage, of which the Zêzere River, the many river beaches and a vast network of pedestrian routes that can be explored throughout the year stand out. Of particular note is the Philippine Bridge, classified as a national monument, built in the 16th century. XVII and “hidden” at the bottom of a valley. One of the privileged observation points of this bridge is the viewpoint of Barragem do Cabril. On one side we see the immense lake created by the reservoir of the dam. On the opposite side, the meandering river Zêzere with the bridge in the background.
Another of the national monuments of Pedrógão Grande is its Igreja Matriz, built in the 16th century. XII and a witness to the many interventions suffered over eight hundred years.

Zêzere River

Vila de Rei

In the heart of the municipality of Vila de Rei, in the town of Melriça, is the Geodesic Center of Portugal, the geographic center of the country. At 600 meters above sea level, it is an unmissable place for its 360º view and from where we can see Serra da Estrela and Serra da Lousã.
If you have some more time, be sure to take the panoramic road to Vila de Rei, a road that runs along the Albufeira de Castelo de Bode and connects the towns of Fernandaires and Zaboeira, along which you can stop at the various viewpoints with views of great beauty over the landscape.

Para provar:

The most typical dishes are fish soup, kid, maranhos and stuffed pork belly.

Stuffed “Bucho”

This typical dish consists of using the pig’s stomach (tripe), previously prepared and later stuffed with a mixture of homemade meats that, after being cooked, are shredded by hand. To these meats, bread in small pieces, eggs and parsley are added. At the end, and after the tripe is closed, it goes to the oven to bake.

Roasted lamb

Truly typical, it is a dish that crosses several regions of the interior of Portugal. Oven-roasted kid, almost always accompanied by oven-roasted potatoes and sautéed turnip greens. In certain menus, potatoes in the oven are replaced by rice made with the “drip” from roasting the kid (fat and juices produced during the cooking of the kid).

Ponte de Sor

Ponte de Sor is a quiet town that has experienced sustainable growth over the years. Built along the banks of the River Sor, its waterfront is one of its main attractions. Pedestrian routes and a set of support infrastructures guarantee a peaceful break for EN2 adventurers.
Throughout this area we begin to see changes in the landscape. It is par excellence a region of abundant cork oaks and marble exploration. As a result, Ponte de Sor is also known for its typical handicrafts, namely decorative marble pieces, wicker basketry and true works of art made of cork.

Ponte de Sor
Para provar:

This whole region has a very rich gastronomy made from local products, livestock and river fishing. stand out to

  • Cabbage soup with beans;
  • Entrecote with charcoal migas or cabbage migas with red beans and cornbread;
  • Lamprey rice;
  • Shad soup;
  • Grilled largemouth bass;
  • Eel stew or fried eels;
  • Roasted cod with migas;
  • Angry rabbit;
  • Açorda de Roe.


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30 km from Évora, Montemor-o-Novo is known for being the birthplace of João Cidade, known as São João de Deus, the patron saint of the sick. After being arrested in Spain for being considered crazy, he lived closely with the cruelty with which the sick were treated. After leaving, he dedicated himself to the tireless treatment of all who needed medical care and even created a hospital. His fame went down in history and in the middle of Montemor-o-Novo a tribute statue was created, where we can see him carrying a patient.
Passing through this town also calls for a visit to the old town with its narrow streets and the Castle of Montemor-o-Novo. It is in this place that we can also visit the Paço do Alcaide, where Vasco da Gama traced and completed the famous sea route to India.
Continuing along the EN2 towards the south, and taking a slight detour, we can also visit several megalithic monuments that are very well preserved, such as, for example, the Almendres Cromlech, a Neolithic group of vertical stones.

Almendres Cromelech

Ferreira do Alentejo

30 km from Évora, Montemor-o-Novo is known for being the birthplace of João Cidade, known as São João de Deus, the patron saint of the sick. After being arrested in Spain for being considered crazy, he lived closely with the cruelty with which the sick were treated. After leaving, he dedicated himself to the tireless treatment of all who needed medical care and even created a hospital. His fame went down in history and in the middle of Montemor-o-Novo a tribute statue was created, where we can see him carrying a patient.
Passing through this town also calls for a visit to the old town with its narrow streets and the Castle of Montemor-o-Novo. It is in this place that we can also visit the Paço do Alcaide, where Vasco da Gama traced and completed the famous sea route to India.
Continuing along the EN2 towards the south, and taking a slight detour, we can also visit several megalithic monuments that are very well preserved, such as, for example, the Almendres Cromlech, a Neolithic group of vertical stones.

Para provar:

An integral part of Alentejo gastronomy, the simplicity of the local gastronomy is based on lamb, pork, veal, turkey, wine, olive oil, cheese, aromatic herbs, bread, honey, game, asparagus, mushrooms, among others. Be sure to try:

  • Chicken Pies;
  • Requeijão cheesecakes or “Cernelhas de Montemor”;
  • Poejo and Granite Liqueurs;
  • Conventual sweets such as Londrino, Cacetes da Torre and Soror Helena Pudding.
Step 4
From Ferreira do Alentejo to Faro – 2 days


There are no better words to describe what is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in Portugal than the description by the Aljustrel City Council itself:

Two hills, a valley, terraced houses, landscape as far as the eye can see and an ancient past. It’s Aljustrel, from the top of Senhora do Castelo.
We are in the heart of Baixo Alentejo. And the outsider who travels here, looks around and is dazzled by the immensity of the fields, the ocean of landscapes, the plain as far as the eye can see.

Known for centuries for the mineral wealth of its subsoil, it was mainly in the last 200 years that mining exploration was most felt. Today, this activity is more modest and the region has gained a new dimension in irrigated agriculture through the links between Albufeira do Roxo and the large lake of Alqueva.
Strolling through Aljustrel is getting to know the various monuments, towns and historic villages such as Messejana and Ervidel, the Municipal Museum or the old mining area.

Alentejo plains
Para provar:

Regional Alentejo cuisine is extremely rich and varied. Constrained by the scarcity of means, the people of Alentejo had to be creative: the basis of gastronomy is bread, water and seasonings, as well as a rich tradition in convent sweets. Be sure to try:


Alentejo gazpacho is a typical dish from Portugal made with bread, tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, garlic, ice water, oregano, vinegar, olive oil and salt.

Castro Verde

Castro Verde is in the heart of the so-called “Campo Branco”, an area that encompasses several municipalities in this region and which has this name because it is a traditional area of dryland cereal agriculture and extensive livestock. This area is still given as an example at European level and classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The plains of Castro Verde are made up of a flat landscape, little vegetation and with some holm oaks and cork oaks scattered on the horizon. A unique satisfaction for any traveler who travels kilometers and kilometers of this typically Alentejo view towards Serra do Caldeirão.

Typical Alentejo cheeses

São Brás de Alportel

After Alentejo, the Algarve. Another region of this trip, another completely different landscape, very typical cuisine and its own culture. One of the first stops is in São Brás de Alportel, in the heart of the Sotavento Algarve, which lies between the mountains and the ocean.
Anyone who has a few hours to walk around here will have many reasons not to stop. Visit the very famous Igreja Matriz, which dates back to the beginning of its construction in the 17th century. XV. Discover Casa do Artesão in the historic center of the village, a space that reflects handicrafts and local production over time. Stroll along the “Calçadinha” of São Brás de Alportel, an archaeological ex-libris dating back to Roman times. Or get lost along the Cork Route, where they say the best cork in the world is produced and where the people of São Brás and Silves became known as pioneers in its trade and processing.

São Brás de Alportel


It’s a small village and one of the best kept secrets in the Algarve. Far from the tourist crowds on the coast, Estói is a typical and genuine Algarve village. To visit it, it is preferable to park your car and walk around to calmly appreciate the whitewashed houses, the narrow streets, alleys and alleys always decorated with flowers and, of course, the typical chimneys. A must-visit is also the 17th century Estói Palace. XVIII (and one of the few existing in the Algarve) and the Roman ruins of Milreu, one of the most important in Portugal.

Milreu roman ruins
Para provar:
“Chouriços” and cheeses
  • Sausages, Sausages and Paios;
  • Sheep Cheese;
  • Serpa cheese;
  • Goat cheese;
  • Fresh cheese and Cream cheese.
  • Gila puffs;
  • Cream cheese cheesecakes;
  • “Popias”


“Et voilà!”. Faro, where everything ends or begins on our adventure along the EN2. It’s at one end of this road, but even if it’s the last stop, the journey will never end here. It will always be the beginning of other trips to delve deeper and dedicate more time to discovering some of the places we pass through. And we have no shortage of pretexts, it will be difficult to choose.
But about Faro, capital city of the district and the “capital” of the Algarve. It has a very characteristic and fundamental historical center to be visited. Don’t miss the Walls of Faro (from Vila-Adentro), the Old Beer Factory (Castelo de Faro), the Arco da Porta Nova or the Largo da Sé de Faro, just to mention a few points.
But Faro is also known for its unique natural surroundings. A few days in the city, and especially during spring and summer, require a visit to the Ria Formosa, the beaches or the various islands such as Culatra or Deserta. Of note is the Ria Formosa, a set of canals, marshes, dunes and salt flats that form a unique variety of habitats and a true biodiversity sanctuary. Is there a better way to end or start?!

Para provar:

The entire Algarve region has a gastronomy rich in tradition, whose origins date back to the historic times of the presence of the Romans and Arabs.

Faro’s gastronomy, combining these historical roots with its unique location, is based on ingredients that reflect the fresh flavors of the sea and the pleasant and strong aromas of the countryside.
As an example of the importance of the Ria Formosa and the activities linked to fishing, we have the famous razor clam rice, fried cuttlefish or grilled horse mackerel, and for dessert there is nothing better than the delicious Dom Rodrigo or an almond morgado.