National Road 222 (EN 222): passport, route, map, and hotels

Estrada Nacional 222
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National Road 222 (EN 222) connects Vila Nova de Gaia to Almendra, which belongs to Vila Nova de Foz Côa, thus traversing Portugal from the coast to the interior (a few kilometers from Spain).

In 2015, it was considered the best driving road in the world, receiving the World’s Best Driving Road award.

Moreover, there’s the RotaN222 Passport for those who want to document their journey by stamping each page of the RotaN222 Passport along the way.

And why is it considered the best road in the world to drive? Well, it seems that the curves’ radii and the length of the straights are the perfect combination when it comes to driving pleasure.

We took the EN 222, but we must say that the over 200 km can be a bit tiring to complete in one day.

So, in this article, we’ll talk about the charms you’ll discover while traveling the National Road 222, what to visit, the best stretches, and a map of the route.

After all, there are many viewpoints, bridges, towns, and cities to visit on a journey between the coast and the interior of Portugal, almost reaching Spain.

So, will you join us on this legendary road trip in Portugal?

Traveling along National Road 222 (roadtrip)

Miradouro de casal de Loivos, Pinhão, Estrada Nacional 222.
Viewpoint of Casal de Loivos, Pinhão.
Castelo de Lamego.
Lamego Castle.
Capital da Amendoeira em Flor: Vila Nova de Foz Côa.
Capital of the Almond Blossom: Vila Nova de Foz Côa.

Taking a road trip on EN222 is an adventure! We took our car and set out on the road with our two children.

We made several stops, both to take pictures and to rest and eat, but we must confess that doing the whole route at once is quite tiring.

Therefore, we decided to include in the suggestions of what to visit along EN222 the respective accommodation options so that you can visit the region calmly.

After all, we already knew most of these destinations, and for that reason, it was quicker.

What to visit along National Road 222

Estrada Nacional 222
National Road 222 (EN222).

As we mentioned, the EN222 itinerary is quite extensive, so it’s normal that you’d want to do it over several days.

In our opinion, you’ll need at least three days, but it depends on the places you decide to visit.

Therefore, we divided this itinerary into three days with all the information to tailor it to your needs, including suggestions on what to visit and accommodation in each destination.

Day 1 of EN 222 (From Vila Nova de Gaia to Cinfães)

Praia da Lomba.
Lomba Beach.

Since National Road 222 starts in the center of Vila Nova de Gaia, nothing could be more logical than visiting the Gaia Biological Park or taking a detour to the riverside area of the Port Wine warehouses along the Gaia quay.

Accommodation in Vila Nova de Gaia

Continue your journey, and if the weather is good, take a short detour to Praia da Lomba, a popular spot for beachgoers, where the Douro River makes a tight bend.

Continue along EN222, and occasionally you’ll notice the company of the Douro River on your left side.

Castelo de Paiva will appear on your way, and if you haven’t visited the town yet, take the opportunity to do so, as well as the Sobrado Marmoiral, which is part of the Route of the Romanesque of the Sousa Valley, and the shale villages of Midões and Gondarém.

Accommodation in Castelo de Paiva

A few kilometers from Castelo de Paiva, you’ll find the village of Cinfães, which is the ideal place to spend more than a day.

You can divide your time among the Montemuro Mountains, take a dip in the Bestança River, or discover impressive viewpoints, such as the Teixeirô Viewpoint with a view of the Bestança River Estuary, which flows into the Douro.

Accommodation in Cinfães

Day 2 of EN 222 (From Cinfães to São João da Pesqueira)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.
Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, in Lamego.
Caminho de Santiago em Lamego.
Lamego.
Bôla de Lamego.
Bôla de Lamego from Pastelaria da Sé, a local specialty.
Sé Catedral de Lamego
Ceilings painted by Nasoni, Lamego Cathedral.

Upon arriving at Caldas de Aregos, choose between taking a stroll along the quay or indulging in a massage at the Caldas de Aregos Spa.

Accommodation in Caldas de Aregos

While on the way to the next destination, take a break at the Bestança Swing, or if you prefer, take a dip in the Pools of the Cabrum River.

The next stop on the list is Resende, known for its cherries, but also for the Castle of São Martinho de Mouros.

After these visits, it’s time to head to Peso da Régua, and perhaps make a detour: Lamego.

Quintas na Régua.
Vineyards in Peso da Régua.
Peso da Régua o que visitar.
Best things to see in Régua.

Accommodation in Resende, Régua and Lamego.

If you have extra days, this is an excellent time to spend a few days and visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, the castle, and the Lamego Cathedral.

The route between Régua and Pinhão is considered the most beautiful of the entire National 222, and therefore, we dedicate a section of this article to this subject (see below).

Accommodation in Pinhão

Right after Pinhão, you will find several viewpoints.

Thus, stops at the Casais do Douro Viewpoint (overlooking the Rio Torto) and the EN222 Viewpoint (overlooking Quinta do Ventozelo and the Douro River) are must-sees.

Next on our EN222 itinerary is a stop in São João da Pesqueira to visit the Republic Square and the Wine Museum, but don’t forget to stop at the São Salvador do Mundo Viewpoint, which in our opinion is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Douro region.

Accommodation in São João da Pesqueira

Day 3 of EN 222 (From São João da Pesqueira to Almendra)

Alto Douro Vinhateiro
Museu do Côa Viewpoint.
Estação do Pocinho, Douro.
Vila Nova de Foz Côa: local train.
Amendoeiras no pico de floração.
Almond trees in full bloom, in Foz Côa.

We left São João da Pesqueira and the district of Viseu behind and entered the territory of the Guarda municipality, but the landscapes continue to be impressive.

So, a few kilometers ahead, you will find a nearly unknown gem for tourists, which is the Numão Castle.

It’s a medieval construction worth including in your itinerary, as the detour from the N222 is very small.

Upon reaching Vila Nova de Foz Côa, if you haven’t visited the Côa Valley Archaeological Park yet, you can’t miss the opportunity.

There must have been a reason why the rock sculptures were talked about so much years ago, so we suggest you start with the Côa Museum and its viewpoint!

Accommodation in Vila Nova de Foz Côa

The journey along the National Road 222 is coming to an end; however, before reaching Almendra, you still have the opportunity to visit the Castle of Castelo Melhor, another little-known gem of the region.

Finally, when you arrive in Almendra, which marks the end of the N222, park the car that has accompanied you these past few days and explore the historic village on foot.

In fact, you may be surprised by the grandeur of the Casa de Almendra, also known as the Solar do Visconde de Almendra, the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Anjos, and even the pillory.

Don’t have time to complete the entire N222 route? Here’s an idea!

Ponte Pedonal na Régua.
Pedestrian bridge in Régua.

If you don’t have time to travel the entire N222, then consider the stretch between Régua and Pinhão. This is widely agreed to be the most beautiful section of the N222.

You might end up wanting to explore the rest of the route.

It’s a 27-kilometer stretch with truly stunning landscapes, and you’ll likely want to stop several times to take photos. In this area, the terraced vineyards almost touch the banks of the Douro River, making the scenery even more breathtaking.

Be prepared, as occasional boats pass along the river, momentarily stirring the waters of the Douro. Moreover, it’s said that there are 92 bends along the way.

Map of National Road 222

Where to buy and stamp the National Road 222 Passport?

The National Road 222 Passport, or N222 Route Passport, can be purchased online.

For the stamps, go to the tourist offices of each municipality that is part of the route.

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We are a Portuguese Family traveling around the world and sharing our journey and experiences at passaportenobolso.com. Here you can find plenty of family budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. We have visited 30+ countries and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Follow our adventures on YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Facebook.

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