In recent years Portugal had a growing media exposure and notoriety as a tourist destination, but also as a place where people come searching for adventure on off-road and overland trips. If you’re thinking about coming this way for your next trip, you’ll be most welcome but first here’s a few things you should know, to ensure you don’t incur in situations of disrespect or illegality, and have a safe, trouble-free and memorable experience in this wonderful country of ours.

Overland and off-road trips

Like in other parts of the world, adventure and off-road trips in Portugal are subject to permits and permissions. According to our legislation only people (national or foreign), registered with the official Tourism Authority, can legally run these trips here commercially.


Next time someone announcing this type of activity in Portugal is not able to provide you with their official registration and license to operate in this country, just wave them goodbye and search for a registered company such as ours.

If done illegally, these activities are subject to legal actions from the authorities, ranging from the immediate interruption of the trip to heavy fines for participants and organisers, not to mention the bad reputation. There’s a few well-known and fully registered companies over here providing this service, so next time you book one of these trips, make sure they’re fully legal.

Environmentally protected Areas

In the National Network of Protected Areas under the jurisdiction of  ICNF – Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (, these activities are called “nature tourism activities”, and are subject to permits and permission from the entities responsible for each Protected Area (nature parks, reserves, etc.)

Inside these protected areas, off-road trips may only be done where permitted by people who have obtained the official recognition of “nature tourism” operators, confirmed by the authorisation granted by ICNF to use their logo.

Wild camping / caravanning

Who hasn’t dreamed of sleeping in a remote place and waking up on a deserted beach? In this respect the Portuguese legislation is very clear and determines that wild camping and caravanning outside the authorised places (campsites or caravan parks) is not allowed anywhere in the country.

Portugal has an extensive network of good quality camping and caravanning sites, many of them located in places of rare beauty where you can feel at one with nature. So, if you don’t want to risk being awakened in the middle of the night and go home with a much lighter wallet, we recommend that you plan your trip in advance, stay only in legally autohorised places and choose the ones that best fit your itinerary. Stay legal, help us to protect nature and have the sweetest dreams…

Forest Fires

Portugal is historically affected by forest fires during the summer season. In the critical period that normally goes from June to September, the authorities may limit or even prohibit certain activities such as the circulation of vehicles and picnics in rural and forest areas, depending on the level of risk. In this case, the right thing to do is simply to avoid the forest areas, follow the indications from the authorities and take the preventive measures that are in your reach, such as not smoking or making use of fire. If during a trip to Portugal you feel like having a barbecue, do it only at the authorised places (campsites or picnic areas identified as such). For more information about this and how to have a safe holiday period, please consult the “Portugal Chama” official website on


In a nutshell…

Portugal is a wonderful country to be discovered through remote tracks that go across mountains and valleys and take us to magical places. To appreciate it in a safe, legal and environmentally responsible way, make sure you follow the local regulations and use only authorised tour operators like us for the organisation of your next trip.

By doing this, you will be helping all nature and adventure trip lovers to continue to enjoy our magnificent landscapes and to be able to legally drive our off-road tracks for many years to come.

Come with us to discover a surprising Portugal, legally and safely!