PORTUGAL 4X4 ADVENTURE TOUR!
Portugal 4X4 Off-Road Adventure Tour!
6-15 May 2024
Portugal has received extensive coverage in the 4X4 press recently, and for good reason; this is arguably the best destination in Western Europe for unhindered 4X4 adventure travel. Breathtaking coastline, beautiful countryside, wide open spaces, and the freedom to explore the plentiful tracks, together with their warm-hearted and welcoming population (albeit a sparse one), make this a must for all those who value the natural environment, and appreciate unspoiled wilderness. Our route takes us through the Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park deep down in the south west, north easterly over the mountains of Monchique and the farmlands of Alentejo, crossing the two major rivers of Tejo and Douro, all the way up the to the north east corner, through diverse natural terrain, which includes occasional challenges. Whilst the campsites we use are of the best quality, the emptiness of the countryside means there is ample opportunity for undisturbed wild camping in beautiful wilderness locations, usually under spectacular stars with zero light pollution. Rural Portugal reflects nature at its best.
* Beware of cheap imitators, add up the costs of their exclusions
not that cost should be the main criterion, quality assurance should be
Start - We meet at a campsite near Sagres in the late afternoon preceding Day 1, to enjoy a welcoming BBQ, followed by the briefing.
Finish - At a campsite near Braganza on the morning following Day 10, where after a farewell breakfast we go on our separate ways.
Included - full catering 3 meals per day for the duration of the tour, outdoor adventure activities as detailed in the itinerary, all campsite fees from start to finish, including the campsite preceding Day 1.
Prices - per person based on 2 adults @ £1,395pp, additional adult @ 50%, single supplement @ 50%, child U16 @ 50%.
Highlights - The most stunning scenery of the pristine unspoiled Portuguese countryside abounds on this trip, which is unsurprising since we explore all of the following areas of outstanding natural beauty: the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, the Parque Natural do Tejo Internacional, the Reserva Natural da Serra da Malcata, the Parque Natural Douro Internacional, and the Parque Natural Serra de Montesinho. Glistening white sandy beaches, turquoise blue seas, imposing mountains, majestic rivers, hardwood and softwood forests, fynbos type bushveld, together with impressive birdlife (we traverse a vast natural wildfowl sanctuary, not to mention the incredible birds of prey soaring overhead), make this trip a delight for those who appreciate nature. Three very special nights of camping out wild in the most beautiful, secluded and unspoiled natural wilderness locations. An exciting morning surfing lesson from a professional surfing instructor. Some of the best off-road driving to be found anywhere in Europe, exploring interesting areas offering unbeatable views. Another exhilarating outdoor adventure activity is the morning of lake canoeing on the beautiful Barragem da Apartadura in the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede! Packed with great fun watersports for adults and children alike!
Previous participants' reviews of this tour
“I have just returned from my first trip with Barrie in my 20 year old Defender. I have immediately booked to go to Morocco in April of 2023! Portugal was my first 'overland' experience though I've been green laning in the UK for over 20 years. To say that I was impressed is a massive understatement. Barrie was professional from the moment I enquired about the trip until the moment we said goodbye in Portsmouth. Barrie made the whole 'overland' experience amazing from dawn to dusk. It was a true adventure and he made me feel part of something special and extraordinary... the like of which you read about in magazines and books and dream of but until you've actually done it you have no idea. Barrie's years of experience really do count! The catering is amazing and you can just focus on driving and having fun. Nothing is too much trouble. I would recommend Barrie and Active 4X4 100%. I have nothing but dust, mud and smiles as I think back to the last two weeks. Best trip of my life, and I've been all over the world. Barrie is a legend!” Malcolm Brown
“Great trip to Portugal with Barrie (May 2022). He’s a great host, is superbly well organised and charming with it. The trip and route were both exciting and different, in terms of terrain and surface as we meandered our way up through this beautiful country, on tracks, through mountain villages and far more off-road than not. Some days were more challenging than others but Barrie will give you as much (or little) advice and support as you need. Wild camping was the trip highlight and the great food. Having all your meals as part of the deal is a real bonus as are the activities which are welcome additions which brought an added dimension and variety to the trip. May is the perfect time of year to visit Portugal, not only for the stunning scenery but the abundance of wild flowers and the fantastic aroma as you drive! Looking forward to booking our next (third) trip with Barrie soon.” Ian & Fiona Miles
“Wow...what a fantastic holiday!! We spent 10 days travelling the length of Portugal with Barrie and his faithful dog Abby exploring different tracks and experiencing diverse terrain such as coastal, mountainous and farmland...a really enjoyable mix of driving for us newbies to 4x4 from sedate to challenging but with Barrie and other experienced offroaders it was always fun and we felt we were always in safe hands. Would thoroughly recommend Barrie's trips if this one was anything to go by... his food is superb and as he takes care of all the catering, it means that the group can relax and enjoy the evenings round a fire, having a laugh and few beers while knowing that a slap up meal is on its way...if you've ever fancied this type of driving adventure - I can't imagine a better way to do it...thanks Barrie!!!” Gill & Ian Starmer
“The whole experience was a delight. From the up front organisation, route planning and catering to the lovely spontaneous little touches (like the fresh pastel de nata on day 1). I liked the dynamic that you created across the group, and that you were responsive to the different needs and wants of the party. I felt there was a zen like quality to the trip made up of many factors, the people, the place, the journey itself. It did, indeed, nourish the soul. Thank you again.” Anne & Rob Billings
"Well we just returned from our trip in Rural Portugal, what an adventure. Absolutely brilliant holiday. We have driven some amazing tracks, camped in some beautiful locations and met some really fantastic people. The weather really pushed the group to the limit as it rained for the majority of the holiday, not what you would expect in April/May in Portugal but with Barrie’s leadership the group remained positive throughout. As a group we have all agreed to do a ‘reunion tour’ to the Alps in 2017. That really should speak volumes! Thank you for a great experience and all your help and support throughout. Best wishes." Seamus Gallagher & Samantha Cutts
"This was our first trip with Barrie, also our first time in Portugal. What a way to explore Portugal, from the coast's stunning secluded beaches then on to Eucalyptus forests, some varied and sometimes challenging tracks, passing by lakes and stunning scenery. Across miles of sandy tracks, on the plains with the scent of the wild flowers, then coming across and passing through quaint, friendly, little Portuguese villages. Then onto high rolling mountain tracks, Barrie always trying to, and finding, different tracks, some gnarly and tight and others with breathtaking scenery. The wilderness camping, some in unforgettable and unbelievable locations, the one by the lake will always stay with us, and always accompanied by Barrie's excellent food. Breakfast, lunchtime and evening meals, and always plenty. Finally this trip was topped off by the great bunch of friends that we made and enjoyed these 10 days, with many thanks for a truly memorable trip."
Paul & Kim Russell
"Many thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable Portugal trip. It may have rained but I still had a fantastic and memorable holiday which wouldn't have happened without you. Do you have any spaces on the Morocco trip Deep South & Western Sahara in November?" Tom Cardale
"My fifth trip, which says something! Portugal is perhaps, by a small margin, the best trip I have done with Barrie. We spent almost the whole trip on tracks, dusty, but fantastic views, and stunning wildflowers. A lot of wild camping, which everyone really enjoyed, and fantastic sites. The catering was excellent as always, (and the big advantage of going on a catered tour is that it at least usually reduces the endless requests to divert to find a well stocked supermarket). Overall a great trip again, and a great group." Bob Churcher
"We just wanted to say that we had another fantastic trip. We covered many tracks with amazing scenery, and also faced a few amazing off-roading tasks to deal with along the way. We enjoyed the sleepy villages and the friendly locals. Portugal is a fabulous country with much to see and enjoy, and I think the rest of the group would agree with that. We met some very nice people on this trip and everyone got on so well and worked as a team. The food you served was plentiful and tasty and was appreciated by all. Looking forward to our next trip away with you." Clive Morton & Sean Pollard
"Portugal was our first trip with Barrie and certainly won't be our last. We were totally overwhelmed by the varied scenery, from beaches in the South to forests in the North via olive groves in the middle. Barrie's exemplary knowledge of the tracks ensured that the vast majority of our driving was offroad, ensuring magnificent views and at times challenging terrain.The campsites were great but above all we enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the wild camps. We can thoroughly recommend the fully catered option. The food was plentiful and high quality, and no need to worry about where the next 'supermercado' would be, and the added bonus of not having to carry pots and pans."
Fred & Hazel Carruthers
"Barrie, thank you for a wonderful trip! We missed each other at the ferry port, but I want to wish you all the best for the future adventures, and congrats on another Rural Portugal adventure expertly led and completed." Renier & Yolandi Botha
"Setting off from the Algarve area, the terrain changed constantly, from rugged cliff tracks, exploring hidden coves and beaches, to lush meadows and Serengeti-like plains. The further north we headed, this changed to woodland and forests, then rugged mountain tracks, with river crossings thrown in now and again. Fantastic scenery, really giving the impression we were well off the beaten track. Barrie could not have been a better guide, his passion and also his enthusiasm certainly deserve praise, and the standard of catering you could not fault. Who could forget the rib-eye steaks served by the lakeside, enjoying a few beers and a beautiful sunset, while camping wild. To summarise, a fantastic trip and thanks to Barrie and the others for making it that bit more special. I am already checking to see when I can fit another fully catered 4X4 adventure into my life. Thanks, and hope to see you again soon." Ian Foggett
"Portugal was my first experience of a self-drive adventure and what an experience it was! Vast panoramas, river crossings, a handful of wild camps, good laughs and great food. All assembled by Barrie who, it has to be said, made it seamless. A really great 10 days, so many thanks indeed." Simon Ballard
"My third trip with Barrie and another amazing experience. From the coastal tracks in the south through the undulating meadows of the interior, to the spectacular mountains and forests of the north. Portugal is a beautiful , unspoilt, deserted country. May was the perfect time of year to visit, the country was in full bloom and the weather suitably warm, complimented by refreshing beer and great food every evening. The driving was at times challenging and technical, with plenty of river crossings to test the door seals on my Defender." Charles Bagnall
"We were very happy with your organisation and running of the tour in Portugal. As first-timers to this type of travel we were very pleased to have a gourmet meal cooked for us each evening, which took the load off and gave us time to relax and swap all our experiences of the day. Portugal seems to have everything for the off-roader, with so much to explore. Thanks for your assistance with the vehicle repairs, we will be more than happy to join you on your next expedition." Mike & Maureen Arthur
"Elliott and I both had a good time and enjoyed the company of our fellow explorers. High points included your food (well done!) and the good number of tracks we covered. It seems that inland Portugal has much potential and wild beauty to enjoy. It's worth considering the area in Spring or Autumn as I think the river crossings may be more interesting and the heat a little easier." Kevin Harvey