It is certainly one way of avoiding motorway tolls, and getting from A to B with a plan up your sleeve. A new initiative is setting out to establish Portugal’s longest national road – the EN2 from Chaves to Faro – as a touristic route.
The 738.5 kilometre highway crosses through 36 municipalities and is described by Wikiloc, the website dedicated to points of interest throughout the world, as a patchwork of “hills, dales, landscapes, people and cultures that are incomparable with any other road in Portugal”.
The EN2 “crosses some of the most important rivers” of the Iberian Peninsula, including the Mondego, the Zêzere, the Tejo and Douro.
It passes through several “serras” (hillside regions), including the Caldeirão (Algarve), Lousã (Coimbra), Montemuro (Viseu) and Marão (Vila Real) and skirts round no less than three major dams (Montargil – Sôr, Cabril – Zêzere and Aguieira – Mondego).
Explained president of the council promoting the plan, Luís Machado: “This will be the first project of its kind nationally. A pioneer with huge socio-economic value.”
Machado added that the EN2 is “the world’s third longest road” and its stretch between Almodôvar in the Alentejo and São Brás de Alportel in the Algarve is already considered a road of national heritage.