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Sines Guide

Car Hire

The birthplace of Vasco da Gama is a fine beach retreat on Portugal’s southwest coast with a semi-bustling town. You could spend time here checking out the town and beaches, but the real treat is the coastline at large and sights nearby. The driving here is easy and the public transport limited, so having a car is a must.

Who to Book With
Lisbon Airport is the closest air gateway to Sines, as well as the one with the most flight options, so many visitors choose to fly here and drive to the town. The airport has several major car rental companies, including Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget and Goldcar. If you plan on taking a bus to Sines, Hertz, Europcar and Guerin-Sines also have outlets in town if you prefer to pick up here. Whichever option you choose, use our comparator site for the best value.

Best Time to Go
This region of the Iberian Peninsula has some of the most sublime weather in Europe, owing to the effects of the Gulf Stream which bring mild winters. Summers are hot, dry and busy, however, with high booking rates, so perhaps visit in May or June for the best deals. Winter is the cheapest time, though is wetter which makes the driving on country roads trickier. Keep an eye out for the FMM Sines in summer, which swells Sines tourist numbers.

Need to Know Essentials
When collecting car hire, the following documents must be shown:

- A United Kingdom driver’s licence
- A passport
- The online reservation printed out
- The credit card used for the booking

For more info, please read our FAQs.

Driving
The roads are fair around Sines, with coastal routes going north and south, and a major highway serving the town. There is no need to drive within town as it is compact, but you can loop right around the harbour. Some of the roads get tight and tricky inland, where locals are somewhat unforgiving behind the wheel.

Our Guide to Portugal contains more detailed driving information.

Transport

If you want to see the area and the amazing beaches on this stretch of coast, having your own transport is a must. Local buses are slow and irregular, and taxis work out to be expensive and can be a hassle. You can get in by bus only—there is no rail service here—but it’s much easier and quicker to drive.

By car
The route from the airport to Sines makes use of the A2 motorway and goes via the town of Grândola, taking around 90 minutes. It’s farther and longer from Faro Airport in the south, although this route uses the same motorway to Grândola. Flights can sometimes be had more cheaply to Faro where there is also car hire.

Buses
Rede Nacional de Expressos buses run from Lisbon to Sines for those getting here by public transport. Journey time is around 2 hours, 30 minutes and services terminate at Centro de Saúde, not far from Sines Castle. There is a local bus service but it is hardly worth it to see the sights here.

Taxis
Taxis are useful for getting to hotels out of town and when going from town to the beaches, but you typically need to haggle the fares here. Check with Táxi Quinta (+351 269 636 535) for bookings by telephone.

Exploring

Portugal by road is exquisite. The roads are generally uncongested on this stretch of coast in particular and there are beaches either side of the town. The interior is opened up by the A2 motorway, which you can use to hit the capital, Lisbon, or the Algarve quickly.

Recommended Drives

Porto Covo – Hemmed in by cliffs and parklands is Sines’ most attractive beach. It’s just a few miles to the south of town via coastal route N120 and is exclusive. The swimming and bathing are divine, and there’s an interesting little town with great seafood behind the beach. Nearby is diminutive Pessegueiro Island.

Santiago do Cacém – This attractive hilltop town is just a few miles inland from Sines. Beautifully strewn across the hillside are simple abodes overlooked by windmills and castles. It’s small enough to visit on foot, so park up and have a wander before heading farther inland to the Estrela region.

Algarve – The golden sands of Portugal’s most delectable coastal region are a major draw wherever you are in the country, and it’s a fabulous drive from Sines. The beaches of the Algarve go for miles from Sagres in the west right to the Spanish border. Albufeira is the top tourist draw on the coast and there are unending charming villages to explore by car rental.

Lisbon – The Portuguese capital is the largest and most altogether city here. Sines is close enough to Lisbon to warrant a daytrip by car. Water is the main theme and you can walk much of the town, taking in St George's Castle, the harbour, a funicular ride and Baixa central.

Frequently asked questions

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest? Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town. What do I need to do when picking up a car? To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient. Are there any additional costs? In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance). What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental? In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car. What is a worry-free label? This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you. How can I change or cancel my reservation? You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less). When will I get a confirmation of my booking? Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours). Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
  • Alamo Rent a Car
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • Guerin
  • Keddy By Europcar

Looking for a hire car in Portugal? Take a look at our Car hire Portugal directory.