National Road 222, one of the best roads in Portugal

National Road 222
National Road 222

The National Road 222, or EN222, which connects Vila Nova de Gaia to Vila Nova de Foz Côa, is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world.

Among the reasons that make this northern road seduce all who travel it is its layout and scenic surroundings, particularly in the sections along the Douro River.

If you like driving and exploring the most beautiful scenery in our country, you can’t miss National Road 222, compared by many to the mythical Route 66.

While driving this road you will live unforgettable moments in the Douro region.

Where is National Road 222 road located?

The best-known section of the Estrada Nacional 222 is located between Peso da Regua, also known as Regua (a municipality of the district of Vila Real), and Pinhão, a place of the municipality of Alijo.

The road has been named the best road in the world by the car rental company Avis.

The road is located in the wine region of northern Portugal. The passage is 27 kilometers (16,7 miles) long and includes breathtaking landscapes.

Indeed, its magnificent curves attract many motorists, motorcyclists, and cyclists for beautiful and unforgettable rides.

You can situate the road on the map below:

Enlarge the map

Information about the road:

This fabulous road connects the region of Porto to the city of Pinhão. The Estrada Nacional 222 is one of the most picturesque roads in Portugal. It crosses the valley of the Douro River and winds through the most famous wine region in Portugal, the Douro Valley.

Thus, along the route, you will pass by no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely:

  • The Porto Creek
  • The Alto Douro wine region
  • And the rock art of the Côa Valley.

In fact, the road was named the “best road in the world” according to the car rental company Avis in 2015.

In order to achieve this result, Avis mobilized a team consisting of a quantum physicist, an F1 track designer, high-powered cars, and a road engineer. And, this road turned out to be ideal!

The best-known section of Estrada Nacional 222 is 27 kilometers long and connects Peso da Régua. You can cover it in half an hour. Of course, the rest of the route is as pleasant as ever and the whole area is worth a visit.

How to get to National Road 222?

The road is situated in the region of Porto and connects Peso da Regua and Pinhão.

National road 222 follows the course of the Douro River.

In order to come to Peso da Regua from Porto you should drive the Highway 4 or road 108 to the east.

You can also situate the itinerary on this map:

What to do near the National Road 222?

You can visit some interesting things in the area:

Peso da Régua

Here you can visit the Douro Museum to learn more about the natural and cultural heritage of the Douro Delimited Region, or simply stroll along this river pier of rare beauty, with the rabelo boats moored.

If you can, stop here in the late afternoon, the sunset creates a breathtaking spectacle.

The viewpoint of São Leonardo da Galafura

It is one of the most famous viewpoints in the region.

The views are of a striking beauty: the rugged slopes, the vineyards with a thousand colors, and in the center, the imposing river.

São Leonardo da Galafura
São Leonardo da Galafura

Pinhão Train Station

The station is known for its 19th-century tiles that reflect the life of the region.

Pinhão looks like a scene from an old movie: the Douro River and the Pinhão River crossing in the beautiful river area and the station where the historical train is sometimes located, all interconnected creating a beautiful landscape that was once even classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

São João da Pesqueira Wine Museum

In São João da Pesqueira you can visit the Wine Museum, whose mission is to document and preserve the wine heritage of the Douro.

Here, in addition to the permanent exhibition on the theme of wine, there is a tasting room, a store with a wide variety of wines and products from the region, and even a wine bar. As it could not be otherwise, the visit ends with a tasting.

A video of the journey:

You can have an overview of the drive by watching this YouTube video:

Is the road open?

This road is open all year round.

The road is also very busy during weekends and vacations. So it is better to avoid these days or come early in the morning.

If you like wine itineraries, you can also read the article on the wine route in Alsace.

As you have understood, National Road 222 is Portuguese Route 66. In fact, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 27-kilometer stretch between Peso da Régua and Pinhao is without a doubt the icing on the cake. This section, with a total of 93 curves through amazing landscapes, was once considered the best road in the world to drive.

Picture credit: By Vitor Oliveira from Torres Vedras, PORTUGAL – Rio Douro – Portugal, CC BY-SA 2.0, / /

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