According to Portugal Resident, the city of Faro is finishing a public work on a roundabout, at the point where the EN2 (National Road Number 2) meets the city. The roundabout will show a gigantic number 738 made of cobblestone, the typical Portuguese “calçada” urban pavement technique. Slightly elevated, it will be clearly visible to drivers and passengers arriving in Faro and coming through this road.
The Portuguese Route 66
Classified and design in 1945, EN2 was deemed to be the primary connection between the North and the South of mainland Portugal. EN1 (National Road Number 1) was the one connecting the two biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto. But this road, connecting the seaside metropolitan areas, would go mainly close to shore, as it does today. And would not go further south or north. On the contrary, EN2 would link two main cities (Faro in the extreme south and Chaves in the extreme North) like a “vertical axis” of the nation.
The increased development of Lisbon and Porto brought economic opportunities, and population, to the seaside. EN2 never became as important as it was planned. However, tourist authorities and town halls are reviving the route as a Portuguese equivalent of the famous American Route 66. EN2 goes along 458,57 miles (738 km, hence the number that is shown on the roundabout) and makes an incredible drive throughout Portugal. There’s even an Android app about EN2, which is quite useful for those which to do the travelling.
From the mountains in the North to the big plains in the south, the road crosses the Douro, Mondego and Tejo rivers and shows travellers how incredible is the Portuguese landscape diversity. Nothing stops you from going south to North, but for expats and “second residents” in Algarve, we suggest a visit plan: take the A2, A1 and A4 motorways until Chaves and then drive smoothly through the Portuguese countryside. You can’t go faster than 55 miles per hour in EN2. Once you get to the 738 roundabout at Faro, your journey will be accomplished.