Cheap Holidays to Portugal
Portugal Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Portugal
From cheap seaside villas to golf and spa resorts, Portugal has accommodation options to suit every budget. Whether you’re wanting somewhere a stone’s throw away from the beach, or a large resort with multiple swimming pools, there will be multiple places to choose from on your holiday.
Visitors to Portugal are spoilt with things to see and do, not least the stunning beaches lining the country’s coast. There are various hubs along the coast that are popular with tourists, including Porto, Lagos, Faro and Lisbon. Where you head to depends on what sort of thing you fancy doing during your holiday.
Where to stay
If it’s beaches and family-friendly fun you’re after, then the Algarve has both in abundance. Its capital, Faro, is well-positioned for glorious beaches and day cruises - not forgetting walks around its historic old town. Accommodation ranges from boutique hotels to beach houses, big-named resorts and even hostels for every holiday tupe. Many also sit within the city’s 19th century buildings, providing accommodation with a twist. Many visitors to Faro wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life also decide to base themselves in the popular seaside resorts of Quinta do Lago or Vale do Lobo.
There are dozens of hotels dotted around Lagos, from 5-star rooms to modest apartments and convenient airport accommodation. Batata Beach is in the middle of everything, close to water sport activities and Lagos sights such as the historic Igreja de Santo António and Lagos Ciência Viva Science Centre. A little further out from Lagos is Meia Praia, the largest beach in the Lagos region. It’s so big that it has everything from family-friendly areas to more secluded spots.
Known as the City of 7 Hills, Lisbon is brimming with Portuguese charm, quaint streets and history. Alfama is one of the city’s oldest areas, and it’s where you can get iconic holiday snaps of the trams slithering up and down the many slopes. It’s full of romance and is an area that still features a lot of its old-world charm. Elsewhere in Lisbon, Bairro Alto is the city’s bohemian quarter famed for its buzzing nightlife, while downtown Baixa leaves you walking distance from just about every hotspot.
The coastal city of Porto has lived in the shadow of Lisbon for years but is now gathering its own loyal group of visitors. Known as the birthplace of port wine, the city is full of charming neighbourhoods; while Ribeira is the most recognisable and is filled with traditional Portuguese buildings and restaurants. Meanwhile, Foz do Douro offers sandy beaches and eclectic cuisine.
What to see
Portugal isn’t short of places to see, but what you focus on depends on where you base yourself. Holidaymakers exploring Lisbon often choose to head out on a day trip to nearby Sintra, a fairytale resort town at the foothills of the Sintra Mountains. It features romantic castles and colourful palaces that light up just about any Instagram feed. Down in the Algarve, much of the focus is on the picturesque beaches and water activities, but Aquashow Park in Vilamoura provides hours of family fun, while Lagos Zoo features more than 140 species of animals from five continents.
Lisbon and Porto have a bustling nightlife that suits everyone, whether you’re wanting a chilled pub, a buzzing club, or a night out at the casino. Similarly, Lagos has a chilled, laid back party vibe, complete with smaller pubs and bars. If it’s a lively party you’re after, then head to the Algarve. Various holiday resorts keep the party going into the early hours of the morning, including Albufeira which has its own road known as The Strip filled with clubs and themed bars.
What to eat
Fresh ingredients characterise traditional Portuguese cuisine, and there’s plenty to sink your teeth into around the country. ‘Pastel de natas’ are custard tarts topped with cinnamon, which are best enjoyed fresh from the oven. Head to Belem, just outside of Lisbon, for some of the best. For main meals, get your fill of fresh seafood - grilled, boiled or stewed, whichever takes your fancy!
For gifts and holiday mementos, look no further than the town or city’s shops. While there are large shopping centres dotted around the country, most of the shopping is still done locally, especially in small open-air markets where it’s possible to negotiate on prices. Lisbon’s Feira da Ladra flea market takes place every Tuesday and Saturday and is considered one of the best in the country. It has everything from small knick-knacks to books, clothing and artwork.
Fast facts about Portugal
- Direct flight time: From 2 hours 15 minutes from London
- Transfer time: Varies, depending on resort and airport
- Time zone: GMT +1
- Currency: Euros
- Language: Portuguese
- Average price of a domestic beer: 1.50 euros
- Average price of a bottle of wine: 4 euros
- Number of Brit tourists per year: 2.3 million