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With its rugged Atlantic coastline, ancient cities and sunny Algarve, Portugal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Wander the winding streets of Lisbon, take a boat up the Douro river from Porto or simply sit on golden sands and soak up the sun.
Portugal has more hours of sunshine than any other country in Europe, and even in the winter can have long sunny spells, especially in the southern Algarve region.
During the school holidays and high summer it is by far the busiest times of year. But, with plenty of flights to Portugal from numerous UK destinations throughout the year, you can usually find good deals.
Lisbon and Porto are two of the UK’s favourite city break destinations, so if planning a long weekend over a bank holiday, you should book early to avoid spikes in prices. If travelling to the Azores, then there are fewer flights, so they can be more susceptible to holiday variations in price.
With plenty of carriers offering daily flights to multiple destinations in Portugal, the choice of available flights is good and prices generally low. However, given its proximity to the UK, city breaks are big business: flying out on Friday and back on Monday is generally more expensive than other days of the week. If you can be flexible about your day of travel you can find a bigger choice of cheap flights to Portugal. Use Expedia’s ‘Show Flexible Dates’ option to help.
With flights from all major London airports and from across the UK, click on ‘Nearby Airports’ when searching and you may also find deals from other air hubs.
There are numerous departures from the UK to Portugal, with often several options for flights each day.
The three main international airports on the Portuguese mainland are in Lisbon, Porto and Faro.
Lisbon airport, located just a few miles from the city centre, is the biggest and busiest, and is. You can catch a bus or take a short taxi ride to make the 10-minute journey to the downtown Baixa area. It’s also well connected to national rail services and the city’s metro lines.
Porto airport is located about 20 minutes north of the city. Its flashy new terminal building is airy and spacious and connected to the Ribeira area via the metro system and bus routes.
If flying to the Azores, then Ponta Delgada is the entry point for most visitors.
Direct flights to Portugal from London are available from a number of different carriers.
There are several major rail lines connecting Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. Trains are spacious, modern and comfortable and tickets generally affordable. You can pre-book your ticket using the easy English language booking service to reserve your seat.
The road network is also good in Portugal, with much modernisation work having been carried out in recent years. The main motorways are wide and generally empty, although tolls do apply. You can avoid these by travelling on the smaller national N-roads but these are busier and you can often get stuck in single lane traffic.
In Lisbon and Porto, the underground networks are very good and cheap, but walking is often the best way to explore. Taxis are common but try and avoid getting stung paying ‘tourist prices’.
Lisbon has to be one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world. Its seven hills are covered with winding alleyways and historic tile-covered buildings that would take years to fully explore. Jump on a rickety tram for a rollercoaster ride as you discover the city’s delights.
Porto has port cellars and dark stone buildings clinging to the steep valley sides. Take a boat trip up the majestic Douro valley to see where the port vines grow.
To the south, the sunny Algarve is lined with golden sandy beaches, rocky coves and traditional fishing villages.
Brits don’t need a visa to visit Portugal and can stay for up to 90 days without any further permission.