Cheap Flights to Portugal
Portugal, located in south-western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula is bordered with Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The country lost a great deal of its ranking and wealth with the carnage of Lisbon during the 1755 earthquake and when Brazil, Portugals wealthiest colony, received its independence in 1822.
Capital of Portugal is Lisbon, a coastal city that stretches over steep hillsides and overlooks the Tejo River. There are grand plazas, busy cafes, cathedrals, narrow cobblestone paths and just outside the city, seaside villages, woodlands and awesome Atlantic beaches.
Located in southern Portugal is Algarve, well known for its wonderful Mediterranean climate, golden beaches and golf resorts. Between Lagos and Faro you’ll find hotels, villas, bars and restaurants. Capital of Algarve is Faro with a noticeable Portuguese ambience than most resort-towns lack.
Portugal has over 20 airports including those on its islands. Airlines travelling from South Africa directly to Portugal comprise Emirates, Turkish Airlines, South African Airways, KLM and others. Many of these airlines often offer cheap flights to Portugal depending on the time of year you chose to fly to Portugal.
Accommodation in the country comprises luxury private villas suitable for families or groups, rental apartments, loads of 2 to 5-Star hotels, B&Bs and for the young-at-heart, hostels and backpackers.
Cheapest One-Way Flights To Portugal
Cheapest Return Flights To Portugal
Lisbon airport, Portugal
Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas, 1700-111 Lisboa, Portugal
Porto Airport, Portugal
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), 4470-558 Maia, Portugal
Portugal’s climate fluctuates from the coast to the mountains and from north to south. The south has Mediterranean weather with mostly mild winters and hot summers while further north, the Gulf Stream brings warmth to the coast allowing for warm winters and warm summers. The interior experiences hotter summers with temperature dropping during winter and snow.
Summers in the Algarve are especially dry and sunny, averaging temperature highs of 28°C with lows of 20°C. Although temperatures in the north are lower, they still average around 11 hours of daily sunshine, combining this with the cool sea breeze makes for very pleasant weather during summer.
When to fly to Portugal
When to fly, depends totally on your plans, budget and weather preference. Low season between December and March has rainy, shorter days with the interior freezing. Prices are lower, crowds less and the ocean very cold.
Shoulder season from April to June and September to November is great for outdoor activities with a cold ocean but prices and crowds are average.
Peak season from July to August brings increased rates for accommodation, large crowds in the Algarve and coastal resort regions, hot weather and a wonderfully warm sea.
Getting around Portugal
It’s advisable for earnest travellers to hire a rental vehicle as a number of picturesque areas are not accessible by train or bus. Vehicle hire companies include Avis and Hertz, located at airports and tourist centres. The few great highways in Portugal are often interrupted by stretches of congested traffic from single-lane thoroughfares, but roads do afford access to beautiful remote villages.
Flying within Portugal is easy. TAP Air Portugal has four flights a day to Porto in the north, Faro in the Algarve, to Funchai, capital of Madeira and has limited services to the Azores.
Buses are the cheapest mode of transport, linking virtually all major towns and cities, with most routes starting from Lisbon. Rodoviária Nacional, previously the national bus company, now privatised, still provides the same service but with added local and private regional bus links.
For train travel, there are connections between the capital and over 20 major towns and express coaches (expressos) operate between major cities. During summer express trains leave the Barreiro Station in Lisbon for the Algarve from Monday to Saturday. Electric trains depart from the Lisbon waterfront, travelling along the Costa do Sol to Queluz and Sintra. Travellers over 65 are entitled to a discount of 50%.
- For a superb example of 19th century Romantic architecture, the historic town of Sintra affords you the Palacio da Pena, commissioned by King Ferdinand II, set high on rocks its surrounded by lush greenery and recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Also visit the Monserrate Palace, restored in 1858 for Sir Francis Cook and the Sintra National Palace, now an historic museum.
- When in Algarve, take time to visit the historic town of Faro with its well cared for parks and plazas, pedestrian lanes, busy outdoor cafes, nightlife and theatre.
- A visit to the São Jorge Castle additionally affords spectacular views of historical Lisbon while the magnificent Jerónimo’s Monastery, founded in 1501 is like being in a fantasy.
- On the island of Madeira, look down into the clouds from the 3rd highest peak, the Pico do Arieiro.
- Aveiro, known as the Portuguese Venice, is set along the Ria de Aveiro with colourful boats on its canals and known for its art nouveau buildings like the Cathedral of Aveiro.