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Getting to Portugal

How to get to Portugal

Planning your visit to Portugal should be a relatively straightforward affair as there are no shortage of low-cost direct flights from all over Europe. Portugal is also a popular destination for all in package deals and these can often be found at bargain prices during the low season or through last minute booking.

Flying is the easiest and cheapest way to reach Portugal from most places with Lisbon airport and Faro airport the most common destinations, although Porto is becoming increasingly popular. Whilst there are some long-haul direct flights to Portugal's international airports it can often work out cheaper to fly via London and arrange an onward flight / package deal from there.

For those, like myself, who are not a fan of flying there are overland routes through mainland Europe and even alternatives when travelling from the UK. Most of my travels in Portugal have begun with a ferry from England's south coast over to either France or Spain. As I was never in a great hurry and wanted to take a car to Portugal this was a great way of seeing some of France, Spain and more of Portugal.
My last trip over to Portugal was a 2 week family holiday / grand tour. That time it made sense to find a cheap flight from London and hire a car in Portugal.

Driving in Portugal can come as a bit of shock for those of us coming from Northern Europe, the US or Australasia. The quality of the roads varies from the pristine through to the down right dangerous - much the same can be said for the driving! You do get used to it, but the experience of hiring a car at Lisbon airport and driving straight into central Lisbon is not one you'll forget in a hurry.

Whether you travel to Portugal by land, sea or air the fares will be at their highest during the school holiday - easter, summer and Christmas / New Year. This also applies to other expenses such as accommodation and car rental. There isn't a lot you can do about this and those of us with families can't really avoid these times, but if you can there are bargains to be had.