After we have explained to you in our contribution 8 reasons why Portugal is better for kitesurfing than Tarifa, why it is worth to spend your next surfing holiday there, we would like to give you a few tips on how to spend your holiday in Portugal as cheaply as possible.
1. Choose the right travel month
Porto, Lisbon and Faro are the three main airports of the country. Due to their location, you can easily reach the north, the center and the south of Portugal. A further advantage is that even low-cost airlines offer regular flights there. However, prices can vary widely. While very cheap flights can be found in the off-season, November-March, the flight prices in the main season, April-October, don’t differ from other flight providers. The earlier you book the flight, the cheaper it is. Especially for low-cost carries the price increases with the number of tickets been booked for the plane! The cheapest way to get flights is when they are just set. This is typically 9 months before the departure time.
2. Public transports
The prices for public transport in Portugal are very favorable. Especially by bus and train you can get from A to B for little money. The airports in Portugal are characterized by a very good connection with public transport. A bus ticket from Porto to Lisbon, for example, costs 15 euros. The railway line in Portugal is extensive. So, you can travel along the coast from Porto, via Lisbon, to Faro for little money. Ticket price from Porto to Lisbon by train is 25 euros. In addition to public transport, there is also the possibility to rent a vehicle. Here you can also find cheap offers at various suppliers. Compared to bus and train, however, a rental car is still the more expensive alternative. In addition, you can save on the road tolls without renting a car.
3. Avoid taxis
As in many other countries, taxis are not cheap in Portugal. Especially tourists are often charged with excessive prices. In addition, extra charges for luggage or other items are not uncommon.
4. Avoid tourist centers
Because of the temperatures and the varied landscapes, the Algarve is very popular among tourists. In summer, during peak season, the Algarve is well-attended and you will hardly find cheap accommodations or restaurants. Outside of the summer, however, good deals can also be found there like in Tavira or Lagos.
While the Algarve is a tourist magnet in the summer, the west coast of Portugal is generally less visited than the south. Around Lisbon and Porto, you can find budget accommodation all year around. This is due to the high density of hotels and hostels. Since Porto, still, is less popular than Lisbon, the better deals can be found there.
6. VW minibus renting
Bus and train connections are partly restricted. You have to depend on the travel times and also on the arrival locations. Mainly the big spots and locations can be reached by bus or by train. If you want to move more “freely”, there is the possibility to rent a VW minibus at different places in Portugal. The advantage of this is that your rental car connects with your accommodation. In the low season, you can rent your mobile home for a fair price.
Eat where the local people also eat. Restaurants for tourist usually lure with recommendations from tour guides, but you also pay the tourist rates. Local restaurants can also be found in the large shopping centers. In addition to the well-known fast food chains, there are also frequent restaurants offering traditional Portuguese cuisine. So, you can get a full menu for 7.50 euros.
8. Cafés and coffee shops
Besides the possibility to have a cheap lunch in the cafés and coffee shops of Portugal, it is also helpful to know that Portuguese would like to order water for their coffee or tea. This is available for free with an order. Just ask!
If you decide to rent a mobile home or a holiday apartment or holiday home it is worth to cook yourself. Although you can eat and drink for little money in Portugal, if you are looking for the right places, the cheapest option is the self-catering. The rule is what was introduced is expensive, what was produced itself is favorable. So, look for local products! This way one week of food costs you about 36 euros.
10. Drugstore articles
Articles such as sun creams or other drugstore articles are very expensive in Portugal. In this case, it is advisable to buy necessary products before travel. It is also worthwhile to organize the required medical products sufficiently before travel.
There are two big pots in your travel budget. First one is the flight, which you can easily decrease by booking your flight early on! Second one is the domestic travel and accommodation. If you want to stay at one place or one spot you should use public transports to get there. On the other hand, if you want to be mobile to get to different locations or spots, our advice is to do car sharing with other kiters and maybe even share your accommodation!