dealchecker's guide to Portugal

Portugal sits on the western edge of continental Europe and has a rich seafaring history. It has great historical cities, beautiful countryside and golden beaches. Once you've found a hotel in Portugal you'll discover plenty of places to explore.

From the southern shores of the Algarve to the lush green wine valleys in the north, Portugal is characterised by its friendly and often exuberant population, who take a laid back approach life. Bars stay open late, sleepy seeming villages throw inclusive festivals, and good eating is oh-so-easy to come by.

Popular Hotel Stays in Portugal

Every summer holidaymakers flock to the sunny shores of the Algarve, where hotels and all inclusive resorts offer great-value sunshine getaways. Lively Albufeira is the biggest destination, but you could also opt for hotel accommodation in upmarket Vilamoura, the near the pretty cove at Carvoeiro, or in the surfer hangouts west of Lagos.

Portugal's islands are also popular destinations. Madeira boasts a sub-tropical climate, and is famed for its verdant gardens. Its lesser-known sister, Porto Santo offers a six-mile long beach - brilliant for some out-of-season sunshine. And further into the Atlantic you can find accommodation on the Azores, a chain of islands known for their dramatic landscapes, with plenty of hiking and whale watching opportunities.

Portugal's west coast is more rugged than the Algarve, but is popular with surfers, and you'll find pretty hotels in the costal resorts like Estoril, that are not so well known outside of Portugal. Hotels are also dotted through pretty interior regions like the Douro Valley and the Alentejo.

City Breaks in Portugal

The cheap hotels in Portugal's cities like Lisbon and Porto offer excellent value city breaks, especially when compared to other European cities. Portugal's capital, Lisbon, is set over seven hills, which means a lot of amazing views, once you climb to the top. Or you can cheat and catch one of the city's iconic yellow trams.

The nearby town of Sintra is often compared to a fairytale, with elegant castles nestling in mountain foothills.

Portugal's second city, Porto, is a prime destination for foodies. The surrounding area is renowned for the production of Port wine - so you'll get to drink plenty of that, accompanied by fresh fish, and petiscos (Portugal's version of tapas). Walk it off exploring the winding streets and admiring the mix architecture that embraces baroque grandeur, traditional hand-painted tiles and dramatic minimalist styles.

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