We all want to get great value for money, so I’d like to show you where I find the best Portugal travel deals for hotels, car rental, flights or tours. Whenever I start planning a trip, whether it’s within Portugal or to other countries, there are certain ‘go to’ sites that I always consult.
I’ve also negotiated special discounts for you with certain local tour companies so look for the discount codes below.
I keep this page as up to date as possible so it’s always worth checking back for new deals and special offers.
Last update: 15th January 2023
Special offers on travel
These are temporary deals. For long-term discounts with my local partners, see this section.
Take in this fado show, meet and greet a musician and save 10% until the end of March 2023.
Get 20% off until December 2023 on a private transfer to Porto airport.
Save 20% on this Benagil Caves Speed Boat Tour with Sunset Option from Portimão. Offer valid until the end of 2023.
Take a boat tour of Ria Formosa, spend time relaxing on the beach of Culatra and admire a beautiful sunset on the trip home. You save 10% and the offer is valid until 31 January 2023.
Explore Madeira on a 4×4 vineyard and wine tasting adventure. Save 10% up until 28th February 2023.
If thrills are more your thing then walk the glass-floored skywalk and swim in natural volcanic pools. You’ll get 15% off until the end of March 2023.
Climb aboard a 12-metre sailboat and see Lisbon from a different perspective on this Sunset Sailing with Portuguese Wine and History tour. You get up to 45% off, depending on your dates.
Online booking platforms for hotels, villas and apartments
I’ve been using Booking.com for over 15 years and it’s still my first port of call when it comes to finding accommodation. I haven’t had a problem with a booking in all that time and I get great ‘Genius’ discounts.
The reviews are from verified guests and therefore more reliable than on some other sites. I also find it easy to compare facilities between places on my shortlist. Most accommodations allow you to cancel or change your booking for free so you can plan ahead without commitment.
Accommodation rented by owners
Plum Guide is a great way to find holiday apartments and villas for rent by owners and management companies. They have selected the top 3% of properties in each destination at three different price points so there should be something for most budgets and tastes.
Instead of relying on user reviews, they meticulously vet and inspect their listings to ensure quality control. Look for the “Plum Award” homes for peace of mind.
If you’re not already familiar with Vrbo, it stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner so in many ways there are similarities between this and AirBnB and you’ll find that many accommodations are listed on both sites, as well as on Booking.com (which is still my preferred platform, even for apartments). They cover more locations than Plum Guide so if you can’t find anything suitable there, or on Booking.com, try Vrbo.
Interesting alternatives to traditional accommodation offers
Although housesitting doesn’t necessarily involve looking after animals, that’s the most common reason for people wanting others to stay in their homes while they’re away. I’ve used Trusted Housesitters, which matches sitters with homeowners.
Housesitting can be a fantastic way of getting free accommodation, especially if you’re interested in staying in Portugal for an extended period to decide whether or not you want to live here.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth cultural experience, as well as bed and board, in exchange for your skills and labour, Workaway is a well-respected platform for connecting hosts with volunteers. For a small annual fee, you can search for and apply to individuals and small organisations that need some help.
It’s worth considering if you want to immerse yourself in a language you’re trying to learn, too.
One of the things I love about the Rentalcars.com car rental search and booking engine is that you can see which car hire company you would be using.
The booking is made through Rentalcars.com and the car is supplied by your preferred rental company at your chosen location.
Although you pay up front, there is usually free cancellation so you can book ahead to get the best prices (check the terms and conditions to make sure).
Discover Cars is very similar to Rentalcars.com in that you can search their user-friendly platform for the best price among a number of car rental companies, and reviews, which I find makes it easier to choose.
You make the booking and payment through Discover Cars and receive a voucher that you take to the relevant car rental company to collect the vehicle. I have used them and the process and service was faultless.
As always, check terms and conditions carefully so you know what’s included and what isn’t.
I’ve used Europcar a few times in Portugal and always been satisfied with their service. They have offices in several of the smaller towns, such as Peso da Régua in the Douro, which makes it easier to avoid one-way rental fees. Office hours may be restricted, especially at weekends so plan carefully.
They’ve also started offering bicycle and motorbike rentals in some locations.
Tours and transfers
Whether you need airport transfers, a Lisbon Card, hop-on hop-off bus tours, food tours, boat trips, private experiences or workshops, Get Your Guide has a whole range of activities and services to choose from.
They offer free cancellation (check the conditions) so you can book ahead with confidence.
Viator is another popular tour booking platform and is part of TripAdvisor. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Get Your Guide, it’s worth taking a peek at what Viator have to offer.
The booking system is simple to use and they issue refunds promptly if you cancel within the terms. You can also find out which local tour operator is running the experience and ask questions if you need more info before booking.
Exclusive reader discount codes for Portugal tours
Some of the tour operators I’ve had the pleasure of working with offer my readers a 5% discount on their tours. Note: You must use the specific codes below when you make a booking.
The Cooltours specialise in small group tours in and around Porto and Lisbon, although they also offer private experiences and transfers.
5% discount code for regular tours leaving Porto (use on the booking form): FOX5
Culinary Backstreets offer excellent food-related walking tours in various cities around the world, including Lisbon and Porto.
5% discount code (use on the booking form): FOX5
Go Walks Portugal are based in Coimbra and specialise in cultural tours of the city and other places of interest in Central Portugal.
5% discount code (use when booking by email): JULIE5
You never know what might happen to ruin your trip so it’s a good idea to take out travel insurance before you leave home. There are many companies and policies to choose from so it pays to compare the cover to make sure it suits your specific needs.
Most companies are now offering Covid-related cover but check the fine print what’s included.
Yonder currently serves North American clients but is planning to expand to cover European customers in the future. Through their site, you can search through numerous reputable insurance providers to find the most appropriate cover for your particular needs, including ones with Covid coverage under their ‘cancel for any reason’ policies. Note that there are time restrictions on this aspect of the cover – see Yonder’s coronavirus section for more on that.
If you live in the UK or EU, you could consider Globelink. I’ve had to make a claim through them under very unusual circumstances and they were flexible enough to pay out so I continue to use them. They also cover a lot of pre-existing medical conditions, which is helpful, and are now covering Covid-related claims.
Portugal guide books
BEFORE YOU GO...
If you're interested in visiting or moving to Portugal, why not get my free insider tips and resources?
These emails include new blog posts and relevant products, services and special offers.