By Western European standards, Portugal is fairly inexpensive. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at how much bang you can get for your buck, particularly if you’ve previously travelled in countries such as Belgium, Iceland, France, or the Netherlands. In this blogpost, I’ll be breaking down the main costs of travelling in the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region. This is actually the most expensive area of the country as it’s popular amongst European holiday makers, so you’ll find prices a little higher than elsewhere. I’ll be posting a similar cost guide for Portugal in general, in case you’re looking to explore more of this beautiful country! But for now, let’s take a look at how much a week in the sunny Algarve will set you back!
Please note that Portugal uses the Euro but for the sake of my largely British and American audience, I’ve converted all prices into GBP and USD!
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Hostels: £14 (18USD) per night
If you’re travelling on a budget, you should be able to find a decent hostel dorm room for about £14 (18USD) a night. As always, if you’re willing to stay somewhere a little more basic, you’ll be rewarded with a lower price. Private rooms are more within the region of $60.
Hotel: £80-£150 (104 – 195USD) per night
An upmarket hotel with a central location in a desirable town such as Lagos will likely set you back about £120 (156USD) per night during the summer months. These prices are likely to vary a lot depending on demand. You’ll often find much better deals during the off-peak season.
The cost of flights can obviously differ massively depending on where you’re flying from, so I won’t be including it in my final budget suggestion. But I did want to point out how affordable visiting Portugal can be, with some direct flights from the UK selling for as little as £15!
Dinner: £15-20 (20 – 25USD)
For a sit-down meal with drinks, expect to pay about £15-20. Again, this will depend entirely on where you decide to eat. One night we actually had a full meal with a litre of sangria for only £12 (16USD) each! It’s possible to find bargains if you’re looking for them!
Lunch: £7 (9USD)
Lighter foods for lunch will cost you more like £7 (9USD) and morning pastries about £2 (2.50 USD). You can get an ice cream for £2.
Pastel De Nata: £1 each (1.30USD)
You can’t visit Portugal without treating yourself to a few Pastel De Nata. These delicious custard tarts will become an absolute staple during your time here and the best place to get them is Pastelaria Gomba in Lagos! They’re rich though, so one is plenty!
Alcohol: £3 (4USD) per drink
A beer here will cost you between £2-£4 whilst a glass of wine will be about £2.
Benagil Cave Tour: £45 (60USD)
A stand-up paddle boarding tour of Benagil Cave will set you back about £45. This is likely to be one of the pricier parts of your trip but one I recommend you don’t skip! It’s a fantastic experience and is a must-do when visiting the Algarve.
Surf Lessons: £60 (80USD) for the day
If you want to take a surf lesson during your stay, you’ll be paying about £60 (80USD), although this drops to about £50 (65USD) during low season. This includes a full days surf lesson, surfboard and bodysuit hire.
Bus: £6.00 (8.00USD)
A single fare from Faro to Lagos costs around £6 (8USD) and buses run fairly regularly. You’ll likely spend a lot of your time exploring one area so won’t be travelling too often but if you are interested in exploring the region extensively, you can purchase a tourist pass at £35 (45USD) for the week. This will provide you with unlimited use of the EVA Transport and Frota Azul Algarve bus network.
Uber: £7 (9USD) for a 10 minute journey
If you want to explore with ease, you can use Uber. A 10 minute journey will probably cost you around £7. An Uber from Lagos to Benagil Beach (35 minutes) costs roughly £30 (40USD).
Total Suggested Budget:
Budget: £40-£60 (50 – 80USD) per day
Mid Range: £60-£160 (80 – 210USD) per day
Luxe: £160-£200 (210-260USD) per day
Money Saving Tips
If you’re looking to save some money whilst visiting the Algarve, Portugal, keep these things in mind:
- Make use of the shoulder season. Because the Algarve is such a popular holiday destination for Europeans, visiting in the off-season, or even the shoulder season, will significantly decrease the costs of both accommodation and activities
- Say no to bread. You might find that some restaurants will bring you bread before your meal. This is not free, so just say no if you want to save some money
- Visit the beaches. One of the best things about the Algarve is its stunning beaches, which are completely free to visit! Make the most of the glorious coastline by going on a hike – another free activity!
- Pick your location wisely. Try to stay somewhere central where you hope you spend your time. That way you won’t have to pay for Ubers back and forth and can walk instead!
- Skip the booze. Like any country, a wild night out every night of the week will end up setting you back a bit. If you’re keen to save, enjoy a drink with dinner, instead of spending a night out on the town.