Travel in Portugal

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Having chosen your holiday destination you will need to decide how to travel to Portugal. There are many different ways to travel to Portugal these days, and your choice will largely depend upon your preferences and budget rather than restrictions such as proximity to an airport. These days many regional airports offer flights to Portugal so you don't have to make the journey to London first. If you prefer not to fly you might consider taking a train to Portugal, going by ferry, or driving. Bear in mind that if you travel to Portugal over land from the UK you will have to traverse the whole of France and Spain in order to reach your destination, and that it will take at least two days by car and nearly that much by train.

This issue is yet another thing to mull over when you are buying a property in Portugal. If you are buying a holiday home, for example, or will need to travel to Portugal from your main home on a regular basis, it will perhaps be important for you to live within an hour's drive or train ride of the international airports at Lisbon, Porto or Faro. On the other hand, you may think that being as remote as possible is the best option so that you can escape the rat race (or any surprise guests) completely, in which case you should avoid the commuter belts near the aforementioned airports.

Lisbon airport is the main international airport in Portugal and a good starting off point for most of central Portugal. Porto airport (further north) has good connections and provides access to the northern areas, whereas Faro has the most budget flight operators and is the only way to get directly to the Algarve. For places like Alentejo, Lisbon and Porto tend to be equally well placed so look for the best deals.

Once you have accomplished the journey to Portugal you will need to think about your onward journey, and a number of options present themselves. Internal flights are pricey and, considering how compact Portugal is, may not seem worth the hassle. Instead you might choose to hire a car as this allows you total freedom from schedules and more choice, but petrol and tolls are pricey so this is not always the cheapest option even though car hire itself is quite reasonable in Portugal. National train services are on the up and bus connections are also a good option. Cyclists are not as well looked after in Portugal as they are in France, for example, and bikes are not permitted on trains.