Accommodation in Portugal

In almost any Portuguese town you can find a basic pension offering a double or twin room for e30 or under. The only accommodation that you’re likely to find cheaper than this is a youth-hostel dorm or a simple room in a private home, while you can expect to pay more for accommodation in Algarve resorts in summer, in the mountains in the winter, or year-round in Lisbon where an average room is likely to cost e30–40. Moving upmarket, you’re often spoilt for choice, with some wonderful manor houses (from e60) and a network of comfortable hotels known as pousadas (from e100), all at prices that beat the rest of Europe hands down. Even in high season you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding a bed in most Portuguese regions. However, the best places in Lisbon and the Algarve are often booked up for days ahead. Advance reservations here are advised, especially if you’re arriving late.

A quarto duplo has two single beds, and a quarto casal has a large double bed for a couple. A single room – quarto solteiro or individual – is a little cheaper, but almost always proportionately more expensive per person than if you were to share. Ask to see the room before you take it, and don’t be afraid to ask if there’s a cheaper one available (rooms without private bathrooms are often considerably less). In higher-graded hotels, you’ll often get a better rate simply by asking, especially out of season or at the end of the day.

Lastly, a word of warning: between November and April, give or take a month, night time temperatures throughout Alentejo, the mountain Beiras and Trás-os-Montes can plummet to below freezing, and even along the coast temperatures of under 5ºC are common. However, few pensions have any form of heating other than the odd plug-in radiator,  so check out the facilities before taking a room, or you’ll find yourself wearing the entire contents of your luggage for the night. Similarly, in the height of summer check for a fan or air conditioning, as nights can remain very warm.