Traveling to Portugal? Consider the Off-Season


The Martinhal Sagres resort, on the Algarve Coast of Portugal.

Martinhal Sagres

Summer may be Portugal’s peak tourist season, but more travelers from the United States are heading to the country this fall and winter than they have in recent years. The travel search engine Kayak has seen searches to Lisbon for this fall increase 46 percent compared with last fall, and according to American Express Travel’s internal booking data, trips to Portugal for travel between this September and December are up 81 percent, compared with the same period last year.

“The fall and winter are an excellent time to explore Portugal because temperatures are mild, and there’s fantastic value to be found on airfare, hotels and tours,” said Tom Stein, the vice president of American Express Travel.

Here are a few options for travelers who have yet to book their trips.

Friendly Planet Travel is offering an 11-day Best of Portugal small group tour, which takes travelers through six cities and includes several activities such as a port tasting in Porto, a tour of the ancient ruins of Conímbriga and a tile painting workshop in Lisbon. Scheduled dates are available through 2018; prices start at $2,999 a person, inclusive of round-trip airfare to Lisbon’s Portela Airport from Newark Liberty International Airport; accommodations in upscale hotels; breakfast; two dinners; ground transportation; and tours. Book by calling 800-555-5765.

Cruise fans may want to consider the 10-night Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley itinerary from Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. The trip starts in Lisbon and ends in Porto (despite the name, it includes only one day in Spain) and features three nights in Lisbon and seven nights of cruising on the picturesque Douro River. Stops include the Douro Valley to visit wine estates, the medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo and the lively city of Guinmaraes. Scheduled dates are available through 2018, with prices starting at $3,999 a person inclusive of luxury accommodations, all meals and alcohol onboard and eight guided excursions. Book by calling 866-883-3684.

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