A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kos vs. Portimao for Food, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Kos or Portimao?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kos and Portimao can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.


Kos is a cultural, party-hard, and vibrant island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.


Portimao is a vibrant, colorful, and stunning coastal city. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Kos and Portimao: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less family-friendly
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable

Is there more to do in Kos or Portimao?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Kos than Portimao, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Kos is better known for its museums, food, scuba diving & snorkeling, and hiking, while Portimao is more popular for its resorts. Portimao is more touristy than Kos and is popular for it's dramatic and beautiful beaches and its many activities. Kos is well known for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. Also, Kos is famous for Asklepieion Archeological Site.

How is Kos different from Portimao?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portimao and Kos. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Kos or Portimao?


Kos is renowned for its sights and museums. However, Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Kos on the map. The small island is packed with archaeological sites and interesting history. Famous places worth visiting include the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Neratzia Castle, and so many more!

Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Kos or Portimao? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Kos is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for its restaurants.

Eat your way through Kos, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

Portimao offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Many resorts have attached restaurants where visitors often find themselves dining. For a slightly more local vibe, you can check out one of the many restaurants around town. Much of the restaurant scene is centered around the Alvor District where you'll find unique options that serve local dishes mixed in with some international choices. The city is most famous for its grilled sardines, which are considered a local specialty.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Nightlife?


Both Kos and Portimao have very good vibes after the sun sets.

Kos has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

The people in Portimao know how to have a good time. The city's nightlife scene is mostly found around Praia da Rocha. It's a compact area that makes it easy to hop from bar to bar on foot. Particularly during the summer months you'll find plenty of parties and all night activities that draw a crowd. Sunset boat parties are also a popular activity in the area.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Resorts?


Portimao is very popular for its luxury resorts. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

Portimao is a world class resort vacation destination. The area has all types of resorts, from all-inclusive options to luxury or more family-friendly. Many of the resorts are surprisingly affordable and offer easy access to the beach.

With a selection of resorts, Kos makes a nice vacation spot. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?


Kos is renowned for snorkeling and scuba diving. Also, Portimao is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling.

People travel from around the world to go scuba diving and snorkeling in Kos. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Portimao. The best water conditions are during the summer months but this is also when the beaches are crowded and swimmers can kick up a lot of sand. There are a variety of vendors where you can book snorkeling or diving trips in the area.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Beaches?


Both Kos and Portimao are considered to be fantastic beach destinations.

Kos is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

Portimao offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The stunning beaches are a major draw to the area. They are sandy and feature a backdrop of dramatic red cliffs. The most popular beach in town is Praia da Rocha, which can get crowded during the summer months, but it is quite large so you should still be able to find a spot. The strip behind the beach is lined with shops, bars, restaurants, and a casino. If you want to avoid some of the crowds you can make the walk down to Praia do Vau. Families often enjoy Praia de Alvor, which has a boardwalk that leads to Ria de Alvor nature reserve.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Hiking?


Kos is a good destination for the nearby hiking options. However, Portimao is not a hiking destination.

Kos offers some nice hiking trails. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Portimao is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Kos or Portimao?


Shoppers can find a variety of notable stores in both Kos and Portimao.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Kos. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

Portimao offers some nice shopping areas. It's the second largest city in the Algarve so you'll find several large and modern shopping centers including Aqua Portimão.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Families?


Portimao is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Portimao is an extremely popular coastal city to visit for families. Kids will love the wide range of activities available near Portimao. They can kayak through caves, see an underwater world snorkeling, learn to surf, visit waterparks, explore nature parks, and more. There are activities that the whole family can enjoy, making this stretch of coastline the perfect option for those traveling with kids.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Kos. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Couples?


Portimao is very popular for romance. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Portimao is a great coastal city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. This beautiful stretch of coastline offers unique beaches and stunning outdoor activities. It makes a wonderful honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy adventure, pampering, and romantic resorts. There are great restaurants as well as places to relax or activities for thrill seekers.

Couples visit Kos frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Kos is a well-known place for backpackers. Also, Portimao is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Kos is a very popular island for backpackers and budget travelers. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Portimao. Most people think of high end resorts when they think of the Mediterranean coast, but there are a couple of hostels available for backpackers. You should also consider transportation options. While buses are available, many visitors prefer to have access to a car so they can experience the outlying regions. The good news is the area in general is not particularly expensive so you can enjoy a touch of luxury at a lower cost.

Is Kos or Portimao Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


Kos is a well-known place for its public transit. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for times when you don't have a car.

Kos offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

Public transit is mostly limited in Portimao. There are local buses around town but many routes don't run on weekends.

Is Kos or Portimao a more walkable city?


Kos is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for its walkability.

Kos is a very walkable destination. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

Portimao is generally not a very walkable island. While there are some nice walks along the coastline, the city is fairly large and spread out with many resorts located far from the center of town.

For even more information, also check out Is Kos Worth Visiting? and Is Portimao Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portimao or Kos?

How long in Kos or Portimao?

It's fun to spend time in either Kos or Portimao. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Kos due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Kos, and 2-4 days is enough time in Portimao.

Families should spend more time in Portimao than Kos. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Portimao, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Kos than Portimao. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Kos that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos than Portimao if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Kos.

  • How many days in Kos or Portimao? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kos 2-5 
    Portimao 2-4

One day in Kos or Portimao?

The beautiful island of Kos offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the dramatic destination of Portimao, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Kos or Portimao?

Kos is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this island makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Kos, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Many people visit Portimao for a weekend. With shopping and nightlife around the scenic coastal city of Portimao, there's plenty to do. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Kos or Portimao?

Kos is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Kos, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The destination of Portimao offers nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

A week in Kos or Portimao?

Kos is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This island offers something for everyone.

Portimao, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Which place is cheaper, Portimao or Kos?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €134, while the average daily cost in Portimao is €152. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kos and Portimao in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 62
    Portimao 78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 124
    Portimao 156
Compare Hotels in Kos and Portimao

Looking for a hotel in Kos or Portimao? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kos

Hotels in Portimao

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kos Hotel Prices and Portimao Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 37
    Portimao 37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

Also for Kos, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Roundtrip Minivan Transfer to Therma Natural Spa Beach: $24
  • Lido Water Park Admission Ticket with Transfers: $24
  • Roundtrip Bus Transfer to Mount Zia for Sunset Viewing: $27
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $55
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $55
  • Artemis Hamam and Spa with Hotel Transfers Kos Island: $57
  • Arrival Transfer From Kos Airport : $61
  • Departure transfer to Kos Airport : $64
  • Arrival transfer from Kos Airport : $64
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $65
  • Private Transfer: Kos Island International Airport (KGS) to Kos: $81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $60
  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Alamos Golf (Portimão) : $35
  • Transfer Portimão - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $60
  • Transfer Portimão - Alamos Golf (Portimão) Pending: $35
  • Transfer Lagoa - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $61
  • Transfer Lagoa - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $41
  • Transfer Lagoa - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $34
  • Transfer From Portimão Algarve To Lisboa: $248
  • Transfer Ferragudo - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $49
  • Transfer Ferragudo - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $41
  • Transfer Ferragudo - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $34
  • Transfer Carvoeiro - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Portimao?

Prices for flights to both Portimao and Kos change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Kos 43
    Portimao 45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

For Kos, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $89
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $96
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $96
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $98
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $115

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portimao

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Portimao.

  • Portimão - Food Tour: $104
  • Algarve wine tour and mountain top trip with lunch or dinner at sunset time: $145

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 33
    Portimao 41

Tours and Activities in Kos

For Kos, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Kos Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.62
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $8.12
  • Escape Game and Tour: $8.12
  • Kos Town: Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise with Swimming Stops: $22
  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $30
  • 3-Island Cruise with Greek BBQ Lunch and Swimming: $32
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • Kos Island: 3-Island Wooden Ship Cruise w/ Lunch: $32
  • Full-Day Tour to Nisyros The Volcano Island: $33
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33
  • The Santa Maria Full-Day Island Cruise in Aegean Sea : $34

Tours and Activities in Portimao

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portimao are as follows:

  • Kayak Tours to Benagil & Marine caves - From Benagil Beach: $39
  • Portimão to Benagil: Adrenaline Wave - 90Mins Cave Tour: $25
  • 2 Hours Cruise Portimão to Benagil Cave & Marinha Beach: $33
  • 3D Fun Art Museum Portimão Ticket: $14
  • 7 Hour Guided Sailboat Yacht Cruise Tour in Algarve: $82
  • Adventure in Serra de Monchique - 4 Hours: $50
  • Afternoon Sailing and Caves Tour from Portimao: $40
  • Albufeira - Salgados Reserve Segway Tour: $66
  • Algarve - Exclusive horseriding in Portimao (no experience required): $55
  • Algarve Coast Guided Boat Tour: $39
  • Algarve Jeep Safari tours: $50
  • Algarve Private Tour with Typical Lunch: $83

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 19
    Portimao 30

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $60

Sample the Local Flavors in Portimao

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Portimao:

  • Wine Tasting and Art Tour: $40
  • Algarve Wine Tour of Two Wine Estates: $74
  • Portimão and Lagoa: Algarve Wine Tour in a VW T2 Van: $77
  • Algarve wine tour of 2 wine estates and lunch at the countryside: $156
  • Algarve wine tour and farmer's lunch at wine estate: $184
  • Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve: $212

When comparing the travel costs between Kos and Portimao, we can see that Portimao is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kos Expensive? and Is Portimao Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Kos or Portimao?

Portimao has a larger population, and is about 100% larger than the population of Kos. When comparing the sizes of Kos and Portimao, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.