A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Portimao vs. Crete for Food, Resorts, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Portimao or Crete?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Portimao and Crete. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Portimao

Portimao is a adventure-filled, vibrant, and colorful coastal city. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Crete

Crete is a stunning, breathtaking, and world-renowned island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Portimao and Crete: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • 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
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Portimao or Crete?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Crete. Although Portimao and Crete are popular destinations, Crete has more sights and attractions for tourists. Crete is very popular for its museums, food, and hiking, while Portimao attracts visitors for its impressive beauty. Portimao is famous for it's dramatic and beautiful beaches and its many activities. Crete is famous for its breathtaking beaches, wild nightlife, and impressive archeological ruins. It is also well known for the Palace of Knossos.

How is Portimao different from Crete?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Portimao
Crete

Crete is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Crete. The island is filled with archeological sites including the famous Palace of Knossos. While most people come to Crete for the natural beauty, in the cities you'll find some great museums and landmarks.

Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Portimao
Crete

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

Eat your way through Crete, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Local cuisine is influenced by the island's fertile environment and excellent agriculture. You'll find olive oil in most dishes and seafood is a major staple. You'll also find a lot of stews and recipes that incorporate local ingredients.

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 Portimao or Crete Better for Nightlife?

Portimao
Crete

Both Portimao and Crete are superb when it comes to partying.

Portimao offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Crete has a large number of nightlife venues. The island has excellent nightlife with clubs and bars found in Chania, Malia and Stalis to Elounda. The area is popular with British tourists and you'll find many bars open until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Is Portimao or Crete Better for Resorts?

Portimao
Crete

There are amazing resorts to choose from in both Portimao and Crete.

Vacationers flock to Portimao for its luxury resorts. 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.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Crete is a great choice. The island has world class resorts that include pools and buffet meals. There are many beachfront resorts that range in style from romantic to family-friendly.


Is Portimao or Crete Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Portimao
Crete

You'll find superb places where you can go scuba diving or snorkeling in Portimao and Crete.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near 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.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Crete. The island is surrounded by clear waters that make for great snorkeling and diving. There's a number of beautiful fish and other sea life that you can see. Be on the lookout for crabs, sea stars, sponges, and even octopi.

Is Portimao or Crete Better for Beaches?

Portimao
Crete

Portimao and Crete both offer amazing beaches.

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.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Crete. There are some of the best beaches in the world on Crete. The areas around Chania have some of the island's best beaches, with one of the most beautiful being Balos. On the northern side of the island, be on the lookout for strong winds, particularly in August, which can make for larger waves. The island is large, so you'll find everything from secluded and quiet beaches to more active and lively places.

Is Portimao or Crete Better for Hiking?

Portimao
Crete

Crete is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. However, Portimao is not a hiking destination.

Crete is a popular spot for hiking. The island is filled with beautiful hikes that run along the shoreline or head inland through the island's beautiful landscapes. There are hikes for every ability level that offer spectacular views and an incredible experience.

Portimao is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Portimao or Crete?

Portimao
Crete

Both Portimao and Crete are nice shopping destinations.

Many visitors go to Portimao to go shopping. It's the second largest city in the Algarve so you'll find several large and modern shopping centers including Aqua Portimão.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Crete. The island has many markets that sell local foods and handicrafts. There are also shops and boutiques where you can buy anything from souvenirs to homemade artwork.

Is Portimao or Crete Better for Families?

Portimao
Crete

Both Portimao and Crete are amazing family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Portimao is very family-friendly. 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.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Crete is a very family-friendly destination. The island is large and filled with countless family-friendly activities. You can spend several days at the beach, explore Lake Kournas, visit a water park, or even take a pirate themed boat cruise. There's also the amusement park, ​​Labyrinth Park, aquariums and more.

Is Portimao or Crete Better for Couples?

Portimao
Crete

Portimao and Crete both amazing destinations for a couple.

Portimao is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. 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.

Crete makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. It's stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, world renowned restaurants, and amazing resorts make this a top honeymoon spot for international travelers and romance seekers.


Is Portimao or Crete Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Portimao
Crete

Crete 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.

Crete is a very popular island for backpackers and budget travelers. It's a large island with a great social scene and no shortage of hostels for backpackers to choose from.

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 Portimao or Crete Better for Students?

Portimao
Crete

Crete is a well-known place for students. However, Portimao is not popular with students.

Many students visit Crete. It's affordability and great coastal activities is a big draw for students in the area.

Portimao is not popular with students.

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

Portimao
Crete

Crete is a good destination for its public transit. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for times when you don't have a car.

Crete has a few public transit options. There's a decent bus system that travels around the island and offers access to many areas.

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


Is Portimao or Crete a more walkable city?

Portimao
Crete

Portimao and Crete both are reasonable when exploring on foot.

Portimao is generally not very walkable. 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.

Crete is generally not a very walkable coastal city. The island is large and requires a vehicle to get around, but there are short strolls that let you enjoy the stunning landscapes.

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

Should I spend more time in Crete or Portimao?

How long in Portimao or Crete?

Both Portimao and Crete have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Crete than in Portimao. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Portimao, and 5-7 days is enough time in Crete.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Crete 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 Crete.


  • How many days in Portimao or Crete? Ideal Length of Stay
    Portimao 2-4 
    Crete 5-7

One day in Portimao or Crete?

In Portimao, many people enjoy the nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling that this active destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Lots of people come for the beaches. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

The beautiful island of Crete offers museums and nightlife. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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.

A weekend in Portimao or Crete?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portimao. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Crete is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Portimao or Crete?

Portimao is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Portimao. Lots of people come for the beaches. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

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

A week in Portimao or Crete?

You'll find nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling around the scenic destination of Portimao. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the beaches. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Crete is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Crete has to offer. This island offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Portugal, The Best Bicycle Tours in Portugal, The Best Historical Tours in Greece, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Greece.


Which place is cheaper, Crete or Portimao?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Portimao is €152, while the average daily cost in Crete is €274. 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 Portimao and Crete in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portimao 78
    Crete 133
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portimao 156
    Crete 266
Compare Hotels in Portimao and Crete

Looking for a hotel in Portimao or Crete? 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 Portimao


Hotels in Crete


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: Portimao Hotel Prices and Crete Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portimao 37
    Crete 189

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • 7 Seven Hanging Valleys Hiking Tour with 4k Photos & Transfer: $39
  • Private Transfer from Alvor to Faro (FAO) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Alvor to Faro Airport (1-4 pax): $111
  • Private Transfer from Armaçao de Pera to Faro (FAO) Airport: $55
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Carvoeiro to Faro (FAO) Airport: $68
  • Private Transfer from Josper Grill Steakhouse Dry Aged to Faro (FAO) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Lagoa to Faro (FAO) Airport: $94
  • Private Transfer from Monte Ruivo to Faro (FAO) Airport: $240
  • Transfer Alvor - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $50
  • Transfer Armação de Pêra - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $34
  • Transfer Armação de Pêra - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $101
  • Transfer Armação de Pêra - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Crete

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Crete:

  • One Way Shared Transfer From/To Heraklion Airport - Bali: $21
  • Private Transfer from Heraklion Airport (HER) to Heraklion Port: $22
  • One-Way Shared Transfer To/From Chania Air-Georgioupolis/Kavros: $23
  • One way shared transfer from or to Chania Airport To Bali : $34
  • Crete Private Transfer to&from Heraklion Airport Port to Rethymno: $37
  • Crete Private Transfer to & from Chania Port Airport to Rethymno: $42
  • Transfer Service in Crete - Starts from Heraklion Prefecture: $44
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to KOKKINI HANI area up to 7 customers: $44
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to Gouves area up to 7 customers: $46
  • VIP Private Transfer: Heraklion - Analipsi Hotels & Villas: $63
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to KOUTOULOUFARI area up to 7 : $63
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Agioi Apostoli up to 3 customers: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Portimao or Crete?

Prices for flights to both Crete and Portimao 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Portimao 45
    Crete 41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portimao

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

  • Algarve Food Tour in Portimão: $110

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Crete

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

  • Troy Dinner-Show: $33
  • Olive Oil Festival in Cretan Farm with Traditional Dinner: $61
  • The Delicious Chania Street Food Tour : $89
  • Half Day Sunset Tour in Rethymno with Dinner and Wine: $93
  • Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour with Cooking Lesson: $99
  • Private Tour: Olive Oil Tasting,Wine,Raki and Local Food Tour: $124
  • Sunset Craft Beer & Food Tour - Chania: $133
  • Private Dinner at Sunset and Cocktails: $178
  • Private Cretan Gastronomic experience Winery visit with Tastings & Cooking Class: $199
  • Eat & Crete - Food Tour [out of the box]- Chania White Mountains: $200
  • Cretan Flavors - Cooking Lessons in Heraklion - Small Group : $216

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portimao 41
    Crete 20

Tours and Activities in Portimao

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

  • Portimão: Benagil Caves Speedboat Tour: $22
  • Express Tour - Benagil Cave: $22
  • Portimão to Benagil: Adrenaline Wave 90 Minutes Cave Tour: $23
  • From Portimão Early Birds Benagil Tour By Traditional Boat: $24
  • Two Hours Tour from Portimão to Paradise : $25
  • Kayak Tour with local guide in Benagil: $25
  • Benagil Cave Kayak Self-Guided Tour: $28
  • Kayak Tour around Benagil to see Sunset or Sunrise: $28
  • Catamaran Tour to Benagil Caves: $28
  • Guided Kayak Express Tour: Unveil the Wonders of Benagil Cave!: $28
  • Private Polynesian and Hawaiian Canoe Adventure through the Algarve: $28
  • Tour Benagil Caves and Coast 3H: $28

Tours and Activities in Crete

Here are a few actual costs in Crete for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Day Tour from Rethimno: $17
  • Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay Full-Day Tour from Rethymno English & German guide: $19
  • Full-Day Tour Gramvousa Balos Bay from Rethymno with French Guide: $19
  • Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour from Chania: $20
  • Heraklion City Tour-Market-Creta Aquarium: $22
  • Party Bike 1 hour Experience in Malia : $22
  • Day Tour To Chania City: $26
  • From Rethymno Areas: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Guided Tour: $28
  • Chania City Evening Tour From Rethymno: $31
  • Preveli Palm Beach Tour from Rethymno - by private boat: $31
  • Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour from Rethymno: $31
  • Full Day Guided Eco and Nature Tour in Crete: $31

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portimao 30
    Crete 30

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
  • Lagos, Portimão & Alvor: Wine Tasting & Music Experience: $61
  • Carvoeiro, Albufeira & Vilamoura: Wine Tasting & Music Experience: $61

Sample the Local Flavors in Crete

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

  • Cheese and Wine Tasting Tour From Chania: $39
  • Culinary Tour at an Olive Farm and Micro-Winery Raki Distillery: $89
  • Ecobike Wine Tasting Tour in Heraklion: $117
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Experience in Haralabakis Winery: $121
  • Wine Tasting on Luxury Yacht Sunset Evening in Marina: $176
  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $183
  • Private Wine Tour Olive Oil Tasting and Pottery from Heraklion: $191
  • Knossos Palace and Wine tasting in Heraklion countryside-Private : $222
  • From Elounda Private Heraklion Wine Tour with Tastings and Lunch: $233
  • Ecobike Tour • All in One • Historical Tour-Food Tasting-Wine Tasting: $235


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Portimao and Crete, we can see that Crete is more expensive. And not only is Portimao much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Portimao would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Portimao and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Crete would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Crete than you might in Portimao.

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


Which has a larger population, Portimao or Crete?

Crete has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Portimao. When comparing the sizes of Portimao and Crete, 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.