A Travel Price Comparison for Portugal Portimao vs. Faro for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Portimao or Faro?

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 Faro. 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 dramatic, active, and scenic coastal city. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include shopping, nightlife, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Faro

Faro is a active, popular, and busy resort town. Other popular activities here include nightlife, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Portimao and Faro: 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
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Portimao or Faro?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Portimao than Faro, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Portimao is better known for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Faro is more popular for its historical sights. Portimao is more touristy than Faro and is popular for it's dramatic and beautiful beaches and its many activities. Also, Portimao is famous for Praia da Rocha. Faro is well known for its historical sights and rich culture.

How is Portimao different from Faro?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Portimao
Faro

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at respectable restaurants in both Portimao and Faro.

Portimao may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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.

Faro offers some easy restaurants to choose from. It has become a major tourist town, so you have to get a bit creative to find a more traditional restaurant. Look for fresh seafood like cod, monkfish, or shellfish if you want some local flavors.


Is Portimao or Faro Better for Nightlife?

Portimao
Faro

Both Portimao and Faro are great 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.

Faro has a large number of nightlife venues. The city's bustling party scene thrives along Rua de São Pedro, Rua Conselheiro Bívar, and Rua do Prior.

Is Portimao or Faro Better for Resorts?

Portimao
Faro

There are world-class resorts to choose from in both Portimao and Faro.

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, Faro is a great choice. Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.

Is Portimao or Faro Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Portimao
Faro

Portimao is great for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its diving and snorkeling.

Many visitors go to Portimao to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Faro. There are both snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in the area. It's possible to snorkel off of several beaches or arrange a scuba diving excursion with a local dive shop.


Is Portimao or Faro Better for Beaches?

Portimao
Faro

Portimao is a must-visit destination for its beaches. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for the beache.

The beaches in Portimao are among the best in 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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Faro. The most popular beach in the area is Faro Beach. It can get crowded during the summer months but if you walk a bit you can often get away from the crowds. To reach the beach you'll need a car or you can take the bus as the beach is about 10 km away.

Is Portimao or Faro Better for its Old Town?

Portimao
Faro

Faro is a good destination for its historic old town charm. However, Portimao does not have a historic old town.

Faro offers a nice historic old town area. You'll find historic buildings and cobblestone streets in the old town. It's a nice place to explore, grab a bite to eat, and do a little shopping.

Portimao does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Portimao or Faro?

Portimao
Faro

Both Portimao and Faro are notable 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 Faro. The town isn't as big as some others, so it's shopping scene isn't as comprehensive, but you will find the major brands as well as souvenir shops to peruse when you need a break from the beach.


Is Portimao or Faro Better for Families?

Portimao
Faro

Portimao is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. However, Faro is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Portimao is an amazing family-friendly coastal city to visit. 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.

Faro is not the most family-friendly destination. There are some nice nature reserves in the area so kids who love wildlife will enjoy a visit.

Is Portimao or Faro Better for Couples?

Portimao
Faro

Portimao is a must-visit destination for romance. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its romantic activities.

Portimao has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. 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.

Faro makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With the beautiful natural areas and historic old town, this seaport makes a nice couples vacation.

Is Portimao or Faro Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Portimao
Faro

Both Portimao and Faro are notable destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers 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.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Faro. The are some good hostels in the area, but it's a bit tricky to get around without a car.


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

Portimao
Faro

Faro 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.

Faro has a few public transit options. There are buses that connect the city to the beach, the airport, and other outlying 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 Faro a more walkable city?

Portimao
Faro

Faro is a good destination for its ease of walking around. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for its walkability.

Faro is a somewhat walkable resort town. The city's old town is particularly walkable.

Portimao is generally not a very walkable coastal city. 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 Portimao Worth Visiting? and Is Faro Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Faro or Portimao?

How long in Portimao or Faro?

In either Portimao or Faro, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Faro than Portimao because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Portimao, and 2-5 days is enough time in Faro.

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

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


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

One day in Portimao or Faro?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Portimao. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

The resort town of Faro offers nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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 Faro?

Portimao is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the beaches. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Faro is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this resort town makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Faro, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Portimao or Faro?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the scenic destination of Portimao. This coastal city offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Faro is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Faro, 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 Faro?

The adventure-filled coastal city of Portimao offers shopping and nightlife. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week 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.

Faro is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This resort town 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 Coach Bus Tours in Portugal, and The Best Adventure Tours to Portugal.


Which place is cheaper, Faro 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 Faro is €133. 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 Faro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portimao 78
    Faro 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portimao 156
    Faro 150
Compare Hotels in Portimao and Faro

Looking for a hotel in Portimao or Faro? 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 Faro


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 Faro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portimao 37
    Faro 9.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • Transfer From Portimão Algarve To Lisboa: $248
  • Private Transfer from Monte Ruivo to Faro (FAO) Airport: $238
  • Private Transfer from Aljezur to Faro (FAO) Airport: $238
  • Private Airport Transfer To Armação De Pera Area: $116
  • Private Transfer from Lagoa to Faro (FAO) Airport: $94
  • Carvoeiro Private Transfer to Faro Airport: $86
  • Private Transfer from Hotel da Rocha to Faro (FAO) Airport: $85
  • Private Transfer from Algoz to Faro (FAO) Airport: $82
  • Private Transfer from Josper Grill Steakhouse Dry Aged to Faro (FAO) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Carvoeiro to Faro (FAO) Airport: $68
  • Transfer Carvoeiro - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $62
  • Transfer Lagoa - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Faro

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

  • Lisbon Oriente Station: Transfer to/from Faro City Center: $5.41
  • Transfer Olhos de Água - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $14
  • Faro Airport: Private Transfer to Quarteira & Vilamoura: $20
  • Private Transfer from Faro Airport to Albufeira: $26
  • Faro Airport Private Transfer - Albufeira (Arrival): $27
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Faro Airport to Algarve Hotels: $29
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Almancil: $30
  • Private One Way Faro Airport Transfer From/To Faro Portugal: $32
  • Transfer Almancil - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $35
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Faro HTL-APT (FAO): $36
  • Private Transfer from Faro (FAO) Airport to Vilamoura: $38
  • Transfer Faro airport - Vale do Lobo or Quinta do Lago: $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Portimao or Faro?

Prices for flights to both Faro 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
    Faro 36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portimao

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

  • Algarve wine tour and mountain top trip with lunch or dinner at sunset time: $149

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Faro

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

  • The Most Delicious Private Food Tour of 6 or 10 Tastings: $84
  • 3 Hours Classic Food Tour in Faro: $98
  • Authentic Portuguese Cooking Experience in Algarve: $165

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portimao 41
    Faro 9.41

Tours and Activities in Portimao

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

  • BENAGIL CAVE PRIVATE kayak tour from Carvalho beach w/ 4KPhotos: $105
  • Kayak Tours to Benagil & Marine caves - From Benagil Beach: $39
  • Portimão to Benagil: Adrenaline Wave - 90Mins Cave Tour: $25
  • 1 Hour and 30 Minutes Benagil Caves Kayak Tour: $37
  • 2 Hours Cruise Portimão to Benagil Cave & Marinha Beach: $27
  • 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
  • Alone in Benagil, perfect pictures Kayak tour with @StarToursAlgarve: $61
  • BENAGIL CAVE Kayak Tour from Carvalho beach SMALL Group 4KPHOTOS: $38

Tours and Activities in Faro

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Faro.

  • Camera Obscura - Tavira Eye - Admission Ticket: $5.52
  • Lagos Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.76
  • Faro Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.76
  • Tavira Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self Guided Tour: $7.93
  • Faro Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.93
  • Algarve Life Sciences Center Museum Family Ticket: $13
  • Cork Factory Tour & Cork Shop: $18
  • Tavira Olive Experience Factory Tour and Tasting: $19
  • Ria Formosa Sunset Boat Tour: $22
  • Eco Boat Tour in the Ria Formosa Lagoon from Faro: $22
  • 1 or 2 Hour Speed Boat Tour - Ria Formosa: $27
  • Tavira Route Boat Tour: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portimao 30
    Faro 3.13

Sample the Local Flavors in Portimao

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

  • Algarve Wine Tasting & Music Experience: $61
  • Algarve Wine Tour of Two Wine Estates: $74
  • Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve: $212

Sample the Local Flavors in Faro

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Faro:

  • Wine tastings, with Tour option - Authentic Algarve Flavours by Quinta da Tôr: $19
  • Visit to a Family Brewery in Loulé with Tasting: $28


When comparing the travel costs between Portimao and Faro, 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 Portimao Expensive? and Is Faro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Portimao or Faro?

Faro has a larger population, and is about 7% larger than the population of Portimao. When comparing the sizes of Portimao and Faro, 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.


When is the best time to visit Portimao or Faro?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Portimao or Faro in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Portimao as well as Faro. Many visitors come to Portimao in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Faro for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Portimao is around the same temperature as Faro. Typically, the summer temperatures in Portimao in July average around 25°C (78°F), and Faro averages at about 25°C (78°F).

Portimao usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Faro. Portimao gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Faro receives 1 mm (0 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Portimao 25°C (78°F) 
    Faro 25°C (78°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Faro in the Autumn?

Both Faro and Portimao are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Portimao for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Faro because of the shopping scene.

In October, Portimao is generally around the same temperature as Faro. Daily temperatures in Portimao average around 19°C (67°F), and Faro fluctuates around 20°C (68°F).

In October, Portimao usually receives around the same amount of rain as Faro. Portimao gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Faro receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Portimao 19°C (67°F) 
    Faro 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Faro in the Winter?

Both Faro and Portimao during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Portimao because of the shopping scene and the cuisine. Furthermore, the shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Faro this time of year.

Portimao is around the same temperature as Faro in the winter. The daily temperature in Portimao averages around 11°C (52°F) in January, and Faro fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

Portimao usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Faro. Portimao gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Faro receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Portimao 11°C (52°F) 
    Faro 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Faro in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Portimao and Faro. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Portimao this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Faro for the beaches.

In the spring, Portimao is around the same temperature as Faro. Typically, the spring temperatures in Portimao in April average around 15°C (60°F), and Faro averages at about 17°C (62°F).

In April, Portimao usually receives around the same amount of rain as Faro. Portimao gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Faro receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Portimao 15°C (60°F) 
    Faro 17°C (62°F)

Typical Weather for Faro and Portimao

Portimao Faro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 11°C (52°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Feb 12°C (54°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (56°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 14°C (56°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 15°C (58°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 15°C (60°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 17°C (62°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
May 19°C (65°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 19°C (67°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Jul 25°C (78°F) 1 mm (0 in) 25°C (78°F) 1 mm (0 in)
Aug 26°C (78°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 24°C (75°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Nov 15°C (58°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Dec 12°C (53°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)