A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Portimao vs. Hvar for Nightlife, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Portimao or Hvar?

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 Hvar. 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 scenic, adventure-filled, and vibrant coastal city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Hvar

Hvar is a energetic, party-oriented, and historic island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Portimao and Hvar: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers
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
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Portimao or Hvar?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Hvar. Although Portimao and Hvar are both popular with visitors, Hvar has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Hvar is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and hiking, while Portimao is known for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty. Portimao is popular for it's dramatic and beautiful beaches and its many activities. Hvar is popular for its wild parties, beautiful buildings, and world class cuisine. It is also home to Hvar Fort.

How is Portimao different from Hvar?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hvar 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 Hvar?

Portimao
Hvar

Hvar is a good destination for its sights and museums. However, Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Hvar. Wandering around the old town you'll see many historic buildings such as the Cathedral of St. Stephen. You can also visit the nearby Hvar Fort or explore the Franciscan Monastery.

Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Portimao
Hvar

Hvar is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Portimao is not a good coastal city for its restaurants.

Dining out in Hvar is an experience not to be missed. It's an island, so you'll find no shortage of seafood in the restaurants. There's fish, crab, lobster, squid, and octopus on the menus around town. Many dishes are prepared with risotto or pasta and you'll find a lot of olive oil and wine.

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 Hvar Better for Nightlife?

Portimao
Hvar

Hvar is renowned for its evening party scene. Also, Portimao is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for nightlife.

Hvar is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The island has a reputation as a party island, and it's well earned. Most of the activity is found in Hvar Town, particularly between the months of June and September. Young people flock to the island for the all night parties and wild beach bars and clubs.

Portimao has a large number of nightlife venues. 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 Portimao or Hvar Better for Resorts?

Portimao
Hvar

Portimao is renowned for its resorts. However, Hvar is not a resort destination.

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.

Hvar is not a resort destination.


Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Portimao
Hvar

Portimao is notable for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Portimao is an extremely popular place to visit for 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.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Hvar. The water is clear and there are snorkeling day trips that leave from town. This is a great way to get out on the water and glimpse the undersea world.

Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Beaches?

Portimao
Hvar

Portimao is renowned for the beache. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for the beach.

Portimao is considered to be a world-class beach destination. 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.

Many people visit Hvar for it's beautiful beaches. The island has hilly bays and coves that are fun to explore. The best beaches are found to the south and southwest of the island and many are pebbly or gravelly.

Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Hiking?

Portimao
Hvar

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

Hvar offers some nice hiking trails. There are a number of hikes on the island that cater to every skill level and take you through natural areas or past historic sights.

Portimao is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Portimao or Hvar?

Portimao
Hvar

Both Portimao and Hvar are good 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 Hvar. In the town you'll find galleries, boutiques, jewelry shops and other beach stores. It's fun to pop in and look at the different items.

Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Families?

Portimao
Hvar

Portimao is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its kid-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 family-friendly things to do in Hvar. There are adventure parks, water parks, and other fun activities for kids. There are also beaches where everyone can swim and sea kayaking trips. Hvar Observatory is also a unique and fun place to visit as a family.

Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Couples?

Portimao
Hvar

Portimao is renowned for its romantic activities. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for couples.

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.

Hvar makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are some romantic hotels and beautiful beaches that make this a wonderful destination for couples. Anyone who enjoys a coastal setting with clear waters and a variety of water sports will enjoy their time here.


Is Portimao or Hvar Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Portimao
Hvar

Hvar is renowned for backpackers. Also, Portimao is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Hvar is a very popular island to visit for backpackers. The island has long been a popular stop with backpackers who enjoy the affordable prices, abundance of hostels, and active nightlife scene. You'll have no trouble meeting other travelers, particularly during the peak summer months.

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 Hvar Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Portimao
Hvar

Hvar 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.

Hvar has a few public transit options. Buses are operated by Cazmatrans Hva and they travel between the major municipalities.

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

Is Portimao or Hvar a more walkable city?

Portimao
Hvar

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

Hvar is a somewhat walkable island. Hvar Town can be explored on foot, but you'll need a vehicle to explore other parts of the island.

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 Hvar Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hvar or Portimao?

How long in Portimao or Hvar?

It's fun to spend time in either Portimao or Hvar. In our opinion, Hvar has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Hvar than Portimao. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Portimao than Hvar. 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 Hvar. 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 Hvar 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 Hvar.


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

One day in Portimao or Hvar?

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 beautiful island of Hvar 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.

A weekend in Portimao or Hvar?

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.

Hvar 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 Hvar, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Portimao or Hvar?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the adventure-filled 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.

Hvar is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Portimao or Hvar?

The colorful 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.

Hvar is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Portugal, The Best Bicycle Tours in Portugal, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Croatia, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Croatia.


Which place is cheaper, Hvar 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 Hvar is €103. 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 Hvar in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portimao 78
    Hvar 38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portimao 156
    Hvar 76
Compare Hotels in Portimao and Hvar

Looking for a hotel in Portimao or Hvar? 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 Hvar


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 Hvar Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portimao 37
    Hvar 47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • Transfer Ferragudo - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $34
  • Transfer Lagoa - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $34
  • Transfer Alvor - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $34
  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Alamos Golf (Portimão) : $34
  • Transfer Carvoeiro - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $41
  • Transfer Lagoa - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $41
  • Private Transfer from Armaçao de Pera to Faro (FAO) Airport: $55
  • Transfer Armação de Pêra - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $55
  • Transfer Alvor - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $58
  • Transfer Portimão - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $59
  • Transfer Lagoa - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $61
  • Private Transfer from Josper Grill Steakhouse Dry Aged to Faro (FAO) Airport: $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hvar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hvar:

  • Speedboat Transfer from Hvar Town to Split Airport: $532

Is it cheaper to fly into Portimao or Hvar?

Prices for flights to both Hvar 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
    Hvar 39

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: $147

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hvar

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

  • Hvar Charming Abandoned Village Small Group Tour and Local Dinner: $179
  • Hvar Hidden Gems Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $186
  • Hvar Hidden Gems Small Group Half Day Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $201
  • Hvar Abandoned Village Tour with Local Dinner: $213
  • Food Tour: Traditional Flavours and Food Sampling on Hvar: $261
  • Hvar Small Group Wine Tour and Authentic Dalmatian Dinner: $271
  • The Best of Hvar in a Day with Wine tasting and Local Dinner: $271

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portimao 41
    Hvar 7.56

Tours and Activities in Portimao

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

  • Stand Up Paddleboard tour in Benagil: $14
  • SUP - Stand Up Paddle Algarve Adventure: $16
  • Benagil Cave Sunset Cruise: $19
  • From Portimão to Paradise 90 minutes Sunset Tour: $22
  • Express Tour - Benagil Cave: $22
  • Portimão: Benagil Caves Speedboat Tour: $24
  • Portimão to Paradise 2 Hours Sunrise Tour: $25
  • Two Hours Tour from Portimão to Paradise : $25
  • Portimão to Benagil: Adrenaline Wave - 90Mins Cave Tour: $25
  • 2 Hours Cruise Portimão to Benagil Cave & Marinha Beach: $27
  • Benagil Cave Kayak Self-Guided Tour: $27
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding Guided Experience in Praia da Rocha: $27

Tours and Activities in Hvar

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

  • Private Multi-Activity Experience in Adventure Park Hvar Jelsa: $25
  • Walking tour of Hvar with your local guide: $32
  • Pakleni Islands Self-Guided Kayaking Tour: $48
  • Private Half-Day Kayak Experience in Hvar and Pakleni Islands: $49
  • Split: Hvar, Brač, and Pakleni Cruise with Lunch and Drinks: $64
  • Half-day kayak tour from Hvar town: $65
  • Romantic Sunset Sailing Experience On A Comfort Yacht: $69
  • Hvar Island Self-Guided E-Bike Tour: $70
  • Experience Romantic Sunset Sailing on a modern 36ft (11m) sail yacht | Hvar: $70
  • Blue cave group tour with swimming and snorkelling from Hvar: $76
  • Sunset tour with a SpeedBoat: $79
  • Paklinski Islands: Hvar Half-Day Morning Sailing Tour: $85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portimao 30
    Hvar 9.28

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: $60
  • Algarve Wine Tour of Two Wine Estates: $74
  • Algarve wine tour and farmer's lunch at wine estate: $182
  • Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve: $210

Sample the Local Flavors in Hvar

Also in Hvar, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Hvar Wine Tasting Experience: $117
  • Hvar Wine tasting small group experience: $130
  • Private Hvar Wine Tasting Tour : $141
  • Wine Tasting Tour: $156


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Portimao and Hvar, we can see that Portimao is more expensive. And not only is Hvar much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hvar would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hvar 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 Portimao would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portimao than you might in Hvar.

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


Which is Bigger, Portimao or Hvar?

Portimao has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Hvar. When comparing the sizes of Portimao and Hvar, 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 Hvar?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Portimao or Hvar in the Summer?

Both Hvar and Portimao are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Portimao for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Hvar because of the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Portimao is generally around the same temperature as Hvar. Daily temperatures in Portimao average around 25°C (78°F), and Hvar fluctuates around 26°C (80°F).

In July, Portimao usually receives less rain than Hvar. Portimao gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Hvar receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Portimao 25°C (78°F) 
    Hvar 26°C (80°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Hvar in the Autumn?

Both Hvar and Portimao during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Portimao because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Hvar this time of year.

Portimao is around the same temperature as Hvar in the autumn. The daily temperature in Portimao averages around 19°C (67°F) in October, and Hvar fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

Portimao usually gets less rain in October than Hvar. Portimao gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Hvar receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Portimao 19°C (67°F) 
    Hvar 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Hvar in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Portimao and Hvar. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Portimao this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Hvar for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Portimao is a little warmer than Hvar. Typically, the winter temperatures in Portimao in January average around 11°C (52°F), and Hvar averages at about 8°C (47°F).

In January, Portimao usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hvar. Portimao gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Hvar receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Portimao 11°C (52°F) 
    Hvar 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit Portimao or Hvar in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Portimao as well as Hvar. Many travelers come to Portimao for the beaches and the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to Hvar in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, Portimao is generally around the same temperature as Hvar. Daily temperatures in Portimao average around 15°C (60°F), and Hvar fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

Portimao usually gets less rain in April than Hvar. Portimao gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Hvar receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Portimao 15°C (60°F) 
    Hvar 15°C (59°F)

Typical Weather for Hvar and Portimao

Portimao Hvar
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 11°C (52°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 8°C (47°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Feb 12°C (54°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 9°C (48°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Mar 14°C (56°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 11°C (52°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Apr 15°C (60°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 15°C (59°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
May 19°C (65°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 20°C (67°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Jul 25°C (78°F) 1 mm (0 in) 26°C (80°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Aug 26°C (78°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 22°C (72°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 15°C (58°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 13°C (56°F) 108 mm (4.3 in)
Dec 12°C (53°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 10°C (49°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)