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

Should you visit Santorini or Portimao?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Portimao, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Santorini

Santorini is a romantic, stunning, and historic island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. This is an attractive and quaint destination worth visiting as well. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Portimao

Portimao is a stunning, dramatic, and active coastal city. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Santorini and Portimao: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
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


Is there more to do in Santorini or Portimao?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Santorini. Although Santorini and Portimao are both popular with visitors, Santorini has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Santorini is more popular for its museums, food, hiking, shopping, and quaint atmosphere, while Portimao is known for its nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. Santorini is popular for its beautiful volcanic beaches, stunning natural beauty, and breathtaking sunsets over the whitewashed villages. It is also home to The Caldera and Volcano of Santorini. Portimao is popular for it's dramatic and beautiful beaches and its many activities.

How is Santorini different from Portimao?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Santorini
Portimao

Santorini 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 Santorini. One of the most impressive historical sights is Akrotiri Archaeological Site. The island has many archeological sites as well as the Archeological Museum in Fira.

Portimao does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Santorini
Portimao

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

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Santorini area. Popular foods on this island include fava, Greek salad, and kofta.

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 Santorini or Portimao Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Portimao

Portimao is a great coastal city for nightlife and partying. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Portimao has something for everybody. 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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Santorini. It is one of the calmer, more romantic islands in Greece. For the best nightlife, you'll want to stay near Fira.

Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Resorts?

Santorini
Portimao

With a similar set of options, world-class resorts can be found in both Santorini and Portimao.

Santorini offers an unforgettable resort vacation. The resorts range from all-inclusive options to resorts with a more local feel. The island is one of the most romantic of the Greek Islands, and the resorts are no exception.

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.


Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Santorini
Portimao

Portimao is a great coastal city for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for snorkeling and scuba diving.

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 Santorini. Some of the best snorkeling places are found at Red Beach, White Beach, and the less accessible Kambia. One of the island's best diving spots is Caldera Beach.

Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Beaches?

Santorini
Portimao

Portimao is an unbeatable place for the beache. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for the beach.

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 Santorini. The island has many beaches, most of which are made of black pebbly sand that are a result of the island's volcanic history. Popular beaches include Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, and Perivolos Beach.

Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Hiking?

Santorini
Portimao

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

Santorini offers some nice hiking trails. The best hiking trails on the island pass by quaint villages and offers stunning ocean views. You can also hike along the edge of a volcano.

Portimao is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Santorini or Portimao?

Santorini
Portimao

Santorini is a well-known place for its shopping areas. Also, Portimao is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Santorini. Towns around the island are filled with clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as many unique Greek shopping experiences.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Portimao. It's the second largest city in the Algarve so you'll find several large and modern shopping centers including Aqua Portimão.

Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Families?

Santorini
Portimao

Portimao is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island 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.

Santorini is a family-friendly place to visit. It is a calmer destination than many of the Greek Islands. While it's a great place to relax with kids, the beaches aren't as good as they are on some of the other islands. Most families hang out in Kamari and Perissa Beach.

Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Couples?

Santorini
Portimao

Santorini and Portimao are both world-class to visit as a couple.

Santorini has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. It is a dream honeymoon destination that is famous for its picturesque setting and luxury resorts. For many couples, this is a top pick for a romantic trip to the Greek Isles.

Portimao is a great island 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.


Is Santorini or Portimao Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santorini
Portimao

For backpackers, both Santorini and Portimao are good places to visit.

It's common for backpackers to visit Santorini. The island has its share of 5 star resorts, but if you head a few streets in you'll find some surprisingly affordable accommodation. Backpackers are welcomed on the island and beaches are free, so it's possible to get by on a relatively low budget.

Portimao is a good island to visit for backpackers. 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 Santorini or Portimao Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Santorini
Portimao

Santorini 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.

Santorini has a few public transit options. There is a bus system, KTEL Santorini Buses, that runs 23 buses during the summer months but only a small fraction of that operate during the winter months.

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

Is Santorini or Portimao a more walkable city?

Santorini
Portimao

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

Santorini is a somewhat walkable island. Many towns on the island are walkable, including Fira, but the actual island is too large to explore on foot.

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 Santorini Worth Visiting? and Is Portimao Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portimao or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Portimao?

It's fun to spend time in either Santorini or Portimao. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Santorini due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Santorini, and 2-4 days is enough time in Portimao.

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

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


  • How many days in Santorini or Portimao? Ideal Length of Stay
    Santorini 3-7 
    Portimao 2-4

One day in Santorini or Portimao?

The beautiful island of Santorini offers museums and nightlife. 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.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the coastal city of Portimao. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Santorini or Portimao?

Santorini 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.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the colorful destination of Portimao. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Santorini or Portimao?

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

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the vibrant coastal city of Portimao. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Santorini or Portimao?

Santorini is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Santorini has to offer. This island offers something for everyone.

Portimao is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Greece, The Best Budget Tours to Greece, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Portugal, and The Best Bicycle Tours in Portugal.


Which place is cheaper, Portimao or Santorini?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santorini is €175, 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 Santorini and Portimao in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 93
    Portimao 78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 186
    Portimao 156
Compare Hotels in Santorini and Portimao

Looking for a hotel in Santorini 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 Santorini


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: Santorini Hotel Prices and Portimao Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 28
    Portimao 37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

  • Transfer From or To Santorini Airport Designed By You: $15
  • One-Way Transfer to/from the Port or Airport: $15
  • Economy Roundtrip Transfer Santorini Airport ( Max 4 stop ): $15
  • Santorini transfer service: $15
  • Santorini Private Transfer From or To Airport: $16
  • Departure Transfer To Santorini Airport: $17
  • Shared Transfer From Airport and Port to Santorini: $17
  • Shuttle Transfers From or To Santorini Port: $21
  • Private Arrival Transfer From Santorini Airport To All Destinations: $22
  • Private Transfer Santorini: $22
  • Departure Private Transfer Santorini to Santorini Airport JTR by Sedan Car: $23
  • Santorini : Economy Private transfer to all destinations: $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • Transfer From Portimão Algarve To Lisboa: $245
  • Private Transfer from Monte Ruivo to Faro (FAO) Airport: $234
  • Private Transfer from Estombar to Faro (FAO) Airport: $93
  • Private Transfer from Lagoa to Faro (FAO) Airport: $92
  • Private Transfer from Portimao to Faro (FAO) Airport: $84
  • Carvoeiro Private Transfer to Faro Airport: $84
  • Private Transfer from Hotel da Rocha to Faro (FAO) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Josper Grill Steakhouse Dry Aged to Faro (FAO) Airport: $79
  • Transfer Lagoa - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $60
  • Transfer Portimão - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $59
  • Transfer Alvor - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $58
  • Transfer Armação de Pêra - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $54

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Portimao?

Prices for flights to both Portimao and Santorini 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
    Santorini 48
    Portimao 45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santorini

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

  • Santorini Caldera: Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $69
  • Romantic Sunset Caldera Cruise with Dinner: $69
  • Volcanic Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $80
  • Catamaran Tour with BBQ Dinner, Drinks, and Music: $91
  • Volcano and Hot Springs Sunset Dinner Cruise: $96
  • Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise Including Nea Kameni Visit: $98
  • Santorini Cooking Class with Wine Tasting: $107
  • Santorini Volcano Sunset Cruise Including Dinner on Board: $108
  • The Aegean Cooking Class: $109
  • Cooking Class in Traditional cave house in Santorini!: $120
  • Sunset Cruise with Swim Stops, Dinner, and Drinks: $120
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $123

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: $146

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 36
    Portimao 41

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • Authentic A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Oia: $6.99
  • Megalochori: Lost Atlantis 9D Experience Museum Entry Ticket: $15
  • Akrotiri Archaeological Site Entry Ticket: $16
  • Oia Sunset Daily Tour: $16
  • Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs Cruise Tour from Fira Old Port: $27
  • Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit: $28
  • Santorini Caldera Cruise Tour (Volcano, Hot Springs, Thirassia): $33
  • Santorini Volcano Tour: $37
  • Santorini Volcano & Hot Springs Tour : $40
  • Santorini Volcano Half Day Tour: $44
  • Mesa Gonia, Pyrgos and Oia Tour: $44
  • Ferry Ticket to Paros or Naxos with Hotel Pickup: $45

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: $38
  • 1 Hour and 30 Minutes Benagil Caves Kayak Tour: $36
  • 2 Hours Cruise Portimão to Benagil Cave & Marinha Beach: $27
  • 7 Hour Guided Sailboat Yacht Cruise Tour in Algarve: $80
  • Adventure in Serra de Monchique - 4 Hours: $49
  • Algarve - Exclusive horseriding in Portimao (no experience required): $54
  • Algarve Coast Guided Boat Tour: $38
  • Algarve Jeep Safari tours: $49
  • Algarve Private Tour with Typical Lunch: $81
  • Alone in Benagil, perfect pictures Kayak tour with @StarToursAlgarve: $60
  • Benagil & Marinha Boat Tour: $38
  • Benagil Cave Guided Kayaking Tour Caves & Secret Spots : $38

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 26
    Portimao 30

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

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

  • Half Day Simply Santorini Tour with Wine Tasting: $60
  • Top Sights Day Trip, Wine Tasting, & Oia Sunset: $62
  • Fira Town Walking Tour with Wine Tasting: $75
  • Visit to a Wine Museum and Wine Tasting in Santorini : $76
  • Notos Day Tour through History & Wine Tasting: $98
  • Santorini 4 Hour Private Oia Tour & Wine Tasting : $104
  • Wine Tour with Sunset in Oia: $105
  • Santorini Highlights Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting from Fira: $109
  • Wine Tour Santorini: $118
  • 3-Hour Wine Tasting in Santorini : $125
  • Small Group Local Wine Tasting Tour In Santorini : $131
  • Wine tasting and Carving lesson in Santorini: $131

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: $73
  • Algarve wine tour of 2 wine estates and lunch at the countryside: $153
  • Algarve wine tour and farmer's lunch at wine estate: $181


When comparing the travel costs between Santorini and Portimao, we can see that Santorini 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 Santorini Expensive? and Is Portimao Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Santorini or Portimao?

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