Our country has received many awards in the past few years making it even a more insteresting place to visit. However, it may beg the question to travelers who are used to all inclusive holidays. Are All Inclusive holidays worth it in Portugal?
Truth is, All Inclusive Holidays are much less work and a whole lot more relax. Many choose all inclusive holidays because they don’t have to care about where to eat, where to go and what to do. You simply arrive at your destination, get to the hotel or resort, and enjoy a full week (or more) of fun, sun and relax.
As such, we often see many tourists in the Algarve region or the Porto Santo island, in Madeira, preferring all inclusive holidays to Bed & Breakfast or Half-Board. But how much money are you actually losing (or not, mind you) by choosing all inclusive in Portugal?
In all fairness, going with something other than All Inclusive in the island of Porto Santo would be a mistake. There aren’t that many cafés and restaurants to choose from and, in an island where there are almost more hotels than local businesses, going with all inclusive is an absolute winner.
Price wise, choosing Porto Santo in the high season (June to September) would be a terrible mistake to those seeking a calm, relaxing and cheap holiday destination. Only in the high season could it be worth it to choose half-board instead of all inclusive and mainly for the price. Other than that, always choose all inclusive for holidays in Porto Santo.
The Algarve is the best known region for foreigners. Most tourists come to know Portugal precisely because of their latest visit to southern Portugal. And all inclusive resorts are growing to provide that all inclusive comfort to all those who wish for it.
One of the best – and still best – all inclusive resorts is the Adriana Beach Club 4*, known for a certain exclusivity and for having a stunning location, over a cliff, overlooking the ocean. The Adriana Beach Club is a good example of a resort where an all inclusive holiday is definitely a must. Not only is the resort is further out from a city center, meaning you’d have to drive to get a meal out of the hotel, but being it a beachfront resort, it begs for calm and relaxing holidays.
However, let’s think for a minute that you choose a resort that’s located 20 minutes (walking distance) from the beach. Is is still worth it to choose all inclusive? Given the current cost of life in Portugal, we’d say no. Half-board or even bed and breakfast would make those holidays a much better deal and you wouldn’t have to worry about the money that’s already spent in the all inclusive regime when having a meal out. Because it will happen: when you’re 20 minutes away from the thing you wanted to visit most (in this case, the beach), at some point you’ll eventually tire yourself of going back and forth and it will lead you to eat out.
Center and northern Portugal
Absolutely avoid all inclusive holidays in the center and norther regions of Portugal. When in Lisbon, this will not be as cheap as you may have thought, but it is still cheaper than going all inclusive. In fact, all inclusive regimes for holidays are not standard for these regions and so you may not even find them when looking for holidays.
When in Braga, Viana do Castelo, Bragança or other great looking cities in the north, that’s when you’ll find the cheap Portugal everyone talks about. Because they are less known cities to tourists, they will be cheaper and much more authentic in showing you the real Portugal. And another great example of when all inclusive holidays are not worth it.
After all, when is it worth it to choose all inclusive holidays?
It will always depend on what you want your holidays to be like. If you’re in that stage of your life when you don’t want to worry about where to eat, but rather where to sit by the pool, all inclusive is your best deal. Maybe you’ll take a tour out of the resort some day, but in an 8 day vacation (for example), it will still be worth your money.
If you’re traveling with small kids and you’re much less eager to leave your hotel, also go with all inclusive. Less worries means more relaxed holidays for the kids and parents.
If you’re much more devoted to getting to know the city, the culture and to spending the least possible amount of money, in most cases Bed & Breakfast will be your best friend.
If you still have doubts about the best solution or you want us to work the math with you, feel free to get in touch! We’d be happy to help.