Your questions answered about our Portugal trip!

Visualize the experience


Experience Portugal

-Day trip to Sintra
-Hike to Castelo dos Mouros
-Visit Capela dos Ossos, the Bones Chapel
-Wine tasting in Alentejo 
-Kayaking to Ponta da Piedade
-Beach time in Lagos and Culatra Island

Colorful palaces, pristine beaches, epic mountain views, and charming old towns, Portugal is a country that will surprise and delight you at every turn.

Have a question about the trip?

What is the currency in Portugal?

The official currency of Portugal is the euro (EUR).

Do I need a visa to travel to Portugal?

US citizens may enter Portugal for up to 90 days for tourism without a visa.

When is the best time to visit Portugal?

The best times to visit Portugal are in the spring (April and May) and fall (September and October). These are considered the shoulder seasons and will have fewer crowds, but the weather is still comfortable.

What type of luggage is best?

The lighter, the better! If you only have a rolling suitcase, that will work, but getting your hands on a more mobile bag, like a large backpack, would be better. We take private and public transportation. We move often on this trip, changing locations every 2-3 days. Loading your suitcase on and off different modes of transport can be challenging. 

You'll also want a daypack for your gear, food, and drinks for the day.

What type of weather should I expect?

March through May:

Temperatures rise as the flowers bloom, and Portugal vibrantly comes to life. The average temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s Fahrenheit (18-20 celsius), and towards May, it will reach the 70s Fahrenheit (21-26 celsius). . 

June through August:

As the heat of summer reaches its peak, so too do the crowds. Sunseekers from northern Europe head for Portugal’s pristine beaches and vast numbers of Portuguese. The Algarve, in particular, gets very busy at this time. The average temperature ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (21-29 celsius).

September and October:

September and October are two of the best months to visit Portugal. The weather is still warm and pleasant, and the temperatures are much more manageable for sightseeing or hiking. The average temperature ranges from lower 70s to lower 80s Fahrenheit (21-26 celsius). The later it gets into October, the cooler the temperatures will drop.

Can I drink the water in Portugal?

Yes, the tap water in Portugal is safe to drink.

When you ask for water in restaurants, they usually serve bottled water, but it’s fine to ask for tap water.

What type of food will be offered on this trip?

Portugal can be enjoyed just for its glorious, much-underrated cuisine. There are filling, well-priced main courses served with good beer and excellent wine, followed by some of Europe's tastiest desserts.  Restaurants have a growing awareness of vegetarian and vegan options.

I have a nut allergy. Will this be an issue on this trip?

This should be fine when traveling through Portugal. Portuguese cuisine has a wide variety of foods, including bread, meats, fish, and seafood. However, nuts, especially almonds and chestnuts, are used in many baked goods. 

If you have a nut allergy and are traveling through Portugal, we suggest you avoid baked goods.

For any traveler with a dietary restriction, we recommend printing out an allergen card that describes your allergy in the local language.

‍What is the physical activity level of this trip?

Moderate. This trip is a good mix of activity and relaxation and includes moderate physical activities.  Participants should expect to be active for 3-4 hours most days. An active lifestyle is helpful, though not required to enjoy the trip.

There is a hike and a kayaking excursion that some travelers may find above a moderate activity level if they do not normally engage in an active lifestyle.

I noticed the trip begins in Lisbon but ends in Faro. How do you recommend I arrange my flights?

We suggest booking a round-trip ticket arriving and departing from Lisbon. Then, book a separate domestic flight from Faro to Lisbon.

You can also arrange your departing flight directly out of Faro International Airport (FAO).

Do I need a power adapter?

Portugal has standardized on type F sockets and plugs. 

You can order a European travel adaptor here.

How much should I budget for food and activities?

We suggest bringing $300 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards. You must exchange this money for euros. Establishments in Portugal do not accept USD. 

There are 6 lunches not included. You should expect to spend $15-20 on average for lunch. However, you can also find meals for as little as $5-10 when eating at street food vendors. 

There will be 3 dinners that are not included. On average, you should expect to spend $25-30 for dinner at a sit-down dining establishment. Optional activities range from $10 to enter museums to $40 for a boat tour.

Will there be opportunities to go swimming?

Yes. This trip includes 4 nights in southern Portugal, home to some of the most excellent beaches in the country. You will spend one afternoon on the island of Culatra and another morning kayaking to Ponta da Piedade. There is also free time to enjoy the beaches in Lagos, Faro, and Olhao.

What is the nightlife like in Portugal?

Portugal's nightlife is exciting and diverse. Whether you’re looking for a quiet meal followed by a stroll on the beach or dancing to the early hours, you will surely find it all.

‍How much free time will I have to explore Lisbon?

Though the trip begins in Lisbon, we recommend you come a day early to experience more of what the city has to offer. 

This itinerary includes a walking tour of Lisbon on Day 1 and then an evening of free time in Lisbon on Day 2, after your return from a day trip to Sintra.

Can we find ATMs in Portugal? Can we use credit cards?

Yes. Most banks will charge a fee for making international withdrawals. Don’t forget to inform your bank that you will be traveling abroad. While credit card payments are becoming more common, cash is still preferred.

Can I opt out of an included activity?

Of course! This trip is your trip, and you don’t have to participate in anything you don’t want to. Remember that opting out of included activities will not change the trip's price.

Is tipping expected in Portugal?

Tips are not expected but are always appreciated. Between 5-10 percent of the final bill would be appropriate.

Portugal does not have a strong “tipping culture,” and there are no standards or rules regarding tipping. The tipping practice may vary throughout the country itself, depending on the region where you are traveling.

If you do decide to leave a tip, please leave it in euros.

Do travelers usually tip the Trip Leaders?

Tipping is not required but is very much appreciated.

We hire the best local Trip Leaders to give you the best cultural experience possible. We pay our Trip Leaders well, but your gratuity supports them, their families, and their communities.

How much should you tip? 

Tipping is a practice deeply entrenched in the travel and tourism industry in all the countries we visit. The amount you tip is up to you, but a general guideline is $3-6 per person daily for excellent service.

‍What is internet access like in Portugal?

Internet access in Portugal is generally good, with widespread Wi-Fi in cities and smaller towns.

Can I use my mobile phone while in Portugal?

Travelers should be able to use their mobile phones across Portugal. The most economical way to use your phone in Portugal is by purchasing a local prepaid SIM.

The leading domestic carriers are Vodafone, TMN, and Optimus, but make sure your phone is unlocked before purchasing a prepaid SIM.

You can also consider an international roaming plan with your carrier at home, or purchasing an e-sim.  If you wish to use your own SIM, activate global roaming before departing your home country, and always check with your carrier about any additional charges that may be incurred.

What should I wear in Portugal?

If you’re traveling in the summertime, loose clothing that protects from the sun is best during the day, but be sure to cover your shoulders when visiting churches or other religious sites. The winters can get quite cool, as can the evenings in spring and autumn, so pack a light jacket and a raincoat too.

‍How welcoming is Portugal to LGBTQIA+ travelers?

Portugal is considered one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly destinations in the world. In recent years, Portugal has doubled down on the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people with progressive changes in policies for transgender and intersex people, as well as stronger punishments for hate crimes.


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