Portugal has five airports with regular international passenger traffic:
- Lisbon Portela Airport (IATA: LIS) is the main hub with numerous intercontinental connections to the Americas and Africa (mainly operated by the national airline TAP Portugal and its Star Alliance partners), as well as a dense network of connections in Europe operated by full-service and low-cost airlines.
- Serving Portugal’s second largest city and the entire northern part of the country, Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (IATA: OPO) also has some intercontinental connections with America and Africa and a relatively dense network of connections in Europe, with a significant presence of low-cost airlines.
- Faro Airport (IATA: FAO) serves the Algarve in the south of the country, one of the most popular holiday destinations for Europeans. As a result, it has the most traffic during the hottest months, mainly from charter companies transporting clients on package holidays, as well as low-cost flights from many European cities. A limited number of flights to major European destinations operate throughout the year.
- Madeira Airport in Funchal (IATA: FNC) serves the green island in the Atlantic and is characterised by its spectacular runway jutting out into the ocean and a scenic approach that demands a lot of skill from pilots. Like Faro, the airport is dominated by holiday flights and experiences strong seasonality.
- Ponta Delgada’s João Paulo II Airport (IATA: PDL) serves the Azores archipelago and has a surprisingly extensive route network, served mainly by the local airline Sata International and, since 2014, also by low-cost flights operated by Ryanair and Easyjet. Some holiday flights also reach Ponta Delgada from Europe.
Arriving in Portugal from Europe or the other side of the Atlantic, one can choose between several options, but there is no direct connection with Asia or Oceania. One can either rely on one of the major European airlines and their Asian partners to find a connection via one of the major European hubs, or use the daily Emirates flight to Dubai, where one can connect to their flight network across the Indian Ocean.
Trains connect most major cities from Lisbon to Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Coimbra, Evora, Faro. Lisbon is connected to Madrid, Spain; Porto to Vigo, Spain; Vilar Formoso to Spain, France and the rest of Europe. In the south, it is not possible to enter Portugal from Spain. There is no rail connection between Seville and Faro, for example. The only option is to use the buses, of which there are many. The south-east of Portugal is connected by international train (linha do Leste and linha de Caceres) [Elvas/Caia, Portugal & Badajoz, Spain] or [Marvão-Beira, Portugal & Valencia de Alcantara, Spain]. For more information, contact CP, Portuguese Railways.
- Spain/Portugal: ALSA [www] and Avanza Grupo [www].
- Porto/Portugal: Taxi from Porto Airport
- Lisbon/Portugal: Taxi from Lisbon Airport
- Also from Madrid/Paris: Aníbal [www]
With the boat
The country is served by many seaports that receive a lot of foreign traffic, mainly merchant ships but also passenger ships (mainly cruise ships).