Self Catering Apartments – Traveling in Portugal
If you plan to visit Portugal in the near future, it is always best to avoid expensive hotels and stay in self catering apartments instead. Although many Americans do not realize it, renting apartments and avoiding expensive hotel rates is the favored way to travel throughout Europe.
Apartments for rent are popular in Europe, Spain and especially Portugal. Algarve apartments, for example, are generally fully furnished and they usually put you right in the action. You can rent an apartment that is a ten minute walk from the beach, or just down the road for the main plaza and shopping areas. Public transportation is very cheap in Portugal, so you can count on saving money on your car rental.
All the apartments are kept up quite nicely and it is common to meet the landlord upon your arrival day. The landlord will meet you at your apartment and hand you the keys to your apartment. That is also a great opportunity to ask your landlord about any questions you may have. For example, you may want to ask where the local food market is? Where is the best place to get good seafood? How late the restaurants are open until? Where is the neared public transportation hub?
Often times, the apartments are decorated with the direct culture of the community you will be staying in. Bright colors and spicy accents are commonly used to decorate the apartments, which make you feel like you are a regular local of Portugal. You can rent a room that accommodates one, two, three or even four people. Hotel rooms can often feel stuffy, uninviting and keep you away from the action. An authentic Spanish apartment will keep you in the heart of the action, living the life of a local and submerging yourself in a new culture.
One of the best parts about renting an apartment as opposed to staying in the hotel, besides saving a lot of money, is that you get the chance to grocery shop with the rest of the locals. Portugal is known for its amazingly fresh seafood at the highest quality and you will be overwhelmed with the selection that an authentic Portuguese food market can offer you. However, many locals don’t speak English. So, if you do not speak Spanish upon your visit to Spain or Portugal, it is easy to pick up a few key words related to food, directions and money. You might want to list out a vocabulary list of twenty or so basic Spanish words and learn them before your trip.
You can also find an apartment located not far from the beach. The coastline in Portugal, especially in the Algarve, is unbelievable. The beaches are highly developed and they lend themselves to fun water sports like para-sailing, wake boarding, surfing and more. You can also play beach volley ball on the sand or simply relax and take in the rays of the sun. There is nothing more beautiful or relaxing than the magnificent beaches of Portugal.