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Map with all travel / ferry routes from the UK to Portugal
Travel to Portugal by ferry from the UK
Portugal is one of the most popular outbound travel destinations for Brits.Most popular tourist destinations for UK travelers, Statista While a lot of tourists take the airplane or drive up to Portugal, the ferry is getting a more and more popular alternative for a comfortable crossing to Portugal.
Unfortunately, there is no direct ferry crossing from the UK to Portugal. There is however some rumor that shortly there will be a direct ferry between Plymouth or Portsmouth to PortoBritanny Ferries considers running a ferry service to Portugal from the UK, MarineIndustryNews.co.uk
As alternatives to this possible future direct crossing to Portugal, there are however some ferries landing pretty close by.
From the South of England from Plymouth and Portsmouth ferries sail to the Northern regions of Spain, from where it's a relatively short drive to Portugal. Both Santander and Bilbao are options you could consider if you want to travel by ferry to Portugal.
These ferries between the UK and Spain to Portugal are either one or two-night crossings and are a comfortable way of starting your trip to Portugal.
There are several different routes from the UK to Portugal. When you choose to sail to Spain all your options are operated by Brittany Ferries. You could however also choose to take another ferry, from the UK to France for example, and then drive further to Portugal, this would be however a long drive.
Depending on where you live and where you want to travel you can choose which is the most suitable crossing for you. The routes and ships are not that different. So it doesn't matter which ship you take, on the shorter crossings to France there is a bit less onboard entertainment and facilities in general, but you'll be less long on the vessel.
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Option 1: traveling from the UK to Portugal via Spain
Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao and then to Portugal
Your most logical choice would be to travel to Santander from the UK, as Santander is located somewhat more to the west coast as Bilbao and therefore closer to Portugal.
From Portsmouth ferries are sailing to Santander. The other option is to travel from Portsmouth to Bilbao and incorporate Bilbao into the journey to Portugal. Both crossings departing from Portsmouth to Spain are 2-night crossings.
The ferries sail 2 times per week from Portsmouth to Santander, 2 times per week from Portsmouth to Bilbao, and 2 times per week from Plymouth to Santander. The sailing time differs from 20 hours (Plymouth) to Santander up to 36 hours from Portsmouth to Bilbao.
For the crossings departing from Portsmouth, you'll be boarding the ferry in the evening and arriving in the morning 2 days later. You can book a cabin and restaurants in advance. Onboard there is a lot of entertainment, shopping, and kids' play centers.
You can bring your car, bike, or camper along on this crossing. Prices start around €275 for 1 person + car, in peak season costs will rise typically.
From Santander, it is still a 6-hour drive to for example Porto and an 8-hour drive to Lisbon.
Ferry Plymouth – Santander (faster route)
Sailing from Plymouth to Santander is your quickest option. On this route, Brittany Ferries sails with their flagship Pont Aven. This is the fastest ferry crossing (20 hours) from the UK to Spain and is a one night crossing. Plymouth is located in South-West England in Devon.
This ship takes you 20 hours to Spain and is a one-night crossing. The costs for 2 adults + a car in peak season are about €450,- in total.
Option 2: traveling from the UK via France to Portugal
Ferries from the UK to France and then to Portugal
Traveling within France to Portugal
Traveling in France is very pleasant. In combination with the ferry, most people will drive by car further south. The best roads where you can drive a bit faster are unfortunately not always free.
In France, you travel a lot on toll roads, which offers benefits in means of time and a comfortable ride. Toll roads do not cost very much in themselves, but over a long drive to the South, the amount can add up considerably.
In google maps, there is a function that allows you to avoid toll roads. Maybe that's useful.
Traveling to Portugal and staying in Portugal
Portugal is a popular destination for British tourists. For tourists, there is a lot to see and taste 🙂 Try local delicacies such as the Vinho Verde wine, Pastel de Nata with your morning coffee, or Francesinha for lunch that helps you through the day.
Or go visit and see vibrant cities such as Porto, Lisbon, and the Algarve region. These cities and regions offer a lot to see and do for various travelers. Porto and Lisbon are beautiful in that both have an amazing historic center with many terraces, shops, restaurants, and lively squares with many people.
The Algarve region feels more like a big vacation resort with cozy beach restaurants and somewhat smaller historical Portuguese cities.
In this Southern part of Portugal you can enjoy sun, sea, sand and of course Vinho Verde, fresh barbecued fish, and beautiful scenery. Portugal has historically had a lot of British tourists and also has a big British Expat community. Britsh migration to Portugal, Wikipedia.org
Frequent Asked Question ferries to Portugal from UK
If you want to travel by ferry to Portugal you don't have the luxury of a direct crossing. You could choose to travel via Spain to Portugal, then you have 6 weekly choices. Brittany Ferries sails on these crossings from the ports of Plymouth and Portsmouth to either Santander or Bilbao. You could also look into the possibility of sailing first to France and then traveling further from there to Portugal. This will be a long ride though, so the ferry to Santander would be your best choice if you'd ask us.
There is no direct crossing to Portugal but the fastest ferry to get close to Portugal is the ferry from Plymouth to Santander. This ferry takes you in around 20 hours to the city of Santander, this is a one-night crossing. On this crossing, you'll be sailing with the flagship of Brittany Ferries the Pont-Aven. If you're sailing from Portsmouth you can either sail to Santander or Bilbao. Both ferries are 2-night crossings and depending on which ferry you board these trips take you from 28 hours and 30 minutes to 33 hours and 30 mins to the Northern coast of Spain.
|↑1||Most popular tourist destinations for UK travelers, Statista|
|↑2||Britanny Ferries considers running a ferry service to Portugal from the UK, MarineIndustryNews.co.uk|
|↑3||Britsh migration to Portugal, Wikipedia.org|