Bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) in Portugal
Portugal is rapidly becoming one of the most popular European holiday destinations, with miles of stunning coastline, a Mediterranean climate, mountains, dramatic scenery, history and fantastic international and traditional cuisine available it is easy to understand why.
As a holiday destination there are many types of accommodations and properties available from private villas, to large hotel complexes, but rapidly on the increase are bed and breakfasts which are some times known as guest houses.
Depending on where you are from you may not have heard of this as an option or you may have memories of the old fashioned B&B’s prevalent in the UK, with strict rules and a landlady with rolled up sleeves and crossed arms!
This article will provide you with the information you need to see bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) as the new alternative to holiday accommodation
What is a bed and breakfast (B&B)?
Generally speaking, a bed and breakfast (B&B) is a smaller accommodation provider that offers accommodation and a breakfast. You will be provided with a private room (usually with a private bathroom, but you may need to check the facilities) and a breakfast that is made for you.
B&B Quinta do Farfalho, Celerico de Basto (Arnoia)
Why book a bed and breakfast (B&B)?
If you do not want to stay in a large complex, a bed and breakfast will offer you the opportunity to stay in accommodation that is far more personal, the owners are usually on site and available to offer advice on the local area. There is no queuing at reception not knowing who will be on duty.
If you are looking at a travelling to more than one destination a bed and breakfast is an excellent choice as you can easily pack up and move on to the next accommodation.
But as we said the Bed and breakfast is evolving, there is now the opportunity to stay in individual apartments or villas in very small complexes.
Is a bed and breakfast (B&B) a good option for families?
Bed and breakfasts make the ideal family holiday if you have children.
If you book a small bed and breakfast there is the chance you could have the entire place to yourself, no worrying about who else is staying there or in the room next to you. Or you can book a large family room.
There are also many options available with bed and breakfasts, such as farm breaks or vineyards. Children will be able to get involved and see the animals or learn about how vegetables and grapes are grown, be able to pick their own fruit from the trees (with suitable permission).
The peace of mind for parents, when at the pool, knowing they will not lose children in a crowd of other children.
A bed and breakfast for parents is often a really relaxing experience.
Is a bed and breakfast (B&B) good for groups?
Bed and breakfasts are ideal for groups of friends or larger family groups.
As a large group you can have the option of booking the entire bed and breakfast (almost like a private hotel) this means that if you are on an activity holiday such as cycling, climbing or surfing, your equipment will be totally safe. There are no other people staying there, so you can rest in the knowledge, that if you go out for the day, everything will be where it was when you left it.
If you would like more privacy or your own space you could opt for a bed and breakfast that has individual units, so the group can be together but have as much privacy as you choose.
Although commonly referred to as guest houses, many bed and breakfasts are becoming more like small, exclusive complexes.
A selection of apartments and Safari tents at Quinta da Cotovia, Tomar. Great for groups
What can I eat at a Bed and breakfast (B&B)?
Breakfast is provided for you each morning; some properties will also have the option of providing a packed lunch for day trips or even an evening meal.
Often you will not have access to a main kitchen, but many will provide BBQ areas and out door kitchens (though you will need to check on facilities as these do vary).
The majority of bed and breakfasts do have garden areas, so you will usually be able to enjoy alfresco dining.
As the owners are usually on hand, they can also provide advice on the best places to eat nearby, these will be restaurants that come recommended by real people not by the internet.
Breakfast at Tipping Point North Beach Nazaré
Do bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) have swimming pools?
As with any other accommodation, facilities do vary so you will need to check first.
But where there is a swimming pool you can rest in the knowledge that there will not be hundreds of other people all trying to use it at the same time.
No more worrying about whether you will be able to have a sun lounger or the perfect spot.
Though bear in mind, there is unlikely to be a lifeguard on duty, and you will be expected to use due care around the pool area. The bed and breakfasts will have clear instructions on the use of the pool for everybody's safety.
Quinta Lusitânia in Santa Comba Dão
Can you get a luxury bed and breakfast (B&B)?
If you are looking for more of a luxury stay, then a high quality bed and breakfast may be perfect with views of the ocean and terraces to enjoy an evening drink on, child free, so peace and quiet are high on the agenda or maybe a spa bed and breakfast, with Jacuzzi and hot tubs.
But again the most luxurious aspect is the fact that you will be sharing all of this with very few other guests.
You are highly unlikey to be disturbed by loud guests returning to the accommodation after a night celebrating.
If you choose the right bed and breakfast, it may be similar to having the equivalent of a luxury boutique hotel.
Are activities available at bed and breakfasts (B&B’s)?
There are a range of activities available at different bed and breakfasts in Portugal, as these lodgings are smaller in size, often there are swimming pools available, games rooms or bicycles, where there is not a large waiting list.
Many owners also know and have links to organisations in the area so that surf lessons can be organised.
Many will have access to, or provide themselves, hikes and guided walks.
Or maybe you would like a themed stay. Many bed and breakfasts have access to yoga, therapies, art workshops or a whole list of other activities.
This is the view over the hiking trails at Kasa Koru. The owners can help with planning your hikes, through the Geres Peneda national park
Where can I find bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) in Portugal?
Bed and breakfasts are located through out Portugal, from the Algarve to Porto and the Northern region, from Coastal to inland.
Remember when searching for a bed and breakfast they may be listed as guest houses, boutique hotels or B&B's.
You can also find different properties by using an online platform such as Portugalholidays4u.com which does not charge any commission, other platforms are not the same, so it may be beneficial to try to find the property on the internet and book directly for the best price (but only book a property that has an official license number for your own safety, you will be responsible for any adequate holiday insurance)
Are bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) as secure as hotels?
All bed and breakfasts in Portugal have to have a license to operate.
When looking this should be visible on any adverts, if it is not ask for the license number.
Only ever book accommodation (of any sort) with lodging that is licensed.
Always seriously consider holiday insurance, in case of any mishaps or health issues.
Bed and breakfasts can make the ideal holiday accommodation for everybody. But always check on the facilities available.
Make sure that the bed and breakfast you have chosen is fully licensed
If you feel tempted to book a bed and breakfast (B&B) in Portugal why not have a look at Portugalholidays4u.com
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