This spring, Portugal should be on the radar of anyone looking for Old World charm on a budget. The country has long been one of Europe's most affordable destinations, but further price drops on hotel rates have put the average nightly cost of a stay at just €77 (approximately $100; see XE.com for current exchange rates), or even as low as €50 in places like Albufeira. Plus, in 2012, the city of Guimaraes hosts a full year of free and paid cultural and art events to celebrate its status as a European Capital of Culture.
Pousadas—inns housed in manor houses, monasteries, and even palaces—are a popular way to explore Portugal's countryside. Pousadas de Portugal lists accommodations discounts such as rates from €72, free nights, and savings on packages that include massages, meals, or horseback rides. And Pousadas of Portugal offers discounts of up to 50 percent to travelers 55 or older.
Portugal's TAP Airlines is currently offering round-trip fares from New York, including all taxes and fees, from $723 for early spring travel. When considering travel to Portugal, it's worth comparing flight prices to Madrid-Barajas Airport, which is just a few hours by train or car from Portugal. Since Madrid is one of Europe's largest hubs with service from major carriers and low-cost airlines, flight deals are more common.
What other destinations have you found that are easy on the wallet this spring?
Full story: Top five bargain destinations for 2012