British Airways expands Porto services – good weekend break idea

British Airways announced yesterday that it is launching a year-round service to Porto from Gatwick, starting in February 2016.

This is a massive boost for the city.  At present, Porto has a twice-weekly Summer service from Heathrow.  Next Summer, the flights will operate SIX days a week.  In Winter, it will be four times per week.

The Heathrow Summer service is being dropped as part of the move – if you have booked a Heathrow to Porto flight for March 2016 or later, you should contact BA.

Whilst a shift to Gatwick is an inconvenience to some people, the tripling of services for Summer 2016 should make up for it.

Porto

Porto has seen a big boost in tourism in recent years following substantial investment.  InterContinental opened a well regarded hotel in a renovated 18th century palace a couple of years ago – see here for details.  There is also a luxury hotel called The Yeatman, owned by one of the old port families, in the hills overlooking the city.

If you’ve ‘done’ Lisbon, Porto is worth adding to your list for 2016.  If you haven’t been to Lisbon – which is also fantastic, and very cheap – it may even be worth looking into a two-city break.

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Comments

  1. I can definitely recommend the IC Porto and the idea of visiting both cities in one trip. It’s what we did and was great. The express train from Porto to Lisbon is a fine option to get between the places.

    • fastbowler says:

      As EE says a double city break to Porto/Lisbon is highly recommended
      We used Avios from Belfast via LHR to Porto in July and also stayed at the excellent IC Porto.

      We then also took the very reasonable and relaxing train to Lisbon and stayed in The Four Seasons. We booked both hotels through a Virtuoso agent which gets a free dinner in the excellent restaurant in IC Porto. It was a great relaxing,high quality and surprisingly affordable trip and we recommend a trip to Geres National Park from Porto and a food tour in Lisbon

  2. Good to see BA expanding routes from LGW with the new route to Valencia as well starting.

  3. That means more options from Portugal to London too!
    Yes, I’m biased, but Porto is well worth the visit!

  4. umichguy says:

    What’s the best way to get to Lisbon, the flights seem quite expensive! £200-ish?

    • Lisbon is one of those destination which are cheap in off-season. RyanAir flies from Stansted (£22 low season), EasyJet from LGW (~£35), TAP from LGW (~£57).

    • Avios availability is pretty good outside of August. 4300 avios + £105 off-peak is acceptable.

  5. LIS isn’t as cheap for flights. Certainly BA flights are a step above prices to places like BCN, FCO, VCE, MAD for weekend stays.

  6. Great place, Porto, for a long weekend. Get the train up the Douro valley and explore the Port areas, so quiet, peaceful and a different world, and we found a terrific hotel.

  7. Jordan D says:

    Urgh. Another Gatwick route taken from Heathrow. Such a schlep to get to … only upside is the move to the South Terminal.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      There are some of us who prefer the greater connectivity of Gatwick.
      Of course if/when the open up the rail lines from Heathrow westward, it might be a different story.

    • I live in SW London so not too far from LHR, but still it faster to get to LGW by public transport 1h8m vs 1h13m. To get to LHR by car takes 41min (20km) and to LGW it will take 38min (40km).

      So Heathrow might be not that convenient for holidayers.

      • Well I live in NW London and LGW is a pain to get to. It takes at least 2 hours by any route and I’d have to get a hotel for morning flights.

        LHR takes 25-45 mins by car, 1 hour by Piccadilly line, and if taking a 7am flight, 30 mins walk + 30 mins on the 140 bus!

        • Well from Scotland you’re pretty much resigned to having to fly down the night before anyway – at least you don’t need to now spend another 9k Avios on the connecting flights 😉 On the upside the only difference between LGW/LHR is the connection frequency (and LGW forcing you to reclear security).

  8. Great that the flights are increasing to this lovely leisure destination. Will be interesting to see the time table. Hopefully now Porto will be possible for a weekend destination with BA.

  9. Do you no longer receive starwood gold status with an american express platinum card, i just had a look at their website and couldn’t see anything unless i’m being blind. https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/platinum-card/

  10. Absolutely loved Porto when I visited last year and the Intercontinental property is stunning especially when you get a nifty upgrade to a duplex suite (all on points)!

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