Anyone had experience with flying a TAP Stopover from the US? Doing a bit of research, and looks like you could (for example) with this stopover program, fly from US to Lisbon or Porto (as the stopover), stay there a few days, then fly to Algarve area (FARO airport), then fly back to the US, and prices seem to be in the $600 range for all those connections. Didn't seem terrible when you throw in the "free" connection (not as cheap as the Iceland type stopovers), but was curious if anyone had experience with (a) this stopover program, and/or (b) TAP Portugal airlines (good or bad)?
If you most want to go to Lisbon and Faro/the Algarve, be sure you're not paying much above the cost of a round-trip to Lisbon. The two cities are only 3 hours apart by train, which I would consider preferable to needing to deal with two airports. By the time you allow for transportation and early arrival for security screening, the train should be faster.
While others might disagree, I don't think Faro is the most interesting spot on the Algarve, or that the Algarve is a particular highlight of Portugal.
I have flown with TAP a few times and had no problems. But, they have always been short haul flights within Europe. The price you quote sounds good to me. Living in Portugal, I’ve heard quite a bit about the stop over program and have not heard anything negative about it.
I agree that Faro wouldn’t be my choice for the Algarve - and that the Algarve would not be my choice for a second stop in Portugal. The Algarve is really just about the beaches IMO and is so inhabited by the British, it really doesn’t give you a good feel for Portugal. That said - the beaches and rock formations are amazing.
We decided not to do the stopover, but instead bought TAP Portugal flight, leaving out of NY to Lisbon, then leaving back out of Porto back to NY. Both direct flights (from NY) which are nice. About $600 round trip, if anyone is interested (leaving end of January and returning early Feb). Seemed pretty good price when we get to come into Lisbon and depart out of Porto.