"From the white sands and sapphire blue waters around the Algarve coast to the thriving cities of Porto and Lisbon, there’s plenty to fall in love with"
Perfect Holidays in Portugal
If you’re dreaming of a laid-back break complete with sun, sea and sand then look no further than Portugal. Boasting some of the best weather in Europe and blessed with a stunningly diverse landscape, you’ll be able to enjoy Portugal at your own pace. Kick back and relax in the amazing Algarve, get out and about in Lisbon or retreat to the beautiful island of Madeira. Whether you’re looking for gorgeous vistas, fascinating history or just a chance to escape, Portugal holidays will provide in spades.
With a landscape that stretches across historical towns, majestic scenery and golden beaches, there are plenty of things to do in Portugal. Whether you’re on the hunt for culture, relaxation, sunshine or history, there are plenty of destinations within this colourful country that will have you enthralled. From the medieval streets of Lisbon and the UNESCO-protected buildings of Porto, to the banks of the Douro River and over 800 kilometres of beaches lapped at by the Atlantic Ocean, there is something for everyone on holiday in Portugal.
Wine and Dine
Portugal’s typical cuisine lies heavily in hearty local food, made with ancient recipes from a tried and tested traditional repertoire. Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve offer the more adventurous international menus, with modern chefs inventing fresh interpretations of the local cuisine. Sample the traditional dishes in Lisbon’s Chiado district, or head to the winding streets of Bairro Alto to unearth further local restaurants. In Porto you will find some of the country’s finest restaurants, with fresh seafood and beautiful views offered in the Matosinhos district. The Douro region is famed for its wine production, so you can certainly enjoy a chilled glass of vinho verde here.
Action and Adventure
The more adventurous visitors will be pleased to find a long list of things to do in Portugal Portugal. Tear across the Serra de Estrela countryside on a bike ride, take in the views on a rock climbing trip, or get your adrenaline fix with some abseiling. The impressive Limite Zero Zipwire on the Guadiana River will see you crossing the border from Spain to Portugal in under one minute but at speeds of 75kph.
The sea presents a playground for surfing, water skiing and parasailing, while Portugal’s rivers offer the chance to try canyoning, potholing, rafting and canoeing. The Sao Vincentre Caves are an interesting hiking highlight for explorers travelling across the banks of the Pe de Passo River.
Family Fun or a Romantic Retreat
With such a varied array of things to do in Portugal, it is the ideal country whether you’re seeking some family fun or some romantic downtime. Enjoy a sunny day with the children at one of the Algarve’s entertaining water parks, such as Aquashow, or head to Armacao de Pera, which is home to amusement parks such as Aqualand and Zoomarine. Explore the galaxy with a visit to Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium, or say hello to the animals of Maia’s city zoo.
Couples will find plenty of romance on a Portugal holiday, whether it’s on the golden sandy beaches of the Algarve, or in the sleepy side streets of Lisbon. Take a sunset cruise along the Tagus River in the capital, or enjoy a wine tasting tour of a vineyard in the Douro district. Find your own sandy spot along the isolated coast of charming Burgau or sip on a cocktail along the rugged and trendy west coast of Vincentina.
Interesting secrets seep from all corners of the country, giving culture fans plenty of Portugal attractions to seek out and visit. Whether you’re a fan of the city or the countryside, there is lots to explore. The country is rich with architectural sites, from the baroque churches of Almancil and Braga and the opulent palaces of Mafra, to the medieval homes of Monsaraz and Obidos, and the World Heritage monuments of Batalha and Tomar.
Those on the hunt for something more unusual will find it in the Stone House, a Flintstone like structure that sits nestled within the Fafe Mountains. The Fort of Graca is also an intriguing sight, shaped like a star and tucked within the countryside of Elvas. On a hillside in Sintra you can find the Quinta da Regaleira, a quirky palace set amid ornate grounds of grottos, underground caves, hidden tunnels and curious statues.
Recharge and Relax
Simple pleasures aid the most relaxing of holidays, and here you will find the sun, sea and sands create the perfect setting for just that. The Algarve most certainly offers some magical beaches where you can find pure relaxation, but the lesser known destinations are also worth seeking out. Sintra’s Praia da Agraga offers beautiful sunsets, waves for surfing and stunning cliff side dining, while Figueira da Foz’s Praia de Mira boasts a lagoon, stylish restaurants, boats and bicycle hire, all excellent things to do in Portugal.
For some calm away from the coast you can head inland, to remote landscapes such as the Algarve hinterland, the Arrabida Mountains and the Estremadura forests. Hide out in an ancient countryside house hotel, or treat yourself to a stay in a grand manor.
Sun, Sea and Sightseeing
The Algarve region is the classic choice for sun seeking holidaymakers and understandably so. Whateverhether you’re looking for from your holidays in Portugal, buzzing nightlife in Albufeira, luxury golf resorts in Alvor or history and culture in Faro, the stretches of golden sand and shimmering blue sea are sure to please everybody.
If you’re looking for a slice of action, combine a coastal escape with a stay in the lively Lisbon. Home to a wealth of historic sites, restaurants and bars, there’s no better place to experience the local way of life. For a more laid-back destination, visit the island of Madeira, where you’ll find stunning natural beauty and quiet pebbled beaches that make a peaceful setting to escape to.
Portugal holidays are wonderfully diverse; spend time in the northern region of this beautiful country to enjoy challenging hikes and scenic treks or base yourself in the south to relax on sun-kissed beaches and visit charming towns. Porto is one of the largest cities in northern Portugal and offers fantastic views from its Ponte D Luis I Bridge – cross it on foot to get some of the best views or take a scenic drive through the centre of town.
When it comes to a true island getaway, Madeira fits the bill. Home to a small but buzzing capital, Funchal, it is a fantastic place to get the best of both worlds. Take a seat in one of the locally run restaurants and tuck into some top-notch Portuguese cuisine, enjoy a laid-back drink in one of the bars, or just spend time catching the rays at the nearby beach. The coastline is also a fantastic place to try your hand at some water sports, including jet-skiing, sailing and surfing.
If you’re interested in golf then you’ll be spoilt for choice on a holiday to Portugal, as the country is home to 14 of Europe’s top 100 golf courses. Whether you already know your way around the course or are a complete beginner, Portugal is a great place to practice teeing off. The nightlife here will also hit the spot, whether you’re after a few laid-back cocktails on the beach or up for a night in one of the trendy bars and clubs.