Sunny Portugal Holidays 2017 / 2018
Captivating cities, medieval architecture and glorious sand-swept beaches – holidays to Portugal are jam-packed with cultural diversity and spectacular beauty. An eclectic mix of dramatic scenery and beautiful seaside spots have been attracting holidaymakers to Portugal for decades. Boasting year-round sunshine, this is the ideal destination to take your next holiday – whether you’re embarking on a romantic trip away or a fun-filled family break.
Treat yourself to an all inclusive holiday at top resorts across Portugal for a break with complete peace of mind. Discover the Algarve’s best kept secrets in the form of idyllic fishing villages offering quiet retreats or stroll around picturesque towns, from Faro to Vilamoura, explore the fascinating city of Lisbon, or visit the delightful Portuguese island of Madeira and its charming capital, Funchal.
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Portuguese
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
When to go
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There are plenty of water parks located in and around the coastal resorts; head to the Aqualand water park near Lagos and let the kids run wild. Portugal is well known for its fantastic golf courses, especially the Algarve. What better way to improve your handicap than playing in stunning surroundings and glorious weather? Take the kids to the Zoomarine in Albufeira where they can see a dolphin show and a sea lion show as well.
Why not take a river cruise in Porto, a city steeped in history, here you will be able to visit a Port wine lodge and the beautiful churches set in stunning scenery. Set along a river and the coast, Porto displays its medieval prowess with flair. Lisbon, the magical capital of Portugal, is home to winding streets and trundling funiculars, whereas the island of Madeira retains an old world charm and boasts the excellent city of Funchal.
Why not head to the Loule Market in Faro and hunt for some souvenirs and crafts? The market is a tourist hot bed due to its lively atmosphere and market stalls.
Wine and Dine
As you’d rightly expect, Portugal’s cuisine is a traditional feast of sun-ripened fresh vegetables and catch of the day fish from the Algarve. Meat features in the form of rich stews and casseroles. Salted cod is a bit of a delicacy, but it can be an acquired taste! For something out of this world, seek out a wild boar ragu or a hunk of crisp spit-roasted pig. Sardines fresh from the fishermen’s nets are another highlight.
Portugal also makes a wide variety of wine, as well as the famous Port and Madeira. It’d be rude not to sample a glass of each of these, but you should also sup a bottle or two of some local Portuguese wines. Reds from the Douro and Dão regions, and whites from Alentejo and Minho and particularly worth looking out for. Local beers include Super Bock and Sagres.
Fancying a family holiday in the sunshine, but after something a little more exotic than Spain’s sunny shores? Why not just hop over the border and into Portugal? From the capital Lisbon and the city of Porto, to the sun drenched beaches of the Algarve, there’s a whole host of activities, restaurants, places to see, and family-friendly accommodation that will keep every age group happy. Flights to Faro, the capital of the Algarve, are often cheap, too, which means the whole family can get away without destroying the savings.
Blue Flag beaches dot the Portuguese coastline (why not try the beaches in Vilamoura or Albufeira?) and there are plenty of water parks to treat the kids to: Aqualand, Slide and Splash, and Aquashow are three of the best. For slightly older children, a boat trip to the stunning Azores - Sao Miguel being the largest. Alternatively, Funchal in Madeira is an exotic city break with beaches, stunning Portuguese history and excellent hotels.
Action and Adventure
Holidays to Portugal welcome you to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Revel in its glorious beaches, explore its crystal clear waters or explore its vast landscapes. The island of Madeira is a holiday hotspot for many, and boasts a unique blend of vibrant flora and fauna and dainty cobbled streets leading to elegant mansions and striking architecture. Of course, with all this spectacular scenery on display, it would be a shame not to explore picturesque Madeira.
Whether you want to wander the well-worn paths of Portugal by foot or discover its rocky trails on a mountain bike, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to traverse the area. With its clear waters and vast marine life, it is no surprise that Portugal is a favourite among divers. Zip yourself into your wetsuit and head deep beneath the sea for an underwater adventure crammed full of colourful fish and stunning reefs.
Life's a Beach
For guaranteed sunshine on the beaches head to the Algarve. Many of the beaches in the Algarve are lined with bars and cafés so you are never far away from a refreshing drink or bite to eat in the sun. You’ll find something at the lively resort of Albufeira in the Algarve no matter what age you are, with its various sandy beaches and sizzling nightlife. Other top spots in the for beaches in the Algarve include Vilamoura, Lagos and Alvor. Whether you fancy a spot of surfing or hopping on a jet-ski, you’ll find some great high-octane adventures in vibrant Praia de Rocha in the Algarve, not far from Portimao.
The capital city of Portugal Lisbon has many beaches scattered along the coastline, here you can try plenty of water sports. For a perfect combo of beach and city, Lisbon is a top pick in Europe. Have guaranteed fun by trying windsurfing, canoeing and kite surfing!
With a myriad of places to see and explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice for accommodation choices. If you’d like to sample a slice of island life, head straight to Porto Santo. This small island boasts a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean and miles of sandy beaches to explore.
The cultural capital of Lisbon is the perfect destination for a fun night on your Portugal holiday, with plenty of bars and clubs lining the cobbled roads you are sure to have a great night out. Porto, not far from Lisbon, is even more laid-back, and you'll find it even cheaper!
Kadok near Vilamoura and Locomia near Albufeira, both in the Algarve, provide great nights out with regular themes such as foam parties and glow parties running through the summer. Faro, as the capital of the Algarve region, also boasts its own nightlife.
For a quieter night out with family and friends head to the beautiful town of Alvor, still on the Algarve, and walk along the beach promenade, take your pick from the seafood restaurants and tuck into some delicious food.
Calling all couples! Portugal is a holiday haven for holidays a deux. Whether you want to sun yourselves happy on the beach, or explore volcanoes and wander cities to your hearts’ content. Madeira, the island off of the African coast, is a charming island to explore, home of the delicious so-named wine, and bedecked in flowers, it’s no surprise Madeira is nicknamed the Floating Garden. Funchal is a beautiful city with remnants of the island's illustrious past.
Where else could be more romantic than Lisbon's winding streets? Climb to one of the many miradouro and enjoy a beautiful sunset with a loved one. Or you could enjoy the sunset on one of the Algarve beaches, there's so many to choose from you're sure to find a secluded spot to enjoy each other's company.
Inject a dose of culture into your Portugal holidays by staying in the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Lisbon. Discover numerous historic sites and old districts harbouring a wealth of history or explore the ruins of the Royal Palace and enjoy fabulous views of the city. Portugal itself is packed full of UNESCO heritage sites – from grand gothic-style monasteries to stunning natural beauty spots. For a cultural trip with a twist, head to the Alto Douro Wine Region, the traditional home of port wine –an ideal souvenir for any budding wine connoisseur.
Many of the towns in the Algarve still retain their old-world Portuguese charm - even Albufeira, the most bustling resort town in the Algarve, has its own charming old town.