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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Because of their unspoilt, natural beauty, Portugal boats an impressive selection of picture perfect beaches including Santa Cruz, Praia da Adraga, Foz do Lizandro, Ericeira and Azenhas do Mar. Here you’ll find protected waters surrounded by majestic cliffs- the perfect sun traps to relax on the sand or take a dip in the crystal clear water.
Whether you’re a sun worshipper or more of an active beach sports type, there’s something for everybody on a beach holiday to Portugal. The stunning Oeiras beach just south of Lisbon is a place worth visiting to top up your tan, while the Costa Azul offers adventurous types a coastal tour via horseback.
Portugal is a watersports fan’s paradise, with a mix of activities all around the coast. To the north, the area around Palmeira is popular for fishing, surfing and windsurfing due to its rougher seas, while the Algarve is the ideal calmer spot for swimming or waterskiing on your perfect Portugal break.
With so many popular resorts to choose from, there’s something to suit every holiday budget. The Grand Real Santa Eulalia and Spa in Albufeira offers all out luxury with amazing views overlooking the beach, while the Rio apartments in Vilamoura allow you versatility on a budget.
The Algarve resorts of Lagos, Praia d’Ora and Albufeira offer the best in beaches no matter what your holiday budget. The country’s southernmost strip boasts the best in the sun factor, while its unpolluted, cool waters are an unbeatable place to take a dip before exploring a mix of beachside bars and restaurants.
While Portugal’s mix of bustling nightlife has something to offer every party animal, on a couples holiday you may like to try a romantic dinner followed by a renowned trip to the theatre. With a historical background of famous playwrights including Gil Vicente, we recommend visiting a local restaurant for the best in traditional cuisine, followed by a trip to Porto or Lisbon to catch a performance.
The medieval St George’s castle stands proudly slap bang on the highest hill in the centre of Lisbon, and has been historically occupied by humans since the sixth Century BC. An ideal way to spend an afternoon, take a stroll around the area’s impressive architecture to get a feel of the real Portugal.
There’s lot’s to do and see on your Portugal holiday, including a lot of world-renowned wines to be tasted! There’s a wide range of indigenous grape varieties still locally grown, and a vineyard tour in Madeira is the best way to experience them. Finish a long day of wine with a romantic horse drawn carriage, available in all resorts for a perfect sunset view.
The Lisbon Oceanarium provides something for all the family on your Portugal holiday, the kids will love wandering through its vast aqua exhibitions while you will enjoy learning about how decisions we make in our daily lives can actively promote nature conservation. Continuing on a watery adventure, the Amarante water park contains an impressive mix of pools, slides and toboggans suited to all the family’s tastes.
There’s a big mix of family holiday deals available, so the best place to start is booking your perfect hotel. There’s a mix of all out luxury like the Hotel Jupiter, in family friendly Praia Da Rocha, or a budget family deal in the cheerful Hotel Atismar in sunny Quarteira.
There are tons of fun things to do in Portugal for both kids and adults, including the Interactive Science Museum in Lisbon, which features a range of simulators and lively exhibitions that everybody will enjoy. For a fun day out, bikes can be hired from many resorts, and a shopping trip is second to none for souvenirs.
In all resorts there’s a wide range of restaurants to suit everybody’s tastes. From award winning fresh seafood in Madeira to the best in Italian, Chinese and American in Porto, you’ll find an extensive mix on your Portugal holiday.
Portugal has long been renowned as a great holiday destination for the best in European sizzling nightlife. Albufeira offers a wide selection of lively bars and clubs, while bustling Porto offers a selection of live music venues with something to suit everybody.
If you’re part of an adventurous group looking for a busy schedule of activities, then Portugal has it all. Golfers find paradise all along the Algarve coastline, while horse riding in the Costa Azul is second to none. Madeira and the Azores also boast unique wildlife with breathtaking views for hikers or walkers.
The dare devils in your group will certainly be well catered for on a holiday to Portugal. The country has an excellent reputation for Algarve rock climbing and abseiling, while white water rafting trips on the Minho and Paiva rivers offer an unbeatable experience. Many resorts offer popular skydiving excursions.