5 Perfect Places in Portugal for a Family Holiday

Top 5 perfect places in Portugal for a family holiday by Panoramic Villas

Portugal is a great destination for a family holiday with many attractions in all regions. Whether looking for beach relaxation, historic cities or beautiful rural scenes, visitors to this warm and sunny country are spoiled for choice.

The excitement of the big cities like Lisbon, heading up north to greener Portugal or south to the attraction of sandy beaches in the Algarve. There also the possibility of an island holiday in Madeira or the Azores.

To help choose the ideal location for a family friendly holiday, a brief introduction into just some of the highlights of this fascinating country are included below.

The Sandy Beaches of the Algarve

Algarve beach with impressive rocky arches and cliffs - photo courtesy Luis Ascenso Photography

Algarve beach with impressive rocky arches and cliffs – photo courtesy Luis Ascenso Photography

Heading way down south in Portugal, the Algarve is a popular destination with several seaside resorts, perfect for the whole family. Those perfect beaches, framed by magnificent rocky arches and cliffs, offer some of the best moments for a seaside adventure. Some even have Blue Flag status, but all have all the facilities needed for a family holiday.  With dry, sunny days for most of the year, the Algarve is perfect any time.

The activities are endless including water sports, hiking, walking and cycling as well as several water parks, theme parks and zoos, karting and crazy golf to keep children of all ages occupied. Among the many towns, Portimão, Albufeira and Carvoeiro come highly recommended.

The Allure of Alentejo

Alentejo, Zambujeira do Mar coastline, perfect for watersports - photo courtesy Cris

Alentejo, Zambujeira do Mar coastline, perfect for watersports – photo courtesy Cris

If you find the Algarve a little crowded, with too many fellow tourists, why not head to Alentejo for a different kind of seaside holiday. Located on the south-west coast, the beaches are equally beautiful, but quieter. Sometimes you won’t see another soul for miles. However there are still water sports on offer and the surfing can be great.

Enjoy the fresh seafood on offer in the traditional restaurants along the coast or head inland to drive among the wheat fields and wildflower meadows and visit tiny and traditional white-washed villages.

Recommended locations to stay are Nova de Milfontes, Praia do Queimado and of Zambujeira do Mar.

Lots to do in Lisbon

Lisbon with it's narrow streets and trams - photo courtesy Laurenz Bobke

Lisbon with it’s narrow streets and trams – photo courtesy Laurenz Bobke

Heading to the capital of Portugal is a perfect idea with much to entertain both the children and parents alike. The city has many great attractions for the kids, including the Lisbon Zoo, the Oceanarium and Expo Park. For those with historic leanings, Lisbon castle, known as the Castelo de Sao Jorge which stands guard over the city is worth a visit, as is the Belém district and that famous landmark Torre Belém and riding the trams that wind through the narrow streets are always a great attraction. Of course there is also much in the way of shopping and dining to enjoy in this cosmopolitan city.

Off for an Island Holiday in Madeira

A dolphin off the coast of Madeira - photo courtesy Gideon Chilton

A dolphin off the coast of Madeira – photo courtesy Gideon Chilton

For those looking for a quieter holiday way out on the islands, both Madeira and the Azores have plenty to offer. In Madeira, the locals are friendly and the scenery gorgeous, perfect walking and hiking. The towns offer the best in local cuisine and quaint shops.  The only drawback is the beaches, as they tend to be more pebbly than sandy.  However, the climate is far more pleasant than the southern mainland of Portugal. Historic and attractive Funchal is a great town to visit while on the island.

The Charms of Porto and Northern Portugal

Porto's historic town was named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 - photo courtesy Massimo Mastropietro

Porto’s historic town was named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 – photo courtesy Massimo Mastropietro

Porto, or Oporto as it is more commonly known in English, is a fascinating and beautiful city, nestled along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal. This is one of the oldest European centres and the historic part of the town was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. There is so much to see and do, along with great restaurants, shopping and for parents, the great wines and ports of the region.

Summary

This has been a brief introduction into just some of the charms of Portugal, the perfect destination for holidays whether as a family, couple or in a group of single people.

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