What makes Portugal Unique

Portugal stands out as a unique travel destination due to its captivating blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Here are some elements that contribute to its uniqueness:

  • Rich Historical Heritage: Portugal has a deep and fascinating history, evident in its well-preserved medieval towns, ancient castles, and impressive monuments. From the captivating architecture of Lisbon and Porto to the historic neighbourhoods of Sintra and Évora, visitors can immerse themselves in centuries of cultural heritage.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Despite its relatively small size, Portugal offers a remarkable variety of landscapes. From the dramatic cliffs of the Algarve coastline to the lush vineyards of the Douro Valley and the rugged mountains of Peneda-Gerês National Park, the country is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Authentic Gastronomy: Portuguese cuisine is renowned for its simplicity, quality ingredients, and mouth-watering flavours. Whether savouring fresh seafood by the seaside, indulging in traditional dishes like bacalhau (salted cod), or exploring the vibrant local markets, Portugal offers a delightful culinary experience that reflects its coastal location, regional diversity, and cultural influences.
  • Endearing Local Culture: The Portuguese people are known for their warmth, friendliness, and genuine hospitality. Travelers can engage with locals in charming traditional villages, witness age-old customs and festivals, and experience the convivial atmosphere of family-owned taverns and cafés. This connection with the local culture creates lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the country's identity.
  • Artistic and Literary Legacy: Portugal has produced remarkable artists, writers, and poets throughout history. From the intricate azulejos (hand-painted ceramic tiles) that adorn buildings to the poetic verses of Fernando Pessoa, the country's artistic and literary contributions add an enchanting layer to the travel experience, stimulating creativity and imagination.

These elements, combined with Portugal's mild climate, excellent infrastructure, and accessibility, make it an exceptional destination that appeals to a wide range of travellers seeking an immersive and unforgettable journey.

Top Highlights in Portugal


Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, stroll through the historic centre with its ancient cathedrals and charming plazas, and explore the nearby pilgrimage site of Sameiro.

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Experience the traditional fishing village atmosphere, relax on the beautiful sandy beach, and witness the gigantic waves that attract surfers from around the world.

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This lush and mountainous island in the Atlantic Ocean offers stunning natural landscapes and a mild subtropical climate. Explore the capital city of Funchal, visit the beautiful Monte Palace Tropical Garden, and take a cable car ride to the village of Monte. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on breath-taking trails, and wine lovers can savour the famous Madeira wine.

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Discover the impressive Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore its rich history as the former headquarters of the Knights Templar.

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Located in the Alentejo region, Évora is a well-preserved medieval town with a rich historical heritage. Highlights include the Roman Temple of Évora, the Gothic Cathedral, and the haunting Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos). Stroll through the narrow streets, sample the regional cuisine, and visit nearby megalithic sites like the Cromlech of the Almendres.

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Douro Valley

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Douro Valley is famous for its terraced vineyards, scenic landscapes, and wine production. Take a leisurely boat cruise along the Douro River, visit wine estates and enjoy wine tastings, and soak in the breath-taking views from viewpoints such as São Leonardo da Galafura.

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The Algarve

Portugal's southernmost region, the Algarve, is renowned for its stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque fishing villages. Visit popular towns like Lagos, Albufeira, and Faro, and soak up the sun on beaches such as Praia da Marinha and Praia da Falésia. Boat trips to the beautiful caves and grottoes along the coast are highly recommended.

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Just a short distance from Lisbon, Sintra is a fairy-tale town filled with palaces, lush gardens, and romantic vistas. The must-see attractions include the colourful Pena Palace, the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira with its mystical gardens, and the romantic Monserrate Palace. The charming town centre of Sintra is also worth exploring.

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Located in the north of Portugal, Porto is renowned for its picturesque setting along the Douro River and its production of port wine. Explore the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, visit the impressive Livraria Lello bookstore, and enjoy a port wine tasting in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia. Don't miss the stunning Dom Luís I Bridge and the contemporary architecture of Casa da Música.

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The capital city, Lisbon, is a vibrant and charming destination that combines history, culture, and stunning architecture. Highlights include the historic neighbourhood of Alfama, Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and the lively streets of Bairro Alto. Don't forget to ride the iconic yellow tram and indulge in the delicious pastries known as pastéis de nata (custard tarts).

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Highlights of the Azores

The Azores archipelago, located in the Atlantic Ocean, is a stunning destination known for its breath-taking natural landscapes, volcanic formations, and unique wildlife. Here are some highlights for tourists to see and experience in the Azores:

São Miguel Island

Explore the largest and most diverse island of the Azores, known as the Green Island. Visit the Sete Cidades twin lakes with their vibrant blue and green colours, soak in the hot springs at Furnas, and discover the beautiful Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Don't miss the charming town of Ponta Delgada and try local delicacies like cozido das Furnas, a traditional meat and vegetable stew cooked underground.

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Pico Island

Ascend the mighty Pico Mountain, the highest peak in Portugal, for breath-taking views of the archipelago. Visit the UNESCO-listed vineyards of Pico and taste the unique wines produced from the volcanic soil. Take a boat trip to spot whales and dolphins in the surrounding waters.

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Faial Island

Explore the picturesque town of Horta, known for its vibrant marina and the colourful paintings on the walls left by visiting sailors. Visit the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre to learn about the volcanic eruption that shaped the island's landscape.

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Terceira Island

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Angra do Heroísmo, with its well-preserved historic centre and impressive fortifications. Participate in the popular traditional bull runs known as "touradas à corda," and explore the underground lava caves of Algar do Carvão.

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Flores Island

Experience the natural beauty of Flores Island, known for its waterfalls, pristine lakes, and abundant flora. Hike along the stunning coastal trails, visit the picturesque village of Fajãzinha, and admire the unique and colourful hydrangea-covered landscapes.

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São Jorge Island

Embark on an adventure in São Jorge, known for its rugged cliffs and scenic hiking trails. Taste the famous local cheese, Queijo São Jorge, and enjoy panoramic views from viewpoints such as Fajã do Ouvidor.

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Graciosa Island

Relax on the peaceful island of Graciosa, characterized by its vineyards, windmills, and beautiful coastal landscapes. Explore the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Graciosa and visit the intriguing Furna do Enxofre, a volcanic cave with a lake inside.

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Whale Watching

The Azores are a fantastic destination for observing marine wildlife, particularly whales and dolphins. Take a guided boat tour and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

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Outdoor Activities

Engage in various outdoor activities, including surfing, hiking, cycling, kayaking, and diving, to fully experience the Azores' natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.

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Thermal Baths

Enjoy the rejuvenating thermal baths found in several locations across the islands, such as Furnas in São Miguel, providing a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

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Travel Ideas for Portugal

The Ultimate Azorean Journey: A 15-Day Adventure

Day 1: Arrival in Ponta Delgada

  • Welcome to São Miguel. Arrive at Ponta Delgada airport and be greeted with warm hospitality. Receive necessary documents and assistance, followed by a comfortable transfer to your downtown hotel. Take the day to relax, explore the city, and prepare for the adventures ahead.

Day 2: Sete Cidades and Fogo Lakes Jeep Tour

  • Discover Paradise! Embark on a full-day jeep tour exploring Sete Cidades and Fogo Lakes. Capture the mesmerizing Blue and Green Lagoons, visit the Fire Lake, and witness breath-taking waterfalls like Salto do Cabrito. Return to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Day 3: Furnas Jeep Tour

  • Immerse in Nature! Uncover the wonders of Furnas on a full-day jeep tour. Visit a tea plantation, explore Furnas volcano's interior, and savour Cozido das Furnas, a unique dish cooked in volcanic fumaroles. Relax in thermal waters before heading to Vila Franca do Campo.

Day 4: Nordeste Tour

  • Discover the historic Nordeste, known for beautiful gardens and viewpoints. Visit Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall, explore Tronqueira, and marvel at the Azores bullfinch. Lunch in Povoação, with stunning views from Salto do Cavalo.

Day 5: Whale and Dolphin Watching

  • Nature's Symphony! Embark on a 3-hour whale and dolphin watching adventure along the South coast. Witness diverse marine life, including turtles and seabirds, creating unforgettable moments in the Azorean seas.

Day 6: Flight to Faial Island

  • Board a flight to Faial, known for its hydrangea-covered landscapes. Explore Horta, the Botanical Garden, and witness Europe’s last erupting volcano, the Capelinhos. Faial, the Blue Island, awaits.

Day 7: Faial Island - Jeep Tour

  • Discover Faial's Beauty! Tour Faial, exploring its capital, Horta, and visiting the Capelinhos Volcano. Witness the island's unique landscapes, including the stunning Caldeira crater. Faial's blue hydrangeas and captivating scenery will leave you in awe.

Day 8: Pico Island - Pico Climbing

  • Conquer Portugal's Highest Peak! Ferry to Pico Island and climb Pico Mountain, the country's highest point. Marvel at the panoramic views of up to five surrounding islands during this challenging and rewarding experience.

Day 9: São Jorge Tour

  • Explore the Fajãs! Take a ferry to São Jorge and embark on a tour exploring the island's unique fajãs. Enjoy São Jorge cheese and a lunch cooked in nature. Return to Faial in the evening.

Day 10: Flight to Flores

  • Farewell to Faial, Hello Flores! Bid farewell to Faial and board a flight to Flores, known for its captivating waterfalls, lakes, and natural beauty. A driver will take you to your accommodation.

Day 11: Tour in Flores

  • Discover Flores' Beauty! Explore Flores Island, visiting beautiful viewpoints, waterfalls like Poço do Bacalhau, and the mesmerizing lakes. The tour includes Rocha dos Bordões, a main reference of the island.

Day 12: Discover Corvo Island – Full Day

  • Explore the Smallest Azorean Island! Journey to Corvo Island by boat, marvel at the landscapes, visit Caldeirão, and savour the tranquillity. Enjoy your time exploring before returning to Flores.

Day 13: Flight to São Miguel island

  • Depart Flores and fly back to São Miguel. Upon arrival, a driver will transfer you to your hotel. Check-in and explore Ponta Delgada at your leisure.

Day 14: Canyoning in São Miguel

  • Adventure Awaits! Enjoy an adrenaline-pumping day of canyoning, exploring mountain waterfalls and natural pools. Return to your hotel after this thrilling activity.

Day 15: Departure

  • Farewell to the Azores! Check out and bid adeus to the Azores. A short ride takes you to Ponta Delgada airport, concluding your 15-day Azorean journey.
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Portugal Unveiled: A 14-Day Journey through Time & Beauty

  • Welcome to Portugal!
  • In just 14 days, delve deep into the essence of Portugal: its diverse landscapes, hidden historical gems, and above all, the warm embrace of its people. 
  • Touch down at Lisbon Airport and let your adventure begin. En route to Porto, make a stop at Óbidos, where medieval charm comes to life. Once in Porto, the capital of the north, meander through its enchanting streets, filled with history and impressive monuments.
  • To truly understand Northern Portugal, you must witness one of its crown jewels: the Douro Valley. Its breath-taking natural beauty, combined with the tantalizing flavours and aromas of the world-famous Port wine, promise an unforgettable experience.
  • Your voyage continues to Aveiro, often dubbed the 'Venice of Portugal', and the historically rich city of Coimbra, a hub of academia for centuries.
  • As you head south, the 'museum city' of Évora eagerly awaits, ready to share its myriad secrets. After days of discovery, the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve beckon. Here, mesmerizing rock formations stand sentinel beside golden sands, offering a haven of relaxation and indulgence.
  • On your return to Lisbon, take a scenic detour through Arrábida Natural Park, a serene oasis near the capital. As your Portuguese escapade nears its end, immerse yourself in the lively streets of Lisbon, a city that once launched legendary voyages, charting unknown worlds. Cap off your trip with the romantic allure of Sintra, a town that seems plucked from fairy tales.
  • In Portugal, you'll always feel right at home!

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Experience Portugal: Porto, Lisbon and more in 8 Days

Day 1 – Arrival in Lisbon, Nazaré & Travel to Porto Begin your adventure with a warm reception at the airport, receiving all necessary documentation and assistance. Your driver awaits to whisk you away to Porto, but not before a thrilling stop at Nazaré. This coastal haven, with its mild climate and ancient fishing traditions, sets the stage for the wonders that await. Nazaré's breath-taking beach, famed for colossal waves and vibrant surf culture, offers a captivating start to your Portuguese odyssey.

Day 2 - Porto Walking Tour / Porto Wine Lodges Unveil the secrets of this mystical city with a walking tour through its enchanting streets. From the iconic S. Bento railway station to the historic Clérigos Tower, each step reveals Porto's unique charm. After a leisurely lunch and free afternoon, delve into the world of Port wine with a visit to a riverside lodge. Sip and savour the rich history of this celebrated beverage before returning to your haven to recharge for the next day.

Day 3 - Day Trip to Douro Valley Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley! Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of terraced vineyards and the meandering Douro River. Delve into the history of winemaking at a family-run estate, home to century-old vineyards producing award-winning wines. Your journey continues to a prestigious 17th-century winery, culminating in a wine-tasting experience paired with a delightful traditional lunch. Revel in the flavours that changed the course of history for this remarkable region.

Day 4 - Travel from Porto to Lisbon, via Tomar and Óbidos Tomar, Óbidos, and the Road to Lisbon! Bid farewell to Porto and embark on a scenic journey. Discover the Templar City of Tomar, with its medieval charm and historic treasures. Savour unique dining experiences before reaching captivating Óbidos, a medieval town surrounded by imposing walls. Your journey concludes in Lisbon, where you check in and indulge in well-deserved rest or explore the city's vibrant atmosphere.

Day 5 - Lisbon Walking Tour and Fado Dinner Seven Hills, Countless Stories! Lace up your comfortable shoes for a full-day walking tour through Lisbon's seven hills. From Rossio to Alfama, delve into the tales of this historic city, visiting landmarks like Lisbon Cathedral and St. George’s Castle. After a leisurely lunch, head to Belém, a quarter steeped in Portuguese maritime history. The day concludes with a Fado dinner, an immersive cultural experience you won't forget.

Day 6 - Day Trip to Sintra Sintra's Romantic Allure! Explore Sintra's enchanting palaces and historical centre on a day trip filled with choice and flexibility. Whether you opt for Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, or another gem, the day unfolds at your pace. Visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, before strolling through the picturesque town of Cascais. Return to Lisbon for an evening of relaxation or optional dining.

Day 7 - Day Trip to Évora Discover Évora's Timeless Elegance! Venture to Évora, capital of the Alentejo, where history whispers through Roman ruins and medieval streets. UNESCO-listed for its architectural richness, Évora captivates with its golden age tales. Wander the narrow Moorish streets, marvel at the Roman Temple, and contemplate the Chapel of Bones. After the tour, return to Lisbon for an evening of reflection and farewell.

Day 8 - Departure Adeus  Portugal! Bid farewell to Lisbon with cherished memories. After checking out, a brief ride takes you to the airport. As you depart, carry the essence of Portugal with you, a treasure trove of experiences and the warmth of its people.

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Experience Azores: A 1 Week Journey of Discovery on São Miguel Island

Day 1: Arrival in Ponta Delgada Welcome to São Miguel Island! Arrive at Ponta Delgada airport, where you'll be greeted with all necessary documentation and assistance. A comfortable transfer will take you to your city hotel. Check-in, drop off luggage, and explore the nearby restaurants and cultural attractions. 

Day 2: Sete Cidades and Fogo Lakes Embark on a full-day jeep tour exploring the stunning Sete Cidades and Fogo Lakes. Capture the breath-taking Blue and Green Lagoons, visit the Fire Lake with its dormant volcano, and marvel at pristine waterfalls like Salto do Cabrito and Caldeira Velha. 

Day 3: Furnas Discover Furnas in a full-day jeep tour. Visit a tea plantation, explore the Furnas volcano's interior, and witness the unique Cozido das Furnas being cooked in the fumaroles. Indulge in the thermal waters at Poça Dona Beija or Terra Nostra Park before heading to Vila Franca do Campo. 

Day 4: Canyoning in São Miguel Experience the thrill of canyoning! Pick up at your hotel, bring a bathing suit and towel, and have fun jumping, sliding, and rappelling around mountain waterfalls. 

Day 5: Nordeste Tour Embark on a tour to Nordeste, the oldest part of São Miguel. Explore beautiful gardens, visit the Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall, and discover the rare Azores bullfinch bird in Tronqueira. Enjoy lunch in Povoação with stunning views from Salto do Cavalo. Return to the hotel to rest before dinner. 

Day 6: Whale and Dolphin Watching Morning adventure! Discover the South coast of São Miguel, watching dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. Taste local flavours and visit a unique nature reserve during this 3-hour activity. 

Day 7: Snorkelling in Azores Explore the underwater wonders of the Azores archipelago with a 3-hour snorkelling adventure. Learn techniques from guides and enjoy the marine life in a natural environment. 

Day 8: Departure Bid farewell to São Miguel. After checking out, a 15-minute ride will take you to Ponta Delgada airport. Say adeus to this breath-taking island!

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Wonders of Madeira: A 7-Day Adventure

Join us in discovering the heart of Madeira, where every day unfolds with new wonders and adventures

Day 1: Arrival in Funchal 

Embark on your Madeira journey with a warm welcome at Funchal airport. Our attentive staff will provide all necessary documentation and guide you to your downtown hotel. Take a leisurely stroll, immerse yourself in local culture, and prepare for the exciting days ahead.

Day 2: Jeep Adventure in Eastern Madeira

Embark on a thrilling jeep tour through the East side of Madeira. Explore Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, the charming straw-roofed houses of Santana, Porto da Cruz with its rum factory, and the picturesque Caniçal. Return to Funchal for a restful night.

Day 3: Levada Hiking and Canyoning

Dive into nature with a captivating levada hiking tour, revealing the island's stunning landscapes. Afterwards, brace yourself for an afternoon of canyoning: jump, slide, and rappel around magnificent waterfalls. Rest at your hotel or explore Funchal on your own.

Day 4: Western Madeira Jeep Expedition

Embark on a private jeep tour exploring the western wonders of Madeira. Witness the awe-inspiring Girão Cape, Paul da Serra's vast plateau, and Porto Moniz's natural rock pools. Marvel at the lush greenery and crystalline blue sea along the route.

Day 5: Madeira Wine Tour

Indulge in a full-day wine tour, discovering the rich heritage of Madeira's wines. Visit local wine producers, explore the UNESCO-awarded Laurissilva forest, and savour a traditional lunch paired with exquisite local wines. Return to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Day 6: Desert Islands Catamaran Tour

Embark on a full-day catamaran tour to the stunning Ilhas Desertas. Experience the untouched beauty of these islands through stand-up paddle, snorkelling, and a delectable Madeiran buffet lunch. Revel in this natural paradise before your last night in Funchal.

Day 7: Departure

Bid farewell to Madeira with a Desert Islands adventure. After checking out, a short ride takes you to Funchal airport. Say adeus to this enchanting island, leaving with memories of a truly unforgettable experience.

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Golfing in the Algarve

Spectacularly perched on the cliffs of the Algarve coast, the 5-star Vila Vita Parc Resort is a true gem with its tranquil location by the Atlantic, offering a haven for relaxing beach and golf holidays. The resort boasts 203 spacious rooms, apartments, suites, and 4 villas, as well as an 18-hole Pitch & Putt course. It's the perfect base for exploring the excellent golf facilities nearby, including Salgados, Amendoeira, Pestana, Morgado, Penina, or Villamoura.

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Birdwatching in the Azores

For nature lovers, the Azores are a true paradise. With their imaginatively shaped blue lakes adorned by flowers, towering mountains offering breath-taking views of the land and sea, and lush, deep craters of dormant volcanoes, the Azores boast untouched landscapes.

The flora and fauna of the Azores are fascinating, with many endemic plant and animal species waiting to be discovered. Of particular interest are the birds of the Azores.

While the breeding bird population may be relatively low in species diversity, some globally unique species and subspecies can only be found in the Azores. The rare Azores Bullfinch, with only a few breeding pairs remaining, is a prime example. Birdwatchers from across Europe flock to the Azores for the chance to spot numerous rare American migratory bird species that are discovered on the islands each year.

During our journey, we will explore four different islands: São Miguel, Corvo, Flores, and Terceira. São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores, offers a diverse range of experiences, from the bustling coastal city to the serenity of vast landscapes, where hidden lakes are nestled amidst lush greenery and flowers. Corvo and Flores, together, form the westernmost outpost of Europe, attracting frequent visits from American migratory birds.

Terceira presents visitors with a vibrant tapestry of shapes, colors, and scents. The island boasts Angra do Heroismo, the first European island city in the Atlantic, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The highlight for ornithologists is the renowned wetland area of Cabo da Praia. Nowhere else in Europe can so many Arctic and Nearctic shorebirds be observed side by side.

Join us on this remarkable journey and uncover the natural wonders of the Azores, a paradise for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers alike.

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Family Retreat to the Algarve, Portugal

Nestled along the stunning coastline of the Algarve, Martinhal resort offers a luxurious family-friendly holiday experience. With a range of accommodation, from spacious villas to hotel rooms, there is something to fit every family's needs. And with a variety of kid-friendly amenities, from a baby concierge service to Kids Clubs and activities for all ages (from 6 months +) and heated swimming pools, parents can relax and enjoy some downtime while the little ones are entertained. But it's not just the family-friendly amenities that make the Martinhal a perfect destination for a family retreat. The resort is surrounded by breath-taking natural beauty, from the rugged coastline to the rolling hills of the Algarve countryside. And with easy access to nearby beaches, hiking trails, and historic sites, there is no shortage of activities to keep the whole family engaged and entertained. For those looking to unwind, the Martinhal also offers a world-class spa and wellness centre, with a range of treatments and services to help you relax and rejuvenate. And with a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants, there is something to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Portugal depends on personal preferences and the specific experiences you seek. Portugal enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, but there are regional variations.

Here's an overview of the different seasons to help you decide:

  • Spring (March to May): Spring is a beautiful time to visit Portugal as the weather begins to warm up, and the countryside comes alive with blooming flowers. It's a great time for outdoor activities and exploring cities without the peak tourist crowds.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Portugal, particularly in coastal areas and popular cities like Lisbon and Porto. Expect warm and sunny weather, perfect for beach visits and outdoor pursuits. However, it can get crowded, and accommodation prices tend to be higher during this time.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Portugal brings pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists. It's a great time to explore the country's historical sites, enjoy outdoor activities, and experience local festivals and harvest-related events. The sea remains warm, making it possible to enjoy beach activities.
  • Winter (December to February): Portugal has a mild winter climate, with some regions experiencing cooler temperatures and occasional rain. The Algarve region tends to have milder weather. Winter is an excellent time to visit for lower accommodation rates and fewer tourists. It's also the ideal season for city sightseeing, indulging in Portugal's culinary delights, and exploring indoor attractions.

The Azores and Madeira have their own microclimates: the Azores experience mild and humid weather year-round, while Madeira enjoys a subtropical climate, making them pleasant destinations to visit at any time of the year.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Portugal depends on your interests, preferred activities, and tolerance for crowds. Consider your priorities and the experiences you seek to determine the ideal time for your trip.

Important Information for Your Travel Plans

Special Travel Tips from our Experts

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Where to Stay

Here are some of our favourite accommodation choices in Portugal across different categories:

◉   Luxury Hotels:

  • The Yeatman (Porto): A luxury wine hotel with stunning views of Porto and the Douro River.
  • Tivoli Palácio de Seteais (Sintra): A 5-star hotel set in a romantic palace with beautiful gardens.
  • Belmond Reid's Palace (Madeira): An iconic cliffside hotel offering luxurious accommodations and breath-taking ocean views.

◉   Boutique Hotels:

  • LX Boutique Hotel (Lisbon): A stylish boutique hotel in the trendy neighbourhood of Cais do Sodré, known for its unique design and rooftop terrace.
  • Casa do Rio (Douro Valley): A charming boutique hotel situated amidst vineyards in the Douro Valley, offering a peaceful and intimate atmosphere.
  • Casa da Calçada Relais & Châteaux (Amarante): A historic mansion converted into a boutique hotel, known for its elegance and Michelin-starred restaurant.

◉   Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts:

  • Casa Amora (Lisbon): A cosy guesthouse located in the charming neighbourhood of Amoreiras, offering personalized service and comfortable rooms.
  • Casa dos Lóios Boutique Guesthouse (Porto): A beautifully restored 17th-century guesthouse in the historic centre of Porto, known for its charm and warm hospitality.
  • Casa das Penhas Douradas (Serra da Estrela): A mountain retreat guesthouse nestled in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, offering stunning views and outdoor activities.

◉   Apartments and Vacation Rentals:

  • Chiado Apartments (Lisbon): Stylish and fully equipped apartments located in the trendy Chiado neighbourhood, providing a home-away-from-home experience.
  • Quinta do Lago Country Club (Algarve): Holiday apartments in famous Quinta do Lago, offering easy access to the sandy beaches and seaside activities.
  • Quinta da Bizelga (Tomar): A family-friendly country estate with self-catering cottages, surrounded by nature and offering a tranquil rural retreat.

◉   Rural and Eco-Accommodations:

  • Herdade da Malhadinha Nova (Alentejo): A luxurious rural estate offering a farm-to-table experience, wine tastings, and eco-friendly accommodations.
  • Casas do Côro (Marialva): Quaint stone houses converted into boutique accommodations in the historical village of Marialva, providing an authentic rural experience.
  • Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park (Trás-os-Montes): Eco-friendly treehouses and eco-houses set in a natural park, known for its thermal spa and wellness facilities.

These are just a few examples of the diverse accommodation choices available in Portugal. Whether you prefer luxury, boutique charm, cosy guesthouses, or self-catering options, you'll find a range of accommodations to suit your needs and enhance your stay.

Getting Around

Portugal offers various transportation options that make it convenient to travel around the country. Here are some common ways to get around Portugal:

◉   Public Transportation:

  • Trains: Portugal has a train network that connects major cities and towns. CP - Comboios de Portugal operates intercity, regional, and suburban train services.
  • Buses: An extensive bus network operated by several companies covers both urban and rural areas. Rede Expressos and Rodoviária Nacional are the main intercity bus operators.
  • Metro: Lisbon and Porto have efficient metro systems that provide convenient transportation within the cities.
  • Trams: Lisbon is famous for its historic tram network, which offers a charming way to explore the city.

◉   Rental Cars: Renting a car allows for flexibility and the ability to explore remote areas at your own pace. Major international car rental companies have offices in Portugal, and rental options are available at airports and in major cities.

◉   Taxis and Rideshares: Taxis are readily available in cities and towns throughout Portugal. Ridesharing services like Uber and Bolt are also popular in urban areas.

◉   Domestic Flights: For longer distances or to reach the islands of Madeira and the Azores, domestic flights are available. TAP Air Portugal and other regional airlines operate flights between major cities and islands.

◉   Ferries: Ferries provide transportation between the mainland and some coastal areas, such as the Algarve and the Troia Peninsula.

◉   Cycling and Walking: Portugal's scenic landscapes and well-marked trails make it an excellent destination for cycling and walking enthusiasts. Many cities and towns have bike rental services, and there are designated cycling and walking routes, including the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

It's worth noting that Portugal's public transportation system is generally reliable and efficient, making it a convenient and affordable option for getting around. It's recommended to check schedules and plan your trips in advance, especially for long-distance journeys. When driving, be aware of toll roads and parking regulations in cities.

Choose the transportation method that suits your preferences and itinerary, considering factors such as the distance, convenience, cost, and the specific regions or attractions you plan to visit.

Travel Themes Most Common for Portugal

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Local Cuisine

Portugal is known for its rich and diverse culinary tradition, influenced by its geography, history, and regional variations. Here are some highlights of Portuguese cuisine:

  • Seafood: With its long coastline, Portugal offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Grilled sardines (sardinhas assadas), bacalhau (salted cod), and octopus rice (arroz de polvo) are popular dishes. Don't miss the seafood stew called caldeirada, which combines various fish and shellfish in a flavourful broth.
  • Pastéis de Nata: These delicious custard tarts are one of Portugal's most famous sweet treats. The crispy, flaky pastry filled with creamy custard and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar can be found in bakeries throughout the country. The most renowned ones come from the Pasteis de Belém bakery in Lisbon.
  • Francesinha: Originating from Porto, this hearty sandwich is a true indulgence. It consists of layers of bread, ham, linguiça (Portuguese sausage), steak, and melted cheese, all covered in a rich beer and tomato sauce. It's often served with a side of fries.
  • Cozido à Portuguesa: This traditional meat and vegetable stew is a hearty and comforting dish. It typically includes various meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and sausages, along with an assortment of vegetables, all cooked together in a flavourful broth.
  • Cataplana de Marisco: Hailing from the Algarve region, this dish is a delicious seafood medley cooked in a cataplana, a clamshell-shaped copper pot. It usually contains a combination of shellfish, fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs, creating a flavourful and aromatic dish.
  • Alheira de Mirandela: Originating from the northeast region of Mirandela, this unique sausage is made with different meats, bread, and spices. It has a distinctive flavour and is often served grilled or roasted.
  • Bacalhau à Brás: Salted cod is a staple of Portuguese cuisine, and this dish showcases its versatility. Bacalhau à Brás is a combination of shredded cod, thinly sliced potatoes, onions, and scrambled eggs, all cooked together and seasoned with olives and parsley.
  • Alentejo Cuisine: The Alentejo region is known for its rustic and flavourful dishes. Migas (bread-based dish), açorda (bread soup), and pork dishes like carne de porco à alentejana (pork with clams) are examples of Alentejo cuisine.
  • Port Wine: Portugal's famous fortified wine, Port, is a must-try. Produced in the Douro Valley, Port wine comes in various styles, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV). It pairs well with desserts and is often enjoyed as an aperitif.
  • Wines: Portugal has a rich winemaking heritage, with distinct wine regions producing excellent wines. Vinho Verde, Douro, Alentejo, and Dão are just a few of the renowned wine regions. Explore the local vineyards and taste a variety of reds, whites, and rosés.

These are just a few highlights of Portuguese cuisine, but there is much more to discover. Portugal's culinary scene is diverse and delicious, offering a wide range of flavours, ingredients, and regional specialties that reflect the country's gastronomic heritage.

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Festivals & Public Holidays

Portugal is known for its vibrant festivals and holidays that showcase the country's culture, traditions, and religious heritage. Here are some noteworthy festivals and holidays to be aware of when planning your trip to Portugal:

  • Carnaval (Carnival): Celebrated in February or March, Carnaval is a festive time with colourful parades, costumes, music, and street parties. The cities of Lisbon, Loulé, and Torres Vedras are known for their lively Carnaval celebrations.
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week): Semana Santa, or Holy Week, takes place in the week leading up to Easter. It is a significant religious observance in Portugal, marked by processions, religious ceremonies, and traditional events in various cities, including Braga and Óbidos.
  • Festa de Santo António (Feast of Saint Anthony): Held on June 13th, the Festa de Santo António is one of Lisbon's most popular festivals. It honours the patron saint of the city with street parties, parades, live music, and traditional sardine grilling.
  • Festas de São João (Festival of Saint John): Celebrated on the night of June 23rd, particularly in Porto and Braga, the Festa de São João is a lively festival filled with street parties, fireworks, music, dancing, and the tradition of hitting each other with soft plastic hammers. In the city of Évora, the Festa do São João takes place on June 23rd and 24th, featuring traditional music, dancing, food stalls, and a colourful procession.
  • Festa dos Tabuleiros (Festival of the Trays): Held every four years in Tomar, the Festa dos Tabuleiros is a grand celebration showcasing decorated trays carried on the heads of local women. It includes parades, music, folk dancing, flowers, and cultural events.
  • Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Festival of Our Lady of Remedies): This religious festival takes place in Lamego during the first week of September. It features processions, fireworks, concerts, and a colourful carpet of flowers displayed on the streets.
  • Dia de Portugal (Portugal Day): Celebrated on June 10th, Dia de Portugal is a national holiday commemorating the death of Luís de Camões, a renowned Portuguese poet. The day is marked by ceremonies, cultural events, and military parades across the country.
  • Christmas and New Year: Christmas and New Year celebrations in Portugal are festive occasions with decorated streets, markets, and nativity scenes. Major cities like Lisbon and Porto have beautiful lighting displays, and traditional Portuguese dishes are enjoyed during family gatherings.

These are just a few examples of the many festivals and holidays celebrated throughout Portugal. It's a good idea to check the specific dates and locations of festivals in advance to incorporate them into your travel plans and immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions.

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Currency & Payment

The official currency of Portugal is the Euro (€). Here's some information about currency and payment in Portugal:

  • Cash: Cash is widely accepted in Portugal, and you can withdraw Euros from ATMs (multibancos) located throughout the country. ATMs are commonly found in cities, towns, and tourist areas. It's advisable to use ATMs within banks or secure locations.
  • Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourist establishments. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards, followed by American Express and Diners Club. However, it's always a good idea to carry some cash, as smaller establishments and markets may prefer cash payments or have minimum card transaction amounts.
  • Contactless Payments: Contactless payments, using cards or mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, are increasingly common in Portugal. Many merchants and establishments have contactless payment terminals, allowing for quick and convenient transactions.
  • Currency Exchange: If you need to exchange currency, you can do so at banks or currency exchange offices (known as "câmbios") found in major tourist areas. Banks generally offer competitive exchange rates, but they may have limited hours of operation.
  • Tipping: It is customary to leave a small tip, usually around 5-10% of the total bill, for good service. Feel free to leave additional gratuities for exceptional service if you wish.
  • VAT Refunds: Non-European Union visitors can often request a refund of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on eligible purchases made in Portugal. Look for the Tax-Free Shopping logo and ask for a tax refund form at participating stores. Follow the necessary procedures and present the completed form at the airport or designated refund centres to receive your VAT refund.

It's advisable to inform your bank or credit card provider about your travel plans to Portugal to avoid any issues with card usage. Additionally, it's always a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases, transportation, or in case of any unexpected situations where cards may not be accepted.


Portugal is generally considered a safe country for tourists. However, it's always advisable to exercise caution and follow common-sense safety precautions, as you would when visiting any foreign destination. Here are some important points to keep in mind regarding the security situation in Portugal:

  • Low Crime Rate: Portugal has a relatively low crime rate compared to many other European countries. Violent crimes and serious incidents targeting tourists are rare. However, like any popular tourist destination, petty theft and pickpocketing can occur, particularly in crowded tourist areas, public transportation, and busy markets. Always keep an eye on your belongings and take care of your valuables.
  • Safe Cities: Portugal's major cities, such as Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, are generally safe for tourists. However, it's advisable to take precautions in urban areas, especially during crowded events or late at night. Avoid poorly lit areas, keep your belongings secure, and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Traffic Safety: Portugal has some challenging road conditions, particularly in rural and mountainous areas. If you plan to rent a car, familiarize yourself with local traffic regulations and exercise caution while driving. Be aware of aggressive driving and follow road signs and speed limits.
  • Natural Hazards: Portugal is not prone to major natural hazards. However, certain regions, such as the Azores, are susceptible to volcanic activity and occasional earthquakes. Pay attention to any local warnings or advisories and follow the instructions of local authorities in case of any natural events.
  • Emergency Services: Portugal has a reliable emergency response system, including police, medical services, and fire departments. The general emergency phone number is 112, which can be used to contact any emergency service in case of need.
  • Travel Insurance: It's strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Familiarize yourself with the terms and coverage of your insurance policy before traveling to Portugal.

Visa & Immigration Rules

Entry requirements for EU citizens (including citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland) to Portugal are as follows:

  • Valid ID or Passport: EU citizens can enter Portugal with a valid national ID card or passport. Ensure that your document is valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Freedom of Movement: EU citizens have the right to freedom of movement within the European Union. This means that you can enter Portugal for tourism, business, work, or other purposes without needing additional permits or documentation.
  • Border Control: While there are no systematic border controls between EU countries, you may still encounter random checks at the Portuguese border. Make sure to carry your ID or passport with you at all times.
  • Health Insurance: Although not a strict entry requirement, it is advisable to have valid travel health insurance that covers medical expenses during your stay in Portugal, for any healthcare needs that may arise during your visit.

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