Portugal is a sun-soaked retreat with enough family-friendly activities, spa resorts, golf courses and bustling cities and towns worth dragging yourself off the beach for.
That's if you want to leave the beaches of the Algarve: you might just find your perfect spot on the sugar-soft sand along the miles and miles of lovely sun-dappled coastline.
Most holidays to Portugal arrive into Faro Airport (FAO) in the southern region known as the Algarve. Visitors here will find a slice of holiday heaven in one of the splendid resorts. Popular resorts for visitors include lively Albufeira, while Carvoeiro, Praia da Rocha and Vilamoura are a little more peaceful
Other well-liked resorts on the Algarve include Praia da Luz, Quinta do Lago, Quarteria, Vila do Bispo, Alvor, Armacao de Pera, and Monte Gordo. Purpose-built Vale do Lobo slots nicely into the pine-clad landscape and attracts golfers to its two courses. Portimao, Sagres, the city of Lagos and Moorish Faro also attract tourists looking for a dose of history and culture, which sits so nicely alongside family holiday attractions in Portugal, such as fun-filled waterparks.
Of course Portugal is not all about the sun, sea and sand. Visitors also fly into Lisbon and Oporto to experience Portuguese city life, or to explore the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, which is home to stunning places such as the Douro Valley, where vineyards cling to hillsides and provide for the country's thriving wine industry.
Whatever your age, whatever your perfect break looks like, and whether you're travelling in a group, with family, or as a couple, Portugal holidays are sure to tick the boxes of your holiday wish list, with fantastic and good value accommodation ranging from hotels, where your every whim is catered for, to do it yourself breaks with self-catering apartments and villas.
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Weather Portugal bathes in plenty of sunshine and average temperatures on the Algarve peak at around 30C in July and August, rarely dipping below 15C in January. The winter months, though mild, see more rainfall, and you would be extremely unlucky to see rain on the Algarve at the height of summer (you get 12 hours of sunshine instead).
Events Algarve Carnival; February/March: It's carnival time on the Algarve in February and March. Colourful processions and fun festivities mark the beginning of spring at a variety of locations in the region.
St Anthony Festival; June 12-14: Portugal's patron saint is celebrated in style with fireworks, dancing and street parties. The best place to see the action is in the capital Lisbon.
Oceans Festival, Lisbon; August: The capital is once again the place to be to see the music, art, theatre and a host of other entertainment that forms part of the cultural celebration.
Monchique Fair, Algarve; September/October: Local crafts are highlighted in this annual fair, with the chance to buy leather, wood and weaving in Marmelete.
Portugal Masters; October: The world's best golfers arrive with their clubs in October to compete at a course in Vilamoura designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer.
Best of Portugal holidays for...
- Kids & teens: Amateur surfers looking for their break into the seaside sport will find the gentle waves at Ericeirea, north of Lisbon, perfect for beginners..
- Romance: There's a lovely viewpoint at the top of Monte de Santa Luzia - take a railway to reach it - and the hilltop restaurant is sure to offer romance alongside your dinner.
- Grown-up families: Tales of the legendary Knights Templar will keep older children entertained at the Convento de Cristo in Tomar, a majestic military and religious complex..
- Babies & toddlers: The animals at Lagos Zoo will amuse the little ones in your travelling party. There's a special feeding area too where youngsters can get up close with tamer beasts. .
- Free & cheap: It's free to simply wander the streets of fairytale hilltop town Sintra, near Lisbon. .
- Nightlife: Party hard in Lisbon in the funky Bairro Alto district. Wherever you are in Portugal, be sure to listen out for the traditional music known as fado..
- Active types: The only national park in Portugal - Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês - is home to plenty of well marked hiking trails and the scenery is well worth the effort. .