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Portugal Holidays

Portugal Holidays

Read more about Portugal

Destination Highlights

  • Home to the Algarve – a firm favourite with both families and friends
  • Amazing beaches across the country
  • A colourful capital city
  • A great selection of annual festivals to go to
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    Beaches | Hotels | Nightlife | Food | Events | Things to do | Weather | Important information | Reviews |


    What are the best beaches in Portugal?

    Looking for a break filled with sunny days sat on the beach? The Algarve coast is lined with sandy shores that are perfect for all holidaymakers. Here are our favourites…

    Praia dos Pescadores is a must-visit when you’re holidaying in the Algarve. Located in Albufeira, this Blue Flag beach is a hit with families, friends and couples seeking a laid-back beach day. In the west of the Algarve, Praia da Rocha is another top pick for sunbathing, swimming and all-round relaxing. If you’re seeking a snorkelling spot, head to Praia da Marinha to see what lies beneath the amazing clear waters, as well as discovering one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe!

    Get the best of both worlds when city breaking in Lisbon. If you hop on a train or bus a little further down the coast you can enjoy sunshine and seaside in the region of Cascais. Perfect for a day trip out, take your pick from the spacious Praia de Carcavelos, watch the windsurfers at Praia do Guincho or hop over to Estoril for a relaxing day on Praia do Tamariz.

    Portugal beach

    What are the top hotels in Portugal?

    Family holidays to the Algarve, mates’ escapes to Lisbon and couple’s getaways to Cascais – wherever you’ve got your eye on, we have the hotel for you.

    Looking for luxury in Lisbon? The Iberostar Selection Lisboa is a superb five-star hotel with an outdoor pool located in the north west of the capital city – perfect for a couple’s break or mates’ escape. For those who need a comfortable yet classy base for their Lisbon break, the Real Parque Hotel is just 300m from the Botanical gardens and has a brilliant restaurant and bar for guests to enjoy delicious meals.

    Along the Lisbon coast in the Cascais region, Baia Hotel Cascais is a stylish hotel by the beach that’s great for couples or friends seeking a Portuguese getaway that’s a mix of beach and city break. Vila Gale Village Cascais is a four-star hotel that’s a great choice for a laid-back family holiday under the sun. In Sintra, the four-star Pestana Sintra Golf Resort & Spa is a perfect pick for a couple’s spa break.

    If you fancy soaking up the sunshine in the Algarve, Muthu Clube Praia da Oura is a four-star family favourite located on the beachfront. Monica Isabel Beach Club is another great choice for a family holiday by the beach and AP Adriana Beach Resort is a stylish four-star complex with something for everyone.

    Portugal Hotel

    What's the food like in Portugal?

    You might be familiar with the famous piri-piri spices from Portugal, but their food is so much more than tasty chicken. Expect hearty and fresh dishes that are filled with flavour. Some of our favourite staple Portuguese foods include fresh local seafood (cod and sardines are popular picks), cheese and olives, cured meats like ‘chourico’ (spicy sausage) and for something sweet, you can’t miss out on a delicious ‘pastel de nata’ – the sweet egg custard style pastry.

    If you’re wondering what to wash a Portuguese meal down with, then go for the light and crisp vino verde or sip on strong but sweet port.

    Portugal food

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    Where’s the best nightlife in Portugal?

    From relaxing evening drinks to partying all night long, there are plenty of nightlife hotspots across Portugal to suit everyone.

    In the Algarve, Lagos and Albufiera are the top resorts to go to for incredible party scenes. Head to the harbours for a choice of bouncing bars and clubs – some of our favourites include Steps Bar in Albufeira Old Town for dancing ‘til late, and MJ’s Bar in Lagos that does a top-notch happy hour.

    Over in Lisbon, Barrio Alto is a maze of narrow cobbled streets that buzz once the sun sets. Bar hop your way around the neighbourhood or find you favourite spot and dance all night. One thing we love about Lisbon is the rooftop bars – check out Noobai Café for a special-occasion sangria with a great view, or Park Bar (located on the top floor of a car park) for funky DJ sets and drinks whilst watching the sun set over the city.

    What events can I go to in Portugal?

    Carnival (February) – Carnival usually begins on the last Friday before Lent and is a time where you can find incredible parades all across the country, with colourful costumes and amazing performances.

    Soul in the Algarve (May) – An amazing celebration where soul fans from across the globe come together for a week of live music and parties in Alvor.

    Lisbon Book Fair (May-June) – Bookworms unite! Lisbon Book Fair is one of the oldest cultural festivals in the capital and is a truly unbeatable experience for those who love to read.

    Portuguese Gastronomy Week (June) – Head to Lagoa in Portuguese Gastronomy Week to truly discover the incredible tastes, textures and creativity that the national cuisine has to offer.

    Festival Med (June) – The top music festival in the Algarve that takes place near the end of June, where you can take your pick from over 50 artists to see and party non-stop!

    FATACIL (August) – If you want to discover the culture of the Algarve then add this festival to your list. FATACIL celebrates the Algarve’s history and culture by hosting parties, events and exhibitions by local artists in Lagoa.

    Festival F (September) – Another popular festival which features big names from a variety of music genres. Hosted in Faro, this is another festival that you won’t want to miss.

    Portugal Culture

    Things to do in Portugal

    Listen to fado music

    Dive into Portuguese culture with an evening out listening to traditional fado music. Fado can be heard in the dimly lit bars of Lisbon’s Bairro Alto and Alfama districts, the taverns of Porto or the student venues of Coimbra.

    Aquashow Park

    A day of fun in the sun at a waterpark – what more could you want? The Aquashow Park is home to plenty of exciting pools, slides and rides for everyone, including the River Slide – the largest water rollercoaster in Europe!

    Castle-spotting in Sintra

    History, adventure and striking architecture can be found in the charming town of Sintra. An easy day trip from Lisbon, you can roam around the gothic Regaleira Palace and colourful Pena Palace before exploring the Moorish castle ruins with panoramic hilltop views.

    Beach day at Praia da Marinha

    Recognised as one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches by the Michelin Guide, this stretch of sand should be on your beach bucket list. Perfect snorkelling conditions and surrounding caves that are fantastic to visit on a boat trip. Trust us, you can’t beat Praia da Marinha.

    Discover the caves of the Algarve

    Set off on a sunny boat trip and discover the amazing caves on the Algarve coast. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the kayak trips where you’re in control. For those who simply want to sit back and enjoy the views – group boat tours are available.

    Douro Valley

    One of the world’s oldest wine regions and a UNESCO world heritage site, Douro Valley is the place to go for sampling port, gorgeous scenery and exploring the Douro Museum.


    What's the weather like in Portugal?

    Portugal offers warm summers and mild winters. June to September are the hottest months, whilst the warmest sea temperatures are between July and August. If you want to make the most of the sunshine, May to August boast an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day.

    Month

    Average temp.

    Sea temp.

    Hours of sunshine per day

    Jan 12 °c 14 °c 5 h
    Feb 13 °c 14 °c 6 h
    Mar 15 °c 16 °c 7 h
    Apr 16 °c 16 °c 9 h
    May 18 °c 17 °c 12 h
    Jun 21 °c 19 °c 12 h
    Jul 24 °c 20 °c 12 h
    Aug 21 °c 22 °c 12 h
    Sep 23 °c 21 °c 9 h
    Oct 19 °c 19 °c 7 h
    Nov 16 °c 17 °c 6 h
    Dec 14 °c 15 °c 5 h

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    Important Information about travelling to Portugal

    How long does it take to fly to Portugal?

    It takes about three hours to fly to Portugal from the UK.

    What’s the time difference between the UK and Portugal?

    There is no difference!

    What currency do they use in Portugal?

    The official currency of Portugal is the Euro.

    What language do they speak in Portugal?

    The official language spoken in Portugal is Portuguese.

    Do I need any vaccinations to visit Portugal?

    Please check with your healthcare provider for all up to date vaccination advice before booking your holiday.

    Do I need to pay tax on my holiday to Portugal?

    Tourist tax in Portugal ranges from 1-2 euros per person per night, dependent on season and resort.

    Will Covid-19 affect my holiday to Portugal?

    We are currently closely following the Covid-19 situation and how it affects travel. You can find out the most up to date information about travel to Portugal on the FCO website.


    Customer reviews

    At On the Beach, we’ve sent many satisfied customers to Portugal for a bit of sunshine. But don't just take our word for it, read some of their 5-star reviews below.

    John Wood:


    Consistent excellent service always book with on the beach!!

    Eliasz Deneka:


    Overall everything was great. We had no issues on airport, with transfer and check in to hotel. Good comunicatation thru email. All papers was provided.

    Valerie Cooper:


    Would definitely use again, website is easy to use & great value for money

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    Top Portugal Hotels

    Be Live Family Palmeiras Village

    Armacao De Pera, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Jupiter Albufeira Hotel - Family & Fun

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Muthu Clube Praia da Oura

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Be Smart Terrace Algarve

    Armacao De Pera, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Paraiso de Albufeira

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Alfagar Alto da Colina

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Eden Resort

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    3HB Clube Humbria

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Aqua Pedra dos Bicos - Adults Only

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Monica Isabel Beach Club

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Cerro Mar Atlantico

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Adriana Beach Club

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Pestana Blue Alvor

    Alvor, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Real Bellavista Hotel & Spa

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Royal Orchid

    Canico, Madeira, Portugal

    Balaia Atlantico

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Luna Miramar

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Alfagar Village

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Vilalara Thalassa Resort

    Porches, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Yellow Monte Gordo Beach Hotel

    Monte Gordo, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Auramar Beach Resort

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    The Lake Resort

    Vilamoura, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Alfagar Cerro Malpique

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Apartments Old Village

    Vilamoura, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Crowne Plaza Vilamoura

    Vilamoura, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Alvor Baia Resort Hotel

    Alvor, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort

    Lagos, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Hotel Montramar

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    3HB Falesia Mar

    Albufeira, Costa De Algarve, Portugal

    Portugal Resorts

    Lisbon

    Lisbon

    Soak up the sun, appreciate the culture and experience copious amounts of delicious cuisine on a city break to Portugal’s capital city. Spend your day…

    Read more on Lisbon Travel Guide

    Algarve

    Algarve

    Sunshine and seafood are the Algarve’s main claims to fame. And, with over 150km of coastline, it’s no surprise that this region of Portugal offers mo…

    Read more on Algarve Travel Guide

    Cascais

    Cascais

    If Cascais isn’t on your wanderlust radar, it should be. This Portuguese resort offers the perfect mix of beaches and bars; it even was awarded the ti…

    Read more on Cascais Travel Guide