Holidays in Portugal offer the perfect blend of beach and city life
Holidays in Portugal promise some of the most gorgeous coastlines in Europe and ancient history. Head to the capital, Lisbon, and see the city from the hilltop at São Jorge Castle. Stroll along the riverbanks and tour the port wine caves in Porto, or head to the Algarve for marvellous beaches.
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The top destinations for holidays in Portugal
- Lisbon (Central Portugal), the nation's capital, boasts superb cuisine, a fascinating history, and buzzing nightlife. Perfect for an intriguing city break!
- Porto (Northern Portugal) is home beloved port wine, as well as attractive, colourful architecture.
- Faro (Southern Portugal), the capital of the Algarve region, is the place to discover hidden beaches along the coast or go golfing with friends.
- Coimbra (Central Portugal) is home to one of Europe's oldest universities. This charming little city has plenty of winding medieval streets to discover.
- Braga (Northern Portugal) boasts some of Europe's most interesting churches, such as the magnificent Bom Jesus do Monte, which sits atop a grand baroque stairway.
What can I expect to see in Lisbon?
Holidays in Portugal's capital combine many of the charming country's best aspects. In the Bairro Alto quarter, you'll discover a vivacious nightlife where the party never seems to end. Along Avenida da Liberdade, shop at designer stores and pick up something special for a loved one. In ancient Alfama, you'll feel transported in time amid the narrow streets' friendly taverns and cosy restaurants, and you're just a short train ride away from a wealth of beautiful beaches.
Why visit northern Portugal for holidays?
Porto and Braga, two great reasons to see the north of Portugal, have a more relaxed feel than Lisbon but still have an enormous range of sights, restaurants, bars, and shops. Literature lovers can spend hours browsing the historic Livraria Lello bookshop in Porto, or you can take photos at the gorgeous Dom Luís I Bridge and buy a bottle of port to take home. In Braga, see historic palaces such as the 11th-century Castle of Guimarães, or visit Peneda-Gerês National Park.
Where are the best beaches in Portugal?
Portugal is blessed with an enormous Atlantic coastline. Many holidaymakers flock to the beaches of the Algarve in the south, where you'll find Portugal's warmest weather. Here are some beach holiday highlights.
- Visit Albufeira, a charming old town with a vibrant beach and nightlife;
- Lagos, to snap photos at the cliffs and soak up the sun on the white sands;
- Praia do Barril, to enjoy watersports such as windsurfing and diving, along with a calmer vibe than some of the larger resorts of the Algarve; and
- Cabo de Santa Maria, which is close to the main regional city of Faro but secluded enough to get plenty of privacy in unspoilt surroundings.