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Plan your next Portugal holiday

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Cheap Portugal holidays and where to go on your next trip

If you're thinking of taking a holiday to Portugal, then you've come to the right place. Portugal is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, after all - and for good reason! This country is home to diverse regions that cater to every sort of holiday, from a relaxing beach holiday to an activity-filled city break.

This variety is what makes a Portugal holiday so ideal for those travelling solo, as a couple or in a group - you'll always find something that everyone will be happy to do. Even better yet, Portugal enjoys good weather almost all year round, which means that a trip here is never a bad idea.

From the best destinations to the top things to do, read on for more inspiration. What's more, you'll find all our cheapest Portugal holiday deals right here. You'll have everything you need to start planning your own adventure to Portugal.

The best holiday destinations in Portugal

While Portugal may not be the largest country in Europe, it certainly packs in a lot to see. There are the two big coastal cities - Lisbon and Porto - which have plenty going on to keep you occupied. To the south, you'll find the ever-popular Algarve, filled with modern beach resorts and family-friendly attractions. Lastly, there are many hidden gems in the country's interior just waiting to be discovered.

Here are some of our top holiday destinations in Portugal.

1. Lisbon

Portugal's capital city boasts superb cuisine, fascinating history and buzzing nightlife. This makes it perfect for a city break! Head to the Bairro Alto quarter, where it feels like the party never stops or wander along Avenida da Liberdade, known for its designer clothing stores. Don't forget to explore ancient Alfama, where you'll find narrow streets, friendly taverns and cosy restaurants.

Food lovers should head straight for the Time Out Food Market in central Lisbon. Here, you'll get to try the famous pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tart) and bifana sandwiches (a bread roll containing marinated pork).

2. Porto

Porto is home to beloved port wine and attractive, colourful architecture. The Douro River and the wider region are also famous for its wine as well as providing a beautiful setting for a more relaxed holiday.

Located on the northwest coast of Portugal, Porto may have a more relaxed feel compared to Lisbon but it still has an enormous range of sights, restaurants, bars and shops. Bookworms will be delighted by the unique and historic Livraria Lello bookshop, while taking a photo at the gorgeous Dom Luís I Bridge is an unmissable experience. Don't forget to buy a bottle of port to take home!

3. Faro

Located in southern Portugal, the capital of the popular Algarve region is the place to discover hidden beaches along the coast or to go golfing with friends.

Wander through Faro's stunning old town, marvel at the many churches or, if you're feeling a bit more active, head to the Ria Formosa, an incredible nature reserve that hugs 60km of coastline. For a more relaxing way to see the sights of Faro, buy a ticket for the Comboio Turística - the tourist train - which features a 45-minute route taking in the city's most famous sights.

4. Coimbra

This charming central Portugal city is home to one of Europe's oldest universities. Packed with winding medieval streets to discover, Coimbra gives visitors many reasons to linger.

The botanical gardens within the university grounds are stunning, as is the famous Manuel Braga Park. The city has two World Heritage Sites and a number of excellent museums and galleries; check out the Museu Nacional Machado de Castro, which has Roman tunnels running underneath.

5. Braga

Located in northern Portugal, Braga boasts some of the country's most memorable churches, including the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, which sits atop a grand baroque stairway. Other highlights include the Castle of Guimarães and Peneda-Gerês National Park.

When you're not too busy enjoying the city's many festivals and events, sample the regional wine, vinho verde. The name literally means green wine, although this really refers to the wine being young rather than its colour. Crisp and light, it's the perfect drink to enjoy during a pitstop.

6. Evora

A true hidden gem, you can find Evora in central Portugal. This city has ancient beginnings and you can see evidence of this in attractions like Evora's Roman temples, Capelo dos Ossos and the city's cathedral.

Don't miss out on the chance to wander around Evora's well-preserved Old Town. Full of maze-like streets, restaurants, bars, cafes and public squares, it's an ideal place to explore at your leisure. For an unforgettable day trip, take the 30-minute drive out to the Almendres Cromlech, a megalithic site dotted with massive standing stones.

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Find more inspiration for your next holiday

Where are the best beaches in Portugal?

Portugal is blessed with an enormous Atlantic coastline - and this is a major driving factor behind the country's ongoing popularity. Many holidaymakers head straight for the beaches to the south, as this is where you'll find Portugal's warmest weather.

Ready to go? Here are some of our top beaches in Portugal.

Praia da Oura, Albufeira

Albufeira is home to many stunning sandy beaches, including Praia da Oura, which is located a few kilometres away and has bars and restaurants nearby.

Meia Praia, Lagos

Lagos' Meia Praia Beach is a huge sandy stretch that is still somewhat less frequented by tourists. The beach is popular with surfers thanks to its crashing waves, but it's also a great place to relax thanks to its relatively undisturbed and natural setting.

Praia do Barril, Tavira

To enjoy watersports such as windsurfing and diving, along with a calmer vibe than some of the larger resorts of the Algarve, head to Praia do Barril in Tavira. With crystal-clear water and white sand, it's one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire Algarve region.

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The best things to do in Portugal

Have you already booked your Portugal holiday? From historical places to gorgeous natural scenery, there's so much to see and do when you're in Portugal. Here are some of the best things to do while you're there.

  1. Marvel at the historical monuments of Lisbon's Belem district

  2. Take a day trip out to the fairytale attractions in Sintra

  3. Visit Portugal's islands of Madeira and the Azores

  4. Explore Ria Formosa by boat

  5. Sample delicious pasteis de nata

  6. Go port tasting in Porto

  7. Stop by the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte

  8. Discover Evora's archaeological treasures

  9. Soak up the sun at the Algarve's beautiful beaches

  10. Tour one of the oldest universities in the world in Coimbra

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When is the best time to visit Portugal?

Although most visitors make their way to Portugal from spring to autumn, Portugal's weather is milder than in the UK, making a wintertime visit here very possible. Here is a breakdown of every season in Portugal, and what to expect when you're there.

🌸 Spring: Widely regarded as the best time to visit Portugal, this is when the country's natural scenery goes into bloom. The weather is also warming up and there are fewer crowds, so it's a good time to explore the country's interior as well as the southern coast.

☀️ Summer: This is Portugal's peak season, when holidaymakers flock to the Algarve, as well as Porto and Lisbon. The country's interior is prone to heatwaves at this time, so it's best to avoid these areas during the summer months. Make sure to book your summer holiday well in advance.

🍁 Autumn: Still warm and with plenty of events on the go, autumn is another top season to visit Portugal - and most of the crowds will have left too! This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some of summer hotspots in the Algarve.

❄️ Winter: With the weather still being mainly pleasant, winter is the time for cosy city breaks. Head to Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra or Evora; indulge in the local cuisine, take advantage of low-season prices and explore to your heart's content.

The Algarve for couples

The Algarve has established itself as the ultimate destination for couples, honeymooners and other romantic getaways. Naturally offering the perfect wedding venue, especially along the coast, the picturesque mixture of beaches, islands and cliffs makes Portugal the ideal getaway for any couple. Escape to the atmospheric town of Faro, where the narrow streets and fishing village vibe create a warm setting that could come straight out of the pages of a romantic novel.

If you enjoy partying as a couple and are looking to sip cocktails and dance the night away, then head over to Albufeira. This popular beach town offers affordable restaurants, bars and hotels that allow couples to get the most out of their romantic holiday. The Montechoro Strip is your one-stop street for food and nightlife; the vibrant atmosphere here will have you dancing until the sun comes up - with the option of a full breakfast nearby in the morning!

To feel like you've truly gotten away from it all, head off to Sagres, located in the Algarve's extreme west. The wild natural beauty here is unforgettable, with wind-carved cliffs and crashing waves. Some top attractions here include Cabo de São Vicente (stay for the sunsets) and Sagres Fort. This a must-visit for couples who love exploring the outdoors; it's also a popular surfing spot.