Portugal holidays are your gateway to a host of sun-kissed experiences, enchanting riverside cities and vibrant capitals brimming with culture.
The country is blessed with a gorgeous climate, perfect for relaxing on the golden beaches that line its Algarve coast.
But there is more to Portugal than sun, sea and sand. In Faro you can explore rich nature reserves and the city’s ancient Cidade Velha, home to atmospheric streets and Moorish-style architecture.
The country’s capital, Lisbon, buzzes with life and there’s the chance to seek out famous landmarks such as the Belém Tower and 18th-century Queluz National Palace.
Porto, the country’s second city, is home to acclaimed restaurants on the banks of the Douro river, while centuries of history and culture are waiting to be discovered within its cobblestoned alleys.
Begin your adventure in this spectacular destination by browsing our Portugal holidays.
From medieval castles and sleepy villages to busy cities and glorious golden beaches, there’s always plenty to do on a holiday to Portugal.
Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a place made for exciting experiences. Take a trip up steep, cobblestone streets on one of the city’s charming, old-style trams.
Visit the Estrela Basilica, an 18th-century church with a spectacular dome.
Head to the National Museum of Ancient Art and see work by the likes of Bosch, Tiepolo and Sequeira. Afterwards, check out the views from Sao Jorge Castle.
Parts of this hilltop castle are over 1,200 years old and it’s a place that has served as a military barracks, royal residence and more recently, the city museum.
Lisbon might be the capital, but the country’s second city also has plenty going for it. Porto is one of Europe’s culinary capitals and the streets here are full of cafes, steakhouses, Portuguese-style tapas bars and more.
Wander along the Douro river, where cellars line the waterfront and the city’s synonymous drink of Port is made.
You’ll find stunning architecture at the Palácio do Bolsa, while Livraria Lello is equally enchanting.
Portugal’s Algarve region has a magical coastline that boasts crystal clear waters, rugged cliffs and countless hidden coves. This world-famous area has a beach for every mood.
Praia de Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo and Praia da Marinha are three of the best and all within an hour of Faro, which also has a pristine beach of its own.
The biggest city in the region, Faro also has an attractive marina, grand plazas and a charming old town.
Fado is a musical representation of Portugal’s heart and soul, with a story that can be traced to the early part of the 19th century.
Restaurants and bars that specialise in this style of music are a great place to visit during your Portugal holiday.
Top venues in Lisbon include the Tasca do Chico bar in the Bairro Alto district, and Alfama’s Clube de Fado. Porto’s Casa da Mariquinhas is also well worth checking out.
Spectacular Sintra is a short journey from Lisbon and one of Europe’s best-preserved ancient Moorish settlements. Head to the Castelo dos Mouros, a hilltop fort overlooking the pastel-coloured houses below.
Explore Pena Palace, built in the 19th century by Dom Fernando II. This colourful hilltop castle is said to have been the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Cinderella palace, with its vibrant palette and impressive artworks.
Afterwards, head into the heart of bustling Sintra town for a wander along the cobblestone streets, marvelling at traditional Moorish architecture.
Many people choose to stay in the Baixa district when visiting Lisbon. This area is packed with restaurants and shops and is handily placed for some of the capital’s main tourist attractions as well as the vibrant Cais do Sodre neighbourhood.
Good accommodation options here include the five-star Avenida Palace, which is less than a mile from Lisbon Cathedral.
Porto is an excellent location for a holiday in Portugal. Staying in the heart of the city by the Douro River gives you easy access to shops, tourist attractions and restaurants.
Top accommodation choices include the five-star Pestana Porto, which is a 10-minute walk from Bolhao Market, and the four-star Porto Royal Bridges Hotel, where the amenities include a restaurant, coffee shop and bar.
Faro is packed with great places for a luxury holiday in Portugal. Take a look at the four-star Hotel Faro & Beach Club, which has an outdoor pool and on-site spa services.
For an extra touch of luxury, head west along the coast and check in at the five-star Pine Cliffs Hotel.
It has indoor and outdoor pools, shops, a hair salon and more than 200 air-conditioned rooms.
The euro (EUR) is the currency of Portugal. ATMs are widely available and most shops and restaurants will accept debit and credit cards.
Taxis are probably the most convenient way to get around the cities, while bus and train services, along with car hire options, are also available.
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Visitors will find that English is widely spoken, particularly in the country’s main tourist areas.
Key dates in the Portuguese calendar include Liberty Day (25 April), Portugal Day (10 June), Republic Day (5 October) and Independence Day (1 December).
Portugal holidays deliver a feast of delights for food lovers. The first local delicacy you should sample is a platter of freshly grilled sardines, or sardinhas assadas. Another must-try is acorda, a broth-type dish made with thinly cut bread, garlic and poached eggs.
Pastel del Nata, delicious custard tarts, can be found at most food markets and bakeries.
Cozido a portuguesa is made from slow-boiled meats, smoked sausages and vegetables. The seafood stew known as caldeirada is always a tasty treat.
Portugal is a melting pot of many different cultural influences. Fado music plays an important part in life here, along with folk dance styles such as bailarico and corridinho.
Literary figures who loom large in the national story include Luís de Camoes, a 16th-century poet with a flair for language to rival that of Shakespeare and Virgil. You can visit his tomb at Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.
You’ll find that the country’s people are warm and friendly and always ready for a chat over a drink and a snack.
One likely topic of conversation is football, which is hugely popular thanks to the exploits of clubs like Benfica and Porto.
Portugal has a history that stretches back tens of thousands of years. The Romans, Greeks, Celts, Phoenicians and Carthaginians all had a presence on the Iberian Peninsula at one time.
Portugal became a major European power in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The achievements of explorers like Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias during the same period are commemorated by the Padrao dos Descobrimentos – or ‘Monument to the Discoveries’ – in Lisbon.
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