Saturday, June 15 2024

When the time comes to book the annual family holiday, most people are looking to save money and expensive trips to exotic locations are more likely to be binned in favour of a cheaper holiday to Europe.  But just because you can’t afford to go and spend an idyllic week in Mauritius or Cancun, you should not feel like your holiday aspirations have been downgraded to an unacceptable level. Neither should you have to compromise on taking a hot destination where the only thing it has going for itself is the beach, only the beach and nothing else what so ever.

If you’re looking for a destination north of the equator, reasonable in price and with many decent activities on offer, you are left with few options that tick all these boxes. However, Portugal has just as much to offer as any exotic destination, and unlike some long haul destinations, it won’t take you half as long to get there.

Golfing Holidays in Portugal

Portugal is a great place to visit if you are a keen golfer. Many of the top resorts in the Algarve, including the Four Seasons Vilamoura, have professional standard golf courses, so if your idea of heaven is teeing off on a challenging fairway with the sea sparkling in the distance, Portugal is the perfect place to spend your holiday in the sun.  And if you have to take your family along for the ride, fear not because there will be plenty on offer to keep them amused while you play golf.

Olhos de Água photo
Photo by Ed_So

Olhos de Água, Faro, Portugal

Sunbathe on Stunning Beaches

Portugal is well known for its beautiful beaches and unlike some European countries you won’t have to fight for space between hundreds of other holidaymakers.  There are some truly amazing stretches of sand along the Portuguese coast, some of which are often pretty much deserted due to their inaccessibility, so if you want the pleasure of sunbathing in total privacy, go in search of the white sandy beach at Adraga near the town of Sintra or head up to the ‘green coast’ where there are plenty of wild, unspoilt beaches.  But if you want the convenience of bars, restaurants and other facilities nearby, there is a lovely 30 km stretch of sand at Praia da Caparica to the south of Lisbon, although it can get busy during peak season.

Praia da Adraga photo
Photo by Oleg.A

Praia da Adraga, Portugal

Go Nightclubbing in Top Resorts

Portugal has plenty of nightlife for those who want to eat, drink and be very merry from dusk until dawn.  Lisbon, the country’s capital, has lots of restaurants, bars and clubs and most bars don’t close until 2am, so revellers can easily hop from a bar to a club and party until the sun rises.  If you want to experience Lisbon nightlife, the waterfront is the place to be, but the ancient quarter of Bairro Alto is also worth a look.  You can also look forward to a varied selection of bars and clubs if you go to any of the resorts along the Algarve.

Surfing on the Portuguese Coast

Portugal has great opportunities for surfing and wind surfing.  The Atlantic Ocean provides enough of a swell to keep even the most experienced surfers happy and once you have had enough of testing your skills in the surf, you can hang out with other surfers and enjoy some delicious seafood. The best places for surfing in Portugal include Cascais, near Lisbon, Ericeira, known as Portugal’s ‘surfing mecca’, Lagos, and the town of Peniche, which plays host to the best surfers in the world at the annual Rip Curl Pro festival every year.

Go Scuba Diving in Portugal

Scuba diving in Albufeira and the Algarve is a popular activity during the summer season, although it is possible to dive all year round because the water temperature never falls below 55 degrees F.  Scuba diving enthusiasts can look forward to exploring man-made and natural coral reefs, caves, ridges, and even submerged WW2 wrecks.  And if you have a great time exploring the underwater world of Portugal, you may wish to gain your PADI certification at one of the many accredited dive schools.

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