When it comes to the perfect vacation or a well-needed family holiday, you need to consider where in the world to visit. If you would like to discover a country with mountains, beaches, culture and history you will find it in a lot of cities in Portugal, a place that you can choose to visit alone or with your kids or teenagers. There’s a lot to do! We will try to show you the best part of the country where you can go with your family and enjoy the best vacations of your life. When it comes to getting time away, families are looking for safety, nature, beautiful landscapes and safe beaches and all of this they can find in Portugal.
Which Part of Portugal Is Best for Families?
With so much to see in Portugal, where you visit with your family depends on your own preference. If you like big cities you should go to Lisbon or Porto but if you prefer places with less population and nature you should choose the Alentejo region or the islands (Azores & Madeira). You can go Glamping or stay in the sea/river view Resort. It’s up by you, but the options are great!
Top 5 Places in Portugal for Families to Go
Lisbon – The Capital
The land of the poet’s inspiration, Lisbon is the heart of the country and the centre of the economy. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the country’s biggest city; it is continental Europe’s westernmost capital. Local and international companies are situated in the capital with a cosmopolitan spirit of life. You can visit museums like Mosteiro dos Jerónimos or Torre de Belém and boating in Tejo River or just enjoy the view. You can also climb to the São Jorge Castle but prepare good shoes as Lisbon is known as the city of the “seven hills”: São Jorge, São Vicente, São Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas e Sant’Ana. After you visit the seven hills, you need to pick a great restaurant.
Best restaurants for kids in Lisbon:
- Pop Cereal
- In Bocca al Lupo
- Monte Mar Lisboa
- A Sala
- Ground Burger
- Pois Café
Those are really cool kids restaurants in a really cool city that is Lisbon.
But the dress code will not always be casual wear. Prepare your best suit/dress as Lisbon has the best concerts and shows in the country. In places like Teatro D. Maria, history comes alive and the mix of the modern with the classical allows one to explore how people lived before.
If you visit Lisbon in the Summer months of June or July, you can also go to one of the best festivals in the world. NOS Alive is located in Algés and it’s a stage for artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lumineers, Alt-J, Nothing But Thieves and many more. Although it is not on every year, you can also go to Rock in Rio Lisboa, a festival from Brazil with a mix of Brazilian and international music.
Porto – Douro region
Welcome to the north of Portugal. The Douro River is the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula. Taking a vacation in Porto is cheaper than in Lisbon but if you want to explore the Douro region (you should) don’t look at it from the money side of things. Discover one of the most beautiful places in the world and sail through the Douro Valley. Known by the vineyards along the region, Douro is a magical place to stay. A lot of the hotels were built with the vineyard view in the mountains so it’s amazing to relax with your family and It’s not expensive. Porto is number 18 on a list of about 50 Affordable Vacations. Also, if you like football, you can visit Estádio dos Dragões where José Mourinho coached the Futebol Clube do Porto team.
Where to stay in Douro
- Quinta do Pessegueiro
- Vila Galé Douro
- Quinta de São Bernardo – Winery & Farmhouse
- Six Senses
Évora – Alentejo region
Known by the hidden gem of Portugal with a low percentage of the population in Évora you will find plenty of historical buildings and museums to show your kids. You can run and enjoy good food in typical restaurants.
Algarve – The beaches
Probably the best known Portugal region and one of the best in the world, Algarve has beaches with gold and soft sand. Vilamoura, Portimão, Faro, Alvor, Tavira and Lagos are just a few beaches that you will find in the Algarve and will feel safe for families. In Praia dos 2 irmãos (Alvor) you will find a relaxing place to go to the beach and go out to dinner. Eat a fish in an Ababuja restaurant and take a walk on the riverside. There’s a lot to say about Algarve but you just need to see it for yourself.
Parks for the Kids
Most of the AquaParks are in Algarve but you also can find them in the north of Portugal. Here a list of a few in Algarve:
- Slide & Splash
- Aqualand Big One
- AquaShow Family Park
Taking your kids to a park is always the best part of the holidays (for them of course). But choose parks where you can also enjoy huge slides and pools. In Zoomarine for example you can also find animals like dolphins or seals but also a lot of bird species and you can feel the ambience with the animals.
Pico, Açores – The Island
Pico Island is one of the 9 islands in the Archipelago and the second-largest island of the Azores. In Pico Island, you have a lot of attractions like Gruta das Torres, Museu dos Baleeiros, Casa da Montanha. Then you have many nautical activities like watching dolphins, diving,
mountain climbing…. The island is known for its natural pools, made up from black rock
Who to get to Pico Azores
Visit Azores should be one on your bucket list. It’s very easy to get to the island. Most of the airlines fly to Ponta Delgada – the larger island and the capital but from this island, you can go to Pico by air or by boat.
Here are some travel tips:
If you live in UK – Ryanair ( Stansted – Ponta delgada)
If you live in Ireland – You should go to Lisbon and take a flight to Pico Island
If you live in USA – Azores Airlines (Boston – Ponta Delgada | Boston – Terceira or Oakland – Terceira)
Is It Safe to Travel to Portugal?
Yes, Portugal is a safe country and adopted safe measures to receive tourists with open arms. For example, the National Tourist Authority – Turismo de Portugal has recently created a Portugal Travel Insurance for all tourists wishing to visit the country during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic. To make sure everything was safe, they created a Safe & Clean stamp. Places with the stamp are certified of good measures and almost 17.000 places in all of the country have the stamp from restaurants, hotels, airports, museums, golf camps etc. The Safe & Clean Stamp is valid until 30th April 2021. Also, Portugal was one of the first countries to receive #SafeTravels recognition. This means that it’s a safe country to travel to.
Portugal is one of the top 20: Best Family Travel Destinations Worldwide so join your family and go to Portugal for hiking in Douro valley or to relax in the amazing beaches.
Poem about Lisbon:
Alguém diz com lentidão:
Eu sei. É uma rapariga
descalça e leve,
um vento súbito e claro
algumas rugas finas
a espreitar-lhe os olhos,
a solidão aberta
nos lábios e nos dedos,
e degraus e degraus até ao rio.Eu sei. E tu, sabias?
Eugénio de Andrade, in Até Amanhã, 1956