Beaches, golf and island delights
Portugal was voted World’s Leading Destination 2018 at the World Travel Awards, and is a land of two halves — the north is home to rolling vineyards overlooking Costa Verde, and in the south you’ll find the Algarve, with stunning beaches, lush landscapes and exotic Arabic influences. The island of Madeira is famous for its wine, hiking trails and beautiful scenery.
- The best way to get off the beaten track and discover your own coves and beaches is to hire a car
- Madeira is a hiker's paradise with miles of coastal, mountain and canal paths
- The harbour town of Vilamoura is the most popular resort for golf enthusiasts
- Many of the spa hotels in Portugal offer personalised programmes, tailored just for you
- Ever-popular with families, there are a great choice of family hotels, especially in the Algarve
Best time to visit Portugal & Madeira
Portugal has a favourable climate of long sunny days and mild winters, with the Algarve having short winters, early springs and hot summers. Madeira has a beautiful sub-tropical climate.
Portugal & Madeira holiday highlights
Old-world charm unites with a designer ambience in historic Lisbon, Portugal's hilly capital. The coast is home to beautiful beaches and a Moorish castle offering spectacular views over the city and its bay. The Cascais-Estoril coastline is directly west of Lisbon and its golden beaches are very popular.
Pronounced Kush- Kaish and once a sleepy fishing village, this coastal town has grown into a cosmopolitan resort that's popular with locals and tourists alike. Take time away from the bustling beaches and wander along winding lanes to find a small, car-free old town lined with boutique shops, museums and charming restaurants, luring you in with the aroma of chorizo.
This stunning region is renowned for its incredible beaches, unrivalled golf courses, fantastic seafood and hand-painted pottery. Emerald hills are dotted with white-washed villas and the mountains offer beautiful scenery and traditional villages. Witness thunderous waves crash against spectacular caves at the ‘Mouth of Hell’, enjoy watersports or fun waterparks and spot whales and dolphins on boat trips along the coast.
Quinta do Lago & Vilamoura
One of the Algarve’s newer resorts, Quinta do Lago is popular for its string of championship golf courses. Away from the green, head to the beach to feel the warm sand between your toes or spend some time in the resort centre, where boutique shops, world-class restaurants and vibrant bars await.
A trendy harbourfront resort, Vilamoura has two sandy beaches that lie either side of the marina. The quieter side is ideal for couples who are looking for peace in the sun, whilst the other, Falesia beach is lined with bars, restaurants and buzzes with energy. In the centre, you’ll find a selection of boutique shops, trendy bars, casinos and nightclubs. Local activities include cycling, horse riding and snorkelling.
This lively resort has a modern seafront that's ideal for families, groups and couples alike as the Blue Flag beaches are long and golden, dotted with an array of bars and restaurants. Its traditional town centre is the perfect place to spend lazy afternoons. However, it’s in the evening that the centre comes alive, where clubs entertain until the early hours.
Lagos & Sagres
Succumb to the ultramarine world sparkling under your board in Lagos and Sagres, where the waves get bigger and better. Situated on the southwest coast of the Algarve, Sagres is a surfer’s paradise and breezy beaches and warm temperatures create ideal conditions. Enjoy a variety of watersports in this laid back resort.
Madeira’s capital sits high on a hillside on the island’s south coast and offers a picturesque bay and cultural heritage. Discover a blend of old and new, from the boutiques, chic cafés and stylish restaurants in the modern marina area, to the cobbled streets and colonial buildings of the old town.
The Madeira Botanical Gardens are renowned for their collection of 2500 exotic plant species. Take the cable car from Funchal to the small village of Monte for incredible views of the Atlantic.
This charming village lies east of Funchal and offers glorious sea views from its elevated setting. Stroll along cobblestone streets to the 18th-Century church, discover beautiful scenery by hiking through the surrounding hills and valleys, play golf or dive in crystal-clear waters at nearby Canico de Baxio.
Recommended Portugal & Madeira Hotels
7 nights, Room & Breakfast, 25 Mar '19
5 nights, Room & Breakfast, 27 Jan '19
7 nights, Room & Breakfast, 16 Oct '19
7 nights, Room & Breakfast, 02 Feb '19