A family vacation in Europe. Just the thought of it evokes anxiety in even the most practiced of planners. Not to worry - there are actually one-stop-shop destinations within Europe that are family-friendly and check every box: culture, history, mountains, beaches. Where does this dreamy place exist, you ask? Portugal. Whatever your family’s vacation expectations and bucket list, Portugal has it in spades. Here’s a rundown of why we love it. Get inspired, then let’s chat!
Where to Base Yourself in Portugal
Portugal has much to offer, which can at first make it a bit overwhelming to choose a homebase. If you like the buzzy, cosmopolitan city life, aim for Lisbon or Porto and take day trips from either. Or, if you want peace and quiet, choose the natural Alentejo region or the islands (Azores and Madeira).
Where to Visit in Portugal
Lisbon: No matter where you choose to base yourself in Portugal, make sure you work in a stop in Lisbon, the capital and heart of the country. There are countless museums to up your culture intake, from Torre de Belem to Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, the São Jorge Castle for your young history buffs, and those famous “seven hills” to tire out energetic littles. During the summer, attend one of the world’s best music festivals, NOS Alive in Algés (particularly if you have teenagers).
Porto-Douro Region: The gem of northern Portugal, the river town of Porto on the Douro is magical. Relax in pristine natural beauty, making adult time to visit the many vineyards. Hike in the mountains. And, if you have soccer players, consider attending Estádio dos Dragões where José Mourinho coached the Futebol Clube do Porto team.
Evora-Alentejo Region: Seeking a hidden gem? Evora is a delightful little secret with plenty of history and museums, as well as great traditional restaurants that will please all tastes. This region, between Algarve and Lisbon, is full of gorgeous landscapes, wineries, castles, a blend of cultures, and large, golden-sand beaches.
Algarve: If you’re dreaming of the Portugal beach life, set your sights on the Algarve, beloved for its beautiful swaths of soft sand, from Vilamoura to Portimao, Tavior to Lagos. There are numerous accommodations to choose from, depending on your style and group size.
Pico, Azores: If you’re an active family, consider Pico Island, the second-largest island in the Azores. Go snorkeling or diving, climb mountains or explore the Gruta das Torres lava tube.
Is Portugal Safe for Families?
In a word, yes. Not only does the country have a Safe & Clean Stamp that certifies good measures and cleanliness at almost 17,000 restaurants, hotels, airports, museums and more throughout the country, but it also recently ranked as the third safest country in the world.
So, fret not over the planning of your European family vacation. Portugal just may be the place you’re looking for. Let’s chat about your family’s style of travel, your interests, what type of accommodation you prefer and more - crafting the perfect Portuguese getaway for you.