10+ Best Portugal Family Holidays

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Portugal is one of the trendiest destinations in Europe this year. Families will find all that is needed for the perfect holiday, from English being spoken pretty much everywhere, to beautiful sandy beaches and great kid-friendly hotels. 

The GoWhee App has made a list of 10 things you should do during your Portugal family holiday, recommended by our community of traveling parents, of course.

portugal family holidays blog cover
Family Friendly resort in Algarve. Photo by @gowheeapp

1. Spend a Week at the Beach in Algarve

Algarve has a year-round sunny, mild climate that’s perfect for swimming and splashing in the sea, during your Portugal family holidays. This region has a long history of maritime trade and fishing, and every beautiful beach is a world-class destination. The coastline is dotted with beautiful sea caves and pine strands, and the area is rich in laid-back towns and family-friendly resorts.

Must See: Families visiting the Algarve region should definitely visit some of the unique natural formations the region offers, like the Algar Seco, a kid-friendly hike leading to the breathtaking views of the caves and blue water.

Pro Tip: Stay at Pine Cliffs Resort and enjoy their private pool and pirate-themed play area.

 

>>> Discover tons of things to do with kids in Portugal, here.

 

2. A Peaceful Weekend in Nature in Sagres

Sagres is one of the most remote regions in southern Portugal, and visitors who make the journey are rewarded with windswept pine cliffs, the glorious sun, and pristine beaches. Sagres is very relaxed and in touch with nature.

Must See: Sagres is famous for its surfing and beaches, but history buffs and kids loving to visiting forts will be delighted to discover the Fortaleza de Sagres. A great fort with swiping views of the ocean and interesting exhibits.

Pro Tip: Stay at Martinhal Sagres Family Resort – they have lots of child-friendly facilities including kids’ clubs and five swimming pools.

Fortaleza de Sagres
Fortaleza de Sagres. Photo by @gowheeapp

3. Take a Day Trip to Coimbra

Coimbra is Portugal’s “City of Students.” It’s home to one of the oldest universities in Europe as well as parks, botanical gardens, and so much more. Coimbra blends traditional and modern buildings and practices and is the perfect place to spend a day.

Must See: Kids love visiting Portugal dos Pequenitos, a park that reproduces many Portuguese monuments in perfect miniature. The name means “Portugal for the Little Ones” and the park is perfect for children.

Pro Tip: If you eat at the Café Santa Cruz, you’ll be able to hear the famous Coimbra Fado music performed live nearly every evening.

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4. Explore the “Venice” of Portugal in Aveiro

Just like Venice, Aveiro is crisscrossed with canals that are navigated by boat. This charming port city on the Atlantic coast is a great spot for visiting beaches. Families love it because it’s easy to explore, especially by bike.

Must See: Hop on a colorful molicero boat for a 45-minute tour of the city by water. 

Pro Tip: Stay at the Hotel Praiagolfe– it’s a one-minute walk from the beach and has a heated pool.

5. Be Immersed in History with a Long Weekend in Sintra

Sintra is a beautiful town right out of a storybook. The ancestral home of Portugal’s royalty, there are so many amazing castles and palaces to marvel at. Kids will feel like they’ve stepped into their favorite fairy tale and will remember their Portugal family holidays for years to come..

Must See: Quinta da Regaleira, the National Palace, Pena Palace… why choose one castle when you can see them all? A small-group tour of the Sintra region is the perfect way to see everything.

Pro Tip: The suites at the Chalet Saudade Guest House are perfect for families.

>>> Get 10% OFF of your stay at Chalet Saudade with your Gowhee App membership!

Sintra view from roof top of Chalet Saudade
Roofrop views of Chalet Saudade Family Room. Photo by @gowheeapp

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6. Bring Foodie Kids to Porto for a Weekend of Delicious Cuisine

Portuguese cuisine is world-renowned, and Porto is the food capital of Portugal. There are many dishes to try, from Porto’s famed Francesinha sandwich to the pastel de nata custard tarts that are taking the world by storm. Porto is a great place to expand your kids’ palates and let them try new things. 

Must See: Visit the Cafe Santiago for the best Francesinha in town.

Pro Tip: The Cedofeita neighborhood is the best area to stay at for family travel because it’s very walkable and there’s a lot to do. 

7. Enjoy the Great Outdoors in the Azores

The Azores are some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Home to more than 30 Blue Flag beaches, amazing family-friendly hotels, beach resorts, and a warm subtropical climate, the Azores are a nature lover’s paradise. Only about 5% of the Azores are developed, so it really is a getaway where you can enjoy the great outdoors.

Must See: While many families target whale watching tours as part of their trip, parents of small children recommend skipping the long boat ride and enjoying other authentic animal experiences instead, like the “breakfast with goats” held on Sao Miguel Island.

Pro Tip: Stay at Quinta De Mó and stay in touch with nature. (Get 10%OFF at Quinta De Mo resorts with your Gowhee membership).

>>> Find tons of things to do with kids in the Azores islands, here.

breakfast with goats in Sao Miguel Island
Breakfast with goats experience in Sao Miguel Island. Photo by @Gowheeapp

8. Take a Day Trip to a Medieval Castle in Guimarães

Portugal offers many famous fortified castles, like Lisbon’s Torre Belem and the Castle of Guimarães in northern Portugal. The Castle of Guimarães’s history is linked to the very foundations of Portugal as a nation, and the Guimarães region, in general, is very historic and important.

Must See: While you’re in Guimarães, stop by the old city center. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the best examples of the development of a medieval fortification into a modern town. 

Pro Tip: Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine like a suckling pig at Monte dos Leitos. The staff is very accommodating and there’s plenty for even picky eaters to enjoy.

9. Enjoy a Carefree Vacation in Faro

Faro is a beautiful city surrounded by beautiful beaches, pristine islands, and an enormous nature reserve. It has a relaxed, carefree attitude that leaves visitors feeling refreshed. It’s a great spot to visit with kids because there’s not a lot of hustle and bustle– you can take things at your family’s pace.

Must See: Tour the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Kids will love seeing the aquatic birds that call the park home and exploring the deserted islands you can visit.

Pro Tip: Stay at Hotel Faro and enjoy ice creams in the sun at their private beach club.

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10. Get Social with a Busy Weekend in Lisbon

Lisbon is an amazing holiday destination for kids. You can visit charming old neighborhoods like Chiado, Baixa, and Alfama for a relaxed Portuguese vacation, or stay in the bustling city center and visit the city’s many museums and parks.

Must See: The old Jerónimos Monastery is a UNESCO world heritage site that was built in the 1500s. Today, it is a beautiful place to explore with the family.

Pro Tip: Lisbon has a robust public transportation system, so get a city card even if you’re only staying a few days. The city card includes access to the adorable historic tram cars and the Santa Justa Lift, which is a tower in central Lisbon that offers amazing panoramic views of the city.

>>> Discover more places to visit with kids in Lisbon

Roof tops of Lisbon
Lisbon from above. Photo by @gowheeapp

11. Take a Roadtrip Through Douro Valley

The majestic Douro River valley is the perfect place for a scenic road trip. Pack up the car with your kids’ favorite snacks and discover new adventures around every winding turn. Start in the town of Peso da Régua and follow the N222 road as it twists and turns along the river. With a car, you’re free to explore wherever you want. 

Must See: You can’t miss the town of Pinhão– it’s the prettiest town in the valley, and has lots of places to stop for a meal.

Pro Tip: Let the kids help plan your road trip. Listen to them if they want to stop somewhere, and let them help choose planned stops.

Did you like this list of things to do in Portugal with kids, share it with your friends and family, by clicking one of the options below.

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