Portugal Family Holidays

Hugging the western coastline of Europe, and staring out over the Atlantic, Portugal features sun-dappled beaches, gorgeous historic towns, and remote windswept islands. Family holidays in Portugal will include lazy breakfasts overlooking a cork plantation or olive farm. They will involve delicious plates of custard tarts that will revive you as you explore the backstreets of a city. And there will be wonderful evenings spent overlooking the ocean, a glass of port in hand.

There is a mass of history and the towns are a delight of cobbled streets, fairy tale palaces, and exuberant neighbourhoods. The food is incredible and the people are wonderfully welcoming. And as for the beaches, there’s something for everyone here. Some will love secluded coves accessible only by sea. Others will prefer remote cliff-backed stretches that are buffeted by giant Atlantic waves. Or you might like the long crescents of white sand on the Algarve, lined with cafes and restaurants.

Portugal family holidays, footpath to the beach, Praia da Bordeira, Carrapateira, Costa Vicentina, Algarve

The Algarve has some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world, with sea caves, secluded beaches, and sweeping crescents of pale sand

Portugal family holidays are also not just about the mainland. Sailors from this maritime nation explored far and wide. Over time they settled on the gloriously fertile island of Madeira as well as the dramatic volcanic shores of the Azores. Today these both make for an exciting destination for families. You can find other-worldly scenery and a profusion of marine wildlife.

Why take the kids?

Some of our favourite activities on a Portugal family holiday include:

  1. Wandering the backstreets of Lisbon
  2. Exploring the fairy-tale castles of Sintra
  3. Soaking up the sun on the beach
  4. Cycling along remote trails in the Alentejo
  5. Canyoning and coasteering on the Azores
  6. Dolphin and whale-watching
  7. Hiking in dramatic volcanic landscapes
  8. Wild camping on a remote beach

The Pena Palace, on top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains, can be seen from as far away as Lisbon on a clear day

A family holiday in Portugal is always going to be popular with children. On the mainland, the beautiful countryside, sensational coastline, and beguiling towns are an understandably winning combination for kids. Throw in plates of delicious seafood and a glass or three of port and the parents will be equally happy! See our blog post on holidaying in Portugal with kids for more ideas and photos.

Self-drive holidays are very easy in Portugal. They are also ideal for families because of the flexibility that they offer. Roads are well sign-posted and in great condition. We’ll be able to recommend off-the-beaten-track beaches that are ideal for a picnic. Or perhaps we can arrange bikes for you to stop and take a ride through the countryside. We’ll suggest good walking routes through the cities and great ice cream shops to keep kids well-fuelled.

Adventures in Madeira and the Azores

Azores family holidays, swimming with dolphins

Kids can enjoy snokelling and kayaking in the Azores or opt for canyoning and coasteering for an adrenaline hit

Further afield, the islands of the Azores and Madeira are just as enticing. The islands here are packed with adventurous activities that will keep children happy for days on end. There are opportunities for kayaking and scrambling along rocky coastlines. You can cycle through incredible scenery and hike to rocky peaks. And for those kids who love wildlife experiences, you can seek out dolphins and search for whales. For more inspiration check out our Azores Family Top 10 and Madeira Family Super 7 articles.

Example family itineraries in Portugal

To get an idea of a typical family itinerary, see our Highlights of Portugal trip where you visit Lisbon, Sintra, Evora, Alentejo, go wild camping on an Arrabida beach, and enjoy some downtime on the Algarve coast. If you are taken with the idea of experiencing volcanic islands in the Atlantic, see our 8-day family trip to the Azores or our 6-day family trip to Madeira.

Lisbon cafe culture, Portugal family holiday

A few days exploring Lisbon is a must with its historic backstreets, museums, and café culture

All of our Portugal itineraries are bespoke which means that they are tailor-made for your own specific family. Although it’s a small country, there is masses to see in Portugal. We’ll be able to suggest an itinerary to suit your family. We’ll take into account what kind of balance you want between adventure and relaxation as well as your budget and the ages of your children.

Portugal family holidays - family kayaking on the Algarve

Sea kayaking is the ideal way to explore the Algarve’s hidden beaches and sea caves on our Portgual family holidays


Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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