Start planning your family tour in Portugal
Raise the bar for your next family holiday and visit Portugal and its white sandy beaches, colourful towns and endless family-friendly activities. Whether you and your family want to see traditional Portuguese sites and get taste of the real deal, or just relax beautiful beaches and enjoy a well deserved rest, you’ll be able to organise a trip that you’ll all love. Visit Lisbon to see culture, art and history or the West coast for action-packed adventures, or relax in the South as you sip freshly squeezed orange juice (or even some delicious local wine for the adults.)
Best things to see and do in Portugal with kids
What to see as a family
Portugal is the perfect place to visit castles, monasteries, cities and towns as a family in a fun and exciting setting. On a trip to Lisbon, visit the Bairro Alto, a central district of the city, featuring shops, cafes, restaurants and the famous Lisbon trams. Nature-loving families should visit one of the country’s national parks, many of which are home to beautiful sites such as the Cabo Da Roca, a lighthouse and incredible coastal area. Arrabida is another must-see for those looking to see the natural beauty of Portugal, with an ancient monastery, beautiful cliffs, mountain ranges, impressive forts, and mysterious caves. Step back in time together on a family day tour to any one of Portugal’s incredible old forts, monasteries, castles and historical sites. With so much choice, you won’t know how to choose between Jerónimos Monastery, Sao Jorge Castle, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira and many more. In any of Portugal’s towns and cities you’ll find a range of family-friendly accommodation and places to stay, with local restaurants, bars and cafes all around, even an evening walk around you hotel is bound to turn up some hidden gems as you find small local shops and hunt for a bargain to bring back with you as a souvenir of you and your family’s time here.
What to do as a family
Portugal is the perfect place for a first family road trip. Not only is this way of travelling good value, but Portugal’s great roads, clear signposts, beautiful coastal routes and abundance of fascinating stopovers make it the ideal choice for a family looking for a classic road trip without any stress. Drive around central Portugal or embark on the trip if a lifetime around the coasts, seeing some of the country’s most famous beaches such as Praia Da Rocha, whose alcoves, clean sands and family holiday vibe make it a favourite for family travel. For those families who don’t fancy driving, there’s always public transport. Take a first class train ride from Lisbon to The Algarve in the South and see the sites along the way, with your final destination being one of the beach resorts that bring visitors to this part of the country every year. Portugal has so many unforgettable activities on offer for families; ride a tuk tuk through cobbled streets, visit an enormous waterpark, taste traditional custard tarts or learn to make them yourselves in a family cooking class. After all that, you might have time to visit family favourites such as the zoo or oceanarium, or even see the real thing on a whale watching trip off The Azores.
Best time to visit Portugal as a family
Portugal may be famed for its long, scorching summers but it truly is a year-round destination. If it’s sun you want, then the best time to visit is during peak season (the beginning of May to the end of August) where the days are long and the weather is almost always perfect, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees centigrade during August. If you’re looking to avoid these high temperatures then late April to mid-may or September is the best time to visit. You’ll also avoid the crowds that appear during peak season, meaning that beaches will be emptier, popular sites less crowded and prices slightly cheaper. Local school holidays are also a time to avoid, if you and your family want to avoid the crowds; if you can, try to visit slightly outside of peak times.
Family holiday tips for travelling to Portugal
With a little research and knowledge you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your family trip to Portugal, here a few tips and tricks to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your tour:
- As with any popular tourist destination, you and your family may encounter pickpockets when visiting some of the more crowded sites. These are easy to tackle by simply making sure that any valuables are kept safe and sound back at your hotel and that you don’t carry large amounts of cash.
- Plan ahead to ensure that you can plan a trip to suit everyone’s needs. With very young children, try to stick to more off-the-beaten-path destinations to avoid any unwanted stress caused by larger crowds, reduced availability or raised prices.
- Try to learn a few key phrases in the local language. This will be helpful in any situation and even if you never need it to communicate, it can be fun and educational for children to learn about the local language and culture. If nothing else, everyone likes to be greeted and thanked in their native language.
- Bring mosquito spray. In some parts of Portugal, there can be a lot of Mosquitoes which can be an annoyance for younger children.