Family Holidays in Portugal
Portugal is ideal for family gateways, the country has inspiring landscapes, sandy beaches for the little ones, outdoor activities for the whole family, and rivers to explore. Visitors to Portugal will be pleasantly surprised by the level of service and care offered to families, especially when traveling with young children. Everything to make families feel at home.
This guide will provide tips and advice for families traveling to Portugal.
Serra da Estrela
We choose first Serra da Estrela, Portugal´s highest mountain as the perfect scenario for a few relaxing days in contact with nature. And your little ones will love to discover all the secrets and charm of this place.
We suggest a family adventure by starting to follow the course of some major Portuguese rivers from their sources: the Mondego at Mondeguinho, the Zêzere at Covão de Ametade and the Alva at the Rossim Valley are breathtaking places. Or you can admire glacier valleys at Loriga, Manteigas or Covão do Urso and Covão Grande.
In the warmest months, the best suggestion will certainly be the 25 Lagoon Itinerary, leading you to some refreshing locations.
Along the way, you will discover an impressive landscape with enchanted forests. And your little ones will love to play with the Estrela Mountain Dog, not only an excellent livestock guardian but also known for his love of children and family.
If you choose wintertime for your holidays, Serra da Estrela is the only place in Portugal where you can try skiing, go sledding, snowboarding, or riding a snowmobile.
And to recharge your batteries you must taste the most famous product in the region – the Serra da Estrela cheese. Or better you can learn how to make this delicious cheese in a funny family activity.
Peneda Gerês National Park
The Peneda-Gerês National Park, in the far northwest of Portugal between Upper Minho and Trás-os-Montes, is the only Portuguese protected area classified as such. Its natural beauty makes it one of the most impressive places in Portugal. You will discover beautiful rivers, waterfalls, and preserved ancient values and traditions.
You might sometimes manage to spot a roebuck (the Park’s symbol) or its predator, the Iberian wolf. More common are the ponies, small wild horses that run free in the mountains. You may also come across the Barrosã breed of cattle or the dark-haired Castro Laboreiro dogs, guarding the herds that move to the rhythm of the seasons, between the mild and the wintry.
Peneda Gerês National Park is a perfect destination for hiking, trekking, horse riding, and more nature activities. Take a hike on the mountain and see the effects of the last glaciation, meet the locals in the traditional village, and indulge in the local cuisine.
Don’t forget to visit the castles in Castro Laboreiro and Lindoso, from the Megalithic period, testimonies of the Roman occupation.
And another suggestion for your memorable holidays in Peneda Gerês is to visit the rural village of Sistelo, also known as “little Portuguese Tibet”. It has in its fabulous terraces a unique identity mark in the whole country; shaped over hundreds of years by human intervention, they are the ex-libris of the population and true symbols of the secular coexistence between Man and Nature.
On summer hot days we suggest a family picnic, and a wonderful day spent at Sistelo river beach, with its calm and clear waters. But just a warning: The beach is not guarded so you need to have full attention to your little ones, but the magnificent surroundings will make it worth it! And don´t forget to use sunscreen, this region, although surrounded by mountains, is very hot.
Arrábida National Park
Paradise does exist and it is in Portugal, it is Arrábida National Park.
Within these varied landscapes, you will discover a region rich with activities and landscapes. There are challenging hiking routes, scenic mountain roads, paradise beaches, and a coastline ideal for sea-kayaking.
The beaches of the Serra da Arrábida coastline (known as the Portinho da Arrábida) are some of the most beautiful in Portugal. Turquoise sea waters lap soft white sands, with steep forested mountains rising to the rear.
Like a wall of green sticking out over the Atlantic, the hills offer shelter to small coves of white sand where, despite being on the edge of the ocean, the sea is almost free of waves. Perfect for your little ones to enjoy a day at the beach in safety.
The Serra da Arrábida is a popular location for adventure activities, including coasteering, climbing, and mountain biking. You can venture out with your family, discovering the mountain through the different trails, with different levels of challenge, which can be done without problems by the children. But don´t forget the sunscreen!
You should also take a boat trip to the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, a very special bird observatory, with more than 250 species to be sighted. With luck, your trip will be enriched by the symbol of the estuary – the dolphins accompanying you with their magnificent leaps.
And what about discovering the Dinosaur footprints in Cabo Espichel? The little one will not be disappointed, because the footprints will dazzle them – they are enormous!
And for a different viewpoint, a balloon flight is a great suggestion and an experience you will not forget.
Memorable moments and incredible family holidays!
Vinhais Biological Park
The region of Trás-os-Montes in the North of Portugal is a destination still unknown to many people and therefore allows you to enjoy a quiet and peaceful family holiday. Lose yourself between majestic mountains, untouched historical villages, and purifying thermal waters. And discover the genuine hospitality of people proud of their customs.
We suggest traveling with your family to this untouched nature and discovering the Vinhais Biological Park, within the Montesinho Natural Park.
Its purpose is to help interpret the landscape of the region, not only its natural components such as flora, fauna, and geology but also its cultural and historical components; nature conservation; the promotion of biodiversity, and ecotourism.
Set in beautiful surroundings it offers the opportunity to see a range of animals and birds in natural settings along a well-designed, clearly sign-posted track. It is a great destination for nature lovers and perfect for a family holiday.
Here you can feed the animals, your children will love and learn more about rural life. The days can be spent discovering the local fauna, horse riding, or spend a nice time by the park swimming pool.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the scents of nature in a memorable family retreat.
These are only some ideas for a family holiday in Portugal, but there is much more to discover, and more places to explore. Accept the challenge, pack your bags, and travel to Portugal.