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Portugal

Portugal tailor-made holidays

Introduction

Portugal remains as popular as ever, especially on the Algarve coastline. Long sandy beaches and a string of golf courses make up the Algarve, where mass development has ensured an influx of package holidaymakers. Nonetheless it is easy to escape the busy resorts and find a tranquil spot in the surrounding countryside, where you'll stumble across medieval towns, olive groves, vineyards and heritage sites.

The likeable capital Lisbon is a relaxed port, overlooked by a ruined castle. Whitewashed, cobbled streets form a labyrinth concealing fantastic architecture and Art Nouveau shops and cafés. Visit the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos to see the tomb of Vasco de Gama, the Gulbenkian Museum for a superb art fix and the statue of Christ above the city for spectacular views before searching out tiny fado clubs and joining the jumping nightlife in Bairro Alto.

Elsewhere, Porto, at the mouth of the Douro River is more than just the sum of its port-producing suburb Vila Nova de Gaia and also boasts Roman ramparts and French style squares.

Braga is the country's most important religious centre, home to a number of colourful festivals including Semana Santa in the run up to Easter. Those interested in religion ought to also take in Alcobaca's twelfth century monastery and famous shrine.

North of Lisbon, surfers should seek out the Atlantic rollers at Enceira and Lagos, whilst walkers ought to explore the peaks of Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela and amateur geologists should descend into the extraordinary cave system at Grutas de Mira de Aire. Those looking for ruins ought to travel to Evora, a medieval town with Roman, Moorish and Renaissance remains.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
2½ hours

Time Zone
GMT +1

Currency
Euro (€) = 100 cents

Language
Portuguese

Visa
Not required

Where to go in Portugal

Azores

The Azores Archipelago lies 15,000 km west of Lisbon, isolated in the middle of the Southern Atlantic. The nine different islands that make up this chain run from the largest, Sao Miguel in the eastern Azores, to tiny Corvo in the west. Ferryboat transfers make island hopping an easy and accessible…

Southern Portugal

Southern Portugal is the most visited region of Portugal, due in a large part to the Algarve, Portugal's answer to the Mediterranean. This beautiful southern coastline, with a year-round warm climate and white sands is a beach lover's paradise and thousands flock to the resorts along this coast eac…

Lisbon & Surrounds

Portugal's modern and cosmopolitan capital, Lisbon, is located on the Atlantic coast and has been extensively redeveloped since earthquakes levelled it in the 1700s. One of the highlights of any visit to the capital is a trip across the water to nearby Cacilhas, where an elevated statue of Christ, …

Central Portugal

Bordered to the north by the Douro River and to the south by the river Tagus, Central Portugal is a region that stretches the breadth of the country. Encompassing beautiful sandy beaches and ski resorts, this diverse landscape has something for everyone. Viseu is one of the region's major cities, i…

When to go

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Top itineraries in Portugal

Pousadas of Portugal

7-day tailor-made self-drive

Portugal's Pousadas are similar to Spain's famous Paradors – a network of state-owned hotels synonymous with the history, culture and traditions of their particular region.

Porto and the Douro Valley

5-day tailor-made break from £550 pp incl. flights

Spend 2 nights in the majestic Pousada do Porto – an 18th century palace on the Douro River, just upstream from the historical old town of Porto and two nights at the luxurious Douro Royal Valley Hotel and Spa.

Portugal’s Pousada Passport

6-day tailor-made self-drive from £450 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Portugal's Pousada Passport
Book by: 01 December 2016

From castles, palaces, fortresses and monasteries, Portugal's Pousadas are spread throughout the country. Our great-value Pousada Passport entitles two people to five nights B&B accommodation across the majority of Pousadas, three vouchers offering a 20% meal discount and savings if you are over 55.

Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £895 pp incl. flights

Combine Portugal's two greatest cities, Porto and Lisbon, with five days relaxing by the beaches of the Algarve. The UNESCO city of Porto has a rich and varied history, seen in everything from its Romanesque cathedral to its neoclassical Stock Exchange.

Top places to stay in Portugal

Pestana Palace, Lisbon

Historic hotel

The luxurious Pestana Palace is located in the heart of the city's historic centre, near some of Lisbon's most important attractions including the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Mosteiro dos Jernonimos and the Centro de Congressos. The hotel itself is surrounded by beautiful, subtropical gardens, wh…

Vilalara Thalassa Resort, Algarve

Contemporary resort

A dramatic cliff-top location, lush tropical gardens, direct access to a beautiful beach and one of Portugal’s best spas are among the highlights at this luxury Algarve Resort.

Quinta Jardins do Lago, Madeira

Accommodation

Following its days as a luxurious family home, Quinta Jardins do Lago is now an elegant small luxury hotel with a charming botanical garden setting in the hills surrounding Funchal.

Royal Savoy, Madeira

Contemporary hotel

The five-star Royal Savoy boasts 172 elegant, spacious and luxurious rooms and suites - all of which feature their own balcony.

Special offers in Portugal

Portugal’s Pousada Passport

6-day tailor-made self-drive from £450 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Portugal's Pousada Passport
Book by: 01 December 2016

From castles, palaces, fortresses and monasteries, Portugal's Pousadas are spread throughout the country. Our great-value Pousada Passport entitles two people to five nights B&B accommodation across the majority of Pousadas, three vouchers offering a 20% meal discount and savings if you are over 55.

Belmond Reid's Palace, Madeira

Traditional hotel from £1,025 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Complimentary room upgrade - save £380 per couple
Book by: 30 September 2016

Unquestionably Madeira’s most famous hotel, 5-star Reid’s Palace is one of the world’s great hotel names - and will celebrate its 120th anniversary in 2011.

‭Iberian Inspiration‬‬‬

11-day escorted tour from £2,065 pp

Special
offer

Save up to £519 per couple
Book by: 15 December 2016

Explore a heady mix of treasures that range from Arabic palaces and Roman temples to Catholic cathedrals and attention-grabbing cuisine

Portugal articles

  • Our best holiday offers for late summer 2016

    As crowds die down with the blazing heat, late summer and early autumn brings temperate climates to pristine beaches and unspoilt sights. With this in mind, we’ve prepared a collection of our best last minute holiday offe

  • Just back from: Porto and Madeira

    We chat to Wexas Travel Destination Specialists Francesca Brown, Belinda Gillings and Debbie Mayger about their recent trip to Porto and Madeira. Here's what they got up to.

  • Make the most of your holiday money with the strong pound

    With British holidaymakers continuing to demand great value along with exceptional experiences, the news that the pound continues to strengthen against other currencies on the back of Britain's economic recovery comes as welcome news.

  • The best food and wine holidays in the world

    From nectorial white wines to ambrosial game meats, we have hand-picked our favourite food and wine holidays around the world, including highlights from South Africa, Chile and France.

What our clients say about our Portugal holidays

  • I only had one question about our booking regarding check in for the flights and it was expertly dealt with by Rachel while Heather was away. Both girls were excellent and professional and the booking was made speedily and with minimum effort on our part.

    Our hotel the Alma Lusa was lovely and suited us perfectly It's an old building beautifully renovated to a beautiful hotel( it was once an arsenal ) Staff are friendly and helpful from the minute you walk through the door.

    Juliet Kate J

  • The Hotel do Caracol proved to be a very good choice of hotel in Angra do Heroismo, with a convenient but peaceful location, comfortable rooms, helpful staff, and food that varied from good to excellent.

    Henry H

  • Once again excellent service from Wexas and their advisers. I will continue to use Wexas without hesitation in future.

    Frederick F

  • As ever very pleased with service and advice.

    Michael M

  • Everyone should take the pousada trip.

    Michael M

Meet our experts

Speak to someone who's been there on 020 7590 0618

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0618 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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