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Adventure Holidays in Portugal

A Tapestry of Thrills, Culture, and Tradition

Portugal, with its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant gastronomy, is a dream destination for adventure holidays. This enchanting country offers a wide array of outdoor activities, unique local experiences, and family-friendly adventures that promise to create cherished memories. Delve into the exhilarating world of adventure holidays in Portugal, where the thrill of the outdoors, cultural depth, and the warmth of its people await.

Our Portugal Adventure Holidays

Find inspiration in our complete adventure holiday packages to Portugal or let us know your wishes and we will be happy to plant your perfect adventure holiday to Portugal with you!

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Portugal's adventure holidays combine thrilling outdoor activities, rich cultural immersion, and family-friendly experiences to create an unforgettable vacation. As you explore the country's picturesque landscapes, savor its gastronomic delights, and connect with its warm-hearted people, you'll be captivated by the beauty and charm of Portugal. Whether you seek a family retreat, daring escapades, or cultural enrichment, this welcoming destination guarantees an adventure that will leave you with lasting memories. So, pack your bags and set your course for Portugal - a land of thrills and cultural wonders awaits around every corner.

For families

For families

Adventure fun for the whole family

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures

Discover the great outdoors

Local experiences

Local experiences

Local gems, gastronomy and traditions

Outdoor Adventures in Portugal - an outdoor playground on diverse terrain

Portugal's opportunities for trekking and hiking all around the ccountry are sheer endless. Explore the lush green hills of the Azores, venture through the rugged landscapes of the Douro Valley, or hike the famed Rota Vicentina along the Alentejo coast. For more challenging hiking, set off to the stunning Serra da Estrela, Portugal's highest mountain range. This region is known for its exceptional hiking and off-road trails, providing a quieter alternative to popular tourist spots. The Serra da Lousã is wonderful spot for off-beat hiking and to venture through Portugal's history.
Portugal's long coastline and consistent waves make it a top surf destination. Ericeira, Peniche, and the Algarve offer fantastic surfing spots for both beginners and experienced surfers. Many surf schools also cater to families, ensuring everyone can catch their first wave.
Discovering Portugal's charming countryside on two wheels is a wonderful experience, allowing you to fully take in the beauty and traquility of Pirtugal's landscape. The Alentejo and Algarve regions are ideal for cycling tours, offering a mix of natural beauty and cultural exploration. For more challenging cycling, Serra Estrella, Sintra-Cascais or the Arouca Geopark are excellent choices for mountain biking.

Family-friendly Adventures in Portugal - a great time for adults and kids guaranteed

Portugal offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and experiences, so you can be sure that everybody will make the most of their adventure holiday to Portugal.
With it's many nature park and sheer endless coastline, Portugal is a great spot for walking and hiking. The Arouca Geopark, Sintra-Cascais, Parque das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros or Arrabida Nature Park do not only offer gentle hiking options in fantastic scenery, but they also come with a sense of adventure and the possibility to explore Portugal's history and natural heritage.
To learn more about Portugal's marine residents, visit the Lisbon Oceanarium, one of Europe's largest indoor aquariums. It's an educational and entertaining experience for children, with a diverse range of marine life. If you are choosing to visit the Algarve and the Costa Vincentina during your visit, you can chosse from different eco tours taking you along the coastline to explore the geological features and marine life by boat or foot.
Ziplining has become a popular activity in Portugal and thanks to the abundance of nature parks in Portugal, there are some great spots all across the country to experience the fantastic landscape on a thrilling zipline. Arouca Geopark, Peneda-Gerês National Park offer great fun options for the whole family or zipline from Portugal to Spain in Alcoutim!

Local Experiences in Portugal - immerse yourself in culture and traditions

Portugal has a rich cunlinary history, so indulging in some of Portugal's gastronomic delights when visiting is an absolute must. Savor the unique flavors of Portuguese cuisine. Try traditional dishes like bacalhau à brás (codfish), pastéis de nata (custard tarts), and sample local cheeses and wines at farmers' markets.
Portugal is also home to some excellent wines, so a visit to a quinta in the Douro Valley or the Alentejo area is a great way to learn and to taste some of the quality produce in a fantastic natural setting. Port wine is a world-famous product of Portugal and you can delve into the world of Portuguese wines and port wine with a visit to the historic cellars of Porto. Enjoy tastings of port wine, while learning about the wine-making process.
Step into the world of Fado and experience the soul-stirring traditional sounds of Portugal. Visit a Fado restaurant in Lisbon, Porto, or Coimbra for an authentic cultural immersion.
The Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Alentejo is a designated dark skies area and one of the world's best places for stargazing. It's a tranquil escape from the city lights and a perfect off-the-beaten-path adventure. A night canoeing tour on the calm waters of Portugal's largest water body is a fantastic off-beat experience.

Get inspired - travel bonanza, tours and stories

About Portugal

From the cooler and rainy Northern area through the rolling countryside in the center down to the warm and sunlit beaches of the Algarve, Portugal's landscape is absolutely diverse and is inviting you to plenty of adventure and outdoor activities. Besides, Portugal counts 17 UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, a long list of national monuments, and a strong culinary tradition making the country a fantastic destination for travelers looking for history, culture, and excellent gastronomy too.

The Republic of Portugal is located in the Southwestern corner of Europe on the Iberian peninsula. It borders Spain in the North and East, and the Atlantic Ocean surrounds the Western and Southern parts of Portugal. Apart from mainland Portugal, the islands of Madeira and The Azores also belong to the national territory.

​​A holiday in Portugal offers endless possibilities. The North is still relatively unknown, a beautiful area with green hills and small farms, vineyards, and the city of Porto, known for its port houses, and the authentic district of Ribeira, the old medieval town (as a whole a UNESCO site) starting along the banks of the River Douro.
Via the Wild West Coast with its endless sandy beaches and authentic fishing villages; further south you will find the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon. In this fascinating city, you’ll find cultural events, trendy neighborhoods, but also historical sights that mark their place in history.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten holiday in Portugal, choose the Alentejo region inland where time seems to stand still; whitewashed hill towns glisten above olive groves, and gently rolling hills and plains dominate the countryside. But it also boasts wonderful surfing spots like Zambujeira do Mar and opportunities for practicing other watersports, from kayaking and SUP to the adventurous activity of coasteering.
For a sunny holiday in Portugal, you should choose the southern region Algarve for its warm and dry Mediterranean climate. It is the preferred holiday destination for beach-loving families and those that are looking for lively nightlife. Yet, you also find traditional whitewashed villages and historic towns such as Sagres, Silves, and Tavira where you can immerse in an authentic local culture.

Travel Tips

When to travel
Thanks to its mild climate, Portugal is a great destination all year round. March to May is a great season for outdoor activities or sight-seeing. It is not too hot yet, but temperatures can already be nice and warm, especially on the Algarve or in Portugal's southeast. Nature is in full bloom and forests are lush and green at this time of the year. While average daily temperatures in Lisbon are around 18 degrees, it can be cooler in central and northern Portugal.
Summer in Portugal comes with high temperatures and a lot of sun. While Lisbon has an average of 28 degrees over the summer months, temperatures can rise over 40 degrees in northern and central Portugal between June and August and also easily reach around 35 degrees on the Algarve, though a fresh breeze from the Atlantic makes it feel less hot. The Algarve is perfect for a beach holiday, though the water temperatures hardly go over 22 degrees. Generally the waters around Portugal stay cool with not more than 20 degrees. The summer months in Portugal are full of festivities, which take place in every part of the country.
September and October are again perfect for outdoor and cultural activities as the days are still warm and mostly dry. November until February are the months with the most rain over the year, especially in northern Portugal and there can be snow in the mountains. Temperatures would still reach around 15 degrees on the Algarve and would rarely drop below 10 degrees in Lisbon.

How to travel
Portugal has three major airports - Porto in the north, Lisbon in central west Portugal and Faro on the Algarve in the south. While Faro is much more frequented with charter and holiday flights from other countries in Europe, Porto and Lisbon offer a well developed network of scheduled flights to destinations all over Europe and overseas as well. With a volume of more than 20 million passengers a year (2018), Lisbon is by far the busiest airport in Portugal. Porto and Lisbon airport are well connected to the city centers by subway.
The easiest way to get around Portugal is by car. As it is a rather small country, distances are never far, for example you can travel from Lisbon to Porto or Faro in less than three hours and from Lisbon to Evora in less than 2 hours. There is a dense network of modern motorways linking the major centers, especially in central and Northern Portugal, which are operated through a tolling system. Apart from the motorway connecting Lisbon to the Algarve and the A22 along the Algarve coast, Alentejo is mainly characterized by national and regional roads.
Further, Portugal has a well developed rail network, connecting every corner of Portugal. The high speed Alfa Pendula connects Braga in the north with Faro in the south and stops in Porto and Lisbon on the way. The bigger cities can be reached by ”Intercidades” and the regional trains link to the more remote areas. Further, the ”urbanos” connect the commuter zones in Porto and Lisbon with the city.
The ”Linha do Douro” follows along the Douro river, passing 26 tunnels, 30 bridges and one of the most scenic landscapes in Portugal. Parts of the route are classified as UNESCO world heritage. The journey takes you along vineyards, quintas, small villages and through stations decorated with blue azulejos.
The “Linha do Algarve” runs along the Algarve coastline, offering panoramic views over the sea and the hinterland while connecting Lagos with Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

Travelling with children
Kids are king in Portugal! Family friendly hotels, great beaches, a large choice of activities and a lot of sun turn Portugal into a great destination to enjoy with the whole family. The varied scenery offers plenty of choice for kid-friendly outdoor activities like cycling, swimming, surfing, climbing or canyoning and the rich historic heritage with medieval castles, grand palaces and traditional villages allows for exciting discoveries.
Many hotels in Portugal are very focused on families and offer many extra services and facilities, ranging from kid friendly menus, babysitting service or activity programs for kids. Alternatively, farms cater for families looking for a more rural escape in the countryside.

What to bring
Depending where and when you travel, there are several things you should make sure that end up in your suitcase before setting off.
As summer is generally warm, if not even hot in Portugal, light summer clothes will be a must, including shorts, t-shirts and light summer shoes. Make sure to bring swim gear and the necessary protection against the sun, including lotion, sun glasses and a sun hat, though all of the items are of course widely available in Portugal at reasonably good prices. Due to the breeze, evenings spent at the sea can feel a bit chilly, so don’t forget a light sweater or cardigan. If you are travelling to the more continental mountain areas, a warm jumper will keep you warm in case you experience a colder evening or two. The terrain is fairly dry over the summer months, so solid shoes for hiking tours will work fine, though proper hiking shoes or boots will give you extra stability and grip when hiking in some of the rocky areas.
Winters are not cold in Portugal, but prepare for rainy days, so bring a waterproof coat or rain jacket. Solid shoes are perfect for exploring towns and cities and, if you are planning on hiking or walking in nature, hiking shoes or boots are highly recommended for this time of year. Also pack a few sweaters and cardigans for the colder evenings. Temperatures in central and eastern Portugal tend to be lower than along the coast. The sun can still be strong, especially in the mountain areas, so it is always a good idea to bring sun lotion, sun glasses and a hat.
To catch Portugal in all it’s historic and natural beauty, you should of course not forget to bring a camera. A small backpack or bag will be perfect for storing your valuables while out exploring.

Adventure Holidays Destinations

Click below for more useful and practical information on traveling to Portugal.

Adventure Holidays Destinations

Adventure  Holidays Destinations

Fjord and Mountains view | The Small Adventure Company | Travel Agency for Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual adventure holiday just for you.

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