Best places to visit in Portugal
Portugal is a friendly country that welcomes visitors back time and again thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, delicious food and wine, warm sunshine, vibrant cities, ancient architecture and famously stunning beaches – not to mention its crystal-clear waters for snorkelling and swimming! If you’re wondering where might be the best places to visit in Portugal during your villa holiday, we’ve got you covered with our expert guide.
A beautiful coastal city in the Algarve’s southern region, Albufeira is the place to be if you are a beach lover. The resort boasts 23 Blue Flag beaches in total, each with their own unique characteristics. When you feel like swimming in the fresh Atlantic ocean rather than your private swimming pool in your Villa Emilio Pequena, head to one of the many gorgeous sandy shores on offer and take part in a snorkelling or surfing session. Many beaches have lifeguards, sun loungers, and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat and take shelter from the heat of the day. Some beaches also offer horse-riding activities, jet-ski rentals, banana boating and kayaking, especially in beaches that are close to caves. Many of the beaches in Albufeira also have hiking routes that take you from the coast and across some of Portugal’s impressive scenery – covering valleys, sweeping vistas and local landmarks.
If you’re a nature and animal lover, spend a couple of hours exploring the wetland area of Salgados Lagoon, where you can stroll along the boardwalk and take in flamingos and other native birds in their natural habitat. If you have children with you, don’t forget to stop at Zoomarine – one of the area’s most popular attractions and an opportunity to get up close with dolphins. The venue also offers theme park rides, aquatic shows, a wave pool and artificial beach.
Famous for its epic beaches and rock formations, Lagos is one of the best places to go in Portugal, showing off the best of the country’s natural wonders. Take a boat trip through the Ponta da Piedade cave system, or why not try windsurfing in Praia da Luz, known for its breezy coast that proves great for a variety of water sports. The region also boasts plenty of day trips when you want to explore a little further outside of your delightful Villa Casa Sophia. Take a Jeep safari and discover the mountainous regions of Monchique and Caldeirão as you take a thrilling ride across epic sand dunes, forests and landscapes. You can also book tours to a traditional Portuguese wine house for some local wine tasting, as well as an old pottery, where you can learn more about traditional craft making in the country. Many tours also take in the coastal rock formations of Algar Seco and Ferragudo – all making some Instagram-worthy snaps.
A great place for culture lovers, Faro is one of the most interesting places to visit in Portugal because of its many historical sites and fascinating architecture. Meander around the city’s small Old Town, filled with quirky cafes, restaurants and shops selling local produce and hand made items. After a spot of shopping, give your feet a break with a ride on the Comboio Turística – a land train that departs from the marina and takes in the city’s main landmarks and tourist attractions. The ride takes 45 minutes to take in the Old Town, including the municipal market and the São Pedro church.
If you’ve got kids in tow, visit the Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve – a live science centre offering plenty of interactive experiments and games such as an earthquake simulator, observatory and aquarium with a touch pool. No trip to Faro for a history lover is complete without visiting Milreu – Roman ruins just over 10km north of the city. Set in tranquil orange groves, wander around this fascinating Roman villa site that dates back to the 1st or 2nd century AD, and which was clearly a home for a wealthy individual.
Ready to escape on your next villa holiday? Explore our collection of premium properties in the Algarve and discover the best places to visit in Portugal.