There’s a holiday for every client in Portugal, but where in the country should they look first? Laura French finds out
Best for… culture
From Porto to Aveiro, Coimbra to Tavira, Portugal is blessed with city-break options, but for a classic that combines colourful architecture, cobbled streets, trendy galleries and buzzing nightlife, look to Lisbon (pictured). Osprey Holidays offers several add-ons in the city for clients wanting to get under its skin, from a cooking class to a day trip taking in the charming hillside town of Sintra, helping boost commission while giving travellers a fresh perspective on this fascinating Iberian capital.
Three nights’ B&B at the four-star Lisboa Plaza costs from £365, including flights from Gatwick on September 12.
Best for… families
For family-friendly resorts, sandy beaches and a slew of attractions, it’s hard to beat the Algarve. You aren’t short on options here, but for a standout resort with its own water park, Jet2holidays recommends the four-star Jupiter Albufeira (pictured), home to four outdoor pools, three restaurants, five bars, a kids’ club and playground. Guests also enjoy free access to the nearby Zoomarine Theme Park, just in case the 25 beaches nearby aren’t enough to entertain.
A week’s all-inclusive costs from £939 per person, based on four sharing, including transfers, Zoomarine tickets and flights from Bristol on August 20.
Best for… walkers
From the Rota Vincentina meandering through the Alentejo to the northern delights of the Portuguese Camino, the mainland is a dream for hikers, but for active types after an alternative, look to the Azores (pictured). Inntravel has a self-guided walking holiday taking in three of its islands, with emerald hills, cloud-capped laurel forest, dramatic crater lakes and the soaring peak of Mount Pico among the highlights.
From £1,835 per person, including accommodation, daily breakfast and some lunches, plus car hire and inter-island travel.
Best for… golfers
The Algarve is famed for its golf, but Portugal’s putting goes far beyond the south, according to Tim Worrell, product and sales manager for Tee the World. “Tavira, Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra and the Silver Coast are all good alternatives to the likes of Vilamoura, Albufeira and Lagos,” he says. For those looking to try the Silver Coast, he suggests the Praia D’el Rey Marriott, with access to five courses including the acclaimed West Cliffs.
A four-night package at Praia D’el Rey Marriott costs from £640, including green fees, breakfasts, dinners and transfers (flights extra).
Best for… wine lovers
No list would be complete without mentioning the Unesco-listed Douro Valley and its family-run quintas. To combine tastings with sightseeing in Porto and beyond, AmaWaterways has an eight-day itinerary taking in Régua, Pinhão, Barca d’Alva and more, with vineyard visits, castle tours and port tastings aplenty along the way.
AmaWaterways’ seven-night Enticing Douro itinerary costs from £3,073, departing October 23, cruise-only.
Mainland Portugal: All travellers must show proof on boarding their flight of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, in printed or digital format; not applicable to under-twos.
Madeira: Travellers who can show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid in the past 90 days don’t need a test. All others need a PCR test within 72 hours before departure, except under-12s, submitted via madeirasafe.com.
The Azores: Anyone over 12 needs a PCR test within 72 hours pre-departure, registering the result on mysafeazores.com before travelling, and will receive a €50 voucher on arrival. Those arriving without a test can take one on arrival (free) and isolate at their accommodation until the result comes through.
For all of the above: As with all green list countries – travellers will also need to take a lateral flow, antigen or PCR test before returning to the UK, and another PCR test on day two when back in the UK.
Visit Portugal is answering your questions about testing, entry requirements and regulations in-resort via Travel Weekly’s Facebook page every day this week. Watch the videos at facebook.com/travelweeklyuk/videos
PICTURES: Mickael Fjaere; Shutterstock/Balate Dorin, New Design Illustrations