Luxury Portugal Holidays

Great golf; better beaches

Portugal

Portugal is a seriously photogenic country. Whether you're beach-hopping along the coast of the Algarve or walking high in Madeira's mountains, this is the kind of place that'll have you filling up your camera memory card in no time.

Spanning the country's south coast is the Algarve. The beaches here are particularly pretty  covered with golden-syrup sands and framed by rugged, honey-coloured cliffs. Whitewashed towns are scattered along the coastline, while inland you'll find traditional villages surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and rolling countryside. Further north, the seaside towns of the Lisbon Coast offer up beautiful beaches and easy access to the cobbled streets of the capital.

A 1,000-odd kilometres off the mainland is Madeira. This dramatic volcanic island has been nicknamed the Floating Garden, owing to its lush landscape and flower-filled botanical gardens. The capital, Funchal, has the blend of old and new just right, with quaint churches, sleepy squares, and a posh marina where bars serve the latest cocktails alongside sweet Madeira wine.

The island isn't best known for beaches  its dark cliffs tend to plunge straight into the Atlantic  but there are a couple of sandy spots, plus lots of waterside lidos and bathing platforms. Head away from the coast and you'll find soaring mountains and forest-cloaked valleys. Old irrigation channels called levadas criss-cross the interior, and now form fantastic hiking trails.

Samantha Grist

Madeira and the Algarve make a great multi-centre combination. Spend a week on the Algarve's beautiful beaches, then fly south to explore Madeira's dramatic mountains and valleys.

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Destinations in Portugal
Algarve
The Algarve rolls out amber beaches and ocean-view golf courses along the cliff-fractured coast of southern Portugal. Wave-cut arches, long sands, lively beach resorts, whitewashed villages – it’s got them all.
Lisbon Coast
Lisbon is in vogue right now – but what about its coastline? Delicate dunes, beach resorts, lighthouse-crowned coves and great surf decorate the shoreline bookending the Portuguese capital.
Madeira
Madeira is an archipelago flung far off the south-west coast of Portugal. Most visitors hone in on the main island – also called Madeira – and its vineyards, beaches and flowering capital.

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When to go

Portugal has a mix of climates, including Mediterranean, so the weather depends on where you’ll be visiting. The Algarve in the south is famously sunny, with temperatures soaring from June and often peaking at 30°C in July. Winter and spring are pleasantly mild, too. Down in Madeira, meanwhile, an equal serving of sunshine in summer and rain in winter is what makes its famous gardens blossom. It tends to be a little milder down here in the winter, with temperatures in the mid-to-high teens.  

Visa Information

Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Portugal.

Tipping

Tipping in Portugal is generally optional. At cafés and when taking taxis, you can just round up to the nearest euro. When in restaurants, it’s common to leave around 10%.

Introduction to languages

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.

Our pick of the top hotels in Portugal
Every one of our hotels is handpicked and personally visited by our team

The Cliff Bay

Madeira, Funchal

Blue & Green The Lake Spa Resort

Algarve, Vilamoura

Belmond Reid's Palace

Madeira, Funchal

Pine Cliffs Village

Algarve, Praia da Falesia

VILA VITA Parc

Algarve, Porches

Pine Cliffs Hotel a Luxury Collection Resort

Algarve, Praia da Falesia
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