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Portugal boasts a rich seafaring heritage, superb beach resorts, romantic villages, fashionable cities and a landscape wreathed in olive groves, vineyards and wheatfields. Its cuisine epitomises the Mediterranean diet and its wine is world-class. A land of cultural diversity, clear blue skies and long stretches of rugged beaches, a luxury Portugal holiday offers infinite options for any traveller.
Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe. Its people are proud of their rich cultural heritage and with year-round sunshine, visitors soon fall in love with its friendly charm. The country is ideal for a summer beach holiday, a romantic break or a sports tour, while the capital city of Lisbon, with its boutique shops, sandy Atlantic beaches and abundant museums, is an increasingly popular tourist destination.
The Algarve in particular is renowned for its superb beaches, pristine golf courses, elegant resorts and enchanting fishing villages, while you can't help but find pleasure in exploring the verdant landscapes and stunning coastline of Madeira or its delightfully cosmopolitan capital, Funchal.
Time Difference: Same as GMT
Flight duration: 2 Hours 45 minutes to Faro (Portugal)
Visa information: no visa required
British Airways flies from London Heathrow and London Gatwick to Portugal. Other airlines and more UK departure points are also available.
British Airways Club Europe upgrades start from £60 to Portugal per person each way.
Couples and families, fantastic golden beaches and year-round golf in the Algarve, watersports, historical interest, local craft fairs and markets, local port wines with port tasting in local castles.
Portugal's climate is temperate and you'll find agreeable weather just about everywhere from April to October and nearly all year round in the Algarve.
If you like seafood and wine, you’ve come to the right place! Thanks to its seafaring history and vast coastline, fish is a staple part of Portuguese cooking. Whether its exotic fish like spadefish, octopus, squid and cattlefish that you’re after, or more common fish such as mackerel, tuna and sardines, Portugal is the perfect place to sample the very finest seafood. This is a land of fishermen, after all!
The Portuguese are also experts when it comes to wine. There are several wine routes that you can explore, allowing you to learn more about this art form whilst taking in some of the beautiful countryside and towns that Portugal has to offer. These include the ancient region of Douro, home of the famous port wine. Madeira’s wine is particularly renowned and distinct, and over thirty varieties of grape exist on the island.
In between all that eating and drinking, there is much else to enjoy in Portugal. Relax on golden beaches, walk around pleasant gardens and nature parks, or discover one of the country’s many historical villages.
Portugal’s warm and dry climate and picturesque landscape make it a prime golf destination. It’s one of the most popular countries on the continent for golfing holidays, thanks to its high standard of courses. The British brought the sport to Portugal in the 19th century, and today many Brits still visit to practise their swing. Courses can be found all along the country’s coastline, though the bulk of them are in the Algarve.
If bunkers and fairways aren’t your scene, the island of Madeira has a number of spa hotels where you can relax and indulge yourself in a wide range of treatments. Its peaceful and secluded location in the Atlantic Ocean makes it an ideal spa resort.
Madeira also offers plenty of options for those looking for a more active and adventurous holiday. Its landscape of sea and mountains provide the perfect conditions for activities such as mountain-climbing and mountain-biking, and watersports like diving and surfing. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy this beautiful island by foot.
Lagos is one of the most visited towns in the Algarve and the whole of Portugal. It owes its growing popularity to its welcoming beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels, which combine to produce a vibrant nightlife. Yet Lagos is also an important historical centre. The ancient maritime town was established by the Moors and became a prominent port.
If you want to go off the beaten track in the Algarve, the Igreja de Säo Lourenço de Matos is a beautiful Baroque church in the area of Loulé, and well worth visiting. Mainland Portugal features a number of places of religious importance. Fátima, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children in 1917, is undoubtedly the most significant of these, with millions of visitors making pilgrimages to the holy site.
Madeira is known as the island of flowers, with over two thousand plant species on the island. The stunning Laurissilva Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and occupies more than 20% of the island’s surface, so you shouldn’t miss it for more than one reason! This is just another reason why Madeira makes for an ideal romantic getaway.
Our pick of the month for Portugal and Madeira