Family Adventure Travel in Portugal

Portugal is a country of old fashioned charm boasting vibrant cities like Lisbon and Porto, magnificent medieval towns and villages including Evora, Obidos and Castelo de Vide, incredible castles sure to amaze travelers of any age, and some of the best beaches in the world. Add to that some of the best food in Europe and you have a destination that is simply fabulous!

Destination Highlights

Active Adventures

Lose yourself on a food walk through Lisbon’s mazy streets learning about local customs and legends. Hike from village to village in the beautiful ‘Schist’ region. Bike along the beautiful Arrabida coast outside Lisbon stopping afterwards for a traditional lunch in a local fishing village. Surf the epic waves on the wild Atlantic coast. Go castle hopping in Sintra or walk the city walls of Obidos. There is an endless amount of fun adventures waiting for you in Portugal!

Culture

Walk in the footsteps of the great explorers in Belem, Lisbon and afterwards get some pasteis de nata at world famous Pasteis de Belem!

Climb up to the great Templar Knights castle in Tomar.

Try some local local grilled chicken – frango – at an iconic ‘frangasqueira’ in Lisbon!

Marvel at the Coimbra University, dating back to the thirteenth century and its famous library.

Or go visit Porto’s wonderful Livrario Lello and its arched stairway which inspired JK Rowling!

Outdoor Adventure

Water, sea, beaches, mountains, rivers, biking – Portugal has it all!

From biking along country paths in the Alentejo to sailing in the Tagus River or hiking in the Schist mountain area – with lovely swimming spots along the way – Portugal is a great destination for anything outdoors!

Family Adventure Highlights in Portugal

  • Explore Evora, a World Heritage city with a Roman temple of Diana and where the best hotel is a former monastery!
  • Ride the Number 28 tram through Lisbon’s historical districts and finish in
  • Belem by the sea to sample some heavenly pasteis de nata!
  • Bike around the Alentejo with its castles, forts and magnificent white villages sitting high on hilltops.
  • Food! Portugal’s cafe culture and pastries are world famous!
  • Lose yourself in Obidos, the medieval fairytale town of whitewashed houses encircled by magnificent giant walls.
  • Go castle hopping in Sintra before taking the tram to nearby Praia das macas, a delightful beach resort where you can enjoy local specialities by the sea!

Portugal Sample Itinerary

Day 1
On arrival in Lisbon, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the city center.

This afternoon we’ll have a fabulous walking food tour of the city! This serves as both an orientation to Lisbon and also a fantastic cultural experience. You’ll go to several different places trying all sorts of local favorites and meeting Portuguese people at work and play. The stops will be at places rarely seen by or known to tourists. At the end of the trip you’ll have eaten many local specialities but also walked a lot and you will know about the history and geography of the city. A great way to start a trip!

Day 2
Today we have a wonderful morning of biking on the Arrabida coast just outside of the city. We’ll bike with our guide at your pace along the beautiful wild Arrabida coast taking in the glorious views as we meander up and down the gentle curving hills. At the end of the ride we’ll arrive at a lovely fishing village where you can enjoy a local seafood lunch. A great morning out!

Day 3
Today we head to Sintra, the magical home of castles, ruins and palaces. We’ll visit two of Quivertree’s favorites – the incredible, multi layered and coloured Pena Palace and then the fabulous Moorish Castle which towers over Sintra and defended the Moors from the eighth century onwards for 400 years!

Later this afternoon we’ll take the small electric tram car to Praia das Macas where we’ll have dinner at the beach. Another great day!

Day 4
The morning is free to enjoy the city. You may want to walk through the winding alleys of the old Alfama district and up to Sao Jorge castle overlooking the city. Later we head north out of Lisbon. We’ll stop in Obidos, the famous medieval walled town and delightful for strolling through its maze of streets and alleys. You can also taste its famous local chocolate liqueur sold at many shops along the way. Afterwards we’ll arrive at our accommodation for the night, a traditional stone cottage in the tiny village of Talsnal in the Schist village region. Here we’ll enjoy a traditional dinner.

Day 5
Today will be a wonderful day hiking in the Schist region. We’ll trek in a gorgeous area from traditional village to village, swim in natural pools, see waterfalls up close, the local castle, all in spectacular mountainous forests. Afterwards we’ll return to our cottage in Talasnal.

Day 6
Today we head out of the Schist village area and towards Porto. En route we’ll first stop at the Conimbriga Roman ruins, regarded as one of the most well preserved Roman sites anywhere in the world. Then we’ll visit Coimbra, the famous university town well known for its university (second oldest in Europe), its magnificent library, and its wonderful warrens of walking alleyways and streets. After a lovely afternoon, we’ll drive the short distance on to Porto.

Day 7
This morning we’ll have a walking tour of Old Porto including its wonderful Port area teeming with cafes and restaurants along the river. We’ll also visit a traditional Port house which are such an integral part of the city and its history.

At lunchtime our driver will pick you up at the end of the tour and take you to Afurada, a traditional fishing village for a short walk and lunch at a local restaurant. Take this opportunity to enjoy one of the numerous local dishes made with fresh caught fish from the river and coast.

After lunch we have a private sailboat trip on the Douro river to enjoy the amazing views over the cities of Porto and Gaia. Both are UNESCO World Heritage cities on either side of the river. Another high point of this journey is the chance to admire close up the iconic 6 bridges on the river.

Day 8
Today we’ll transfer to the less visited but beautiful Alentejo region on the Spanish Border. The UNESCO World Heritage city of Evora is regarded as the most timeless city in Portugal and wandering within its medieval walls is a joy. The highlight just may be the Roman Temple of Diana, dating back almost 2,000 years! The Cathedral – known as The Se – which looks like a fortress from the outside, is absolutely magical at night.

Day 9
Today we’ll drive around rural Alentejo, one of the most striking areas in Europe. The region is dotted with magnificent whitewashed towns and villages Like Estremroz (home to a wonderful Saturday market), Castelo de Vide and the fantastic fortress village of Marvao which towers over the surrounding plains and Western Spain. Between vineyards, towns, and markets, there is so much to see in this area!

Day 10
Today we’ll return to Lisbon or Porto for your flight out. Till next time!

Portugal Trip Tips & FAQ's

What time of year is best to visit Portugal?

Portugal is one of the great all year round destinations. While summer is hot and busy, the rest of the year is lovely and there’s almost no winter to speak of. Christmas time is great with a lovely festive atmosphere in the streets and mild weather allowing all sorts of activities.

Is Portugal a good place for a family vacation?

Absolutely! Portugal is very family friendly! The country has medieval castles in abundance and the cities are fun and exciting to walk around. There are so many cool experiences from Lisbon’s famous trams to Porto’s riverside alleyways. The country really has it all – cities, villages, great hiking and other adventure and of course the beach – the Algarve is one of the coastal jewels of Europe.

What can a family do in Portugal?

Everything! Medieval walled towns, biking along the coast, hiking from village to village in the Schist region, mighty castles and fortresses and endless sweet treats make Portugal an absolute dream destination for families. And that’s without even mentioning the beaches!

What is the food like in Portugal?

Portuguese Food is absolutely delicious! Try local grilled chicken or seafood or bacalhau (cod) which feels like the national food (It is said there are 365 ways to cook bacalhau!). But maybe the greatest Portuguese contribution to the world is the Pasteis de Nata found everywhere on the streets and something you just cannot get enough of!

Best places to stay in Portugal?

Accommodation can include intimate boutique hotels, large North American and European chain hotels, and lovely quintas (traditional guesthouses) throughout the countryside. Pousadas are luxury hotels in beautifully restored historic buildings like castles, palaces and even a fifteenth century convent!

Is Portugal expensive?

Portugal is one of the best value for money destinations in Europe. Food is inexpensive and accommodations, even at the top level, are far less expensive than in most other Western European countries. A typical Quivertree trip will include 4* and 5* accommodations as well as quinta stays, especially in the Douro Valley.

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