Head to Alentejo in September (the grape harvest season) and you'll be able to get involved in making your own wine from start to finish. It’s especially fun to participate in the moon harvest of the grapes at midnight.
Pip, Original Traveller
Portugal packs quite a big punch for a little place. Whether you're a surfer, sun seeker or sailor, the South has a little something for everyone. The North and pit stops along the way, boast great countryside, cities and cuisines. Madeira's sub-tropical climate might even entice the more active souls. The country has it all.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Lisbon is a deeply civilised city, with excellent boutique hotels and a pumping nightlife
- Wine tasting, be that in the Douro Valley or Alentejo. Portuguese wines are a wonder waiting to be enjoyed in situ. You can't escape the importance of Port wine in the up-and-coming city of Porto. Its production is prominent, and a visit to a cave is a must if you're on holiday in the area - followed by a glass in one of the many buzzing wine bars, of course
- The beautiful Alentejo and West Algarve coastline boasts secluded wild sandy beaches that often, you'll just be sharing with a few surfers
Luxury Portugal Holidays: The Detail
Portugal is a little place with a lot to do on a luxury holiday. The capital Lisbon is an old Original Travel favourite, and one of Europe's most attractive and accessible capitals; the Algarve is one of the sunniest places around with some of the best beaches in Europe; and Madeira is an island gem fast overcoming a perception problem. But you knew all that. What you might not know is the bits in between, such as the Alentejo, straddling the entire country from just south of Lisbon to the Algarve in the south and full of beautiful cork oak forests, elegant wine estates, miles of deserted beaches and the achingly hip beach town of Comporta, Portugal's best kept secret. Then there's the second city of Porto, a perfect city break destination and the gateway to the beautiful Douro Valley, home to chic boutique hotels and many of Portugal's finest - and hugely under-rated - winemakers.
Did you know
- The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe at almost 11 miles long
- Portuguese is spoken by 230 million people worldwide and is the official language of nine countries
- Portugal boasts 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 14 of which are cultural sites and one which is natural
- The national flower of Portugal is lavender
- The Portuguese eat more fish and shellfish per head than any other country in the world
- The oldest bookshop in the world, 'Bertrand', has been open for business in Lisbon since 1732
Lisbon has several top class hotels, whether your luxury holiday requirement is grand dame or boutique chic, and we know them all. We can also recommend the best surf school, and the finest family hotel, in the Algarve, which is the perfect destination for short-breakers in need of a fix of sun, sea and sand, and also families who want pretty much guaranteed good weather.
Out in the Atlantic, Madeira enjoys a mild, sub-tropical climate that has been likened to 'eternal spring'. Once seen as a destination for senior citizens only, Madeira is shedding its fusty image, and the island's climate and landscapes make it ideal for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. As an addition to your luxury holiday itinerary, Original Travel can arrange the following methods of proving just how youthful and vigorous you are, including trekking, mountain-biking, paragliding, rock-climbing, surfing, windsurfing, sailing and diving.
Finally, and more off the beaten track, are the soon to be discovered luxury holiday gems of Alentejo, home to a range of hip hotels, and in the north the second city (but with the first nightlife), Porto and the beautiful Douro Valley.
Our fantastic Europe team are here to help with every detail of your luxury Portugal holiday, from where to taste fantastic Portuguese cuisine (at DOP restaurant nestled deep in the Douro Valley, owned by Rui Paula - Portugal's answer to Jamie Oliver) to where the best surfing beaches are. Portugal is an old Original Travel favourite, as a great destination for families, and now we are seeing more and more boutique hotels cropping up, making it an ideal holiday spot for a couple's retreat or a city break.