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 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.

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 Algarve coastline boasts secluded wild sandy beaches that often, you'll just be sharing with a few surfers
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Original Highlight

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.

Flora, Original Traveller

A note on price

A weekend getaway to central Lisbon will start from £400 per person including return flights and transfers. On the other end of the spectrum, a two week long luxury family holiday for four staying in a top hotel in Sagres in a two bedroom suite with private pool will cost around £9,000. Learn more about our pricing

Where to go in Portugal

The Algarve

The Algarve

For those wanting to stay poolside, the Algarve that we know and love couldn’t be more perfect, but for those looking for something a bit different, there are a couple of undiscovered spots to be found off the beaten track.

The Algarve
Porto & the Douro Valley

Porto & the Douro Valley

The Brits have long had a penchant for port, but the vineyards where the fortified wine is created and the eponymous city of Porto are, in themselves, a delight.

Porto & the Douro Valley
Lisbon

Lisbon

Historical yet accessible and great, great fun - welcome to laid back Lisbon.

Lisbon
Madeira

Madeira

Great for walking and hiking and catching some late autumn or early spring sunshine within easy reach of the UK.

Madeira
The Alentejo

The Alentejo

The Alentejo is home to beautiful cork oak forests, rural countryside and elegant wine estates and with a mild climate it's an ideal location to visit all year round.

The Alentejo

What to do in Portugal

Surfing

Surfing

The beaches of the Costa Vincentina nature reserve are some of the most beautiful in Europe.

Surfing
Carro de Cesto

Carro de Cesto

Who said Madeira was boring? If you want to try a novel form of transport, take the cable-car from Funchal

Carro de Cesto
Walking the Levadas

Walking the Levadas

Madeira is a renowned destination for walking or hiking.

Walking the Levadas
Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Madeira wine might not be everyone’s particular cup of grog, but the history surrounding its evolution is fascinating.

Wine Tasting

Where to stay in Portugal

Longevity Wellness Resort

Longevity Wellness Resort

With a total of three spas and a secluded position in the hills of Monchique, renowned for its thermal waters and fresh mountain air, there is no doubt that guests will leave this new spa resort in the Algarve feeling revitalised.

Longevity Wellness Resort
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel has set itself a modest goal - to be the finest luxury family resort in Europe. We like what we see so far.

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel
Pine Cliffs Resort

Pine Cliffs Resort

Pine Cliffs is an immaculate, five-star resort set above the ochre cliffs of Portugal’s Algarve coast between Faro and Albufeira.

Pine Cliffs Resort
Memmo Baleeira

Memmo Baleeira

This white washed cliff side hotel was first constructed in the 1960s, and has since been spruced up to quite the chic beachside oasis, and is ideal for anything from a relaxing weekend away to a family holiday.

Memmo Baleeira
Aldeia da Pedralva

Aldeia da Pedralva

Just a few short years ago Pedralva was a ramshackle village full of derelict houses and one small pizzeria catering to the local surfing community. Then in 2008 along came Antonio Ferreira, an Algarvean advertising exec looking to develop a property in this beautiful unspoilt corner of the Algarve, the Natural Park of Costa Vicentina.

Aldeia da Pedralva
The Yeatman

The Yeatman

We at OT have known about Porto as a perfect Big Short Break destination for years, but always baulked at recommending it due to one crucial factor – the lack of a decent hotel. No more.

The Yeatman
Aquapura

Aquapura

Aquapura is the quintessential modern boutique hotel – a tasteful and contemporary renovation of a classic 19th-century manor house offering all the mod-est cons in elegant surroundings.

Aquapura
Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto

The first contemporary-chic boutique hotel to open in this rapidly changing city, the Bairro Alto cannot be beaten for location. Straddling the vibrant district from which it takes its name and the more elegant shopping district of Chiado, its 18th-century façade forms part of the historical Luis de Camões square.

Bairro Alto
Farol Design Hotel

Farol Design Hotel

This stylish hotel is an old Portuguese villa fused with a contemporary modern design, planted on the edge of an outcrop of rocks, overlooking the Atlantic.

Farol Design Hotel
Lapa Palace Hotel

Lapa Palace Hotel

The 19th century Lapa Palace is situated on the hilltop overlooking the Tagus River in the diplomatic quarter of Lisbon. The sub-tropical gardens surrounding the hotel make it a peaceful oasis from the busy city.

Lapa Palace Hotel
Memmo Alfama

Memmo Alfama

Memmo Alfama is the latest boutique hotel in the city’s historic area, Alfama, concealed away down cobbled streets and close to the Cathedral and the Sao George Castle.

Memmo Alfama
Solar Do Castelo

Solar Do Castelo

The Solar do Castelo is a very attractive small hotel, housed in a converted 18th century mansion, with an excellent location in the grounds of the Castelo de São Jorge.

Solar Do Castelo
Areias do Seixo

Areias do Seixo

Areias do Seixo is a great new addition to Portugal’s portfolio of boutique hotels. It's properly quirky, and less than an hour from Lisbon so works well in combo with the capital.

Areias do Seixo
Janelas Verdes

Janelas Verdes

Janelas Verdes (meaning ‘Green Windows’) is a small and intimate hotel housed in a recently restored late 18th century mansion house.

Janelas Verdes
Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel

Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel

This new concept boutique hotel is as quirky and individual as its name! Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel is located in Alvados in Portugal’s central region, which is a perfect destination to draw on its rural amenities to create a place where guests can be at one with nature, get in touch with their inner emotion and not only cook but eat deliciously fresh Portuguese cuisine.

Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel
Quinta Bela Vista

Quinta Bela Vista

This stunning Madeiran Quinta near the town of Funchal dates back from 1844 and, as the name suggests, has lovely views over the surrounding mountains and Funchal Bay.

Quinta Bela Vista
 Casa Velha

Casa Velha

Originally a hunting lodge built for an infamous Madeiran count who blew his fortune, Casa Velha was subsequently bought and turned into a boutique hotel that’s now part of the Relais & Chateaux portfolio.

Casa Velha
Quinta Casa Branca

Quinta Casa Branca

Just around the corner from Reid’s Palace sits Quinta Casa Branca, built around a beautiful private botanical garden.

Quinta Casa Branca
Quinta Jardins do Lago

Quinta Jardins do Lago

This beautiful quinta is situated on a hilltop just outside the historic city of Funchal. Built in the 18th century, during the Napoleonic wars, General Beresford, the commander of the British forces on the island, chose it as his residence.

Quinta Jardins do Lago
Choupana Hills Resort & Spa

Choupana Hills Resort & Spa

The hotel has brought a new dimension of contemporary sophistication to Madeira’s choice of hotels.

Choupana Hills Resort & Spa
Reid's Palace

Reid's Palace

The hotel is also renowned for its ten acres of lush semi-tropical gardens, which are beautifully maintained and contain plants from around the world.

Reid's Palace
L'And
Special Offer

L'And

This truly original retreat is situated in 66 acres of fabulous Alentejo countryside, and combines old school Portuguese vineyards with a 21st century design hotel.

L'And
Ecorkhotel

Ecorkhotel

Cork might not be the most obvious building material for a hotel but this is Alentejo after all, and it turns out that cork is not only a wonderfully effective insulator but its production is also about as sustainable as you can get, so the Ecorkhotel has the eco-friendly box very firmly ticked.

Ecorkhotel
Herdade do Touril

Herdade do Touril

Herdade de Touril is a charming 365-hectare estate on the Alentejo rugged coastline. The farmhouse property is modest in style and design, with a touch of rural Portuguese flavour, and prefect for those looking to escape the crowds.

Herdade do Touril
Malhadinha Nova

Malhadinha Nova

Maladinha Nova is a quintessentially Portuguese homestead, which appears like something that has jumped out of a House and Garden magazine, with its light decors and rural countryside feel to it.

Malhadinha Nova

Details for Portugal

A little more info

LUXURY PORTUGAL HOLIDAYS

Lisbon has several top class hotels, whether your 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 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.

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 11°C / 51°F
  • Rainfall — 10cm / 4.1 inches
  • Water Temp. — 15°C / 59°F
Flight from London

2:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT

Olga and Flora are our Portugal experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0)20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

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