Portugal is a beautiful country, a rich variety of spectacular landscapes, ancient towns and cities and some of the best beaches in Europe. Its people are warm and friendly and as well as soaking up the history and culture, there’s also the wonderful local food and wine to be enjoyed. Portugal has so much to offer, it’s the ideal location for a memorable family holiday. All holidays are the better for a little thoughtful planning and that is certainly the case when you’ve got kids in tow, so here are a few pointers to get you started.

Hotels vs Holiday Rentals

This is an area where it really pays to do your research. The appeal of a hotel is that if you don’t want to, you don’t have to do a thing. All your meals will be provided, there will be plenty of activities for the kids and they’ll be plenty of other children around for them to make friends with. Finding the right hotel is, of course, another matter, they are certainly plenty to choose from but be aware that in peak season they will book up early. Booking a holiday rental for all or part of your stay is another option which may prove cheaper. You won’t have everything done for you but going to local markets and preparing food together is a great way to spend your time. If you enjoy a little peace and quiet, with just you and the family, self-catering accommodation might well suit you best.

Where to go

The most popular tourist destination in Portugal is, of course, the Algarve and with its breath-taking coastal scenery and stunning beaches, it’s not hard to see why. The 200k coastline has over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year which makes it a perfect location for the wide range of water sports on offer. There are water parks and kids’ clubs aplenty so you may even find time to fit in a quick round of golf at one of the Algarve’s internationally famous golf courses.

If you are in search of something a little more off the beaten track, head north from Lisbon and explore the fishing villages of the Atlantic coast, perhaps heading up to Porto to enjoy its grand bridges and port wine.

What to bring with you

You’ll be able to get almost everything in Portugal that you can in the UK. OK, you’ll struggle to find Marmite but that’s about it. You will, however, pay a lot more for certain items, especially in the resorts, so it makes sense to bring sun cream and a basic first aid kit.

Getting around

You may opt for a single location holiday, in which case all you need is an airport transfer, or you may decide on two or more locations in order to give everyone a bit of variety. Portugal has a good reasonably priced public transport system but if you really want to see as much of the country as possible, you’ll probably opt for car hire. Portugal does have a lot of toll roads, so you need to factor that into your expenses. For an additional fee, you can pick the car up in one location and leave it in another.