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Holidays in Portugal

There's an idyllic Portuguese holiday paradise to suit everyone. As you unwind on a beautiful beach, or pause for a lunch of grilled sardines in a tranquil village, you might wonder why the great Portuguese explorers ever wanted to leave this enchanting and diverse country in search of far-away lands. 

25-28 °C

Portugal is pleasant throughout the year, with mild winters and comfortable summers.

3-4 hours

If you’re going to the Algarve, you’ll arrive at Faro Airport (FAO) which is 4km west of Faro. If you’re staying in Madeira, you’ll fly to Madeira Airport (FNC), 16km northeast of Funchal.

Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Portugal for medieval market towns, quaint little fishing villages and sun-kissed sandy beaches.

Recommended offers in Portugal

Solaqua

Albufeira, Algarve

7 Nights, Self Catering
Hotel highlights
  • Close to Albufeira's Old and New Towns
  • 1km from Fisherman's beach
  • Spacious apartments

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 899 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 9 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

£ 134

Aparthotel Paraiso de Albufeira

Albufeira, Algarve

7 Nights, Self Catering
Hotel highlights
  • Superb central location
  • Spacious pool
  • Airtours Entertainment Team and high-season Kids Clubs

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 2627 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 2585 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

£ 201

Oceanus Aparthotel

Olhos d'Agua, Algarve

7 Nights, Self Catering
Hotel highlights
  • Great base for exploring
  • Close to local bars and restaurants
  • Short walk from the beach

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 596 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

£ 216

Tivoli Marina Portimao

Praia da Rocha, Algarve

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Waterfront setting with marina views
  • Close to local bars and restaurants
  • Within easy reach of the sandy beach

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1781 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

£ 230

Clube Alvorferias

Alvor, Algarve

7 Nights, Self Catering
Hotel highlights
  • Popular with families
  • Spacious apartments on the outskirts of Alvor
  • Great base for exploring the area

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 759 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 146 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

£ 253

With its vast, sandy beaches and kid-friendly attractions, it’s no wonder that Albufeira is the most popular resort in the Algarve. Almost 15km west of Albufeira is Armacao de Pera, a lively area with a wealth of shops, bars and restaurants and a quaint little old town. Slightly further afield is Lagos, an ancient fishing village with a modern marina and a palm-tree lined promenade. Funchal is the biggest city on the island of Madeira. Picture cobbled streets lined with traditional restaurants and charming little shops and galleries. Just 6km east of Funchal is Caniço de Baixo, a tranquil hillside village overlooking the ocean.

With some of Europe's finest golf courses, historical sites and a culture of colourful local festivals, the list of Portugal’s attractions is vast – and it doesn't end here. Madeira sits off the coast, adding dramatic scenery, watersports, plus gardens and valleys filled with colourful flowers, to the holiday equation. The Algarve has been a popular holiday destination for years, but there’s a still lot to discover in its charming little villages and Moorish ruins. Bask in the radiant sunshine on one of the Algarve’s golden beaches before stopping in a marisqueira for a plate of freshly grilled prawns and a glass of ice cold beer.

Portugal’s diverse beaches range from rugged, volcanic shorelines to long stretches of golden sand. One of the best places in Portugal for beaches is the Algarve. Families will love Praia Monte Gordo near the Spanish border for its warm waters and seaside restaurants. For the ultimate in relaxation, take the short boat trip to the remote island of Culatra. If you’re in Madeira, visit Porto Moniz to see its unusual giant black lava rocks. One of the best places to visit in Portugal is the small island of Porto Santo, known for its azure blue waters and honey-coloured sands.

Fish is fresh and plentiful across Portugal and it plays a big part in the Portuguese diet. The most traditional fish dish is bacalau, a velvety soft salted cod, often served with sliced potatoes and rich cream. In the Algarve, most menus will feature cataplana, a mouth-watering stew of pork and fresh clams, cooked and served in a traditional copper pan. If you’re in Madeira, make sure you try espetada, succulent chunks of beef marinated in garlic and salt, then cooked on a skewer over a hot grill. Wash it all down with a glass of the famous Madeiran wine.

Whether you’re in the bustling city of Funchal or a quiet fishing village in the Algarve, you’re never too far away from one of Portugal’s exciting attractions. The Cabo Girão cliff-face in Madeira provides remarkable views of the island’s lush, green landscape. Wander the cobbled streets of Funchal and take a cable car up to the charming village of Monte. There are plenty of things for kids to do in Portugal too. If you’re in the Algarve, take them to Zoomarine theme park where they can swim with dolphins and watch acrobatic animal shows. Madeira’s Aquaparque promises thrilling water slides for all ages.

PORTUGAL IS BEST FOR...

Sun-worshippers: Soak up the sunshine on one of the Algarve’s glorious beaches.

Walkers: Venture through the lush, green mountains of Madeira.

Foodies: Try succulent espetada and freshly caught sardines in one of Funchal’s quaint little restaurants.


FAST FACTS

Language: The language spoken in Portugal is Portuguese.

Currency: The currency used in Portugal is Euro (€).

Local time: Portugal has the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: If you’re going to the Algarve, you’ll arrive at Faro Airport (FAO) which is 4km west of Faro. If you’re staying in Madeira, you’ll fly to Madeira Airport (FNC), 16km northeast of Funchal.

Flight time from UK: 3-4 hours

Tourist Information: Further Portugal tourist information can be found at www.visitportugal.com/en

Visas & Health Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Portugal.


WEATHER AND CLIMATE

Temperatures: Summers are generally hot and dry with temperatures averaging between the mid and late 20s (°C).

Best time to visit Portugal: Pleasant throughout the year, with mild winters and comfortable summers.

Weather in Portugal varies from region to region. Portugal weather is usually mild during winter, with temperatures rarely falling below 10°C. Coastal regions such as the Algarve are slightly cooler than inland areas, but still warm and sunny.


GETTING AROUND

By taxi: Resort areas have plenty of taxi ranks. Be aware that it is standard for taxi drivers to charge extra for luggage.

By hire car: A hire car is a good idea if you want to explore the more rural areas of the Algarve or Madeira.

By train: Portugal has a vast railway network that covers most of the country. The state-of-the-art Alfa Pendular trains are a great option if you want to travel directly from the Algarve to Lisbon.


EVENTS

Carnival time For a real Portuguese party, visit the Loulé Carnaval in February. The locals dress up in neon colours, feathers and lots of glitter as they parade through the streets to samba music.

Floral floats Two weeks after Easter is the Madeira Flower Festival, one of the biggest annual events on the island. Floats travel through the city of Funchal, each decorated with the island’s native blooms.

World music The Loulé Med Festival is a popular world music celebration which attracts thousands of festival-goers every June.

For golfers If you’re a golf fanatic, you won’t want to miss the Portugal Masters which takes place in October.


Why choose Thomas Cook

With hotels available to suit every person and every budget look no further than Thomas Cook for your getaway this year!

  • Thousands of hotels to choose from
  • Dedicated online customer service
  • Over 175 years of travel experience
  • Award winning travel company
  • Thousands of destinations worldwide

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