When you think about the best places to visit in Portugal, the beautiful beaches in the Algarve and Madeira may come to mind. But this country has so much more to offer beyond the shoreline. Here’s some of the top things to do in Portugal when you get tired of the beach.
Find your favourite beach
Portugal's superb beaches range from volcanic shorelines to long sandy stretches, and you'll have plenty to choose from along the Algarve and over on the island of Madeira. If you want to discover lesser-known spots, it's worth heading off the beaten track. Just a short drive west of Albufeira on the mainland, you'll find family-friendly Praia Gale. And just 20 minutes outside central Lagos is Meia Prais, one of the Algarve's finest beaches. It's also worth taking a boat trip over to Algar Seco, said to be one of the most impressive rock erosions in Europe.
Visit family-friendly attractions
Wherever you are in Portugal, you won't be too far away from family-friendly attractions. Of course, the kids will love spending time on the beach and splashing around in the sea. But when you're ready for a change of scenery, a trip to the local waterpark could be on the cards.
Zoomarine on the Algarve is one of the best things to do in Portugal for families, with its interactive displays, allowing your little ones to take a closer look at the park’s animals.
In Madeira, you can wander through the cobbled streets of Funchal before riding the cable car up to the village of Monte. The kids will love it, and they'll be blown away by the views when they reach the top. The island is also home to another fun-filled waterpark, which promises plenty of thrilling fun from slides to chutes.
If you feel like picking up the pace, you'll want to try your hand at watersports down at Praia da Oura. From fun-filled banana boat rides to water-skiing and wakeboarding, there’s no better way to stay cool under that summer sun. Elsewhere, even the keenest of golfers are well catered for here. You'll find world-class courses over on the Algarve, where you’ll find immaculate fairways boasting Atlantic views. Pestana Golf Resort is a region highlight, and it’s only 10 minutes from the resort of Carvoeiro.
Sample Portuguese cuisine
Fresh fish is plentiful here and it plays a key part in the Portuguese diet. Make a beeline for the seafood restaurants around the coast, serving up the catch of the day. If you want to sample some for yourself, you should give the traditional bacalhau à brás dish a try; it's salty cod served with sliced potatoes and rich cream.
In the Algarve, most menus will feature cataplana - a mouth-watering stew of pork and fresh clams which is cooked and served in a traditional copper pan. Wine fans will want to take a trip to Lagos, where you can go wine tasting at the Monte da Casteleja. And if you're over in Madeira, you'll want to wash down your meal with the famous Madeiran wine.