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101 Family Holidays

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Award-winning travel writer
Mark Frary.

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Portugal

Mark's verdict:

Most of us look no further than the Algarve when it comes to family holidays in Portugal. That irresistible coastline of sandy coves and cave-riddled cliffs has smugglers’ den written all over it. What we love about i-escape is that it reveals Portugal’s potential as a great all-round family destination – beach, countryside and city.

Recommended company: i-escape

Stunning Algarve beachesStylish small hotelsFun in the sunHotels and villas with a pool

i-escape says

Portugal is one of our favourite and most popular family holiday destinations – it’s where many of our staff take their kids year after year.

  • city & beach options
  • options for all budgets
  • rural retreats

The allure is simple: it’s much quieter than other European sun destinations, with beautiful (often empty) beaches, tranquil countryside and authentic cities. And most importantly, it’s fantastic value and an easy hop from the UK.

In the south, we love the Algarve’s sun-drenched beaches, perfect for bucket & spading. Visit them from this chic rural hotel, this friendly eco retreat or stay in a stylish self-catering resort with a beach and restaurants.

Inland, the unspoiled Alentejo region has whitewashed hilltowns, sweeping savannahs for hiking, biking and horse riding, and awesome surfing. This laid-back hideaway is a perfect base.

In the northern Mountain Beiras region, this collection of stone cottages is ideal for older kids (castles and mountain-biking trails, plus a gourmet restaurant), and outdoorsy children love the fresh-air activities from this cool hideaway (plus there’s a spa for tired mums!).

As for city stopovers, we’ve found a converted palace in Lisbon and funky apartments in Porto (tip: our kids love riding the clackety old trams and boating down the Douro).

See all of our Portuguese accommodation, and visit the ‘Kids’ page on each review to find out what’s available (from baby cots and highchairs to games and bicycles), nearby family activities, and other useful information such as babysitters and whether the pool is fenced.

Book them all at guaranteed best rates (via the ‘Rates page of each review), ask us for advice, read our guide to Portugal or check the latest special offers.

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