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Award-winning travel writer
Mark Frary

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Portugal

Our 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 and beach ideas
  • 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 contemporary  boutique hotel, or stay a little way inland at this relaxing rural retreat.

The wild west coast has fantastic surfing beaches; stay at this friendly rural hotel or at these elegant self-catering sea view villas self-catering resort which have all-ages kids clubs and restaurants.

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

From Lisbon, head to the beautiful Atlantic coast – it’s an easy 40 minutes by train to the popular seaside town of Cascais. This stylish resort with excellent family facilities makes the perfect base for exploring the region.

Inland, 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!).

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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