For years travel insiders have raved about Portugal as one of the most family-friendly destination in the world. And if the past few weeks are any indication, the secret is out! I am currently working with several families on Portugal itineraries and the requests keep coming in.
If you are thinking about taking the family to Portugal in 2018, read on for a few things to keep in mind. (And be sure to sign up below for instant access to my all time favorite Portugal itinerary for families!)
The pages of a Storybook Come to life
From the most beautiful bookstore in the world to the colorful castles of Sintra, Portugal’s cities are literally picture perfect. Kids can’t help but be dazzled by these charming cities. I always like to organize a guided walking tour as soon as you enter a new city. This is a great way to stretch your legs and get your bearings, while also getting the scoop on where to eat and other things you may wish to see while you have your local guide on hand.
Then, skip the formal museum tours and instead wander through the streets, grab lunch and dine in the shade of an ancient castle fortress wall, or catch a performance of live music in one of the many monasteries and castles in the main cities.
The cities are cool, but….
Portugal is also home to many historic estates that are still family-owned, and a few of these have been turned into hotel properties.
Two of my favorites include Areias do Seixo and Sao Lourenco do Barrocal. Both have 2-3 bedroom units of plenty of room for families to spread out Also these properties are working farms, so in addition to offering all sorts of fun things for kids to do, these farms provide fresh, local ingredients for each and every meal on property.
Activities are always customized to the ages and interests of your kids. Some of my favorites include the treasure hunt at Barrocal and picnics on the sand dunes at Areias.
And while these are luxury properties, Portugal offers great value for money so the price may surprise you. I also have a preferred relationship with these hotels, so my clients receive special amenities and benefits on site.
Don’t skip the food and wine!
While “wine country” and kids don’t always go hand in hand, in Portugal the Douro Valley is a must and very do-able with kids. In addition to fabulous wine tasting (very little of the region’s wine is exported so you’re tasting things you can’t get everywhere) the scenery here is magic.
Spend the day on a boat, traveling between vineyards. Kids will love the boat, and I have the scoop on which wineries are the most family friendly! Portugal is a serious foodie destination, and even the pickiest eaters are sure to enjoy eating here as much as you do!
Also be sure to sign up below for instant access to my favorite kid-friendly Portugal itinerary!