Portugal – 5 Essential Activities For Your Next Family Trip
Oh Portugal. With that amazing coastline, the incredibly reliable sunshine (sunshine. huh. Remember that stuff?) and the beauty of the cities, it’s no wonder that everyone seems to be going there. Com eon – if you haven’t been yourself, I bet you know someone who has in the last year or two, yes?
Over 7 million tourists have stayed in Portuguese hotels so far this year – that’s a 13% rise on last year. And this month, Portugal has been named named Europe’s best destination at the World Travel Awards. And it’s not just about the fabulous coastline – inland the stunning Douro Valley wine region offers truly relaxing holidays in a rural setting, close to the wonderful second city of Porto; or there’s the lush pine forests and mountains of the gorgeous Costa Verde…
So what’s so good? Well frankly, what’s not to love? First up – the country remains one of the most affordable destinations in Europe; Post Office Travel Money have declared Portugal the second best value destination for a European getaway, after Bulgaria.
But – if you’re tempted by holidays in Portugal (do click the link – James Villas do some of the very best villa properties in Portugal, and you just know how much of a fan we are of villa holidays for family trips) then you’ll be looking for something to do with the kids beyond the beach and the restaurants right? So here’s our top five tips of places to go to keep the whole family happy…
A Dolphin Safari
Come on, you can’t go wrong can you? Sunshine, sea, bouncy speedboat and dolphins. Simply use TripAdvisor to find the best option closest to where you’re staying; the coast is littered with companies who take tourists out on a fast rib ride to watch dolphins in their natural habitat.
Literally the best water park in Portugal. I am *so* desperate to visit this place! It’s a theme park – but with water rides, plus an aquarium, and a whole range of shows through the day to keep you educated as well as entertained.
Surf and SUP
If you or the kids have never tried it before, now is definitely the time to learn – Portugal’s beaches are simply made for watersports. Most surf schools cater to people of all ages, all backgrounds and all skill levels, so just pick one that matches what you;re looking for – group lessons where you and the kids can have fun meeting others, or some one-on-one tuition to really improve your surf skills. Just be sure to check if your surf school is linked with the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) international standards of “best practice” and excellence.
Krazy World Zoo
Feed the lemurs, pet the dwarf goats and visit with the biggest snake in Europe at Krazy World Zoo (y’know, if snakes are your thing…). There’s also a fab pool and slide complex, crazy golf, tree climbing, pedal karts… you’ll not be bored, that’s for sure.
Harry Potter bookshop
Sneak in a little city culture with even the most reluctant of young people with a visit to Porto, and the Livraria Lello bookstore. JK Rowling taught English in Porto in the 90s and the bookstore’s decorative bookcases, amazing ceilings and ridiculously beautiful staircases were the inspiration for the Hogwarts Library