5 Things To Do In Portugal For Families

Or keeping the little ones entertained with activities.

Facebook Oceanário de Lisboa.
Facebook/Oceanário de Lisboa.

With around 300 days of sunshine, an extensive coastline and delicious food to feast on, Portugal is a sought after destination. When you’re travelling with the family, you want everything to be perfect and to run smoothly.

Whether it’s finding group accommodation where the whole family can be together or keeping the little ones entertained with activities, we’re here to help with a list of just some of the great things you can do in Portugal.

Visit Europe’s largest indoor aquarium.

Facebook Oceanário de Lisboa
Facebook/Oceanário de Lisboa

Portugal’s capital, Lisbon is home to an exciting attraction; the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. With approximately five million litres of salt water, the city’s Oceanarium is where you can feel like you’re underwater and witness something spectacular.

From sunfish, jellyfish and sea otters to zebra sharks and mantas, this attraction is ideal for a moment out of the hot, Portugal sun. Hosting the largest environmental education programme in the whole of Portugal, take time to learn about their conservation efforts.

Explore ancient castles.

Sintra Portugal
Sintra. Photo: Wendy Hung

Sintra, located north-west of Lisbon, is peppered with charming castles that can be traced back to the 19th century. With decorative palaces as your playground and floral gardens to explore, it’s a great day out away from the pool.

If you only have time to visit one, the Quinta da Regaleira is a delight to visit. With mysterious wells, secret passageways and a scaling watchtower, there are hidden gems to discover around every corner. On the grounds of the 1910 Regaleira Palace are flourishing gardens with idyllic fish ponds and waterfalls.

There are also underground passages that lead to the infamous Initiation Well. Architecturally profound, the spiral staircase takes you approximately 27 metres underground and was once used for rituals. Peer up at the trees through the circular light well before following the underground passageways to explore the rest of the gardens. 

The beaches.

Photo: Bella Barconi

Portugal is where you’ll find rocky landscapes, stunning beaches and calm waters. The Algarve and Luz are well known for their soft, golden sand and picturesque views. With the famous Praia da Rocha bringing in visitors and locals alike, the whole family will be able to appreciate this cliffside setting.

From building sandcastles on the sand to joining a boat trip where you may spot dolphins in the wild, you can be as adventurous as you like. With caves to explore and water sports to enjoy, there’s plenty to get involved with no matter your tastes.

Take a toboggan ride in Madeira.

Facebook Carreiros do Monte
Facebook/Carreiros do Monte

For a completely unique experience, venture into the hills of the Monte neighbourhood in Funchal, Madeira. Explore the extravagant multi-level Monte Palace Tropical Garden for exotic plants, animals and more than 1000 sculptures.

When you’ve finished exploring the 70,000 square meter park, take a ride to the bottom of the hillside. Climb into the wicker toboggan to be pushed down the famous Carro de Cesto road that winds through the Livramento area. This has been a tradition in Funchal since the early 19th century and the sledgers wear iconic white outfits and boater hats.

Whale watching.

For an adventure no one will be able to forget, aboard a boat and set sail through the Atlantic Ocean to spot whales and dolphins off the shore of the Azores. Witnessing these magnificent creatures in all their glory as they jump from the waves is an amazing sight to see.

There are many touring companies you can travel with and if you’re lucky, you may be able to spot sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins. Learn about their species and enjoy an exhilarating ride through the water.

These five things to do in Portugal are sure to delight children and adults alike, take a break from your typical holiday activities to discover more of the country.

Team JST

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