Villa Comporta; exterior view; Troia; Portugal


Well known but still largely undiscovered, Portugal is a wealth of hidden villages, ancient traditions, sweeping bays and culinary delights.

Many have visited the golden stretches of Atlantic coast, the markets, and villas of the Algarve, however, there is a hidden side to Portugal.

Discover secret medieval castles, the rugged west coast and the enchantingly peaceful Alentejo region, with its atmosphere of a bygone era. Explore the winelands of Porto and the hidden back streets of Lisbon. Sample the freshest seafood, locally cured hams and delicious cheeses. Portugal is undoubtedly an array of surprises.

Villa Syrah; Picnic; Arrábida; Portugal
Arrábida Natural Park, Portugal


The beauty that is the Alentejo region is filled with walled towns and UNESCO heritage sites, while Moorish Castles remind visitors of the many battles which took place on these rolling hills. The Arab influence is seen everywhere; in the names of most towns starting with “Al”; the whitewashed houses; the pottery and the food. Alentejo is best explored at a leisurely pace, this is where the Portuguese come to holiday.

  • Historical towns  of Castelo de Vide, Marvao, Beja and Evora
  • Riding and walking
  • The ruins of Santiago do Cacem and Troia
Villa Omar; Pool and house; Vilamoura; Algarve; Portugal
Algarve, Portugal


It was in the Algarve that, in the 15th century, the Portuguese set off on the epic journey that led them to discover other people and cultures. Today it is filled with lovely hotels and private villas, making it the perfect spot for those wanting a traditional holiday with warm weather and spectacular fish and seafood. If visiting the Algarve, it is worth exploring away from the well-known resorts to discover a traditional way of Portuguese life.

  • Fabulous boutique hotels, such as Vila Monte farmhouse and stunning villas like Villa Omar
  • Explore peaceful islands such as Ria Formosa with a picnic lunch
  • Charter a private yacht
Villa Comporta; ariel view; Troia; Portugal
Comporta, Portugal

Central Portugal

A vast region, the centre of Portugal reaches from the ocean to the west into the interior. The interior boasts mountains and picturesque granite villages, while the long coastline from Porto to Lisbon is home to fishing villages, beaches and thermal springs. Throughout this part of the country, Portugal’s centuries-old heritage is proudly on display and showcases its unique food, UNESCO sites, convents and monasteries.

  • The Castle of St Maria da Feira, one of the best-preserved castles in Portugal
  • Guided visit to Aveiro and the colourful houses in Costa Nova
  • The charming villages of Casal de Sao Simao, Sortelha, Almourol and Piodao
  • Discover endless walking trails such as Passadicos de Paiva and Porto de Mos Ecotrail
Casa Celeiro; wine-tasting; Sao-Lourenco-do-Barrocal; Monsaraz; Portugal
Monsaraz, Portugal


A blend of new and old, Lisbon is often surprising. With contrasting neighbourhoods, each one seems to offer a largely unique combination of atmosphere, vibrance, colour, food, wine, and local culture.

  • Visit Belem with its majestic Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower, and views of the city
  • Chiado, Principe Real and Bairro Alto for some of the best restaurants, galleries, and cafes
  • Spend a few hours in the squares of Rossio and Restauradores with a chance to sample the local sour cherry liquor – Ginjinha
Quinta Matilde; Dawn; Douro Valley; Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley and the North

The North of Portugal is home to Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal as Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. The North has a strong religious tradition, and the largest number of churches and monasteries are found here, along with the famous Vinho Verde wine.

It is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Douro Valley. The Douro Wine Region, created in 1756, holds an amazing landscape of man-built terraces built to plant vineyards on the region’s rugged slope.

  • Explore the Vinho Verde region – Palácio da Brejoeira and Quinta da Aveleda
  • Douro River Cruise
  • Visit a traditional filigree workshop in the city of Gondomar
Pouring Red Wine
Pouring Red Wine


Porto, a World Heritage city, is the gateway of the region. It is known for the famous Port wine but also for a heritage which combines ancient churches and monuments, as well as modern buildings and amazing architecture, overlooking the river. Perfect for exploring by foot, the city is home to local shops, food, and a genuine warmth, alongside many variations of Port wine.

  • Take a food walking tour through the old town
  • Watch the sun set at Jardim das Virtudes
  • Explore the cellars with an expert
Quinta Matilde; Douro Valley View; Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal
Villa Comporta; terrace;Troia; Portugal
Comporta, Portugal
Quinta Matilde, Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal
Villa Syrah; exterior; Arrábida; Portugal
Arrábida Natural Park, Portugal
Villa Comporta; ariel view; Troia; Portugal
Comporta, Portugal
Villa Comporta; exterior view; Troia; Portugal
Comporta, Portugal

Private villas in Portugal

A villa can be the sole purpose of a holiday – time to relax, use as a base to further explore and spend time with family and friends. Who doesn’t want to while away a few hours with a book, al fresco lunch on the terrace before heading out to discover local tavernas. With a few insider tips on what to do in the local area, a private villa can be the perfect holiday, both busy or sedate. Examples include Villa Syrah, near Lisbon, located on a private estate or Quinta Matilde – found inland on the less-visited west coast in Pinhao. This is a four-bedroom villa nestled amongst olive trees and vineyards with views over the river Douro.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

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