Last Updated on May 9, 2022
Portugal is a gorgeous country full of wild and untouched scenery, vibrant villages bursting with local character, and some of the best beaches you can find in Europe. Thrill-seekers will undoubtedly fall in love with Portugal as there are plenty of activities to keep their adrenaline pumping. From sailing in the Algarve to golfing in Madeira and horse riding in Costa Azul, here’s a list of the top activity holidays in Portugal.
Sailing in the Algarve
Algarve is located in the southernmost region of Portugal, in the southwest of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. It extends from Cabo de Sao Vicente towards Rio Guadiana at the border of Spain. The Algarve has a decent sailing infrastructure, making it one of the most popular destinations for sailing adventures.
Along the south coast of the Algarve, you’ll find safe harbours and well-equipped marinas with modern facilities. It’s possible to begin your charter from Portimao, Lagos, or Faro, and you’ll find a wide range of boats to charter here. You’ll also find harbours in Olhao Sagres and Vila Real. At the Bay of Lagos, you’ll find the Marina de Lagos, which can accommodate up to 462 yachts. On the East of Lagos, you’ll find the natural harbour of Portimao lying on the Arade river. It’s located about three nautical miles inland and set in a protected location, considered the safest harbour in the region.
When going on a sailing expedition in the Algarve, you should consider staying in Algarve holiday homes with a sea views. The Holiday rentals in the Algarve can cater to all kinds of visitors, from families to couples and even solo travellers.
Surfing on the Silver Coast
When surfing in Portugal, you’ll have plenty to choose from. There are waves for all levels of surfers, from the beginner-friendly white-water to some gnarly beach and point breaks, which are ideal for professional surfers.
About an hour north of Lisbon, you’ll find the Silver Coast, a surf school that offers surfing lessons of all kinds. Not only that, but they also provide accommodation in a small coastal village in the Peniche area, widely recognised as one of the best and most consistent surfing spots in Europe. Established in 2010, the Silver Coast aims to provide the best quality surf lessons in Portugal from professional surf instructors using only the best gears.
The Silver Coast is located in a town called Peniche, about 90 km north of Lisbon. It’s a former island and was gradually linked to the mainland around the 17th Century. The beaches in the area, with their fine golden sands bathed by waves of the Atlantic Ocean, have some of the country’s best surfing conditions.
Golfing in Madeira
Madeira is an ideal destination for golfing all year round. It’s home to three excellent golf courses and accommodations guaranteed to delight any golfer. Located off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira enjoys a mild climate all year round. The mountainous island is surrounded by a deep blue sea and has become a popular destination for tourists, especially avid golfers looking to make the most of a scenic Portuguese golf holiday.
Madeira has three golf courses. You can practice on one of the two golf courses, Santo da Serra Golf Club and Palheiro Golf, with 27 and 18 holes respectively. Both courses are notable for the breathtaking beauty of their surrounding landscape. Meanwhile, the Porto Santo Golf is located on the island of Porto Santo, about 40 km from Madeira. It’s a 27-hole course designed by Spanish professional golfer Severiano Ballesteros. With 9km of beach featuring crystal clear waters, you will be tempted to swim after a round of golf in Porto Santo.
Madeira comes equipped with all the golf facilities suitable for every handicap, including excellent quality accommodations, making the island a paradise for golfers. It also hosts the Madeira Island Open in spring, a significant golf tournament part of the PGA European tour.
Riding along the Costa Azul
Providing great swathes of pristine sandy beaches and towering cliffs, Costa Azul is a wonderful holiday destination in Portugal. It’s a low-key resort town about an hour south of Lisbon, offering a combination of simplicity and tranquility. In Costa Azul, you’ll find tranquil, secluded beaches and pristine countryside, which you can best discover on a horseback ride.
What’s great about horseback riding in Costa Azul is that you’ll be riding a Lusitano horse breed. Around the 16th and 18th centuries, these breeds of horses were the darling of Europe’s royal courts. These powerful horses are noted for their willing nature and intelligence. They have agile and elevated gaits and are generally comfortable to ride.
You will enjoy the point to point nature of your horseback riding adventure in Costa Azul, where you’ll visit charming villages, soak up the atmosphere, and pass through scenic coasts.
Wine Tasting in Porto
Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is renowned for producing the famous Port wines that gave the city its name. Nestled amid sweeping river views, it boasts an extensive history, interesting architecture, buzzing nightlife, and captivating tourist attractions. But what really draws visitors to Porto is its wine, and wine tasting is a popular activity here.
Porto has more than 14 port cellars and offers endless opportunities for port tasting sessions. The wine itself is produced in the Douro Valley. However, the major wine brands age their wine at the Port wine lodges in Gaia. You will be with a knowledgeable wine guide who will also share some interesting things about Port wine and the region’s winemaking history. The tour may also include a visit to a museum and some other famous attractions in the city.
It’s also possible to visit the Douro Valley, where the grapes for port wine are grown. It’s about an hour away from the city of Porto, and there are various ways to reach the area. Visitors can take a boat trip for a slow and scenic route or rent a car and drive to Douro Valley. There are also train routes for those who prefer to go this way.