The Essence of Portugal – A 2-Week Holiday

Whatever style of holiday you want, you will find it in Portugal.

Portugal can be beach leisure, city break, island escapism, cultural discovery, pure romance and perfect for families. It’s a thousand moods and holidays rolled into one easy to travel destination.

Whether you like old or new, food or art, complete privacy or meeting the locals, Portugal has the holiday experience for you.

This is a two-week holiday we just created for an EliteVoyage client, who wanted to explore the essence of Portugal and truly enjoy many holidays in one.

Start in Lisbon

Views over Lisbon

The most exciting city in Europe? You decide when you land in Lisbon and immerse yourself in its art, culture, food and everyday life.

Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon just reopened after a major renovation.

What hotel style do you prefer? The trusted comfort of Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon? An historical estate outside the city, like Tivoli Palacio de Seteais? Or Portuguese charm in the heart of the city, like Verride Palacio de Santa Catarina or Bairro Alto Hotel?

Bairro Alto Hotel offers a contemporary style in a traditional neighbourhood.

We recommend starting with a private sunset cruise on the Tagus River, a perfect scene setter. Then embrace the city’s vibrancy. A cooking class. Exploring the local markets. Touring the city in a sidecar or beetle convertible, to places like Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Palacio da Pena after hours.

Enjoy a picnic in a palace garden, try small historic restaurants and Michelin-starred standouts. And don’t miss dinner with a fado show.

Palacio de Pena

Customise this: Lisbon is on the coast, where you can surf beginner waves and horseback ride along a wild Atlantic coast. Instead of staying in the city you can stay on the beach, at a hotel like Areias do Seixo, then do day trips to the city. For a capital city, the beaches are incredibly quiet and you can feel a million miles away from the bustle. 

Now the rural Portuguese Experience in Alentejo

Views over Alentejo

Stop at Melides on route to Alentejo – it’s the third largest beach in the world, with 60 kilometres of pristine sand and green-blue waters.

Alentejo creates an immense feeling of space. Wild landscapes of mountains, vineyards, and plains meeting the sea. It’s a region of slow living, great gastronomy and long standing traditions.

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova

Check into the exceptional Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, a Portuguese hideaway surrounded by oak groves, olive trees and vineyards. It has a great spa, private wine tasting and a working farm to explore.

A small Alentejo mountain town to discover on your travels

Explore Alentejo in a Jeep or ATV, hike in the cork forests, discover enchanting castle towns and explore the lavender fields. Meet a boot master to see how traditional leather boots are made, and definitely try the cooking workshops at your hotel.

We can’t recommend the Alentejo hot air ballooning enough – it’s the best way to explore this unique landscape and suitable for children as well.

Perhaps Porto is more you style?

Customise this: Swap out the rural experience for enchanting city life and go to Porto instead. There’s so much history and art here, not least the blue azulejo tiles, a traditional form of street art. Of course there’s port wine in Porto, so take a cruise down the Douro River to explore the vineyards, perhaps staying at the magnificent Six Senses Douro Valley.   

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End on the Beach in the Algarve

Exploring the Algarve

The Algarve has an undeserved reputation for mass tourism. It’s true that some parts of the region are blighted by ugly tourist developments, but the Algarve has 200 kilometres of cliff-lined coast and most of it is untouched. Even in summer you can find beaches that are completely empty.


Families will love VILA VITA Parc and Martinhal Sagres Family Resort, where chilled vibes meet beautiful beaches and all the amenities your children will need.

Martinhal Sagres Resort

For couples we prefer somewhere like Grand House, a boutique Relais & Chateaux hotel on Portugal’s southwestern point. Authenticity, simplicity and soul. That’s the vibe down there. Oh, and the beach club of course!

Portugal is a great beach leisure destination so the Algarve is a natural place to end your trip.

Horseback ride to a remote beach like this in the Algarve

We recommend getting a catamaran for the day and cruising to the region’s remote bays – much faster than going by road! Visit an oyster farm on the island of Culatra and keep soaking up the Portuguese sun. You don’t need to return to Lisbon as there are direct flights from Faro in the Algarve to Prague.

Welcome to the Azores, a world apart, close to home

Customise this: Want something more adventurous than the Algarve? Then try the island of Madeira instead. Or explore the remote Atlantic Ocean islands of Azores, one of Europe’s best under the radar destinations.

Ready to Explore Portugal

Portugal is easy and comfortable, with incredible experiences that are close to home. And it’s so diverse. Here’s a one-week romantic holiday in Portugal we designed earlier this year. We’ve seen demand for Portugal holidays grow rapidly over the last five years. Soon Portugal will be as popular as Spain for summer holidays, maybe even Greece.

So are you ready to explore? While Portugal is still so authentic.

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