Luxury villas in Portugal

Espresso-loving locals meet some of Europe’s best beaches in this picture-perfect region on the Iberian Peninsula.
Sun-drenched, easy to get to and full of historic charm, Portugal is the perfect choice for a villa holiday that combines city sightseeing adventures and lazy days spent by your private pool.

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Villas in Portugal

Portugal is one of those special destinations that changes personality with each different region that you visit. We have a range of villas that are dotted from the north to the south of the country, indulgently positioned against terraced vineyard views in the Douro Valley or found near to the towering red rock cliffs of the gorgeous Algarve.

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Portugal villa holiday guide

Sun-baked, culture-rich and home to a glorious coastline – Portugal is a great choice for a luxury villa holiday. Tick off the gorgeous weather and flop by your villa pool, then head out to explore the famous beaches, see cute cobblestone villages, wander historic hillside cities and try a tasting in a world-famous UNESCO-listed wine region. Our villas are located in the north and the south of the country – but as Portugal isn’t that big, travel times across-country are actually quite a simple feat.  Leave your villa for the day and hop on the train from the Douro Valley to explore the riverside charms of Portugal’s second city, Porto, or take a road trip north from the Algarve to see the postcard-perfect views of the capital, Lisbon.   

Things to do in Portugal

Beaches

Portugal has more than 800km of incredible coastline, so doesn’t do beaches lightly. There are coastal gems throughout the country, but some of the best can be found in the Algarve – the sun-worshipping southern coast that spoils for choice with its spectacular sea caves and cliff-backed golden beaches. If you’re staying in a villa near Lagos, Praia do Camilo is one of the most eye-catching. Descend the 200 wooden steps down to the beach floor, making sure to stop along the way for the best photos of the views. It’s dainty but gorgeous, and is home to those iconic views of the giant rock arches. About midway from Carvoeiro, Praia de Albandeira is a tiny little-known treat. With no watersports or sunbeds, it’s basic – but it also has fewer visitors than most so it’s the perfect spot for an uninterrupted soak in the sun if you fancy a day out from your villa. Families will love the blue-flag golden stretch of Praia do Anção. This vast beach is dune-protected and is a popular choice for family holidays thanks to its calmer waters that are great for water-skiing and swimming.   

Praia do Camilo

Nature

We know the Algarve is all about its beaches, but our villas are also close to one of the country’s best bird-watching hotspots. The 18,000-hectares of Ria Formosa Natural Park stretch from the west of Faro all the way along the coast to Cacela Velha. If you’ve got a car, this natural wonderland is well worth the day trip from your villa. From marshes and dunes to saltpans and lagoons there are so many different habitats that you can explore – and you’ll even get the chance to spot seahorses and chameleons in their natural environment. If dolphins are more your thing, the Algarve coastline is one of the best areas in the country for spotting dolphins. Take the morning and book onto a boat tour from Albufeira or Vilamoura, looking out for bottlenoses and striped dolphins on the way. A boat tour is also a great option if you want to see the Instagram-famous ‘eye’ of the sea-locked Benagil Caves.

Our luxury villas in the Douro Valley give you the chance to see this beautiful world wonder at its natural best. Wake, sleep and eat to views of the sloping terraced vineyards – a cinematic marvel thanks to a rich wine making history. Head out from your villa and spend time exploring this gorgeous region – stroll through vineyards, tour the estates and have a go at tasting the incredible different varieties of port wine. If you’ve chosen to go on a villa holiday in September, you can even volunteer and help with the harvest and production. This region’s beauty unfolds at each and every angle, but it’s worth ramping up the romance with a boat trip along the Douro River – the rolling hills are even more special when you see them towering above you.

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Activities

Portugal has some of Europe’s most gorgeous cities to its name, and a select few make the perfect day trip from our selection of luxury villas. Two hours north of Faro is the country’s costal capital, Lisbon. Known for its trams, gothic glamour and trademark hills that overlook the best views of this cobbled classic, Lisbon is so worth the drive time. Best explored on foot (even if it can get a little steep at times), make sure to have a stroll along the pretty streets of Alfama, looking out for the historic treats of the National Pantheon and Castelo de São Jorge. Bookworms should pay a visit to the trendy district of Chiado – a fashionable neighbourhood that’s home to one of the oldest surviving bookstores in the world.

If you fancy a break from your villa’s Douro Valley views, catch the beautifully rickety Lina do Douro train and ride through the rural north to Porto – Portugal’s epic second city. On the banks of the Douro River, this northern jewel is an old-world national treasure and one of the best places in the country to see medieval cobbled streets and delicate azulejo-tiled churches. Find Portuguese ceramic bargains on Rua das Flores, seek out Manueline masterpieces like the tiled fresco in São Bento Station, and admire the arches of the Dom Luis I Bridge – the longest bridge of its kind in the world. If you have the time to spare, leave Porto and drive an hour south to the canal-chic city of Aveiro. Known as the ‘Venice of Portugal’, this city enchants with its hand painted Moliceros boats and candy-coloured beach houses. 

Porto

Eating and drinking in Portugal

Portugal’s incredible coastline means that fish and seafood are literally everywhere, but local specialities can vary depending on the region of your villa. Across the country you’ll find Bacalhau – Portugal’s signature salt cod dish and a national treasure. If you’re staying in a villa in the Douro Valley, take the train into Porto to find some of the best Bacalhau dishes near the Dom Luis I Bridge. There are dozens of restaurants along both sides of the river that you can explore; try traditional Petiscos (Portuguese finger food), or keep an eye out for a classic Francesinha - the city’s beer-soaked sandwich filled with cheese and meat. Wash down the food with a velvety Port or crisp Vinho Verde at one of the antique wine cellars dotted around the city.

If you’ve chosen to stay in one of our villas in the Algarve, one dish you can’t miss trying is a traditional cataplana stew. Traditionally cooked in a copper pan that goes by the same name, there are so many different versions to try – regional favourites include Cataplana de Marisco (simply a seafood extravaganza) and Cataplana de Carne de Porco com Amêijoas (a surf-and-turf mix of pork and clams). If you’re looking for a less busy, but equally as delicious, dinner out, leave your villa for the fresh seafood found in one of the quieter coastal villages between  Faro and Tavira. Or, just stay in – with supermarkets and local markets easily accessible in the Algarve’s larger towns, dining within the privacy of your own villa couldn’t be easier.  

Desserts and sweet treats are a big part of the Portuguese culinary scene, but the most famous – and an absolute must try – is the pint-sized custard tarts. In Lisbon, tourists (and locals) queue out of the door at Pastéis de Belem bakery, the birthplace of the Portuguese custard tart. But don’t panic if you’re not staying near here – you’ll find there’s no shortage of custard tarts in any other areas of the country. 

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts)

When to go to Portugal

Portugal enjoys a Mediterranean climate which means that skies are blue and the sun’s mostly out all year-round. It’s crisper here in the winter months (average daytime temperatures can range from 6 to  18 degrees between January and February) but you can still take advantage of our villas that include the option of a heatable pool. The summer is when the country hits its humidity, and heat, peak – expect busier beaches, people-packed restaurants and extremely warm daytime temperatures that can reach up to the early 30s.