“But Portugal has a peaceful feel about it. I sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyard there and I feel cut off from the world. You need that sort of thing.” – Cliff Richard
From the golden sands of the Algarve, to the culinary excellence of Lisbon, luxury is woven into the very fabric of this enchanting country. If you’re looking to enjoy the finer things that Portugal has to offer, there are three key aspects to consider before your holiday: accommodation, food and activities.
Here, we highlight where to find the best in class for each of these areas to ensure you have a truly unforgettable experience on your next Portuguese escape.
There are plenty of unique accommodation options in the most popular holiday destinations across Portugal. According to TripAdvisor’s 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards, three of the 25 best-rated hotels in Europe can be found on Portuguese soil. It will come as little surprise that two of the three hotels are located in Lisbon, with Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel and 1908 Lisboa Hotel standing out as the country’s top picks.
Lisbon isn’t the only place where you will find wholly serene stays. If you’re visiting the Algarve on the southern coast, head to the revered VILA VITA Parc. With seven swimming pools, a luxury spa and an in-house pitch and putt course, this luxury stay will cater to the needs of every kind of holidaymaker. The hotel even has direct access leading to the beach giving you your very own slice of paradise.
“By day Lisbon has a naive theatrical quality that enchants and captivates, but by night it is a fairy-tale city, descending over lighted terraces to the sea...” – Erich Maria Remarque
When it comes to high-end cuisine in Portugal, you will be truly spoiled for choice. Lisbon in particular has long been a hotspot for travelling foodies, and its culinary reputation is continuing to grow. With a total of 11 Michelin stars shared between nine restaurants across the city, there are plenty of luxurious options when it comes to eating out in the Portuguese capital.
If you’re looking to sample traditional local flavours, head to Belcanto – one of just two 2-star restaurants found in the city. Under the watchful eye of chef José Avillez, Belcanto offers a contemporary twist on classic Portuguese cuisine, redefining the country’s most emblematic dishes. Not only has this culinary mecca been recognised by the Michelin Guide, it also ranks amongst the top 50 best restaurants in the world.
Be warned, it can be very difficult to secure your seat at this coveted restaurant, so be sure to book well in advance before your holiday to avoid disappointment.
If you find yourself with a little spare time during your Portuguese coastal adventure, why not embark on a boat trip on the Atlantic waters with your travel companions? Whilst there may be more options available in the popular coastal resorts around the Algarve, companies operate all around the country, offering a variety of different boat trips.
If you’re looking for something a little more lavish, many operators will allow you to charter your own boat, giving you a private and intimate experience. What better way to end a relaxing day on the beach than by kicking back on your very own private yacht as you watch the sunset on the Atlantic horizon? It doesn’t get much more luxurious than that!
“Wet or fine, the air of Portugal has a natural happiness in it, and the people of the country should be as happy and prosperous as any people in the world.” – HG Wells