2014 summer holidays in Portugal
Discover Portugal's beautiful landscapes and amazing cities this summer
HomeAway travel expert
Nestled against the dramatic Atlantic, and warmed by the Southern European sun, Portugal is the ideal destination for holidaymakers who crave that classically Iberian combination of rich culture and glittering coastline, but want to avoid the bustle of Spain. A holiday in Portugal offers endless opportunities: sample the finest Madeira and Port wines, indulge in the freshest seafood - you can even tour a Portuguese cork factory. Additionally, several colourful fairs are held during the summer months: to the south, the Festival do Sudoeste; and in the north, the festivals of Vilar de Mouros and Paredes de Coura.
With flights to Portugal reasonably priced, and excellent transit within the country, there's never been a better time to book a summer holiday in Portugal. And as for your holiday accommodation - HomeAway's array of self-catered rentals has something to suit every family size and budget. Fancy an apartment in the heart of Lisbon? Perhaps a white-washed cottage in Madeira is more your style? Don't sweat it. We've got you covered.
Top five Portuguese summer destinations
Summer holidays in Algarve
The Algarve is home to the some of the world's best and most beautiful beaches, with sands taking up 200km of the coast. From sheltered coves to vast golden stretches, there's no better place for sunbathing than the Algarve, the temperatures of which reach 30º C in the summer. And partiers, hearken: the Algarve is also home to night life hotspots Portimão and Faro.
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Summer holidays in Porto
Overlooking the Douro river estuary, whose fertile vineyards gifted the world with Port wine, the city of Porto boasts a long and fascinating history. Inhabited since the 4th century, its buildings range from Medieval to contemporary in age, and include some of the most gorgeous architecture in the country.
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Summer holidays in Lisbon
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is every bit as thriving and exciting as you'd expect. Tourists are offered the pleasures of the beach, with the centre overlooking the Atlantic ocean, but intimate alleyways and distinctive architecture could keep visitors busy for days. And don't miss the opportunity to partake in some of the country's many unique delicacies - like leite cremes, a rich custard topped with a decadent layer of caramel - at the local bakeries and restaurants.
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Summer holidays in Madeira
Madeira is an enticing fusion of European style and tropical beauty, awash with stunning flora and fauna. It's long been a popular destination with tourists, and yet summer holidays in Madeira remain uncrowded and relaxing. A popular local pastime is following the levada walks - trails that run alongside the picturesque canals that irrigate the Madeiran countryside.
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Summer holidays in Central Portugal
Central Portugal is criminally underrated as a holiday location. Filled with pine and eucalyptus forests, lush valleys, and mainland Portugal's highest mountain, the Serra da Estrela, any Portugal holiday should include a trip inland. Hiking, rock climbing, paragliding - the adventurous will find plenty to satisfy their appetite for adrenaline. And the more, shall we say, urban-oriented will enjoy a visit to Coimbra, home to some of the country's finest Basque architecture, the oldest university in Portugal, and a stunning 13th-century library.