It’s got food, sun, and surf – Portugal might just be the perfect holiday destination. If your group of friends needs some time by the seaside to let their hair down, then it’s best to plan some activities in advance to avoid those last-minute moments of indecision. Portugal has everything you could want from a European city in terms of stunning views, with ancient cathedrals, cobbled streets, and colourful seafronts to keep you enchanted for the entirety of your group holiday.
6 Things To Do On Your Trip To Portugal
1. Go surfing in Ericeira
It shouldn’t be assumed that all holidays involve glasses of Prosecco and shopping trips – although there’s nothing wrong either of those things. Getting out and enjoying Portugal’s infamously glorious waves is one of the best ways to make the most of its gorgeous seafront. Renting surfboards and wetsuits and learning how to catch the waves could provide for some humorous and exhilarating entertainment. You’ll even find online guides to the water temperature throughout the year. Not everyone takes to surfing naturally, and at the very least you might have some humorous moments to bond over when you finally put your boards down at the end of the day.
2. Go hiking in Algarve
If your group of friends prefers exploring the outdoors together, then Algarve provides some of the most beautiful hiking routes in all of Portugal. You’ll find oak forests, and jaw-dropping coastline walks all within this stunning area of Portugal. You’ll find plenty of local walks and guides that can take you along the seaside, through local villages or through areas full of fragrant flowers. Basing yourself in a nearby city or province is one of the best ways to give yourself a base to return to in the evenings. Finding villas in Portugal together gives you somewhere to put your feet up and spend an evening chatting with a glass of wine.
3. Attend a moonlight walk
Some holidays will never be about early bed-times, and one of the best was to spend an evening in Portugal, is on one of their moonlight walks in Sintra. This serenely beautiful night-time walk will take you through the historic Path of the Druids, which will certainly evoke a magical atmosphere. You will also pass through Moon Mountain, where you will enjoy a picnic under Mediterranean moonlight near some of Menorca’s most ancient monuments that date back to nearly 1,000 years. If you’re worried about getting tired on this unique trek, then fear not: you will be treated to a cup of tea or coffee at a café stop along the trek.
4. Get your fill of Mediterranean cuisine
Any friends getaway or holiday should be full of evenings filled with chatter and plenty of wine. One of the best ways to reconnect with friends is over a plate of food. Portugal’s seaside location makes it ideal for finding some of Europe’s freshest seafood and vibrant Mediterranean cuisine. Whether you want some fresh prawns to go with your white wine, or are happy to pair a hearty red with your seafood linguine, Portugal is home to some superb restaurants.
If you’re based in Lisbon, Descobre offers a refined evening of contemporary cuisine with a welcoming local touch. Starting your evening with olives or tapenade before moving onto their beautifully presented octopus or mushroom bites will prepare you for their exquisite mains, which include Mediterranean seabass and loin steak with thyme. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some local light bites with some entertaining live music, then the Jam Club offers you a multitude of flavours of Lisbon life.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on basing yourself in Portugal’s north-west city Porto, then you could visit Travesso, which offers up the combination of fine food and expertly selected wines. If you are looking for an evening that’s truly special with a menu that has expertly crafted local dishes such as duck patties, bean and lamb stew with mint and Portuguese ceviche, then you’re at the right place.
5. Go whale watching in Azores
A trip away with friends should feel special, and if there’s one thing that will make it feel like a once-in-a-lifetime trip, it’s watching whales from the coast of Portugal. According to the locals, there’s no ideal time to go – so if you’re early risers or prefer a lie-in, you can view whales and dolphins at either time of day. The experts on these boat cruises know everything there is to know about every variety of whale you’ll see, and their unique context in the unfortunate history of whaling within the area. A day out on the ocean provides a great opportunity to enjoy Portugal’s majestic wildlife and take home memories that will be quite unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced together.
6. Douro Valley Wine Tour
Portugal is famous for its wine, and so it would be rude to visit and not sample some of its most famous beverages. Wine tours in the Douro Valley region also provide you with an opportunity to explore and learn without trekking around a city centre for hours on end. In fact, you will find a few wine tours with cruises provide you with lunch, a river cruise, and those all-important wine tastings. The river cruise will enable you and your friends to put your feet up and enjoy some of Portugal’s most stunning views of the Alto Douro region, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. You will be visiting more than one winemaker, showcasing the vast wine producing capabilities of this incredible part of Portugal.
No group of friends is the same: you might prefer shopping trips to hiking, or you might prefer to spend your days walking among vineyards than lazing on the beach. Whatever your preferences, exploring unique local opportunities enable you to visit a country and create multiple talking points over dinner. While you might cherish the time spent watching whales or walking through Portugal’s forests at moonlight, the best memories are likely to come from spending some much-needed quality time away with your friends.