10 best family holidays in Portugal
From luxurious villa retreats with kids' clubs and spas to eco-friendly campsites, we've found the perfect holiday for you and your crew
Portugal is known for its fabulous family holiday options, with stunning beaches, plenty of child-friendly hotels, and a range of prices to suit all budgets. In our selection, you will find options ranging from luxury villas, active resorts and even camping holidays.
To help you choose the best holiday for you and your family we have included average transfer time, an example package price and all the important details and added extras you should know about before booking your holiday.
For more holiday inspiration, take a look at the best Spanish family hotels with water slides. If you're thinking of going to Disney, check out our Disneyland Paris review. For those that aren't venturing abroad this year, there are still plenty of fun days out in the UK to be had, such as Legoland and Peppa Pig World.
Here’s our pick of the best family holidays in Portugal...
1. The Martinhal Quinta Family Resort, Quinta do Lago, Algarve
Average transfer time: Around 35 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £6,194 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a 2-bedroom townhouse for 7 nights in August 2022, including private pool with Booking.com.
With luxury villas and chic townhouses, each with private swimming pools, the accommodation at The Martinhal Quinta Family Resort is spacious, making it perfect for families.
Booking a villa offers all the privacy of a self-catering holiday, but you can also use the resort’s facilities like the kids’ club and daily maid service.
There’s a crèche and kids’ club for children from 6 months to 9 years old, while older children can entertain themselves in the Blue Room, an indoor games room with everything from PlayStations to table football.
The resort also gives you the opportunity to pre-book baby equipment, such as bottle sterilisers and warmers (although if you prefer to take your own check out Milton's super-handy travel steriliser or the genius Tommee Tippee Travel Food Warmer – both ideal for popping in your carry-on luggage).
Available from: Expedia, Booking.com and Kuoni.
2. Pine Cliffs Resort, Olhos d'Agua
Average transfer time: 45 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £4,509 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a 2-bedroom deluxe suite for 7 nights in August 2022, including a private kitchen with Booking.com.
Unwind in sumptuous surroundings at the award-winning luxury Pine Cliffs hotel, which takes its name from the pine trees and stunning cliffs that surround it.
Laze by one of the six pools, or like the Martinhal Quinta Family Resort, you can take advantage of extensive leisure facilities including watersports and tennis.
There’s also a huge play area, including a pirate ship to explore, while the Scott Dunn Explores kids’ club is run by qualified nannies. Ideal for families with older children, the club is suitable for children aged from 4 months to 11 years.
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There’s also plenty to enjoy as a family. For example, guests can choose two activities, such as a private family cooking class at the exclusive new Mimo Cookery School.
Available from: Booking.com and Lastminute.com
3. Club Med, Da Balaia Portugal, Algarve
Average transfer time: Around half an hour from Faro airport
Example package: From £2,441 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a superior room for 7 nights in August 2022, including all inclusive (free food and drink and sports for everyone) on Thomas Cook.
Perched on a cliff-top in the Algarve, the Club Med, Da Balaia Portugal is the perfect choice for active families.
The hotel is a luxury, all-inclusive option, but not only does that mean unlimited ice-creams for the kids, but it’s packed with activities your children can enjoy as part of your package, from tennis lessons to circus activities.
Reviewer and mum of 1 Tara says, “There really is something for everyone. The kids’ clubs are exceptional, the food excellent and the staff friendly and helpful.”
However, she does admit “it’s not cheap”, so it’s worth saving up or seeking out special offers - read the full MFM review of the Club Med, Da Balaia Portugal.
The smallest visitors can be entertained in the crèche (4-23 months), while the kids’ club is open to the oldest age range of children in our list – up to 17 years old.
While the kids are making new friends, grown-ups can indulge in the Cinq Mondes spa.
The main restaurant offers a buffet dinner of international cuisine, but there is another restaurant with table service. There’s also a Baby Corner where parents can prepare food for the youngest members of the family.
Available from: Thomas Cook and www.clubmed.co.uk
4. Villa Casa Palmeira, Algarve
Average transfer time: Around 30 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £3,729 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in the villa for 7 nights in August 2022, including private pool, on James Villas.
Away from the crowds, this private villa is perfect for some peace and quiet alone as a family, with the benefit of a private pool to have a relaxing swim, play games and entertain the kids in.
Overlooking the serene Algarve countryside, the villa has 3 ensuite bedrooms, and a covered terrace which leads out to the heated pool. Worth noting for little ones - there's a child section separate to main pool and a removable pool fence, plus a separate shallow pool.
When it's time to escape the heat, there's also a games room with a pool table, flat screen TV and Playstation 4 to keep the kids entertained whilst you relax.
A complimentary travel cot and highchair is available on request.
The villa is just a short drive to the beach, plus other amenities such as golf, but do note that this villa is listed as car essential.
Available from: James Villas
5. Portugal Family Surf School, near Porto
Average transfer time: 30 minutes from Porto airport
Example package: From £2,296 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in family tipi for 7 nights in August 2022, including skateboarding, surfing, 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners on Portugal Family Surf School.
If you like the idea of a sporty holiday like Club Med but it’s out of your price range, then Portugal Family Surf School could be a great option.
Great for outdoor fans, this one involves camping. Although you can’t take your own tent to cut costs, the tipi tents provided are comfortable and attractive.
The holiday is aimed at older children – they recommend six years plus. You’ll join your children in the morning, learning to surf, and afternoons are kept free to practise or enjoy other optional activities available in the area such as yoga classes, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or beach volleyball.
However, unlike many resorts such as The Martinhal Quinta Family, there isn’t a kids club you can take your children to.
Available from: Families Worldwide (familiesworldwide.co.uk, 01962 302062) offers Portugal Family Surf School
MadeForMums tip: How can I save on airport parking?If you’re flying from the UK, and plan to drive to the airport, it’s worth checking to see if you can save on parking costs as these can take a significant chunk out of your holiday budget. Consider booking in advance where you can, and look out for special offers and discounts:
- Purple Parking offer discounted airport parking as well as other extras such as hotels and airport lounges.
- APH have multiple offers including airport hotel and parking packages.
- You can check Holiday Extras for a selection of airport parking and hotel deals.
6. Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa, Armação de Pera
Average transfer time: Around half an hour from Faro airport
Example package: From £2,960 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a junior suite with garden view for 7 nights in August 2022, including breakfast on Booking.com.
Feel like having kids has taken its toll on your skin? Then take a trip to Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa, which has one of the best thalassotherapy centres in the world.
There’s an enormous array of treatments that you can indulge in while your children are being cared for in the kids’ club.
Unlike resorts such as the Club Med and Pine Cliffs Resort, which will take children from 4 months old upwards, the Koala Club only takes children from 3 years old (until 12), and it’s only supervised by staff in high season, so check the dates before you book.
Available from: On The Beach, Booking.com and Thomas Cook
7. Muxima, Aljezur
Average transfer time: About 1hr 15 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £1,602 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a family suite for 7 nights in August 2022 on iescape.com.
Surrounded by a 28-hectare cork and eucalyptus forest, this North African-inspired eco-retreat is an ideal spot for a tranquil break.
Peace and quiet is the name of the game here. You won’t get the pampering of Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa or the non-stop activities of Club Med, but you will get some back-to-nature family fun.
Kids can learn to surf, visit the resident donkey, play in the Wendy house or splash around in the eco-friendly pool, which has a shallow end. Plus there is lots of equipment you can borrow including pushchairs, high chairs and travel cots.
The secluded spot also has loads of space for little ones to explore, and the owners have two children of their own who always appreciate new playmates!
Available from: Booking.com
8. Salema Beach Village, Salema
Average transfer time: Around 1hr 15 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £2,627 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a sea view 2-bedroom townhouse on On The Beach.com.
Set in the charming seaside village of Salema, the duplex townhouses of Salema Beach Village are great if you want to self-cater.
You’ll get your own garden and terrace, and although you don’t get the ultimate luxury of a private pool here (as in the Martinhal Quinta Family Resort), there is a shared pool to swim in.
You can borrow stair-gates, cots and high-chairs for your children and if you don’t fancy cooking, there’s a range of restaurants within walking distance (check out our round up of the best lightweight buggies for tiny travellers, including the Familidoo Air which can even fit into an overhead airplane locker).
This is a great option for smaller budgets, however, unlike most of the rest on our round-up, there is no kids’ club.
Available from: On The Beach, Expedia and Jet2Holidays
9. Martinhal Cascais
Average transfer time: About 40 minutes from Lisbon airport
Example package: From £5,270 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a deluxe family connecting room with half board for 7 nights in August 2022 on British Airways.
Also part of the luxurious Martinhal group, the Martinhal Cascais is a fabulous choice for those who want to take a trip to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, too.
It’s packed with child-friendly features like the extra child-height set of bannisters on the staircase. And as with the Martinhal Quinta Family Resort you can also pre-book equipment including prams and bottle sterilisers using The Baby Concierge.
The Martinhal Cascais’s crèche and kids’ club runs from 6 months to 10 years old, plus they will organise activities for children aged 10 to 17 years old, too – great for families with a wide age range of children.
Available from: British Airways, Easyjet and Thomas Cook
10. Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort
Average transfer time: About 45 minutes from Faro airport
Example package: From £3,437 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a family deluxe with terrace for 7 nights in August 2022, including breakfast on Booking.com.
Sink into the sumptuous new family rooms at the Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort, which have wonderful ocean views.
There’s a kids’ club filled with activities for under 10s, so you can enjoy some me time by the pool, which overlooks the Atlantic ocean, or head to the spa.
Unlike some others on this list including Club Med, you won’t find your day filled with on-site activities, but staff will help you get the most of your trip by organising special day trips if you want to.
Available from: www.nh-hotels.com or Booking.com
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