Family vacations for me are a patchwork of memories – there were the many summers that my cousins and I hunted the coastal jetties daily for starfish and mussels, returning home tired and sunburnt and with buckets full of seafood. And later on, when as a teenager, my mom woke me early every morning for a walk on the beach as the sun rose – just the two of us. At the time, I complained a bit, but still it’s my most cherished memory of that particular vacation. Notice that nowhere in these memories are there fond recollections of long lines, big crowds or amusement park-style entertainment. Family vacations are a time to slow down, reconnect. And while Portugal is rightly famous for its beautiful coastline and breathtaking scenery, there are magical places just waiting to be discovered where kids and parents alike can do just that while seeing some of the most beautiful spots on the planet without the crowds. Here are some ideas for a family adventure that gets you off the beaten track.
Family adventure in the North: for the nature lover
Arouca Geopark
Adventure abounds here in this land that used to be underwater. Today, the park is home to fossils that date back millions of years. Part of UNESCO’s European Geoparks Network, there is no shortage of things for the whole family to enjoy. From hunting for fossils that date back millions of years, to hiking, swimming, rafting, kayaking and exploring villages of traditional schist houses.

Passadiços do Paiva
The Passadiços do Paiva stretches 8 km along the Paiva River gorge, the last wild and untamed river in Portugal. A series of beautifully constructed wooden stairs and walkways, you will be surrounded by some of the […]

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