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Blog Ideias de Viagem

Family time in Portugal – the best experiences and small hotels

Por We Love Small Hotels | 31 Agosto 2018

Portugal is full of traditions that become authentic experiences for children and adults. It is a country where all roads lead to a typical village, a historic town, a white sand beach or a river surrounded by vineyards. There are treasures to discover from North to South and their diverse landscapes build different environments.

The regions of Portugal are by themselves familiar and the paths between them, short. The most off the beaten track are definitely the most welcoming and caring. Everyone smiles and say hi to those who pass! These are the ideal places for a family getaway and where there are small & boutique hotels, always with their open doors to welcome you and make you feel like you are at home, with the perfect family environment.

We have selected the small hotels that were inspired by the landscapes and traditions of the region to offer family activities that can be enjoyed by all, privileging unique moments in family.

We start in the north of Portugal, in the demarcated region of the Douro. This region famous for its wines is also the stage of historical and cultural heritage, activities to entertain the whole family and small cosy boutique hotels.

Solar Egas Moniz is a manor house in Penafiel inserted in the Romanesque Route and perfect for a family getaway. Enjoy the family welcoming and the delicious breakfasts, perfect to start the day. Near this small hotel, you can take a horseback ride or enjoy the hot springs of São Vicente. At Matosinhos beach, you can take a family surf lesson or closer to the hotel, visit Magikland 4 Kids, an amusement park for kids and adults.

Still in the Douro region, Quinta do Vallado known for the wines it produces is also a perfect place to share good moments. Take a boat trip on the Douro River and watch the vineyards that cover the whole valley, take a jeep or bicycle ride through the vineyards and breathe the fresh air with a slight aroma of wine. You can also opt for an outdoor picnic, ideal for tasting the region's snacks while creating a connection to nature.

With Marialva Castle as a backdrop, Casas do Côro is another boutique hotel where you can enjoy the company of the family. This set of houses in the centre of the country promotes authentic experiences from the region, but also for those seeking adrenaline. Culinary workshops, truck tours, electric bikes or even a Polaris ride for moments of pure adrenaline.

In the centre of Portugal, at the highest point of mainland Portugal, is located Madre de Água Hotel Rural, a farm hotel that focuses on authentic experiences linked to the countryside and nature. Here the family holidays go by to enjoy the activities for which this region is known, the production of cheese and wine. It is possible to ride horses and interact with the animals that inhabit the Serra da Estrela, the sheep and the majestic Serra da Estrela dogs. In winter you can go to the top of the mountain and let the little ones play in the snow!

The schist villages are charming populations that are distributed in the interior of Portugal, mainly in the centre. These villages are ideal for family walks, people are welcoming and there is always a surprise hidden behind its nooks. At Vale do Ninho Nature Houses you can provide the whole family with a real escape in these villages. Let the little ones interact with the resident donkeys and discover the nature that surrounds these houses. Enjoy the biological pool and the calmness that this valley provides. Also, do a break cooking workshop or instead participate in the process of making goat cheese.

Towards the South of Portugal, we find Herdade da Matinha, in the Alentejo. This country house has everything good to entertain adults and the youngest. There are activities specially designed for children, such as cooking or painting workshops, horseriding lessons, treasure hunt or walks in Rota Vicentina. This small hotel offers a babysitting service to let adults enjoy time alone and so that they can also enjoy Alentejo's food and wines.

“Alto Alentejo” is known for its wines and nothing would make more sense than staying in a true wine hotel. Torre de Palma Wine Hotel will be the family home in this wine region, an estate steeped in history that retained old traditions. You can walk or bike through the golden fields, take a picnic or ride a horse. Learn more about the ingredients and gastronomy of Alentejo in a cooking workshop or with your hands on the vegetable garden. In the summertime marvel at star observations!

And now we are heading south to discover the off the beaten track Algarve. True family moments live in Casa Mãe in Lagos or at Praia Verde Boutique Hotel in Castro Marim, near Tavira.

Casa Mãe is a boutique hotel that privileges its connection to the sea and local traditions. There are surf lessons for the whole family, bike rides and walks to watch the sunset. For lovers of manual arts, they can learn to work with clay and for the culinary fans, there is a workshop called Farm to Table where you can learn how to get the best of fresh produce and cook them. Sagres surf paradise is close by, so don’t miss a family surf lesson and enjoy this unique beach.

Praia Verde Boutique Hotel is proud to keep some of the best secrets from Algarve and some of the most authentic experiences to spend some quality time in family. Watch the birds that inhabit the estuary of Castro Marim or learn to graze goats with a local shepherd. Take a horseback ride in Ria Formosa or learn the techniques to work on a farm and to produce bread in a wood oven. If you are a golf fan, spend the day with the family playing in the course. Get to know the area on a boat trip or with a bike guided tour.