5 mins

The most fascinating trips through undiscovered Portugal

Beyond Porto and Lisbon, there's another side of Portugal. Get off the beaten track and explore the sleepy central valleys of Serra Da Lousã, the southern delights of Alentejo, or the Algarve...

A bay near Lagos town, Algarve

1. Discover Serra Da Lousã, Portugal's secret central valley

A historic Schist village in Serra da Lousã (Shutterstock)

A historic Schist village in Serra da Lousã (Shutterstock)

Get the inside track on one of Portugal’s best kept secrets on this tailor made break in the stunning central valley of Serra Da Lousã with Evaneos.

Serra Da Lousã is a verdant area of green valleys, tumbling watercourses and ancient villages of slate houses. You’ll explore these picturesque Schist villages, including Candal, Cerdeira and Talasnal, discovering history and culture – and a cuisine – that has changed little over the centuries.

Nature is never far away. The Serra da Lousã provides a natural habitat for many deer, wild boars and roe deer as well as mystical caves, places of both beauty and legend. Serra da Lousã is a terrific combination of nature and culture, with a hint of adventure!

Trip: Portugal: Serra Da Lousã, Portugal's Central Valley

Who: Evaneos

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Four days

How much: From £690 (exc. flights)

2. Walk ancient trails in Tavira

Anchor cemetery at the Barril beach in Tavira (Shutterstock)

Anchor cemetery at the Barril beach in Tavira (Shutterstock)

Explore the ancient trails surrounding Portugal’s Algarve coast on this holiday with Ramblers Walking Holidays.

Based in Tavira, one of the region’s most beautiful towns, you’ll ramble along ancient paths fringed with abundant wild flowers and heavy with the scent of orange groves, winding your way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral.

Another walk will take you to Tavira Island, taking in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as the pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luiza, Cabanas and Cacela Velha.

Then there’s Tavira itself, a labyrinth of cobbled alleys and the perfect place to sample the wonderful Portuguese cuisine and wines.

Trip: Tavira, Pearl Of The Algarve

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays

Type: Small group

When: Feb to May & Sep to Dec

How long: 10 nights

How much: From £975 (inc. flights)

3. Surf the sights of southern Portugal

Surfers at Praia Do Amado (Shutterstock)

Surfers at Praia Do Amado (Shutterstock)

Surf’s up on this active holiday to the hottest surf destination in Europe with Evaneos.

Blessed with endless sunshine and sublime waves, the Atlantic coast of southern Portugal is a surfing Mecca. A local surf guide/teacher will take you to the best spots and give your valuable pointers on local conditions, whatever your level.

After a few hours of catching waves, you’ll have the option to indulge in mouth-watering Portuguese delicacies, take in beautiful landscapes of Algarve and the countryside or just stay in the water all day.

The choice is yours.

Trip: Portugal: Surf And Sights In Southern Portugal

Who: Evaneos

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,700 (exc. flights)

4. Walk the Algarve from west to east

A bay near Lagos town, Algarve (Shutterstock)

A bay near Lagos town, Algarve (Shutterstock)

Experience the Algarve up close and personal on this self-guided walking tour through the region with Exodus.

Starting in the coastal town of Sagres and finishing in the city of churches, Tavira, you’ll explore some of the Algarve’s most beautiful beaches, including Odeceixe, walk along the banks of the gorgeous Guadiana River and learn about the region’s proud maritime history in Lagos and Sagres.

Great food and incredible wine is never far away, and each night you’ll relax in a beautiful hotel, readying yourself for another day of adventure and discovery.

Trip: The Algarve From West To East, Self-Guided Walk

Who: Exodus

Type: Self-guided

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: Eight days

How much: From £795 (exc. flights)

5. Explore the wilderness parks of northern Portugal

Mountain creek in Peneda-Gerês National Park (Shutterstock)

Mountain creek in Peneda-Gerês National Park (Shutterstock)

Discover one of Portugal’s most remarkable and overlooked regions on this seven-day adventure in the Peneda-Gerês National Park in the north of the country with Sunvil.

This staggering area of natural beauty cover over 700 sq km and is home to rolling river valleys, mountain peaks, waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife - including wild ponies, roebuck and the Iberian wolf.

You’ll stay at the beautiful Pousada de Canicada de Gerês, the perfect base to explore the park as well as the nearby historic towns of Guimaraes, Braga, Ponte de Lima and Barcelos.

Trip: Nature, Wildlife, History & More In Northern Portugal

Who: Sunvil

Type: Tailor-made

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: Seven nights

How much: From £784 (exc. flights)

6. Eat your way through Portugal

Traditional Portuguese food (Shutterstock)

Traditional Portuguese food (Shutterstock)

Discover a very particular side of Portugal – through your taste buds – on this delicious Real Food adventure through the flavours of Galicia, Spain, and Portugal with Intrepid.

After sampling tender, paprika-infused octopus in Santiago de Compostela and learning how to whip up your own Galician seafood classics in seaside Vigo, you’ll cross into Portugal and discover how centuries of invasion and trade have given Portuguese cuisine a mixture of Mediterranean, African Middle Eastern influences.

Sip port among the terrace vineyards of Douro Valley and enjoy hearty, farm-fresh cooking at an Alentejo agriturismo. You’ll complement your meals with cultural treats like a visit to the Roman ruins and Gothic wonder of Evora, before kicking back with Lisbon locals and a glass of ginjinha (wild cherry liqueur). Felicidades!

Trip: Portugal Real Food Adventure, Featuring Galicia

Who: Intrepid

Type: Small group

When: May to Oct

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,725 (exc. flights)

7. Walking Portugal's Land's End

Praia do Tonel in Cape Sagres, Algarve (Shutterstock)

Praia do Tonel in Cape Sagres, Algarve (Shutterstock)

Leave the crowds of tourists behind and head deep into the Algarve’s unspoilt Sarges Peninsula on the seven-day self guided walking holiday with Exodus.

Known as Portugal’s Land’s End, you’ll follow a mix of forest, valley and coastal trails as well as some wonderful cliff top routes to the very edge of Europe. Expect golden beaches, dramatic, rugged coastlines and idyllic countryside.

It’s a great area for spotting birdlife too, with endemic and migratory species passing through from Africa and northern Europe.

Trip: Walking Portugal's Land's End, Self-Guided

Who: Exodus

Type: Self-guided

When: Oct to May

How long: Nine days

How much: From £995 (exc. flights)

8. Road trip through Alentejo

Sunset at Castle Marvao, a small village in the Alentejo (Shutterstock)

Sunset at Castle Marvao, a small village in the Alentejo (Shutterstock)

Get off the beaten track and explore one of Portugal’s most authentically beautiful regions on this self-drive holiday through Alentejo and the Algarve with Evaneos.

You'll be travelling at your own pace, with the opportunity to stop and exploring the small villages spread throughout Alentejo at your leisure.

It’s the quickest and easiest way to get to the heart of Portugal's little visited inland – an authentic region of traditional houses, cork fields, Moorish heritage and of course, the tasty gastronomy. 

Trip: Portugal: Alentejo And Algarve

Who: Evaneos

Type: Self drive

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 12 days

How much: From £1,600 (exc. flights)

More off-beat Portuguese adventures:

Go off-the-beaten-track in the eastern Algarve

Unearthing the rock art of Portugal's Coa Valley

Find Portugal’s edge in Alentejo

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