Most travellers head to Portugal for its sunny beaches, year-round friendly weather and colourful culture. But you can also enjoy these superlatives during your houseboat holiday. Besides, you'll get to know the Iberian country the way you like it best — from behind the captain's helm.
Salt in the water, air and hair
You'd be hard pressed to find a country better suited to family seaside holidays than Portugal. You'll sunbathe on the vast beaches, have fun during the various water activities, and even learn to surf. When you tire of the ocean, trade it for exploring the history that has made its mark on modern times.the overseas colonies, the opulence of royalty and the vast gold wealth.
Take a houseboat for a romantic cruise on Europe's largest reservoir, the Grande Lago, near the Spanish border. You shouldn't miss the walled city of Monsaraz, characterised by its narrow cobbled streets, spectacular archaeological finds and associated museums.
The fortified town of Jerumenha, the agricultural centre of the region, should also be on your itinerary, where you'll discover the beauty of the original Portugal.
Of course, a visit to Porto, Portugal's jewel, is also a must, as you will sail along the Douro River. Have a Portuguese-style chicken stew and wash it down with sips of Port wine from the famous Alto Douro wine region. And when darkness falls, hit the streets and let your temperament take over for the best party of your holiday.
Who will enjoy a houseboat holiday in Portugal?
- Families with children. Children will not be bored in Portugal! There's plenty to keep them entertained with activities, warm water and long beaches.
- Beach lovers. Finding a deserted beach is no problem in Portugal. Can you see yourself lying under an umbrella enjoying the undisturbed tranquillity?
- Cyclists. If you like to pedal, Grande Lago is the destination for you. The local bike paths will steal your heart!
- Swimmers. The sunny weather directly encourages you not only to relax on the deck of the boat, but also to take a good swim.
- Water sports enthusiasts. Surfing is especially popular in Portugal, for which the coast has excellent conditions.
- Wine lovers. Just one word — port. Believe me, you'll be in heaven in Porto.
- Foodies. Although Portuguese cuisine isn't as well known, it's definitely worth exploring. Don't forget to try the Pastel de nata, a local favorite dessert.
- History lovers. The countless museums will keep you entertained. You can intersperse your tour of them with admiring cathedrals of different architectural styles.
- Party-people. Southern wild blood will sweep you away! Dance wildly through the night, just as your Portuguese companions intend.