Top 10: hidden gems in Portugal

Last updated 1st May 2024

Eco retreat portugal

1/10  Muxima, Algarve

Why go? This rustic casa is set in 28 hectares of cork and eucalyptus forest. Features include a playground, farm animals on site, and an eco-swimming pool with lily pads and frogs. It’s just outside Aljezur, an easy drive from great beaches and plenty of activities for the family to enjoy.

Book: i-escape.com/muxima

Monte de vilarinha

2/10  Monte Da Vilarinha, Algarve

Why go? These beautiful self-catering contemporary-styled hideaways in a National Park sit close to Costa Vicentina’s beaches. Children will love the playroom, adventure playground and enchanted valley setting that surrounds, and parents will love the delicious local dishes on offer, not least the all-inclusive breakfast.

Book: i-escape.com/monte-da-vilarinha

Fazenda nova

3/10  Fazenda Nova, Algarve

Why go? Following a stunning renovation in 2012, Fazenda Nova, which is set in 10 hectares of almond, pomegranate and olive orchards, has 10 stylish bedrooms with a north African vibe, a pool with a shallow end (perfect for toddlers) and endless charm. Families are warmly welcomed during the school holidays.

Book: i-escape.com/fazenda-nova-country-house

Baixa house

4/10  Baixa House, Lisbon

Why go? These light and spacious apartments are beautifully restored and decorated, they have bunk beds and baby equipment so you don’t have to lug too much abroad. It’s in a great location, hidden away in a heritage building in buzzy downtown Lisbon.

Book: i-escape.com/baixa-house

Casa do sal

5/10  Casas Do Sal, Alentejo

Why go? This is an idyllic remote country house in a lovely estate, with large rooms and apartments. It’s 100km from Lisbon, an hour from the coast, and surrounded by cork oak forests. There’s a tennis court, games room and fenced pool. All in all perfect for a secluded getaway.

Book: i-escape.com/casas-do-sal

Casa do coro

6/10  Casas Do Coro, Marialva

Why go? In this ancient hilltop village close to the Spanish border is a collection of eight charming granite houses. Food is a strong point here, dine under the olive groves, in the restaurant or opt for self-catering. Children can enjoy mountain biking, the pool, boat trips on the Douro or exploring local castles.

Book: i-escape.com/casas-do-coro

Casa de pehnas

7/10  Casa Das Penhas Douradas, Serra Da Estrela

Why go? Soak in the glorious views of Serra de Estrela from your heated pool and spa in this mountain hotel. Outdoorsy families will be in their element with bespoke walking programmes, caves and grottos to explore, plus there’s a kids’ menu and free food for under fours.

Book: i-escape.com/casa-das-penhas-douradas

villa pedra room

8/10  Villa Pedra, Cotas Coimbra

Why go? These seven self-catering cossetting cottages hidden in a stunning valley in the Beiras have an on-site restaurant, lovely gardens and a huge lawn for kids to run around on. There’s also a fantastically child-friendly pool.

Book: i-escape.com/villa-pedra

Two girls smiling whilst on holiday in Portugal

9/10  Quinta Da Bouca D’Arques, Viana Do Castelo

Why go? This 300-year-old manor house near Viana do Castelo has a choice of snazzy cosy apartments in its lovely gardens. There are forests and a secret wooden house for the children explore, as well as a saltwater pool, flat lawn and bicycles to hire.

Book: i-escape.com/quinta-da-bouca-darques

Outside view of quinta do vallado

10/10  Quinta Do Vallado, Douro Valley

Why go? Expect style, spectacular views, great food and a lovely pool at this super modern hotel that sits beside the original manor house. It’s surrounded by terraced vineyards that are great for exploring, while kids will love boat trips on the Douro and kayaking on the Corgo river; there are board games in the library and gardens to romp around, too.

Book: i-escape.com/quinta-do-vallado