Seasonal Luxury Stays in Portugal

One of the oldest countries in all Europe, with a rich history shaped by Iberian tribes, Celtics, the Romans, Germanic empires, Islamic invaders, the Christian Reconquista and world exploration, Portugal is so much more than just a beach destination. With year-round sunshine and mild winters and a location within just a few hours’ flying time of the UK, it’s great to explore in any season.

Winter: Alentejo

Just an hour from Lisbon, the Sublime Comporta Country House Retreat & Spa may have a glorious spot on wild sand dunes backed by umbrella pines and cork trees, but it’s as great for Christmas and New Year as it is for summer, with an atmosphere all its own. Think fireplace gatherings with hot chocolate and ginger cookies, seafood feasts including famous Sado oysters, tasting of Portuguese fortified wines, interactive dining experiences in the garden-to-table restaurant and live jazz accompanied by a gin trolley. As well as vast sweeps of empty beaches perfect for a wintry stroll, the Alentejo is studded with prehistoric dolmens, menhirs and burial mounds, plus impressive Roman ruins, and it’s also a great spot for stargazing.

Spring: Douro Valley

This is one of the best times to visit the world’s oldest demarcated wine region (a UNESCO World Heritage site) with its micro-climate ensuring higher temperatures than in Porto at the mouth of the river. With an intoxicating setting in the midst of all this, the converted 19th-century manor house that is the Six Senses Douro Valley has a wine library and terrace where you can taste the best local vintages, an intimate Chef’s Table, and a top-notch spa using natural and ethically produced products that can help you to restore and detox in time for summer.

Summer: The Algarve

One of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa amidst 54 acres of sub-tropical gardens offers everything from two-Michelin-starred dining to golf programs and fantastic family facilities. Excursions range from private yacht-hire for dolphin-spotting forays in the Atlantic to tours of the Herdrade dos Grous farm estate supplying the resort’s mighty wine cellar. 

Blissfully located within Ria Formosa Natural Park, Conrad Algarve was styled after an 18th-century palace yet has an airy, contemporary feel. This is another a great option for foodies – one of its restaurants is Michelin-starred, and there’s the opportunity for hands-on learning about local food and drink with the likes of cataplana masterclasses, market visits with a chef, vineyard trips, and oyster or olive-oil tastings.

Perched on a red sandstone cliff, the vast Pine Cliffs Resort embraces hotel rooms and suites, villas and townhouses in seven different properties. When you’re not lounging on its private section of Falésia Beach (among the world’s best according the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards), connect with the local heritage, cuisine and landscapes via concierge-crafted activities and itineraries. There’s also a golf course, an Annabel Croft tennis academy, a state-of-the-art spa, and a vast kids’ club. 

Autumn: Porto

September and October are arguably the best times to visit this coastal city in northwest Portugal, with pleasantly warm days, barely any rain and far fewer people than in high season – ideal for exploring its cobbled streets, bridges and merchants’ houses and for tours and visits learning about its port wine production (as some local vineyards you might be able to help stomp the grapes during the harvest). Le Monumental Palace, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, makes the perfect base for discovering all of this, with a sleek spa with a heated pool and hammam, a Michelin-starred restaurant and hugely cocooning rooms and suites.

To book your luxury stay in Portugal, contact your Travel Counsellor today and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.

Discover the fairest destinations of them all with Disney Cruise Line

08 July 2024

Disney Cruise Line recently announced two new seasons of amazing itineraries and sailings from autumn 2025 to spring 2026. The Disney Fantasy, Disney Wish, Disney Treasure, and Disney Dream will go on enchanting journeys to one or both of Disney Cruise Line’s signature island destinations, Disney Castaway Cay and Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, offering voyages filled with even more Disney magic.

Explore Cunard's best sailings for 2025

08 July 2024

Step into a world of timeless sophistication and unmatched grandeur with Cunard, who this year celebrated a monumental milestone with the unveiling of their 249th vessel, the majestic Queen Anne. As we look forward to 2025, we present a collection of remarkable Cunard cruises, each promising unforgettable memories from the moment you step onboard. Book now to enjoy up to $620 in onboard credit per balcony stateroom, along with complimentary stateroom upgrades on selected 2025 voyages.

The best swimming pools in the world

08 July 2024

Imagine the sheer delight of dipping into a crystal-clear pool, the sun glistening off the water as you take in breathtaking views. An unforgettable swimming pool can be among the highlights of your holiday, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourites, whether you’re looking for somewhere to cool down after seeing the sights or want a tranquil spot where you can relax and unwind.