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Best Places To Stay In Portugal: Portugal Holiday Guide

     Welcome to the No.1 website for renting luxury villas in Portugal. Discover the reasons why Portugal is a top holiday destination for so many holidaymakers across the globe. From the best places to stay, to top things to do, must-see beaches, nightlife and more, find out all you need to know about your holiday in Portugal.

      Hundreds of miles of the best coastline in Europe, stunning landscapes and a past richly intertwined with so many great civilisations from world history, are just some of the reasons why Portugal is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.

      Located in southern Europe, directly opposite Morocco, famous Portuguese resorts, such as the Algarve and Quinta Do Lago, benefit from warm weather throughout the year, making Portugal the ideal holiday destination for holidaymakers across the globe.

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John Paul Donnelly

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Why choose Portugal?

     Bordered by picturesque mountains and hills, Portugal's spectacular coastline is home to beautiful beaches, idyllic coves, lagoons, sand islands and some of the best beach resorts in Europe.

      Further inland, you'll find historic buildings and incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, whilst in the hills, you hike or cycle a wide range of trails to uncover lush vineyards, traditional villages, ancient castles and stunning wildlife.

      Portugal's bus and train networks are very well connected, with stops in villages as well as towns. If you want to rent your own transport, bike and car rental is in plentiful supply and there are always taxis, if all else fails.

     On the ground, buzzing cities, top championship golf courses, a wide range of attractions for all the family, luxury villas with pools and delicious, fresh Mediterranean food create the ultimate destination with something for everyone.



Browse Private Villas With A Pool

Best things to do in Portugal

     Portugal is positively bursting with exciting things to do and see, From top attractions for all the family, to Michelin-starred restaurants, breathtaking beaches and ancient, historical sights, here's our top picks of the best things to do in Portugal.

Best things to do in Portugal:

Top watersports:

     One of the many advantages of coming to a well-established holiday destination like Portugal is that the facilities you encounter are of a high standard across the board.

     You'll find a huge variety of watersports to enjoy in Portugal. From the thrills of flyboarding and stand up paddleboarding to inflatables, jet skiing, scuba diving, kayaking and surfing, it is possible to enjoy just about every type of water sport in Portugal.

     There are also lots of boat tours available, providing an invaluable way to get to see the expanse of coastline, beaches and inlets that line Portugal's shores.


Best Beaches

     Portugal's beaches are the prime reason most holidaymakers choose to visit Portugal. With such a long coastline facing the Atlantic, it is almost impossible to choose from Portugal's endless collection of spectacular beaches and coves.

     Here are just a few of our favourite stretches of coastline and there are lots more that could be on the list.

     The Praia do Barrill is a beautiful, quiet beach in picturesque surroundings. Part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, Praia do Barrill is the place where Portuguese families like to come so you'll find an unspoilt, stretch of sand where you can relax and drink in the views undisturbed.

     Praia de Dona Ana is another spectacular location. Huge limestone cliffs, border this breathtaking cove, creating a dramatic backdrop perfectly matched by the majestic, turquoise blue waters below. Praia de Dona Ana is one of Portugal's most famous beaches so it can get busy in the height of summer.

     For surfing, Praia da Mareta in the surfing capital of Sagres is without a doubt, the best place to surf in Portugal. Backed by high cliffs, the powerful surf at Praia da Mareta is met by a wide, open beach with plenty of bars and restaurants within easy reach.

     One of Portugal's liveliest beaches is the Praia da Rocha. The Praia da Rocha's enormous size means it can host any event or influx of holidaymakers. This popular beach is very well-maintained with watersports, stylish beach clubs, beach sports and a busy calendar of beach side events.

     Due to its size you can still find your own space when Praia da Rocha is busy and there are parts further down that separate off into coves if you want a little more privacy.

     For the best beaches in Portugal, head to the Algarve which has a dense concentration of top beaches and beach resorts.

Discover more about the Algarve


Best local attractions

      Beyond its beaches, Portugal has a dizzying array of historical, cultural and family oriented attractions.

     There are many top waterparks throughout the country but the best is Slide and Splash in Lagoa.

     Slide and Splash is Portugal's largest waterpark, favoured for its balance of exhilarating rides for adults and children. There are also lots of restaurants, animal shows and pools inside the park to keep everyone entertained.

     Oceanario de Lisboa is another top family day out. Located in Lisbon, this sensational aquarium is home to 8000 marine animals. The aquarium's phenomenal floor to ceiling wrap-around tanks make it is possible to feel as if you are underwater during your visit.

     With its position at the very edge of Europe, facing the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal has played a significant role on the world stage in the past.

     Portugal's rich history is reflected in the sheer number of spectacular historical sights for visitors to explore all over the country and many of them hark back to Portugal's monumental maritime history.

     Just some of the many historical sights in Portugal include: the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (or Jeronimo's Monastery), Castelo de Sao Jorge, Torre de Belem (or Belem Tower), Castelo de Silves (or Silves Castle), Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Praca do Comercio and the Universidade de Coimbra.

     The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (or Jeronimo's Monastery) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous structures in Portugal.

     Built in 1501 to celebrate the safe return of the great explorer Vasco de Gama, its intricately decorated interior and facade are a magnificent architectural feat with extravagant vaulted ceilings, a double layered cloister and ornate stonework.

     Close by, the Torre de Belem (or Belem Tower) is another magnificent World Heritage Site.

     Constructed in 1514, the five-floor Torre de Belem was first used as a fort to protect the city of Lisbon from invaders. Its prominent position made it the entry point from where many of the country's famous explorers would leave and return to great fanfare.

     Silves Castle is an astounding 8th century, red sandstone castle in Silves. The castle was built by the Moors and is said to be the best preserved medieval castle in the Algarve.

     Castelo de Sao Jorge is another famous castle from around the same period. Sitting at the top of the highest hill in Lisbon, this former royal palace is particularly impressive at night when it is illuminated and can be seen from miles away.

     Portugal's diverse landscape is almost as famous as its beaches. Both along the coast and inland, you'll find plenty of natural phenomena and superb hiking trails to explore. Some of the best include: Cabo da Roca, Ponta da Piedade, Ria Formosa Natural Park, Furnas Lake, Porto Moniz, 25 Fontes and Cascada da Risco.

     Ria Formosa Natural Park is a famous nature reserve along the coast of the Algarve. Its 60km lagoon is bordered by peninsulas and tiny islands, creating a fertile network of marshes, tidal flats, saltpans, woodland and islands.

     Flanked by a beach on either end, Ria Formosa is home to a huge range of rare plants, flowers, marine life and over 20,000 birds during the winter months. Many of the rare species that live here can't be found anywhere else in the world. Explore the many trails though the wetlands yourself on foot, by bike or on a boat tour.

     Ponta da Piedade is another extraordinary area of natural beauty in the Algarve.

     Comprising a collection of majestic rock formations, caves and grottoes, the limestone cliffs of Ponta da Piedade sit at over 20m above sea level.

     From its position in Lagos, it is possible to hike up the 182 steps to the top to see the site in all its splendour, as well as dramatic views across to Sagres and Carvoeiro. Alternatively,you may want to take a boat tour along the coastline and into the caves.

     The crystal-clear waters are perfect for a quick swim or you can hire a guided kayak tour and sail in and out of the cove too see everything up close. Look out for the sea arches, the cathedral, the submarine, the camel's head and the kissing couple – all famous formations, you'll want to spot during your visit.

Best restaurants:

     Portugal is a culinary hotspot. You'll find fresh seafood, flavoursome dishes, masterful cooking and Michelin-starred restaurants all over the country, dotted here and there with friendly bars.

     Top restaurants include the dramatic, Michelin-starred Casa de Cha da Boa Nova, where traditional Portuguese dishes are served in an ocean-side dining room that opens out to the sea.

     Other top picks include: Real Portuguese Cuisine, Pigs and Cows, O Garreto and Cafe Ingles.

     When you want a change from all the seafood and slow-cooked dishes, the fast food over at Fabios Roadstop, tapas at Tapas Jukebox and Indian-inspired dishes at Sunita's Castle are all great options.

Top places to visit in Portugal:

     To enjoy all that Portugal has to offer, you'll find the best combination of relaxation, interesting things to do and beautiful accommodation in the Algarve.

     This top global destination has all the best beaches and sights within easy reach and is well-known for its luxury villa accommodation.

     Browse luxury villas in the Algarve and Quinta Do Lago

Best places to stay in Portugal

     The best luxury villa rentals in Portugal can be found on the Algarve and in Quinta Do Lago. These two, stunning beach resorts have a wide range of luxury holiday villas for rent, with something to suit every taste.

     From a private villa with a pool, to a three bedroom villa by the beach or a five bedroom villa rental with sea views, you'll find a huge choice of luxurious holiday villas to choose from.


Best luxury villas in Portugal for rent:

Luxury villas in Portugal for rent with a pool

Luxury beach villas in Portugal for rent with sea views

4 bedroom villas in Algarve for rent
5 bedroom villas in Algarve for rent
Discover more top luxury villas in Portugal for rent

or call us to discuss the best holiday villas in Portugal to suit you and your family

     High in the lush, green hills of the Algarve, Quinta Do Lago is an exclusive golf resort.

     Hidden amongst the resplendent pine forests, on the borders of magnificent Ria Formosa Natural Park, the 2000 acre Quinta Do Lago resort offers the chance to enjoy three spectacular championship golf courses, as well as the Paul McGinley Golf Academy and the TaylorMade Performance Centre.

Main airport in Portugal

Lisbon Airport is Portugal's main airport although Faro Airport is a popular choice with holidaymakers due to its proximity to many of the island's best resorts.

When is the best time to visit Portugal?

     Portugal enjoys warm weather with plenty of sunshine for most of the year.

     The hottest temperatures arrive between June and September. From July to September temperatures hover around 27-29°C. However, this figure increases the further inland you go and temperatures can rise to as high as 39-40°C in central regions.

     March, April and November offer warm weather with temperatures averaging around 18-19°C. December to February is wintertime, with highs of around 15°C, frequent rain and many hours of sunlight.

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Our Story

In 2005, John Paul Donnelly, began his luxury villa journey. He spent three years building resorts and holiday apartments in Alanya, Turkey, along with his brother, Joe. The concept was to create the most luxurious villas on the Turkish coastline and provide clients, along with their family and friends, the opportunity to enjoy exclusive holidays together.

By 2008, after the successful development of 3 resorts, JP had well and truly fallen into the world of villa rentals. With a portfolio of 6 villas and a desire to explore new places, he decided it was time to take the villa rental business outside of Turkey. He wanted to give his clients access to beautiful holiday rentals in destinations across the globe.

The expanding villa rental company was rebranded in 2011 to 5 Star Villa Holidays, and today 5 Star Villa Holidays offers over 10,000 luxury villas around the world.

JP and his partner, Helena are currently travelling the globe, devoted to hand selecting the best villas and property management companies, and giving them their stamp of approval! 5 Star Villa Holidays' ambition goes beyond being an ordinary holiday rental company. It is a marketplace for luxurious and exclusive villas around the world.

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