Portugal is a fantastic place to go with your family. It’s the land of surfers, farmers, beach lovers, adventure seekers, and motorhomers!
It’s golden beaches, turquoise oceans, and warm sea breeze draws you in. It’s lush forests mix greens with reds and yellows to invite you on an adventure and the smiles of the locals make you feel at home.
Portugal seems to have something for everyone.
If you like beaches. Tick. It has many at a spectacular standard.
If you like surfing. Tick. It has a world surfing national reserve, Europes only.
If you like mountains. Tick. You can hike some of the most beautiful national parks around.
If you like cosmopolitan cities. Tick. Lisbon and Coimbra host some of the best city life, rivalling Barcelona and Valencia.
And if you like to wild camp. Double tick. Some of the most remote and breathtaking wild campsites can be found in Portugal.
The country is not only bordered by Spain and the Med but sits right on the Atlantic coast, boasting some of the best coastlines in the world.
The national parks host some fantastic road trips where you can drive for hours through lush pine forests without seeing another car, and there is still room to find some hidden beach gems where you can sit and have a beer in your own secluded paradise.
And the best bit? The Portuguese just love kids!
Here are our top recommended destinations for your visit to Portugal with your baby:
1 The Algarve
Although technically the Algarve region of Portugal is only touched by the Atlantic Ocean, it is exposed to a mix of water from two different Oceans: The Atlantic Ocean, coming from the South, and the Mediterranean Ocean coming from the East. It’s full of resorts, whitewashed fishing villages, and cliff top views across sandy coves.
The beaches are spectacular.
They are soft, sandy, dreamy and bordered by oceans you just can’t help but want to swim in. There is also room on the Algarve to find a secluded bay or two all to yourself and some amazing cliff top landscapes that have you questioning their origin!
Lagos and Albufeira host some fantastic and safe beaches for babies, and a nice easy set up with cafes, restaurants and shops should you need a respite from the sun.
Jump off the beaten track around Sagres and you can get away from the touristy Algarve to feel like you are the only ones on the coast!
Coimbra is a riverfront city smack bang in the middle of Portugal. It is hugged by forests and little white and orange pocket villages high above the city.
It’s home to one of the second oldest University’s in the world, and its city is filled with a youthful, family orientated feeling. You can tell this city is loved.
In terms of historic significance, Coimbra is second only to Lisbon. Its ancient buildings cling to the side of the hill that rises above the curves of the river below with the ornate buildings of the famous University its crowning glory.
From spectacular parks that make you feel like royalty, to funky cafes that catapult you back to your student life, Coimbra is one city not to miss. Just leave the pushchair in the van, as it sure is hilly!
Sintra is like a fairytale village, surrounded by lush forests and full with palace’s that are peppered with tall turrets, spiral staircases and even a 10th-century Moorish castle.
It sits almost 400 metres above sea level, and in the distance, you can spot the glistening Atlantic sea. As you walk from the car park down into the village, you are treated to views across the valley and to small snippets of the fairytale, Sintra’s, pièce de résistance, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra.
And it has to been seen up close to be appreciated. It’s truly a wonder and our top pick for things to see in Portugal.
It’s a fantastic sensory experience for your baby as there are so many bright colours and all sorts of shapes to look at! And the great thing about where it’s situated is you get to hike through the forest to see it, brilliant.
Lisbon is full of wonder, delight and culture. It’s a city that takes you back centuries through its architecture and cobbled streets, and a city that offers you the chance to feel like a true local. There aren’t many big cities in the world that can offer that.
There aren’t many big cities in the world that can offer that.
You can tour the top highlights of Lisbon in a day on foot, or you can use the impressive tram system to get you from a to b. There are churches to visit, cathedrals to stand in awe of, and a hilltop castle that sends you back to the times of Kings and Queens.
The central plaza, the famous Rossio Square, is the epicentre of city life. It sits next to the ocean, and offers you to the best starting point for your day of discovery!
Plus, park your motorhome outside the city and cross the river by ferry, a fantastic way to see the grandeur of the city from the sea!
5. Surfers Paradise
With fantastic waves and great surf, it’s no wonder that Portugal’s west coast has been given the accolade of a surfers paradise.
Famous for its 365-day surf diary, this is not only a great place to get your bathing suit on and get in the water, but also to watch the sport in action.
The beaches of Ericeira, Arrifana and Nazare are full of soft, golden sand and the ocean shore is great for a baby paddle if the waves aren’t your thing!
6. Serra da Arrábida Natural Park
Off the beaten track for the usual tourist haunts of Portugal, Arribida National Park could easily be missed.
With its Thailand-esque backdrops, it’s lush forested mountains and turquoise sparkly beaches, it’s one to add to your list.
The park itself is easy to get to within just an hour or so from Lisbon, and the roads around the park are also easy to navigate around. It contains 4 incredible beaches with each beach giving a new perspective of the park itself.
One of the beaches, known as Galapos, is one of the most photographed beaches in the whole of Portugal. A little trip into Setubal, the closest city, gives you access to the Sedo Estuary and the chance to spot some river dolphins!
7. Southwest Alentejo and Vincentine Coast National Park
If driving for miles without seeing a soul, just forests and local roads is your thing, then this is the national park for you.
It sits right on the west coast of Portugal and is commonly known as the ‘Wild West’. This park is part of the Algarve, although has a completely different coastline to its southern sister. Its jagged cliffs, loud and sometimes ferocious waves, pristine and untouchable beaches along with protected nature reserves give this part of Portugal a place in the top 10 spots to see.
It is also home to Europe’s southwesternmost point, Cabo de São Vicente which houses a lighthouse and a great free fort to explore. This part of the coast has some incredible wild camping opportunities where you can be at one with nature.
This part of the coast has some incredible wild camping opportunities where you can be at one with nature.
Obidos is just a few hours north of Lisbon and is a fantastic day trip with your kids. Its medieval village housed within castle walls gives you a fantastic free history lesson!
Who said travelling wasn’t educational? As soon as you enter the town, you are greeted by white washed houses striped with blue and yellow, along with terracotta roofs, and cobbled streets.
It’s a tiny village buzzing with tourists and locals alike, filled with the smells of freshly caught fish cooking on BBQ’s. Climbing up the old walled steps and walking the high castle walls that surround the village, you will find yourself looking at local life below and really appreciating the impressive vistas it offers.
Also, don’t forget to try the Ginjinha, which is famous in Obidos. It is a liqueur infused with ginja berries and commonly served in a small edible chocolate cup. They do a kiddie version too!
West of Coimbra, Aveiro is said to be Portugal’s version of Venice. With its centre set on the Ria de Aveiro, it hosts many canals that are
With its centre set on the Ria de Aveiro, it hosts many canals that are criss crossed by beautifully decorated boats, traditionally used to harvest seaweed, they now carry tourists and treat you to a different perspective of the town itself.
Try the Pastel Da Nata’s (Portugal’s famous custard tarts) in some of Portugal’s best cafes, spend time walking through the old cobbled lanes with little local cafes and souvenir shops and have a look around the famous fish market.
Aviero is great for an afternoon stop-off and is super close to another of Portugal’s fantastic coastlines.
In a country where there are castles scattered at every turn, there is so much competition for the best castle in Portugal.
This may not be the best castle in terms of its grandeur, but it has something the others don’t. Tomar houses the castle of the Knights templar and is one of the most impressive monuments in Portugal.
It incorporates the Convento de Cristo, a masterpiece of Manueline architecture classified as World Heritage. It’s steeped in history, has a fantastic cafe culture, and you could spend hours imaging yourself as a knight of the round table!
This is Travel As They Grow’s Top 10 things to see in Portugal with your family It’s rich in history, soaked in culture, and blessed with glorious beaches. As we said, Portugal has something special for everyone!