When I speak to parents who are planning their next family holiday, I always suggest going to Portugal with kids. I’ve been to Portugal with the family twice now, and I hope to go again when travel restrictions are lifted. My first family holiday in Portugal was to the Algarve. It was just Brook, Indie and myself on that trip, and we had a very positive experience of our time in Albufeira.
Our last kids holiday in Portugal was to the capital city, Lisbon. In fact it was our last trip to Europe before the pandemic. We have such fond memories of our time in the city, because there are such great things for kids to do in Lisbon and it’s such a family friendly destination.
One of the main reasons going to Portugal with kids is a great idea is because of the flight times. From most UK airports you can be in Portugal in 2 to 3 hours. Most major airports in the UK fly to Portugal. Faro is the most popular airport because it’s perfect for visiting the Algarve. There are also international airports in Lisbon and Porto.
Some kids travel better than others, so flight times and transfer times can be a big issue for families. In our case it’s actually Daddy who isn’t great with flying, so Portugal is a great holiday destination for us. It’s pretty easy to keep the kids busy on a 2-3 hour flight with books, travel games and their Fire tablets. Daddy can also cope with the travel time, even though he’s a nervous flyer.
When we visited the Algarve, I was really keen to keep the transfer time down as I was travelling on my own with kids. I chose Albufeira because it had great beaches but also because the transfer time was less than an hour.
If you are going to Lisbon with kids, you will really appreciate that the airport is only 4km from the city. Public transport is excellent in Lisbon, but we found using Uber one of the best ways to get from the airport to our accommodation with kids and luggage in tow.
Porto airport is 18km from the city centre, so the transfer is a little longer if you are going to Porto with kids. The Metro is the cheapest way to travel and will take around 25 minutes. If you want a door to door service, then taxis are easily available at an affordable rate. The travel time is around 20 mins depending on where you are going in Porto.
The next time we visit Portugal, we will definitely hire a car. It makes the transfer from the airport to the holiday accommodation so much easier. Hiring a car also gives families flexibility and lots of opportunities to explore the country. Hiring a car is a great option for the Algarve especially, especially for families staying in Lagos or Portimão who want to keep the transfer time to a minimum.
If you are keen to visit Lisbon and the Algarve, hiring a car makes this really easy to do. You can join the E1 from any destination in the Algarve, and then it’s straight up the motorway until you reach Lisbon. The drive takes 2-3 hours and allows families to experience a city break and beach holiday in one trip to Portugal.