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The fabled ‘Green list’ is finally here, and now we all know what countries we can look forward to travelling to in the near future, without having to quarantine for days in a hotel, or spend a fortune on Covid tests.

Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal and Singapore are amongst the names on the list of genuinely viable tourist destinations for 2021. This week, we’ll shine to spotlight on Portugal, to help get you inspired for the year ahead and turn those lockdown daydreams into a reality.

Wellness Retreats in Portugal

yoga shala exterior

Wellness retreats are all the rage in 2021, and fortunately, here at Not In The Guidebooks we offer a number of wellness retreats that are designed to get you travelling, get you active, and revitalise you in a way that only a wellness retreat can.

Yoga Retreat in Oleiros

guests walk in the forest

On this stunning yoga retreat in central Portugal, take the opportunity to escape from the rush of urban life, and properly unwind and get back in touch with yourself and nature.

The retreat takes place tucked away in the beautiful mountains and forests of Portugal, far off the beaten track and the perfect base from which to explore the quiet surrounding woods, go out wild swimming in the rivers and streams, and of course, enjoy guided yoga sessions in a truly spiritual setting.

Authentic Yoga Retreat in the Algarve

Sunset over the pool

A little further south on the sunny coast of the Algarve, enjoy a holiday in Portugal that, as well as focusing on wellness and yoga, also takes you to see the less-travelled corners of what is undeniably a ‘touristy’ spot.

Whilst most think of the golden-sand beaches and white-washed towns along the coast, the Algarve also boasts ancient ruins and villages that still preserve local cultures and traditions, just a little off the beaten track. You’ll get to experience these and of course take part in top-quality yoga sessions, relax in the on-site swimming pool, and try the local cuisine.

Island Adventures

person standing on sea cliffs in madeira

Of course, Portugal doesn’t just consist of its mainland. The islands of Madeira and the Azores are amongst some of the most spectacular on the planet, and make incredible locations from which to explore and escape the maddening crowds.

Wild Swimming with Dolphins in the Azores

swimming with dolphins on a wildlife holiday

For an unforgettable experience that gets you up close and personal with nature in the best way possible, look no further than this unique chance to swim with wild dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean, of the coast of the mountainous Azores.

You’ll join a professional marine biologist and learn more about these personable creatures than you ever thought possible, and enjoy time in the water with them as their inquisitive, friendly nature draws them to you – an experience that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

A 5 Day Adventure in Madeira

mountain village in madeira

Private sunset yacht trips, jeep tours into the rugged mountains, traditional barbecues and cuisine in the wilderness, stunning palace gardens, experience all this and more on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to the beautiful island of Madeira.

Your guides will ensure you see the very best, and the most authentic side of the island, as you spend your days exploring the towns and wild spaces. As well as being a natural paradise, Madeira is also a place of unique foodie experiences, whether it’s stunning seafood from a ramshackle fishing village, or the famous beef skewers served from restaurants with stunning mountain views, this journey is for the taste buds as much as it’s for the eyes.

Our Top Portuguese Experiences

Madeira – Five Days in Paradise

Madeira, Portugal

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Yoga Retreat in Oleiros

Portugal, Central Portugal

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Full Day Private Tour and Wine Tasting from Porto

Porto,Portugal, Douro Valley

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Hiking in Gerês National Park

Portugal

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Food and Wine Holidays

coffee and Portuguese tart on tiled table

On the subject of authentic cuisine, if there’s one thing you’re guaranteed, wherever you are in Portugal, then it’s incredible local food and wine.

These food and wine tours take you to taste only the very best wines and, of course, ports in the country, and help you get to know true Portuguese food. From the beautiful streets of Porto to the rolling hills of the Douro Valley, there is a world of food and great wine to discover in Portugal this year.

A Local Porto Food Experience

boat on river in porto at night

On this food-filled stroll through the elegant streets of Old Town Porto, you’ll not only try delicious local foods such as bifana, cachorrinho, and mista de pernil, all dishes ubiquitous to the city, but you’ll also get to enjoy classic Portuguese exports we all know and love, like pastel de nata and great Portuguese beers and wine.

As well as great food though, this experience is a chance to get to know the real Portugal. Your guide will take you away from the usual touristy parts of the city and allow you to soak up the wonderfully slow atmosphere of authentic Porto.

Private Tour and Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley

winery in the douro valley portugal

On this day experience running out of Porto, you’ll enjoy a day of river cruises, wine tasting, experiencing local, rural culture and exploring ancient wineries, run for generations by the same families.

The Douro Valley is a patchwork of rolling hills and sun-dappled vineyards, and you’ll stumble across wineries tucked into the hillsides, learning about wine production in the area and getting to know a little local history and culture. Of course, there’ll be plenty of amazing food and wine to see you through the day, including lunch at a small, local restaurant offering iconic regional dishes such as smoked and cured meats, olive oil and honey.

Active Holidays

surfers on beach in portugal

Portugal isn’t all just food and wine though. Rugged hillsides, lush river valleys, deep expanses of pine forest and stunning windswept beaches provide the perfect adventure playground for those travellers who seek the outdoors.

Surfing Holiday in Ericeira

surfer riding first wave

If any country is the surf capital of Europe, it’s Portugal. With nothing but the empty expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the west and some of the most stunning beaches on the continent, the country is an absolute mecca for surfers around the globe.

On this Portuguese surfing holiday, you’ll get to experience this holy grail of surfing for yourself, along with other like-minded, sociable travellers also keen on learning, or improving on their surfing. There are few things more Portuguese than relaxing on the beach after a long day in the surf, watching the sun go down with an ice cold beer, and on this laid back and sociable retreat, it’s the type of evening you would have to get used to.

Hiking in Gerês National Park

Gerês National Park is an area of rugged mountain ranges, fresh mountain streams and waterfalls, vast swathes of pine forest, as well as wolves, golden eagles, wild horses and deer, close to the northern border with Spain. It is one of the best hidden gems for hiking in Europe, and on this five day experience you’ll see the very best of it.

As well as the obvious stunning hikes you’ll embark on every day, you’ll also stay in a quaint old mill on the banks of the Lima River, and explore crumbling little villages tucked away in the valleys, ancient monasteries and medieval castles, and get to know the unique culture that exist in this little corner of Portugal.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a number of holidays and experiences in Portugal, the Azores, Madeira and beyond, all of which help you travel like a local and get the best out of your time.

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