There’s Something for Everyone in Portugal

Foodies, families, historians, beach bunnies will all leave satisfied
SUMMER VACATIONS are like gold, and those precious days away from routine, colleagues and clients shouldn’t be squandered. That’s why you should choose a destination that will deliver on the things you care about most, and why southern Portugal is the perfect pick, no matter what your vacation priority.

> Food First: Portuguese explorers to Brazil and India brought back spices that transformed the cuisine. Book a tour with Culinary Backstreets Lisbon and you’ll get a tasty history lesson: from the pasteis de nata (custard tarts) that have made the city famous to the piri-piri chicken dish whose creator refuses to share the secret recipe, these tours will also give you a better sense of some of the city’s neighbourhoods. culinarybackstreets.com

> Family First: Traveling with kids? Head to one of the four Martinhal Family Hotels and Resorts located in Southern Portugal The luxurious family-owned properties were created with kids (and parents) in mind. Everything from the rounded edges on gorgeously designed furniture to the ample space in the apartment-style suites and villas is meant for hip, young families. Kids Club options exist for children as young as six months of age. www.martinhal.com

> History First: Thirty minutes outside Lisbon, Sintra sits in a fairy-tale setting at the foothills of the mountains of the same name. Wear your walking shoes and venture out early to take in the lush forests and beautifully preserved royal sanctuaries. The candy-coloured Pena Palace (pictured above) and stunning Quinta da Regaleira estate should not be missed. The cultural landscape of Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. www.sintra-portugal.com

> Beach First: The Algarve is a gem. Set along the southern coast, towns like Lagos and Sagres boast village charm and beautiful beaches. Staying in Lisbon? Pop out to Cascais, the “Côte d’Azur of Portugal.” Many affluent Portuguese and expats call this town home, with its golden beaches, cobblestone streets and ceramic tiled walls. Take home mementos from local pottery shops such as Happy Sardine. www.visitportugal.com; www.cascais-portugal.com

Heather Greenwood Davis is a lawyer and National Geographic Traveler contributing editor. Reach her at heather@globetrottingmama.com.