5 Great Outdoor Pursuits In Portugal

Updated 4 March 2020 | by Nakita Mason

Portugal needs little introduction nowadays, with its beautiful landscape, glorious cuisine and vast selection of activities on offer, it has firmly placed itself in the hearts of travellers worldwide.

We spoke to Diana Freire of Portugal Nature Trails to ask her what makes Portugal such a honey-trap for travellers, and she had this to say:

“Why come to Portugal? I mean, there are other countries with world-renowned beaches, breath-taking mountains and reliable weather, right? I bet you can find some other country with well-preserved monuments, castles and monasteries dating back to more than a thousand of years ago. Easy. Surely enough, there are more countries where even with a tight budget you can taste exquisite wine, eat delightful dishes and mouth-watering pastries. If you look hard enough, you can even find countries where its music will take your soul on a trip through time and memory. But what about a country that reunites all these conditions and even some more? Search as much as you’d like, it doesn’t get any better than Portugal-: Diana Freire

It's true, Portugal has the power of pleasing anyone no matter what they’re seeking. Some of which we’ve listed before, including great museums and excellent restaurants. 

But what about the adventurers among you? The people who like to grab their hiking boots or slip on their wet suit? Is Portugal for you?

Let’s just say, you’re about to feel like a child in a sweet shop. Here we present 5 excellent outdoor pursuits you can enjoy in pretty Portugal.


1. Coasteering

coasteering in Portugal

Coasteering, for those new to such things, is broadly described as an activity that combines climbing, jumping and swimming along coastlines. It’s all done in the great name of adventure and trust us, if you haven’t given it a go then you’re missing out on unique and wonderful way to enjoy Portugal’s stunning shorelines.

One of the best places to try out this exhilarating and rewarding activity is Madeira, specifically Ponta de São Lourenço. It’s an especially favoured location among coasteering lovers for its untouched rugged landscape and breath-taking scenery that allow for the right mix of challenge and reward.

If you’re new to the scene of coasteering then not to worry, you’ll find plenty of places that will teach you and take you out on the trek of your life. Give it a go and experience gorgeous Portugal in all its naked glory.


2. Quad Biking

quad biking in Portugal

Sometimes you just need to take the road less travelled and that is exactly what the rugged quad bike was built for. Able to scramble up craggy terrain with what can only be described as boundless enthusiasm, quad biking allows you to take a thrilling tour of some of the most beautiful spots in Portugal.

Whether a newbie or an old hand, you’ll find companies that will both hire out quad bikes to you and escort you on tours tailor-made to your level of experience, often with lunch thrown in at some tucked away location! The Algarve is particularly good for this sort of activity and it’s great for groups too!


3. Hiking & Cycling

hiking and biking in Portugal

Whether strolling along in your well-loved hiking boots or astride a bike, there’s no question that these are both excellent ways to drink in all the wonders of Portugal.

Hiking is perfect for those who like their views to be glorious and their feet to be taking them onward to the next adventure. From beautiful cliff trails in the Algarve to the sensational Douro vineyard trails, there are so many wonderful places to explore and so many rewarding hiking trails to set out on.

And what of biking? From mountain to road biking, the humble bike is a fantastic way to sightsee and thrill seek all at once. Better still, there’s so many great locations to explore via bike in Portugal, like the gorgeous Atlantic trails as well as the stunning green coast where you can follow the idyllic rivers Minho and Lima.

Happily, there are some excellent people who can help you organise your biking or hiking day out. We would particularly recommend Portugal Nature Trails to get a truly authentic experience of Portugal from a friendly and fun team who have a wealth of expereince. 


4. Kayaking

kayaking in Portugal

Drifting along in a kayak is one of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of Portugal, especially if you’re someone who likes the happy splash of water! From the glorious Algarve coast to discovering the sensational Douro valley, kayaking gives you a whole new perspective of the Portuguese landscape. It’s an excellent way to spend a day as it can be both exciting and fast or else slow and relaxed and whichever you choose, it’s a real treat to do while enjoying the sunshine and scenery!  All aboard water babies!


5. Snorkelling

snorkelling in Portugal

This is one for the self-proclaimed mermaids and animal lovers. Snorkelling allows you to see the Portugal that lives below the waves, that magical place that boasts stunning rock formations, reefs and of course, wildlife. Some of the most popular locations to enjoy this underwater adventure is Praia do Burgau, Praia da Marinha and Praia do Camilo. Praia do Camilo is particularly favoured for its beautiful rock formations that you have to see to believe, while Praia do Burgau is great for animal spotting, especially as there's the potential of seeing octopuses and anemones. Trust us, there’s few places so perfect for enjoying this sport as Portugal and you’d be mad to miss out!

villas in Portugal

There we have it, 5 excellent ways for you outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy lovely Portugal. If you’re still not persuaded however, we’ll leave you with these last words from Diana Freire;

Seek and you will find. Portugal is one of those countries that lives up to the hype. As a matter of fact, it exceeds your expectations. It has the views, the weather, the food, the wine, the music and the people. Wherever you go, wherever you look, genuine beauty will be there. Throw a dart on a Portuguese map and it’s unlikely that the place you hit will not be surrounded by wonderful landscapes. From centuries old cities to deep forests, from paradisiac beaches to breathtaking valleys, Portugal is the place capable of filling your wanderlust.-: Diana Freire