Best Holiday Villas In Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is one of Europe’s most diverse holiday destinations. British travellers love the Algarve’s glorious beaches and groomed golf courses, the Douro’s verdant wineries and the sun-kissed cities of Lisbon and Porto, and growing numbers are starting to discover the wild landscapes of the northern Minho region, and the high-end hippy lifestyle of Comporta in the Alentejo too.

Villas in Portugal provide the perfect base from which to explore, providing the space and flexibility that are particularly suited to family and multigenerational holidays, or for groups of friends travelling together. They are clustered along the country’s coasts, but you’ll also find a decent selection in rural locations, and even a handful in city centres. When it comes to luxury villas, styles range from minimalist white lines and eco-friendly chic to all-out bling. Swimming pools are de rigueur, and can often be heated — a boon if you’re staying off-season — and larger properties frequently feature games rooms and sometimes tennis courts and staff.

Main photo: Lux Albufeira, Algarve (Oliver’s Travels)

1. The Dolphin’s Song, Troia peninsula, Alentejo

Best for nature
At the very north of the Alentejo coast, the slender Troia peninsula points north towards Lisbon. Much of this 13-mile spit of pine forests and pristine beaches is a nature reserve — you can spot pods of bottlenose dolphins in the waters, hence the villa’s name — but this stylish, clean-lined villa is conveniently close to the restaurant-packed marina. With a tranquil feel and high-spec finish, it’s best suited to families with older kids or groups of friends who’ll love lazing around the pool, sitting over long lunches on the shaded deck and exploring the dunes and villages of the surrounding area.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 6
Price £££

BOOK A STAY

Quinta do Quirino, Regua, Douro, is a luxury Portugal villa with an infinity pool
Quinta do Quirino (Oliver’s Travels)

2. Quinta do Quirino, Regua, Douro

Best for wineries
Overlooking the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro, and surrounded by 200-year-old vines, this thoughtfully designed villa is in the heart of wine country. Furnished with the work of local craftspeople and artists, it’s a reflection of modern Portuguese style. The terrace infinity pool and sundeck are picture perfect, but if you can tear yourself away you’re in a great location to explore the wineries and pretty towns of the Douro Valley. The main house sleeps ten in five suites; a separate one-bed studio can sleep up to four.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 14
Price ££

The Honey Jar, Mafra, Lisbon, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
The Honey Jar (Plum Guide)

3. The Honey Jar, Mafra, Lisbon

Best for couples
Set on a hilltop in the countryside an hour from Lisbon, this 120-year-old converted windmill is ideal for couples looking for a bucolic bolt hole. Outside the whitewashed, pepperpot-shaped building is a dinky pool and a sunbathing terrace; inside, you’ll find three stylish spaces linked by a floating spiral staircase. Above the cute kitchen is a sleek living area, and at the top a circular, light-drenched bedroom with a window-ledge reading nook giving expansive views. The home runs on renewable solar energy but you will need a car to get around.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 2
Price £££

Life in Happy Colours, Alandroal, Alentejo, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Life in Happy Colours (Plum Guide)

4. Life in Happy Colours, Alandroal, Alentejo

Best for a family home from home
Families will find an eclectic, vibrant home from home in this rural corner of the Alentejo, close to the Spanish border. Stuffed with colourful, decorative pieces, it has a bohemian vibe but a practical heart, with books and toys to play with and four bedrooms including a kids’ room with three sets of bunk beds. Bikes are included, plus a telescope for stargazing, and there’s a large private pool bookended by a sundeck and a shaded terrace. It’s five minutes from the pretty village of Monsaraz and 20 from the Praia Fluvial de Azenhas d’el Rei — a beach on the banks of the Guadiana River.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 10
Price ££

Casa Afife, Minho, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Casa Afife (Oliver’s Travels)

5. Casa Afife, Minho

Best for tradition with a modern twist
Atlantic waves, golden beaches and lush pine forests characterise the Costa Verde, the unspoilt region stretching north from Porto to the Spanish border. This traditional stone house set in lush gardens has been beautifully renovated, adding modern amenities but keeping original features including wooden shutters. Five bedrooms are located in the main house, with one in an annex alongside the games room with its pool table and table tennis — perfect for the night owls in the group. Shops and restaurants are walkable; the beach is a short drive.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 14
Price £

Villa Almada, Porto, is a family-friendly luxury villa in Portugal
Villa Almada

6. Villa Almada, Porto

Best for a family of four
In the heart of Porto’s old centre, just a couple of streets from the famous Livraria Lello bookshop, this light, airy two-bedroom villa sits in the grounds of the Canto de Luz boutique hotel, but has its own private pool and decked garden with barbecue. Kids will love the free Netflix and Xbox; parents will love the excellent complimentary breakfasts, delivered daily. It’s best suited to one family of four, as the maximum occupancy requires three people to sleep on sofa beds in the living room.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 7
Price ££

Villa Armada, Caminha, Minho, is an eco-friendly villa in Portugal
Villa Armada (Oliver’s Travels)

7. Villa Armada, Caminha, Minho

Best for a break on the border
This beautifully renovated, eco-friendly villa is perfectly placed for exploring an under-the-radar part of the Iberian peninsula, tucked against the northern border with Spain. There are three double suites in the main house, which was built in 1501 and retains original features alongside striking, modern furnishings, plus another in an annex with its own kitchen and living area. Outside there’s a naturally filtered pool and sprawling grounds. You’ll need a car to visit the wild beaches and sightsee both sides of the border.

Pool 8
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 8
Price ££

Comporta Beach Lux, Comporta, Alentejo, one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Comporta Beach Lux (Oliver’s Travels)

8. Comporta Beach Lux, Comporta, Alentejo

Best for a rural retreat
You’ll find some of Portugal’s best beach villas — and best beaches — not in the Algarve, but further north, in Comporta. This slice of rural heaven — think pine forests, protected nature reserves, organic farms and rice paddies — is where Europe’s most stealthily stylish, deep-pocketed bohemians come to holiday. This long, low, white, minimalist property sits in front of the long, low, white, rolling sand dunes, with a giant swimming pool and three suites with sunset views. Kids can stay, but it has more of an adult vibe.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 6
Price £££

Garden Mansion 4 by Lisbonne Collection, Lisbon, is a beautiful private villa in Portugal
Garden Mansion 4 by Lisbonne Collection (Booking.com)

9. Garden Mansion 4 by Lisbonne Collection, Lisbon

Best for a multigenerational city break
Just steps from the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, one of Lisbon’s most famous lookout points, this historic house is the perfect bolt hole for a multigenerational city break. Two stylish double rooms suit parents, and there are a further three rooms with single and bunk beds for the kids. After a day’s sightseeing — tram 28 into the centre stops 100m from the door — you can relax in the large living room or out in the sunny courtyard garden, with a barbecue and alfresco dining area.

Pool N
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 9
Price £

Villa Jupiter, Quinta do Lago, Algarve, is a luxury villa with a private pool in Portugal
Villa Jupiter (Oliver’s Travels)

10. Villa Jupiter, Quinta do Lago, Algarve

Best for sleek design
A short drive from the excellent golf courses of Quinta do Lago and the chic marina of Vilamoura, this high-spec, ritzy villa really puts on the razzle-dazzle, with a rooftop hot tub, basement cinema room and a glass wall that looks directly into the swimming pool. Four double, en suite bedrooms and a design palette of glass, slate, marble and velvet make this perfect for groups of friends or families with grown-up children who want a sleek pad and aren’t bothered about being right on a beach.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 8
Price £££

11. Villa Casa da Montanha, Boliqueime, Algarve

Best for large groups
Large groups will love this giant, whitewashed villa set in a quiet location, a ten-minute drive from the pretty village of Boliqueime, with views of both the sea and the mountains. Four doubles, three twins and two single rooms are spread across the main house and two annexes, and facilities abound. The two pools, one for children, can both be heated, and there are multiple lounges with satellite TV, a PlayStation and a games room with pool and table football.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 16
Price £

Casa Palmeira, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Casa Palmeira

12. Casa Palmeira, Algarve

Best for a clear spot in the Algarve
The Algarve can be busy in summer, but this crisp blue-and-white bungalow high in the tufty terrain around Malhao, 30 minutes’ drive from Faro, is a breath of fresh air. It’s ideal for young children and teens, with a PlayStation, pool table and shallow section of the outdoor heated pool. There’s a large kitchen and dining room alongside three en suites. Tapas awaits in the village of Boliqueime, a ten-minute drive away.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 6
Price ££

Cascais Deluxe, Cascais, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Cascais Deluxe (Oliver’s Travels)

13. Cascais Deluxe, Cascais

Best for seclusion
Set deep in the hills on the edge of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Cascais Deluxe is the place to come to if you just want to be cocooned with your tribe. There’s plenty to keep everyone entertained, including a games room with pool table and table football and a home cinema. There’s a sizeable pool surrounded by gardens that’s steps from the main house, with plenty of space for loungers and shade for those who want it. You’ll need the use of a car to visit nearby Cascais, or to take advantage of the hiking trails in the region.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 12
Price £££

14. Villa Golf, Algarve

Best for design
This contemporary villa has won an architectural award for the way it cleverly integrates the home into the pine forest and golf greens around it. And it’s not bad inside either — the floor-to-ceiling windows maximise the views, and they open fully to bring the outside in. You’ll probably want to spend most of your time by the pool, which has a prime position overlooking the third fairway of the old golf course, but there’s also a games room with a pool table and table tennis.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 10
Price £

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 Lux Albufeira, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Lux Albufeira (Oliver’s Travels)

15. Lux Albufeira, Algarve

Best for sea views
This two-storey villa offers an unobstructed view of the sea from just about every room, showcased with floor-to-ceiling or double-height windows. The open plan design and high ceilings mean it feels extremely spacious inside, with doors that open out onto a terrace, patio space or balcony. There’s a small plunge pool, or you can take a short walk to the beach for a dip in the sea. A sauna on site means that you can always keep the chill at bay if the weather ever turns while you’re here.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 8
Price £££

Vineyard House, Douro Valley, Portugal, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Vineyard House

16. Vineyard House, Douro Valley

Best for a hillside haven
If you think the terraced hillside setting, overlooking vineyards of port grapes, is inviting, wait until you see the breakfast. The chef prepares it — homemade cake, fruit, fresh juice — each morning and gives you one night a week off dinner too. In other words, you really can put your feet up. And you’ll want to. The cottage is part warm stone, part dazzling white walls, with giant square windows gazing out on that view and the twinkling pool. The price also includes a tour and tasting at Quinta do Bomfim vineyard, a boat ride along the Douro and a terrace picnic.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 8
Price ££

Villa Aurelia, Tavira, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Villa Aurelia (NVSTUDIO)

17. Villa Aurelia, Tavira, Algarve

Best for the Ria Formosa natural park
This tasteful, modernist villa surrounded by a palm-studded garden has a Californian feel, with brushed concrete, blond wood and intriguing objets d’art. The four suites, all with bathrooms, have direct access to the gardens and pool, making it suitable for groups of friends, as well as families with teenage children. Located in the quiet, eastern Algarve, it overlooks the pristine sands of the Ria Formosa natural park and is close to the picturesque town of Tavira.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 8
Price ££

Villa Mourisco, Carvoeiro, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Villa Mourisco

18. Villa Mourisco, Carvoeiro, Algarve

Best for luxury by the beach
Competition is stiff among villas in the Algarve, but with the holy trinity of the perfect clifftop location, stylish interior design and a host of luxuries including a heated pool, tennis court, gym, housekeeping service and a private chef, this stylish property is one of the very best. Set in a sprawling private estate planted with palm, pine, olive and fig trees, the villa has direct access to the sandy beach below, and the pool and many alfresco decks have expansive Atlantic views.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 12
Price £££

Sandy Bay Cottage, Ferragudo, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Sandy Bay Cottage

19. Sandy Bay Cottage, Ferragudo, Algarve

Best for value
With its airy, beach-house feel and blue and white palette, this excellent-value family villa, just a 300m stroll from the sands of Praia Grande, delivers on both looks and location. There’s a double room for parents, and singles and bunks for kids, and the whole family can come together in the charming sitting room, at the table on the terrace or around the pool. The pretty fishing village of Ferragudo with its shops and restaurants is less than a mile away.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 5
Price £

20. Vista do Vale, Pinhao, Douro

Best for Douro Valley views
The name fits; the views over the Douro Valley from this converted old stone house are spectacular. Furnished with a mix of Portuguese antiques and modern pieces, it has three comfortable bedrooms, but saves the wow factor for the living room, a games room with a pool table, and the sun deck where you’ll find loungers, a cabana bed and alfresco dining table, all with those panoramic views over the countryside — perfectly designed to be enjoyed with a glass of Douro wine.

Pool Y
Family-friendly N
Sleeps 6
Price £

Villa Monte, Alentejo, Portugal, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Villa Monte

21. Villa Monte, Alentejo

Best for pure privacy
Beautifully complementing its surroundings, this impressive glass, stone and wooden cubic house could feature in an interiors magazine. It’s in trendy Comporta, 15 minutes from the sugary strip of sand on the Atlantic coast. Surrounded by a large chunk of land with pine, cork and olive trees, it’s perfectly private. Inside is a simple palette that celebrates the use of wood with double-height ceilings and designer furniture. Days are likely to be spent terrace-hopping, lolling in the exquisite pool or kayaking nearby. Leaving requires a lot of willpower.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 8
Price £££

lecollectionist.com

22. Villa Praia, Porches, Algarve

Best for five-star facilities
Combining the seclusion of a private villa with the facilities of a five-star hotel, this clifftop property with a show-stopping ocean-view infinity pool on the deluxe Vila Vita Parc resort offers the best of both worlds. The four sumptuous suites have their own bathrooms, lounges and terraces, so there’s space for time spent apart, and you’ll have access to the resort’s amenities, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, a Sisley spa, kids’ and teens’ clubs, tennis courts and water sports.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 10
Price £££

vilavitaparc.com

Casa da Terra, Algarve, is one of the best luxury villas in Portugal
Casa da Terra

23. Casa da Terra, Algarve

Best for serene sustainability
This simple eco-friendly villa in the village of Alte, a 40 minute-drive inland from Faro, might not win awards for its decor, but that doesn’t matter in such a gorgeous spot. Sitting within 14 acres of Algarve countryside, amid lakes and the Serra do Caldeirao mountains, it’s utterly serene. Your nearest neighbour is nearly a mile away and you’re most likely to see only the odd passing goat herder. The surrounding villages offer crowd-free bars and restaurants and there’s a quiet stretch of the Atlantic coast, Gale Beach, 30 minutes’ drive away.

Pool Y
Family-friendly Y
Sleeps 6
Price £

Source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/