If you are already planning your friendscation in Nature, but still haven't reached an agreement with your friends about the destination, check out the suggestions from All About Portugal. From North to South of Portugal, with the islands included, we have chosen some activities that you can do with your group of friends – some more extreme and full of adrenaline, others more peaceful and inspiring. Surfing in rough seas, cycling between vineyards, diving in magical waterfalls or taking that road trip so often postponed? Gather the group, make a decision and hurry to pack your bags. Everything is ready for a dream friendscation, filled with adventure, sharing, smiles and endless conversations.
Cycling between vineyards in the Douro
Alto Douro Vinhateiro is the perfect setting for those looking for a friendscation in full communion with Nature. Classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the region is known throughout the world for its wines and for the “excess of Nature”, in the words of the Portuguese writer Miguel Torga. There are several ways to explore the Douro. Surprise your friends and suggest a bike tour through vineyards and deep valleys, always with the river on the horizon. Find out all about the different routes to take on your bike. Shorter or more demanding, you will feel invited to make a break at wine estates or at viewpoints with breathtaking panoramic views.
Discover the magical waterfalls of Gerês
Set out to discover the paradisiacal Peneda-Gerês National Park and make your friendscation truly unforgettable. Can you imagine everything you can do with your group of friends? You will find the most picturesque mountain villages, river beaches ideal for water activities,hiking trails and spectacular waterfalls that end in small natural pools that are authentic pieces of paradise. Regardless of the time of year, don't forget to wear suitable footwear and always have your cell phone or camera handy.
Nothing like a good challenge to strengthen bonds of friendship and, along the way, maintain or improve physical shape. So book a day of your friendscation and challenge your group of friends for a walk along the Paiva Walkways, the most recent trend in nature tourism in Portugal. For about eight kilometers (and stairs that seem endless), enjoy the beautiful landscape around, made of steep rocks, inspiring waterfalls and refreshing river beaches. If you want more adrenaline, there are several local companies that promote activities such as rafting or canoeing in the white waters of the Rio Paiva. And, by the way, do you have the courage to cross the 516 meters of Arouca's suspended pedestrian bridge?
Surfing in Peniche
If your fellow adventurers enjoy water sports, Peniche, the “wave capital”, can be a great option for a friendscation to remember. Grab your board and head to Praia dos Supertubos, in Atouguia da Baleia, famous among surf, bodyboard and windsurf lovers. And don't miss a small paradise called the Berlengas Archipelago, classified as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Walk the trails through landscapes of wild and overwhelming beauty, appreciate the wealth of fauna and flora, visit the caves and go for a swim in crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkeling and diving.
Sailing with dolphins
Sailing, whether at sea or in rivers, is always an activity to think when talking about holidays in Nature. And if you are in the right place, at the right time, you can have the privilege of spotting dolphins, precisely where they show us all their magic: in their natural habitat. Of the many places in Portugal where you can see them up close, we suggest the Sado estuary and the charming coast of Serra da Arrábida and Troia. There are several companies that organize boat trips for groups, it is the best way to find them. Embark with your friends on this unique experience and place your bets: who will be able to take the best photo?
Road trip along the Costa Vicentina
It's a common dream during teenage years: to embark on a road trip with your best friends, in a scenario of breathtaking landscapes, some madness and total freedom. If you are one of those who have never managed to make the dream come true, know that it is never too late to do so. By car, van or motorhome, gather your favorite humans and set out to conquer the Costa Vicentina, from Sines, in Alentejo, to Burgau, in the Algarve. Get ready to fall in love with every unknown beach, every untouched corner, every sunset…. In the picturesque villages and towns, be sure to try the delights of Alentejo cuisine and wines.
Alqueva by air
If your concept of a Nature holiday involves escaping the crowds, Alentejo is the destination you were looking for. Throughout the region, the range of activities you can do with friends is vast and varied: hiking trails, water sports, mountain biking, boat trips, helicopter trips, horseback riding or even aboard a hot air balloon! Follow the suggestion of All About Portugal and, with the wind, discover the fullness and tranquility of the Great Lake of Alqueva and its small islets. From the top, see the medieval towns and villages around the dazzling water mirror, centuries-old castles transformed into viewpoints, golden fields as far as the eye can see.
Boat House in Ria Formosa
Forget hotels, apartments, farms and even camping tents! Why not to stay with your friends on a Boat House in the middle of Ria Formosa? Some boats can accommodate up to six adults and, in addition to falling asleep with the stars and waking up in paradise, surrounded by turquoise waters, there is a world of activities that you can experience as a group: dolphin watching, snorkeling, big game fishing, kayaking or sailing boat along the Ria Formosa and along the coast. Be dazzled by some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal!
Diving in the Azores
Want to have the best friendscation ever? So gather your friends and plan a trip to the Azores. On any of the nine islands in the archipelago, there is a paradise to explore for you and your fellow adventurers. Discover colorful lagoons, volcanoes, black sand beaches, natural pools of hot water, landscapes with all shades of green… And don't forget to dive into the blue immensity of the Azores sea. Be surprised by the wealth of underwater fauna and flora. With luck, you can spot dolphins and even blue whales, the largest animal on the planet.
Levadas in Madeira
Madeira Island is a must-visit place for any nature lover. The best way to explore its treasures is by walking along the trails that take us to the highest and rocky peaks of the island, and the levadas that lead us through the lush Laurissilva forest, to idyllic lagoons and to waterfalls. There are short and easy routes, others long and bumpy – plan according to the physical condition of each of your friends. Take a leisurely stroll along the levadas and enjoy nature in all its splendor.