Are you going to spend your next vacation alone? If for some reason you don't have company for your holidays, don't be discouraged – there is a whole world of summer activities that you can do alone and that will make you have a lot of fun. Be a tourist in your own city or set out to discover the unknown corners of the country. Discover different beaches or explore mountain paradises. Immerse yourself in Nature and go on after an adventure, or bet on a peaceful destination, away from the hustle and bustle.... There are summer activities for all tastes and pockets – yours included – that will make you see the world and yourself differently. Take a look at the suggestions from All About Portugal and get ready for an incredible vacation to experience in the first person.
“Tourist” out there
Were you born and raised in Porto, but never climbed to the top of the Clérigos Tower? Do you live in Lisbon and still haven't tasted a hot Pastel de Belém at the historic Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém? Are you from Braga and have you never climbed the steps of Bom Jesus? If the hustle and bustle of the days has always made you pass by these and other world-famous attractions, don't wait any longer and be a tourist in your city... without having to pack your bags!
If you are going to spend your holidays alone, think about those points of interest that you never had the opportunity to visit and plan your own tourist itinerary. Include the most important monuments, churches and museums you've never been to, and dedicate time to them. Enjoy the colors and aromas of that traditional market that you so often switch to the supermarket. Take pictures at the most beautiful viewpoint in your city and be surprised by every unknown corner. Spend a few hours between books and history at a local library or bookstore. Try that trendy restaurant. Take your time on the terrace of a café near your house.
We bet that at the end of your “staycation” (or vacation at home), you will like the city where you live even more. Even because a vacation alone can be synonymous with tranquility, and rediscovering the places closest to you. If you don't live in Portugal, take the opportunity to take notes of the places you really can't miss.
Set out to discover
If your idea of a summer vacation involves packing your bags (or backpack) and exploring, we suggest a roadtrip along Portugal. The country is full of natural, historical, architectural… and gastronomic treasures, of course. There are countless secrets that you will enjoy discovering on your next vacation alone.
The first decision is the means of transport to use. The car will certainly give you greater comfort, in addition to allowing you to cover greater distances. Choose a perfect soundtrack and hit the road. A roadtrip through the interior of Alentejo or, further north, a leisurely trip along the EN222, in the heart of the Alto Douro Vinhateiro, are more than desirable itineraries. If the mountains are your thing, head to the paradise called Gerês, to Arrábida or to Estrela, the highest mountain in mainland Portugal.
But why not do something really different and embark on a roadtrip… by bike? It allows for greater contact with Nature and will work miracles for your physical shape! If you like the beach, All About Portugal recommends the stunning Costa Vicentina or the inescapable Algarve – you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
But if what really moves you is the historical and architectural heritage, then we guarantee that you will face a difficult choice. Go by topic, region or relevance. Need help? Visit the articles section of All About Portugal. Take a look, for example, at the list of Portuguese cities and monuments that UNESCO has distinguished as World Heritage Sites. Maybe find your next destination.
Renew body and soul
Holidays are the ideal time to recharge, use every minute to refresh your body and soul. If you live in the city, escape the traffic, pollution, wi-fi and the constant frenzy and, for a few days, find refuge in Nature. Look for a rural tourism house or a campsite that gives you an extra amount of greenery and silence.
Challenge yourself and plan a walk – from north to south, trails and walking routes are in vogue, so you can do it in comfort, according to your physical fitness and in complete safety, without fear of getting lost. Appreciate the landscapes around you, be surprised by the fauna and flora and take a deep breath.
For an even more complete “cure”, why not relax in a spiritual and wellness retreat, making the most of your vacation alone? In addition to close contact with Nature, these retreats offer activities such as yoga and pilates that, combined with Spa treatments, promise to take care of your health: physical, mental and spiritual.
Walking along the Camino de Santiago is another summer activity that you can do alone, whether out of faith or just a desire for adventure. Choose one of the available routes and set out to discover the country… and yourself.
Invest in yourself
Take the time to invest in yourself. Among the endless number of activities you can do alone, a workshop is a guarantee of moments well spent and, above all, enriching.
The offer of this type of courses is vast – find one that fits your needs. Bet on a photography workshop, for example, and make a splash on your Instagram. Sign up for a cooking course and surprise your family and friends with a recipe of your own. Let your imagination run wild in a creative writing workshop. Lose your fears and learn to surf. If there's a potential oenophile in you, learn all about wines and the best ways to pair them.
Get rid of prejudices
Summer rhymes with beaches and pools and, let's face it, you don't need company to spread out your towel and stretch out in the sun while listening to music, reading a book or taking a nap, before that invigorating dip.
And since you are alone, why not go to a naturist beach? If you haven't tried it yet, embrace the idea of All About Portugal and get rid of shame and prejudice. There are officially nine naturist beaches in Portugal – choose one and go, without looking back. Remember that there are no acquaintances close by and, according to those who have experienced it, there is nothing like walking as you came into the world to feel in total freedom and communion with Nature.
Another option to consider on a solo holiday is to stay in a hotel for adults. You read that right – these are hotels that set the minimum age of their guests at 16 or, in some cases, 13. There are several in the Algarve, but also in Lisbon and Madeira. No guilt, think of the perks of not having kids around – no noise, no lost balls or unwanted splashes. Convinced?