If you are an active family who loves nothing more than exploring the great outdoors on your holidays together, Costa Vicentina in Portugal could be the ideal destination for you to choose for your next break.
This section of the Portuguese coast is undeveloped, which means there’s lots of beautiful scenery and fascinating nature to see. One of the best ways to discover the Costa Vicentina is on foot, so this might be a trip more suited to older children and teenagers, rather than toddlers.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect in the region. Many companies offer itineraries that are ideal if you want to get out and about and explore the area and they’ll take away all the stress of having to organize the finer points of your getaway.
Costa Vicentina: the basics
In total, the reserve spans an area of 75,000 hectares and it’s home to some amazing wildlife, which is one of many reasons why it’s a great place to travel to with children, as there will always be something exciting for them to look out for.
The scenery of Costa Vicentina is characterised by rugged, sheer cliffs and some spectacular stretches of sand, most of which are completely deserted. Several of the beaches are backed by vast dunes, while there are also river estuaries and wetland areas you can explore in search of a host of water birds.
If you start your holiday in Porto Covo, you can experience one of the region’s pristine beaches straight away. Head to Praia Grande Porto Covo, where you’ll be greeted by a sheltered stretch of golden sand lapped by clear waters.
Should you want to have a day at the beach with the children, this is a good spot to choose, as it’s close enough to the town that you’ll have a host of amenities at hand, including showers, toilets and restaurants.
There is a wide selection of bird life that inhabits the Costa Vicentina, with the white storks among the most famous residents. This is the only place in the world where you can see these birds building their nests on the cliffs by the seashore (spring is the time of year to travel if you want to view this spectacle), so keep your eyes peeled for these distinctive animals.
Other birds you can spot as you wander include herons, egrets, rock pigeons, diver kings, sparrow hawks and nightingales, depending on the routes you follow, so it’s always worth turning your gaze to the skies every now and again.
Look out over the beaches and rocks, meanwhile, and you might be lucky enough to spot an elusive otter, as this is one of the few places in Europe where they live in the sea, while turtles can also be seen in the waters off the coast.
With all this to enjoy, as well as the fun of walking from hotel to hotel, this is a great option if you’re looking for an alternative family getaway that’s off the beaten track.
About the author
Edel Flood writes from the fabulous town of London. She creates travel content for multiple clients.