Portugal confirmed as a Green Destination

Patrick Thorne
12th May 2021

With Portugal confirmed as a Green Destination, Sunvil is offering travellers to the Alentejo region TWO FREE PCR TESTS PER PERSON for stays of five nights or more (saving £120 pp). This includes:

1 x PCR test pp prior to departure from the UK
1 x PCR test pp 48 hours after return from UK

Sunvil guests will only need to pay for their test to return to the UK (according to Government guidance).

From the lush rolling hills and vine-clad rivers of northern Portugal to the crowd-free plains and ancient cork forests of the Alentejo or the mountainous Centro, with its superb cheeses and schist villages, and from foodie Lisbon to the stone villages and surfing waves of western Algarve to quieter eastern Algarve, with its fishing villages and sand-spit islands alongside 40-km lengths of pine-tree-backed beach, Portugal is a country packed with castles and cultural offerings. With superb wineries alongside excellently roasted coffee (€0.90 for an espresso), beer (€1 for a nicely chilledSagres), and the option of walking, sailing, surfing, or live-aboard motorboating on Lake Alqueva, it is ideal for exploring on foot, on horseback, by bike or by car. Roman remains or Neolithic standing stones? Dark Skies or active pursuits? One and all are there; stay longer and try as many Portuguese experiences as you wish…

Discover some of the lesser-known regions of Portugal in 2021 with Sunvil’s expert advice:

Spend a week exploring the Alentejo region and São Miguel in the Azores

There is so much to see and do in the Alentejo region: dine for €12 for two (including local wine), stay in stylish and affordable properties, walk, cycle and stargaze under Dark Skies, visit wineries, plus numerous cultural sites and the mediaeval UNESCO World Heritage regional capital, Évora. There’s an abundance of space and fresh air, with notably few crowds and wonderful local food and wine. Spend three nights in the hilltop town of Evoramonte, in the heart of the Alentejo, before journeying to São Miguel, the largest island of the Azores. Sao Miguel is a fertile, volcanic paradise where visitors can enjoy walking, cycling, Jeep safaris and horse riding, plus water sports such as surfing, canoeing, and swimming in rock pools, along with whale and dolphin watching in this marine paradise. A seven-night stay costs from £1,072 pp (two sharing), including three nights’ B&B at the The Place at Evoramonte and four nights’ B&B at the Quinta Do Mar, return flights with TAP (Heathrow/Lisbon/Sao Miguel/return), 20kg luggage each and car hire.

Make up for lost time last year with a three-week fly-drive trip, exploring the Pousadas of Portugal


Explore three distinctive regions of Portugal on this 21-night trip and stay at some of the country’s finest Pousadas along the way. Begin with a week in northern Portugal, flying into Porto and staying at the Pousada de Caniçada-Gerês, in the heart of the Peneda-Gerês National Park – Portugal’s only national park – where visitors can explore walking routes, ancient monuments and villages. Then drive south to the Pousada Convento de Belmonte in central Portugal – it’s a converted 13th century chapel, surrounded by historic villages and near to the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain range in Continental Portugal. Finally, stay at the impressive Pousada Convento de Vila Viçosa, housed within a 16th century former royal convent, with an outdoor pool and terrace where guests can enjoy authentic local cuisine and excellent wines. The historic Alentejo towns of Estremoz, Évora and Arraiolos are within easy driving distance, as is Lake Alqueva – the largest man-made lake in Europe. A 21-night stay costs from £2,316 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B at each of the three Pousadas, car hire for the duration (Porto airport to Lisbon airport) and flights (Heathrow) with BA.

Uncover the hidden Algarve

Combining two comfortable properties, and highlighting the unspoilt regions of the western and eastern Algarve, this eight-night trip explores the culture, history and landscapes of the Algarve, southern Portugal.  Split equally betweenQuinta Bonita, a boutique property in coastal countryside just outside Lagos, in the west of the Algarve, and Quinta do Marco, a family-run, 45-acre estate with thousands of fruit and olive trees, in the eastern Algarve, there’s much to enjoy while exploring the rural byways and villages plus the glorious coastal regions. Spring flowers appear in March, and the westernmost coast in particular is stunning, with vistas of wild beaches, huge bays and Atlantic rollers; sunsets over the ocean are a special highlight. Hidden Algarve costs from £720 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), eight nights’ B&B and car hire. There are plenty of delightful little restaurants to discover, too!

Discover the gastronomic soul of Portugal

The Alentejo region produces a wonderful array of regional delicacies and is responsible for almost half of the country’s wine production and 90% of its olive oil – yet it is intensely rural, with just 6% of the country’s population; very seldom indeed will you see more than a few vehicles at a time! Discover the culinary delights of the Alentejo on this seven-night journey, where you’ll taste a mouth-watering array of dishes – from sheep’s milk cheeses and organic asparagus to the famous black pork, chestnut specialities and delicious egg-based desserts, as well as world-renowned wine. The seven-night Discover the Gastronomic soul of Portugal trip costs from £1,059 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), eight days’ car hire, B&B accommodation and a three-course complimentary tasting menu at the delightful family-run wine estate, Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, in Albernoa.  You might be tempted to try a hot air balloon trip over the estate, to go horseriding or simply to walk amidst the vines (or to help harvest the grapes in August or September); whatever your preference, you’ll experience real relaxation, and you’ll breakfast like a king.

Get active in southern Portugal, on foot or by bike

Choose from one of 38 routes covering 1,200km of walking and cycling trails in the coastal wilderness region of Odemira, south west Portugal, on this seven-night Rota Vicentina self-guided walking holiday The recently-expanded Rota Vicentina­ network offers routes for a wide range of abilities (beginner to advanced), including the Fisherman’s Way, which takes in pretty seaside harbours, sand dunes, lunar landscapes and white sand beaches between Zambujeira do Mar (Alentejo) and Pedralva (the Western Algarve). Stay at the Herdade Do Touril, amidst its 365 hectare estate within the Costa Vicentina National Park, and Aldeia da Pedralva, on the southwest coast of the Algarve in the unspoiled region of Costa Vicentina. The seven-night trip costs from £571 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), eight days’ car hire, four nights’ B&B and three nights’ s/c accommodation in the stone village of Pedralva in dense countryside that’s just a 10-minute drive from the wonderful western Algarve beaches.

Enjoy the leisurely pace of boating life on Lake Alqueva

Experience life on the water with a stay on a live-aboard motorboat on Lake Alqueva, the largest man-made lake in Europe. The water is warm, clean and ideal for swimming or kayaking and, on land, it’s easy to cycle or walk the kilometre or two to the nearest restaurant to sample local cuisine, or to ring ahead and ask for a meal to be delivered to you onboard. It’s also a Dark Sky region, and a haven for birds. Easy to use, the boats (with one to five bedrooms, usually with at least two en-suites) sleep 2 to 10 people; they have a top speed of 6 miles per hour. The Marina staff offer on-land training (c.90-minutes) before helping you to set off from the jetty; they are contactable by radio if help is required. A seven-night boating holiday on Lake Alqueva costs from £1,345 pp (two sharing a boat with en-suite bedroom, living area/kitchen and outdoor space, plus GPS, sonar and a communication system), including flights (London) and car hire.

Since 1984, specialist Sunvil has offered holidaymakers exceptional experiences in the lesser-known, authentic regions of Portugal, where hospitality is generous, the welcome is warm, hotels and historic Pousadas are characterful, and the superb-value local food and wine scene is not to be missed.

To book, or to talk to an expert at Sunvil, call 020 8758 4722 or visit www.sunvil.co.uk/portugal.

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