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Portuguese public holidays that feel like a proper vacation

Piscina do Pestana Viking, Algarve

When it comes to combining public holidays and weekends for short breaks, this summer is particularly generous. Make sure you keep a note of the best days and destinations for a getaway in Portugal, where you can enjoy a stay at a Pestana hotel or Pousada de Portugal.

Whether you’re pining for holidays past or those yet to come, a weekend getaway is always a great idea. With conveniently placed public holidays in late-May, June and August, what better than a short holiday in Portugal, which gives you the chance to recharge your batteries and have a wonderful time, wherever you go.

May began with a major public holiday on the 1st (Labour Day), with another to come. The Feast of Corpus Cristi falls on 30th May, which is an ideally-placed Thursday for a four-day getaway. In June, Camões and the Portuguese Communities Day falls on the 10th, which is a Monday. In Portugal, many towns and cities celebrate a municipal holiday, which is normally associated with a religious figure, during the same month. In Lisbon, it’s São António, which is on the 13th (Thursday). In Porto, Braga and Tavira, São João’s Day is celebrated on the 24th, a Monday, while the places where São Pedro is the patron saint, such as Évora, the public holiday is less fortunate (29th, a Saturday). We can’t bid farewell to summer without mention of the August public holiday on the 15th, the day of the Assumption of Mary: a Thursday combined with Friday and the weekend, when you can toast the month synonymous with collective rest.

To optimise a three- or four-day weekend getaway in Portugal, choose somewhere nearby, which means cutting travel time and maximising the hours spent relaxing. In a country like Portugal, enjoying a few days at the beach while relaxing in a hotel near home isn’t difficult. In the Algarve, whether you’re in Sagres or Alvor (the West), or Vila Real de Santo António or Estói (the East), there’s always a coastline of calm waters to enjoy. If the Alentejo region is closer, why not immerse yourself in the idyllic nature around Tróia, for example. Further north, it’s worth dispelling the myth of cold seawater around Viana do Castelo, as visitors enjoy hot summer afternoons, when the water is always the ideal temperature.

Another option is flying to one of the Portuguese islands. Between the airports and crossings, it is well worth the trip, whether it’s the unique blue sea of the Azores in Terceira or São Miguel, the light sands of Porto Santo, or the swimming pool views in Madeira. With these public holidays falling kindly, a weekend getaway can really feel like a long vacation.

Piscina do Pestana Blue Alvor Beach

Holidays in Portugal

Enjoy a stay at a Pestana hotel or Pousada de Portugal.

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