Last minute holidays are as easy as they come in Portugal
Portugal shares a timezone with the UK and is just two and a half hours’ direct flight away.
Couple that with how friendly a destination it is for spontaneous holidays, with hotels that often factor in entertainment all year round and you’re looking at a seriously good place for a last minute break.
Lisbon is perhaps the most chilled out capital city in the world, and down on the southern coast of the Algarve you’ve got communities like the modern and luxurious Vilamoura or the upbeat nightlife of Praia da Rocha. The latter of these is always popular for its stunning shorelines, best enjoyed sprawled on the beach under limitless sunshine in last minute bliss.
What’s more, Portuguese history is among the most compelling around, and no matter how spontaneous your trip, those cathedrals and churches are always there in their ageless grace.
Of course, there’s more to Portugal than its mainland too, and you can experience the tranquil island life of Madeira and Porto Santo as a last minute break to remember. Those quieter island communities make for brilliant spontaneous getaways thanks to their frequent markets and tantalising seclusion, meaning good food and bargain hunting can make up your days all year round.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday to Portugal
The beauty of Portugal is that it’s in our timezone but enjoys a far warmer climate. Tucked down at the west of Spain, its summers blaze hot between May and September, which also happens to be the busiest high season period. Breaks in autumn and winter months fall in the lower period, which means prices fall but temperatures stay brilliantly balmy.
Remember, the travel industry classifies a last minute holiday as anywhere up to eight weeks in advance of departure, and you’ll see last minute deals to Portugal reflecting that as you browse your options.
Other last minute holiday destinations
Portugal may be gorgeous, but it’d be remiss to suggest it’s the only last minute destination of your dreams. Broaden your horizons by considering a spontaneous trip to Spain, an indulgent holiday in Italy or a gorgeous escape to Greece.
The lazy days innate to the Mediterranean can be enjoyed in any of those destinations, but if your heart is set on Portugal, take a look at our top last minute hotel recommendations for both island and mainland Portugal holidays.
This sleek and curved hotel rests five minutes' drive from the beach of Vilamoura, which is made all the more accessible thanks to free shuttle access. The hotel itself is part of a sprawling 27-hole golf course, although even those without a love of the game have plenty to enjoy. There are two pools and a lakeside restaurant, as well as a gym and games room.
With its rooftop bar, shimmering pool and white-walled modern style, this complex shows that rustic life on the little island of Porto Santo can still be enjoyed in style. A last minute break here promises to keep you under five minutes' walk from the beachfront, while also secluding you from the hustle and bustle for well-deserved sauna and massage treatments.