Portugal - Surf's Up on the Alentejo Coast
- Transfers: airport and activity transfers are included
- Accommodation: 7 nights' accommodation
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches (with activities), 2 dinners
- Choose from the following activities (price varies depending on the number of activities chosen): canoeing, surfing, stand-up paddling, canoeing and cycling, zip wire and abseiling (order of activities is subject to change)
- All equipment, tuition and supervision from fully qualified instructors
- Services of our local representatives or guides
Portugal’s Alentejo Coast remains a well-kept secret here in the UK but remains the spot where the Portuguese choose to spend their holidays, as opposed to the Algarve’s more crowded shoreline. It remains one of Western Europe’s most unpopulated regions, ensuring plenty of space for the perfect family getaway.
Here, the Atlantic waters have sculpted a dramatic coastline where sheer cliff-faces contrast with sweeping beaches of white sand. It’s a timeless and unspoilt place, with perfect waves for surfing. You will be able to try this for yourself, along with a multitude of other family activities, from abseiling and zip-wiring to cycling and canoeing. We operate a flexible activity scheme which lets you choose as many or as few as you wish.
The town of Milfontes is popular with Lisbon’s residents who travel there in summer to escape the oppressive city heat and to enjoy the delicious local cuisine. The region is surrounded by gently undulating hills, with the Mira, cleanest of all European rivers, running close by. Added to this are the exceptional surf beaches, making the perfect activity playground for a family adventure holiday. The town itself is charmingly picturesque and home to an impressive 16th century stone castle – built as a fortress to protect the town from marauding pirates.
Our local team receives outstanding feedback each year and they will ensure that you get to experience this region at its best and enjoy some wonderful experiences!
Credits: Visit Alentejo
Day 1 Arrival and Welcome
At the airport, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your accommodation.
Guests staying at the Duna Parque Hotel will check in at a central reception area before you are transferred to your hotel, approximately 5 minutes away. Check-in starts from 4 pm but you can opt for early check-in at an extra cost (subject to availability). If your flight means you arrive later than 10 pm, you will check-in at the H.S Milfontes Hotel before you’re transferred to your apartment at Duna Parque.
For guests of the Duna Parque Hotel, you will take a short 10-minute walk to H.S Milfontes Hotel for breakfast each morning. For your morning activities, you can decide as a group whether you would like to be picked up from the H.S Milfontes Hotel following breakfast, or whether you would like to walk back to Duna Parque Hotel to be picked up from there.
This small coastal town enjoys easy access to the beautiful white sandy beaches and is also home to some excellent local restaurants, making it an ideal base for a family break. If you have an earlier flight, the children will likely be keen to head straight to the beach and enjoy the sun!
Tonight you will be given details of what you will need for your first activity tomorrow and an overview of the week’s activities before having time to relax into your holiday.Included Meals: None
Day 2 Canoeing
Today’s activity has been designed to help you explore your local surroundings and to allow the children to make friends as you begin your first adventure together. The exploration starts with an exciting way to get out onto the water - canoeing!
You will be equipped with all you need before setting off at a paddle enjoying the lovely scenery as you head along the Mira River in two-person canoes. This is said to be one of the beautiful rivers in Europe. Following your canoe trip, there will be a short walk to the beach that leads to today’s picnic lunch spot, following which there will be the opportunity for some archery before paddling back to the harbour in your canoes.
The whole group will enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant this evening.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Surfing
This region is famed for its surf and whilst there are larger breaks for the more advanced, the beaches we use are ideal for families with varied abilities as well as being perfect for beginners too.
Today’s start time will be dictated by the tides to give you the best waves possible. Your lesson will last around 2 - 3 hours and our expert instructors will make sure that everyone will have tried to stand on the surfboard by the end of the session and the whole group has a great time learning to try and ride the waves. When taking a break from surfing you can enjoy the beautiful views from a relaxing spot on the clear sandy beaches (perfect too for watching others in the group trying to tackle the waves!).Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 4 Stand-Up Paddling (SUP)
Now you’ve mastered the art of surfing, you will try a slightly different technique today as you head out onto the Mira River for some stand-up paddle boarding.
Stand-up paddling originated in Hawaii and Polynesia and it has been practiced for many thousands of years. Ancient cultures from Africa to South America used to stand on their canoes and glide through the water.
‘Supping’ has become really popular in coastal areas around the world in the last 5 years and it is becoming exceedingly popular with our families too. SUP boards are larger than surfboards and more stable, but you should still be prepared for a wobbly start and a lesson in how to engage your core from your guide.
Kids tend to pick this up much more quickly than parents and you’ll all hopefully progress from kneeling on the board to standing and propelling yourselves forward with your long paddles. For added fun, you will be using large versions of the boards which can fit up to 10 people, meaning that this activity can be a hilarious team exercise too.
The lesson will last for around two hours in total, and there will be some individual boards available should anyone wish to try this alone as well. The afternoon is free for you to stroll around Milfontes or relax on the beach - the choice is yours.Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 5 Free Day
Many families choose to simply relax on the beach or around the pool today. Alternatively, surfing and canoeing are also available for those feeling a little more active (bookable and payable locally).Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 6 Canoeing and Cycling
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the beautiful Zambujeira Velha on the banks of the River Mira. From there you continue your journey by canoe, paddling downstream whilst enjoying the local nature and wildlife within this beautiful preservation area.
After lunch, a short transfer takes you to the start of the cycling track which follows a stunning stretch of coastline. This is a wonderful way to explore a different part of the coast, with both the canoeing and cycling suitable for all ages and abilities.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Zip Wire and Abseiling Wall
There is more adrenaline on offer today with an array of exciting family friendly activities. These include an 80m long zip wire that is around 30 metres above the ground – a hugely popular activity with children. There is also a fantastic 45-metre high rock face, which in the winter is a waterfall, but once the sun starts to shine, becomes a drywall, ideal for abseiling.
Following lunch, you will have some time to relax before having a farewell dinner with the whole group this evening, giving you the chance to reminisce over the adventures you have shared together.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 Departure
Some families may want to consider extending their time here for another week. If this is something you are interested in please speak to our Travel Experts for further details.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
With its beautiful range of beaches, striking natural beauty and its sunshine, Vila Nova de Milfontes remains one of the real hidden gems on the Alentejo Coast.
The delightfully hospitable Duna Parque accommodation is ideal for families, offering direct access to the beach. The centre of Milfontes is only a ten-minute walk away and has a range of souvenir shops, restaurants and cafés to enjoy.
- Check-in will take place at a central reception area and you will then be transferred to your accommodation
- Breakfast each morning is served at the H.S Milfontes Hotel, approximately a 10-minute walk away
- For morning activities, guests will decide as a group whether they are picked up from the H.S Milfontes Hotel after breakfast or back at the Duna Parque accommodation
- Check-in starts at 4 pm but you can request an early check-in for an extra charge (subject to availability)
- If you arrive later than 10 pm, you will check in at the H.S Milfontes Hotel before being transferred to your accommodation at Duna Parque
- The hotel’s facilities are perfect for families and adults alike, with two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), hot tub and Finnish sauna, gym, children’s playground, mini golf and tennis court
- The hotel’s proximity to the beach also allows easy access for swimming and sunbathing after the day’s activities
- The welcoming restaurant serves a range of local dishes including seafood and delicious 'steak cooked on the stone'
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout
- Free on-site car parking is available
One bedroom apartments
The bright and modern one bedroom apartments are perfect for smaller families and have one bedroom with double or twin beds in addition to one separate sofa bed in the lounge area. They are equipped with a kitchenette, air-conditioning, TV/DVD player, hairdryer and safe.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Activities: select as many or as few activities as you wish from the schedule. The price per person depends on the number of activities chosen.
Sat 18 Jul 2020
to Sat 25 Jul 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Sat 25 Jul 2020
to Sat 01 Aug 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Sat 01 Aug 2020
to Sat 08 Aug 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Sat 08 Aug 2020
to Sat 15 Aug 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Sat 15 Aug 2020
to Sat 22 Aug 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Sat 22 Aug 2020
to Sat 29 Aug 2020 £575
|£75 per extra activity||Book|
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
You can make a pre-reservation to secure your holiday at this stage by paying an initial deposit of only £50pp. The provisional departure dates, prices and itineraries remain subject to change. We will contact you when the final dates, prices and itineraries are confirmed, and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. If you do proceed, then a further deposit of £350 per person will be payable. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation. Please note: pre-sales prices include return UK flights.Price per person based on 4 sharing a one bedroom apartment
Sat 17 Jul 2021
to Sat 24 Jul 2021 £1,030
|£85 per extra activity||Enquire|
Sat 24 Jul 2021
to Sat 31 Jul 2021 £1,030
|£85 per extra activity||Enquire|
Sat 31 Jul 2021
to Sat 07 Aug 2021 £1,030
|£85 per extra activity||Enquire|
Sat 07 Aug 2021
to Sat 14 Aug 2021 £1,015
|£75 per extra activity||Enquire|
Sat 14 Aug 2021
to Sat 21 Aug 2021 £1,060
|£85 per extra activity||Enquire|
Sat 21 Aug 2021
to Sat 28 Aug 2021 £1,030
|£85 per extra activity||Enquire|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 4 and maximum 16 persons (approximately)
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
Minimum and maximum age
The minimum age for this holiday can be found in the ‘Key Facts’ section of the holiday overview.
Younger family members may be able to participate but may not be able to take part in all activities. Please contact one of our Travel Experts if you have any questions.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
It is vitally important that you advise us prior to departure of any medical or dietary condition relating to any member of your party so that we may notify our local staff before you arrive. We recommend only drinking bottled water from bottles with unbroken seals and be vigilant about the use of ice in drinks and ice cream.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Booking activities locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are correctly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc.) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Minimum numbers - Alentejo
This holiday typically requires a minimum of four participants to operate. If there are fewer than four people booked, which is exceedingly rare, we will do all that we can to operate the holiday as planned. If this is not possible then you will be informed nine weeks prior to your departure date and all available options will be discussed with you.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.activitiesabroad.com/booking-conditions
We are just back after a fantastic holiday in Alentejo! 10 August 2019 by The Parsons Family
We are just back after a fantastic holiday in Alentejo! Ricardo and the two Phillipe’s were brilliant and could not have been more helpful. The activities were lots of fun and my family and I felt that the holiday had a good balance of activity and down time. We were so lucky that the other families were great fun to share time with and our children got on well. I would be delighted to book again a similar holiday for next year.
Surf's up on the Alentejo Coast 03 August 2019 by The Steed Family
Great local staff made the holiday - nice split between own time and scheduled activities.
All came back exhilarated 27 July 2019 by The Barker and Woods Families
My grandson Charlie became more confident in himself as the week passed. All came back exhilarated. Grandchildren tasted local specialities and loved them!
We did not want it to end. 11 August 2018 by Diane Norman and Family
We did not want it to end. Our apartment was comfortable and well equipped and VilaNovade Milfontes a charming place to explore. Our superb host Ricardo greatly contributed to our enjoyment of this holiday. Our breakfasts at the hotel and the lunches provided by Ricardo were excellent.
Great Holiday 14 July 2018 by The Cope Family
Great holiday. Hotel and food were really good. The best bit was the activities provided and the guys that helped us with the activities.
A really, really great holiday 07 July 2018 by The Gaskell Family
Fantastic from start to end; best family holiday we have been on.
Ricardo and team were fantastic. 26 August 2017 by The Smithwell Family
Everything they did was spot on. Our favourite activity was the surf lesson with a good instructor, gorgeous beach and good waves. We thought all the activities were really good and set at the right level for families. Like many of your previous customers, I would just like to repeat how great Ricardo and his team were. They were friendly, courteous, helpful, laid back. They are always available in the background but don't dominate the group. The lunches were delicious and Ricardo sources them from local restaurants and, on one day, his mum's friend. It felt that we were supporting the local economy rather than big business.
Portugal activity holiday 12 August 2017 by The Walker Family
The activities were superbly organised, equipped and led by your colleagues (and please pass on our thanks to Ricardo, Rafael, Filipe, Diogo and the rest of the team). I enjoyed the kayaking & cycling challenge (Thursday). I'm glad to have had the chance to try surfing but didn't show much aptitude for it; fortunately, the younger Walkers took to it more easily. When pushed, they were undecided whether the surfing or the lagoon activity day (Tuesday) was their favourite. I think we were all glad we checked our fears and abseiled down a 40-metre rock-face on Friday. I booked in January and spent six months looking forward to the holiday so the risk of anticlimax was high but we all loved it.
The most amazing holiday with memories to treasure 05 August 2017 by The Helm Family
We have just returned from the best holiday ever. As a mother of 2 very active boys, my intention was to book a holiday that they would adore and that I would like/endure. However, it appeared that I enjoyed the holiday as much as everyone! The activities aren't for the faint-hearted but the sense of achievement, team spirit and pride is second to none. Seeing your children delighted every moment with each new activity surrounded by experienced and lovely guides is a sight to behold forever. We were blessed with a truly amazing group of game families. No computer screens, no petty arguments just good family, back to nature, high adrenaline fun. The saying goes that 'you are only as happy as your most unhappy child'; with this said myself and my husband were as happy as could be from DAY 1. Thank you for organising!
Fab holiday enjoyed by all 13 August 2016 by The Baguley Family
The positive and engaging attitude displayed by all reps was first class. They clearly care about what they do and enjoy their jobs. Most enjoyable activity: Abseiling for feeling confident when facing a daunting task!! Least enjoyable: Nothing. Fab holiday enjoyed by all and great to be with similar families.
Surf's up on the Alentejo Coast 06 August 2016 by The Barber Family
We could not fault the arrangements and planning of activities. The lagoon day was very special and we felt privileged to be able to have such a fabulous time in this secret place.
Holiday was excellent 06 August 2016 by The Webb Family
The holiday was excellent. The activity hosts were professional and the organisation and execution of the activities were outstanding. All activities were enjoyed by one or more members of the family. There was not an activity that was not enjoyable. There were some that were more difficult than others to master. Surfing, for example, is very enjoyable but will take significant practice to master.
Great for kids 23 July 2016 by Jill Smith and family
We had a large group - great for kids- they all got on so well, the adults did too & the activities brought out the kids in us. Activities paced well. Ricardo had things well planned & a good team & was very knowledgeable & helpful ability to tailor the holiday was fantastic so we had an activity holiday but also another restful week in lovely accommodation in a beautiful part of Portugal & were even able to visit Lisbon overnight & see the historic sites & the aquarium.
Everything was enjoyable 09 July 2016 by Claire, John & Charlotte
The activity team were the nicest guys you can wish to meet. Their pride and knowledge of the local area were excellent and inspiring. Their encouragement during the activities was also what made the holiday. Everything was enjoyable.
Each day offered something exciting. 15 August 2015 by Verity Bowcock
Ricardo and his team were very good - efficient/well organised/friendly We felt that Ricardo's local knowledge of the area meant we got to go to places we would not have found ourselves. The standard of the accommodation was much better than I had expected at Duna Parque and the staff lovely. The only issue being that if we wanted to have a cooked breakfast we had to walk to HS Milfontes every morning. Each day offered something exciting. I personally enjoyed the surfing; the children loved the lagoon day and abseiling and treasure hunt.
Thank you to Activities Abroad for enabling us to have a fantastic holiday in Portugal 09 August 2009 by Jo Green
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Activities Abroad for enabling us to have a fantastic holiday in Portugal. The team out there - Ricardo, Pedro, Miguel and Phillipe - were absolutely brilliant. They were friendly, great fun, kind, helpful and professional - I could go on and on! Their enthusiasm, knowledge and love of the surrounding area ensured that we saw the best parts of the area and the activities were just fantastic for the kids and adults alike. They seemed to enjoy all that they did and nothing was a chore - even taking us all to our 2nd week accommodation, which was not a problem in the slightest. We definitely would recommend this holiday to anyone who wants something a little different. We also would like to be sent details of next year’s holidays with Activities Abroad so as we can plan our next adventure ASAP!