Written by Ben Taylor,
Last Modified: 30th November 2021

It’s no secret that Portugal is popular with tourists. No doubt you fell in love with its charms on a trip of your own. But once you own a home there you’ll probably want to escape the crowds once summer’s in full swing. Here are some tips to help you achieve a bit of peace and quiet.

With Easter now out of the way, summer is just around the corner in Portugal as the temperatures rise rapidly and tourist numbers now start to swell. When you live in Portugal this initial buzz around the start of the season is always an enjoyable time, as the local area slowly comes to life. Marking an invigorating change from the quieter winter months.

This seasonal honeymoon period often begins to wear thin, however, replaced by frustration with supermarket queues, busy roads and high demand for restaurant tables. Thankfully, once you’ve lived in Portugal for a couple of years, you develop strategies to avoid the worst of the summer crowds. The purpose of this article is to share a few of them!

On many Portuguese beaches it’s still possible to find peace and solitude even in peak season.

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1. Peace and quiet on the beach

Portugal’s beaches are vast and plentiful, yet people invariably arrive at them and plonk themselves down, en masse, in one relatively small area.

On many Portuguese beaches it’s still possible to find peace and solitude even in peak season. All you need to do is walk for a little while in either direction and you’ll often find a perfect stretch practically to yourself. This does mean you’ll need to give some thought to food and other provisions, but a little effort will go a long way, rewarding you with a day at the beach away from the throng.

2. Go out for lunch instead of dinner

In some popular towns and resorts, getting a table for dinner can become quite arduous during the summer months. Everyone leaves the beach at the same time and descends on the eateries at once.

An easy way around this is to plan that cataplana or shellfish feast for lunchtime instead. You’ll have particularly good results with this tactic if you opt for restaurants in towns rather than on the beachfront. You still get a wonderful meal out, and you get to enjoy the sunset while everyone else rushes back for dinner.


Take a stroll and you’ll soon find a secluded section of beach


3. Time your supermarket trips

There’s no denying that supermarket shopping can become a bit of a chore in Portugal when it’s busy, especially in the Algarve – unless you like queueing that is.

Why not head inland to the mountains, or explore some of the rustic villages you’ve been meaning to see?

The way best way to beat the crowds is to shop first thing in the morning, when all the tourists are sleeping off their nights out! Not only can you enjoy a more peaceful shop, you’ll get there when the shelves are fully stocked.

4. Head inland

Unsurprisingly, everyone wants to head to the beach in Portugal when the sun’s blazing! But if you live there any way you can do this whenever you like, and there’s plenty of warm weather outside of the popular summer months for you to capitalise on.

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Instead, why not head inland to the mountains, or explore some of the rustic villages you’ve been meaning to see? You’ll also find plenty of river beaches in inland Portugal, many of which remain off the mainstream tourist trail.

5. Enjoy your home

If all else fails you can always opt to avoid the tourists completely and hole up in your Portuguese home. The beaches and restaurants will still be there when the tourists leave, so why not take advantage of your garden or terrace, and enjoy long lazy days by the pool with a barbecue?

For many Portuguese residents the off-season is beach time, while peak season is spent at home soaking up the sun in peace.

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