Nothing beats the pure bliss of unwinding in a spa filled with luxurious treatments. If you’ve booked your next trip to the wonderful and historical land of Portugal, you’ll definitely want to add a spa retreat to your itinerary after reading this guide on the best spas in Portugal.
Portugal has a spa to offer for even the most meticulous person – whether that be relaxing on a budget or catering for large families. No matter what your needs, our guide to the best spas in Portugal will have something for everyone.
Did you know Northern Portugal is famous for its Thermal Baths?
Thermal baths and Portugal aren’t two things that come to mind when you’re planning a trip to the Iberian Peninsula, however, it happens to be home to some of the most popular thermal baths particularly in the Northern regions of the country. Here are three thermal baths we absolutely recommend our guide has everything from Boutique Hotels to Thermal retreats and will have something for everyone. Here is a guide to the best spas in Portugal, categorized for your tastes:
Family-friendly Spas in Portugal
Belmond Reids Palace
Located in Madeira, this hotel literally got it all, making it the ultimate family-friendly spa destination and even a rekindling spot for the parents with its very own moonlit dinner service! Belmond Reids Palace has an extremely long list of spa treatments (including an ‘AngelSense’ aromatherapy session for children!) which is perfect for unwinding the family after a long day of amazing activities the hotel has to offer. It’s also a fantastic wedding venue due to its sea-front scenery for those picturesque photos, or potentially a stag/hen night with the number of regular events the palace has scheduled.
Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas – Golf Resort & Spa
Located in Vilamoura Algarve, the Vilamoura’s large expanse makes it great for children to run around in, but also houses a wide variety of facilities for your family to recharge and relax.
With its ‘Family Time’ babysitting service – The Vilamoura offers you the chance to recuperate with a list of 14 treatments to choose from, six pools (that’s right, six) and a golf course for the adults to mingle and enjoy a little competition. Admission to the spa is not limited to hotel guests only – making it great for walk-ins or a dip in one of their amazing pools if you’re staying nearby, but is well worth the visit if you’re exploring the area.
Romantic spas in Portugal
Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa
Another of Algarve’s finest is Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa not only offers some of the most romantic suites and bespoke packages, it happens to offer some of the most scenic views and white sands in the country, making it perfect for long, romantic walks on the beach. Health and Wellbeing is the centre of this gorgeous hotel, offering a ‘Vila Vita Vital Spa’ – a warm, soothing and luxurious atmosphere for your treatments. Their holistic approaches to relaxation will evoke feelings of tranquillity with your significant other. Chill out in their warm Tepidarium or bubbling Jacuzzi after one of their infamous vital spa rituals.
Popular city breaks out of Lisbon
Furnas Boutique Hotel – Thermal & Spa
Located on the Island of Azores – this autonomous region of Portugal is extremely popular for its green pastures and stunning views. Its spa contains both an indoor and outdoor pool filled with thermal mineral water up to temperatures of 59 C and offers a range of treatments including a thermal circuit and the classic art of reflexology. With this in mind, it’s no doubt you’ll achieve a high level of zen at this hotel.
On a day you’re feeling particularly active, it’s good to know the hotel is filled with adventure and sports activities ranging from diving to mountain biking – perfect for those budding athletes!
Best Spas in Portugal for fitness fanatics
The Vilalara is the perfect spa for those with itchy feet or an active lifestyle. Enjoy the use of their 3 tennis courts and 1 padel court or go running in the wonderful mixed terrain of their gardens, surrounded by the sea and over 150 species.
The Vilalara happens to be one of the best Thalassotherapy centres in the world, making use of its local climate to provide customised spa treatments to suit your body and mind. If you’re particularly health conscious and want to reap the full benefits on your spa treatments you can opt for a low-calorie diet consisting of local produce to enhance your spa stay and authentic experience in Portugal.
On the cheap
Dolce Camporeal Lisboa
Spas need not be out of budget any more, especially in Dolce’s self-catering accommodation and relatively expansive list of treatments at their Mandalay Spa with therapies fused with Indian and Thai Medicine, making it a highly unique experience. Their signature package dubbed the ‘Dolce Spa Break Package’ is home to the Sundãri Abhyanga Massage – a rhythmic relaxing massage focused on restoring the flow of ‘Prana’. Finally there’s the Neem Body Polish consisting of finely ground Date Seeds and Pumpkin to polish away dead skin and leaving your skin feeling nourished.
The Eden Resort quite literally channels themes of paradise through their ‘Adam & Eve’ Spa, offering treatments such as ‘Paradise Special’ and ‘Scent of Algarve’. Not only do their treatments sound like the ultimate destination for a budget spa-break, they actually offer 12% off when you book through their website! Not to mention their packages are discounted up to 20%. This is definitely the spa destination of Portugal that won’t break the bank.
In The Sticks
Quinta Da Casa Branca
The botanical gardens are the epicenter of this wonderful place, coupled with a series of treatments known as ‘Phytocéane’ which are inspired by the tranquility of the surrounding gardens. This is our recommended spa experience if you’re after deep calmness during your travels due to its abundance of wood and other natural forms.
This retreat sits on a tiny Island known as ‘Madeira’ and is classified as a World Heritage Natural Site by UNESCO. It’s referred to by the local folk as ‘God’s Botanical Garden’ or the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’. Spa packages are catered to both men and women with some lasting up to three days, making it a great spa destination to plan your holiday round.
Termas De Luso
It’s all about the Body, Mind and Soul with Termas De Luso. Nothing speaks indescribable beauty and relaxation more than this tranquil resort. It offers a range of invigorating treatments ranging from body rituals to ‘Acqua Sensations’. The hotel is also coupled with a medical center for both physical and medicinal rehabilitation to treat common health problems related to hypertension and circulatory system disorders.
With its unique water chemistry it’s no wonder you may want to turn a spa day into a spa stay – special rates are available if you intend to lodge and use the spa facilities too making it great value for money.
What to Pack to a Spa in Portugal
So you’ve picked your spa – but what do you actually need to pack? We generally recommend packing light, particular if much of your time will be spent in a spa, however these tips should help you whilst packing for your trip:
A must if you’re in a wet area. Most if not all spas provide slippers for you to wear throughout your stay however they tend to get soaked through especially if you’re by the spa area.
It’s common to feel slight chills after a relaxing treatment – for those particularly cold moments, have a hoody or cardigan at hand to quickly wrap yourself up in.
You’re very likely to spend the majority of time in your robe. Most spas offer complimentary robes, slippers and towels but you’re welcome to bring you own no matter what spa you wish to use.
Although you’ll be pampered with some amazing products, don’t forget to pack your bags with essential personal toiletries like your deodorant, toothbrush and makeup before you leave on your journey.
Nothing quite beats sitting by the poolside with a good book or magazine – take some along with you to enrich your relaxing spa experience.
We advise taking sunscreen for spa resorts that contain an outdoor pool. Portugal can be very hot and has a strong sun!
Most spas require use of a swimming cap in their hot pools – they’re also great for protecting any hair dyes and generally work wonders for protecting the condition of your hair.
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