Spain versus Portugal: where’s the best place to holiday this summer?

Sitting as they do side by side on the Iberian Peninsular, these two Latin neighbours have long vied for your holiday pound. Both offer great food, great beaches and a wealth of attractions but where should you choose for your week away this year?



Portugal’s Algarve region has some of the best and most reliable sunshine in the world with long hot summers and mild, sunny winters. The north of the country on the other hand can be less than idyllic when it comes to blue skies, with the rugged Atlantic coast receiving more than it’s fair share of stormy seas and rainy days.

Like the north of Portugal, the north west of Spain is prone to unsettled weather and unseasonal cool spells. The main holiday resorts on the east coast are far more consistent with the more southern beaches offering almost guaranteed sunny days throughout the season.


Famous for its tapas, paella and olives, Spain is a haven for the discerning foodie. Visit any city restaurant or travel to any country taverna and it’s more than likely you’ll get a great meal at a great price.

Though perhaps less famous for its cuisine, Portugal does have its fair share of fantastic dishes and when it comes to seafood, few nations do it better.


From Barcelona to Seville and Madrid to Grenada, the rugged beaches of Galicia to the sun drenched stretches of the Costa del Sol; Spain’s ability to attract and entertain tourists is undeniable. Packed with historic sites and modern twists, this country offers everything from cutting edge art galleries to Moorish palaces.

Portugal has fewer big cities but what it lacks in urban attraction, it more than makes up for in natural charms. Opportunities for adventure sports abound in the hills and mountains of the Algarve and you can spend weeks exploring the secluded coves that make up the western coastline.


Both Portugal and Spain are in easy flight time of the UK with plenty of low cost carriers operating regular flights. To reach Portugal’s holiday region, you’ll probably fly to Faro which is within around two hours drive of most destinations.

The Spanish coast has got to be one of the most connected areas in the world, the airports stretching the entire length from Barcelona to Malaga. Visit the Monarch website for more information or to book an unforgettable escape to the sun.