The best holidays in Portugal away from the crowds

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UK travellers can now travel to Portugal without having to isolate on return. In July, the Government established “travel corridors” with 59 countries, and Portugal has now been added to the list of countries exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine. The Foreign Office no longer advises against travelling to the country, nor its autonomous, Atlantic islands, Madeira and the Azores.

Portugal is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers but has been deprived of one of its biggest markets since the spring. Now is the time to seek out its under-the-radar spots, from the unspoilt beaches of the Alentejo and Algarve to the quiet interior and country’s lush islands.

Alternative Algarve: east and west

With its craggy cliffs and peaceful sands, the Algarve’s wild west is a world away from the busy central coast. Minimalist, four-star Memmo Baleeira perches above the fishing port of Sagres, overlooking the endless golden sands and pounding waves. Guests can rent a bike and sign up for surfing lessons, windsurfing and diving, or simply chill out by the pool and in the spa. Family-friendly suites come with kitchen facilities and sofa beds. Doubles from €110.

The eastern Algarve is within easy reach of Faro, but much quieter than this sun-kissed region’s popular central belt. Check into the sleek Praia Verde Boutique Hotel, which is sandwiched between pine forest and the beach near the historic village of Castro Marim. Every suite has a sitting room with a sofa bed, kitchenette, dining area and balcony, so it’s a good choice for families.

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If you tire of the sweeping, powder-soft sands, nearby are the picturesque town of Tavira, whitewashed fishing villages, the wild lagoons of the Ria Formosa National Park or a boat trip down the Guadiana River, which separates Portugal from Spain. Suites from €231 B&B.

A smaller, self-catering option in this tranquil portion of the Algarve is Casa Olhão – a cubist-style two-bedroom house with a pool. It overlooks the region’s biggest fishing port and offers easy access to Ria Formosa’s glorious, white-sand beaches. Sleeping four, it costs from €113 per night.

Digging deeper into the Algarve

North of Sagres, close to neighbouring Alentejo in the Algarve’s interior, Monchique is all verdant hills, cork oaks and quiet villages.

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