France vs Portugal: where's best for your group holiday?

Date Posted: 12/07/2016

Portugal may have beaten France in the Euro 2016 final but the battle isn’t over yet. We take a look at what each country has to offer when it comes to taking a group holiday – and there’s no mention of football.

We’ve put together a list of the top five group experiences in both France and Portugal - from treasure hunts around the Louvre and underground tombs in France to tropical gardens and coach museums in Portugal – but which will you choose for a future visit? 

France

The Catacombs

For the weird and the wonderful, the remains of over six million people held deep underground can be visited at The Catacombs, Paris. The remains were transferred to the caves due to overcrowded cemeteries in the late 1700s and have since become a popular visitor attraction. Group tours include the chance to visit Décure's sculptures, the quarries footbath, the Sacellum Crypt, the sepulchral lamp and Gilbert's tomb.

The Royal Château of Amboise

The Royal Château of Amboise is a château located in Amboise which was once a favoured royal residence. Groups can visit the monument and landscaped gardens, which offer views of the Loire valley. A group visit can include a guided tour of the gardens or of the chateau underground passageways and towers. Standard visits take in the royal house, chapel (with Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb) and gardens.

THATLou Treasure Hunt at the Louvre

For groups wanting to explore the Louvre but concerned they might not have enough time to see it all will find the answer in THATLou. This treasure hunt-come-quirky-tour offers groups the chance to take a pit-stop tour of the museum while solving clues to see as many works of art in the museum as possible. Larger groups will be split up into teams, and can choose from different themes, too, such as Animals in Richelieu or All Things Gaul.


France VS Portugal: The Re-match | Group Travel Inspiration | Arenes of Nîmes

Arenes of Nîmes

Another French highlight in the Arenes of Nîmes, which is considered to be one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. Groups have the choice between a few different tours at the venue – they can take a self-guided tour with an audio guide, a tour which includes a film at the Maison Carrée and a visit to the looking point at the Tour Magne, or a guided lecture tour. A Roman pass is also available, which is a combined ticket with different Roman monuments around Provence.

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes in Paris is one of the main botanical gardens in France and will appeal to horticulture fans. The garden is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire Naturelle (natural history museum) and Jardin des Plantes itself includes four galleries from the museum - the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, the Mineralogy Museum, the Paleontology Museum and the Entomology Museum. Groups can also enjoy guided tours around the gardens or gentle walks around the grounds.

Portugal

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is a World Heritage Site near the historic centre of Sintra and consists of a palace and chapel and a park featuring lakes, grottos, wells and fountains. The park also contains a system of tunnels that can be explored, as well as the famous Initiation Wells. The wells are more like underground towers lined with stairs and they connect to other tunnels via a series of underground walkways.

Zoomarine Algarve

This marine park in Guia is great for a hot day. The park boasts seal and dolphin shows, an aquarium, a sandy beach with slides and a wave pool, a rapid river and some fairground rides, too. There’s also an exhibition centre where groups can learn about the projects supported by Zoomarine. Don’t forget to pose for a free photo when visiting.

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden in Madeira boasts 70,000 square meters of tropical gardens and lake, which are also home to swans, ducks, peacocks and chickens. Hidden within the gardens is also an exhibition space which houses sculptures and a mineral collection gathered from around the world.

France VS Portugal: The Re-match | Group Travel Inspiration | Lisbon rooftops - António Sacchetti

Lisbon rooftops - António Sacchetti

Museu Nacional dos Coches

The National Coach Museum in Lisbon is said to be one of the most visited museums in the city and houses a large collection of royal historical carriages. Each carriage is said to be even more extravagant then the last and the range includes carriages that once belonged to the pope, kings,  princes and queens between the Renaissance period and the 1900s.

Cycle Rentals

For an alternative view of Portugal, groups can book onto a guided cycle tour around Sintra. The Sintra hill range is suitable for varying cycling abilities and offers the opportunity to ride from the forest hills of Sintra to the Atlantic coast below. Riders can also choose to ride single tracks through hills and past fields of granite boulders for pretty Portuguese scenery.

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