Alternative Portugal - Why Us


"Very good service all round. I was impressed that they were honest about the accommodation standards which they called average or simple only to find that the actual place was very good when we got there! It’s so often the other way around! I feel this is a company that is trying hard to provide excellent service and repeat business, not just making a quick buck!"

Here are 10 good reasons why you can trust us with your holiday. 

  1. Proud to be a Member of ABTA
  2. Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant
  3. Highly personalised service
  4. Your money is safe 
  5. West Coast of Portugal experts 
  6. Collection of hand-picked, personally vetted rentals
  7. Descriptions you can trust 
  8. Close relationship with owners  
  9. Chef, housekeeper, surf school...
  10. Online booking on selected rentals 


1. Proud to be a Member of ABTA - even more reassurance for you, our customer...

We have recently been awarded ABTA membership which is an exciting step forward for our business.  With an ABTA member such as ourselves, you can book your holiday with confidence, knowing that you have access to advice, travel information and financial protection.

2. Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant - don’t just take our word for it...

We’re very proud of our 99% Service Rating achieved through feefo. It's a welcome reward for the hard work of the team all-year-round. 



3. Highly personalised service - as much or as little help as you need... 

We do hundreds of bookings a year, not thousands. We promote a select portfolio of holiday rentals, not a mind-numbing portal of tens of thousands of holiday homes. This allows us to provide an individual, tailored service for you. It’s just like using a specialist travel agent. 


4. Your money is safe - because we run client accounts

As booking agents we are required to hold your money in a separate suspense account (for both EUR and GBP), which we cannot access for business expenses.


5. West Coast of Portugal experts - go on, test our knowledge!

We know every km of the west coast and depending on what your requirements are we will match you with the perfect destination as well as the perfect rental. So, we're a bit like a dating service as well as a specialist travel agent! Oh, and we can guide you on activities and days out too...


6. Collection of handpicked, personally visited rentals - we’ve done the hard work for you!

We don’t just take anything on - we can afford to be 'choosey'. Between Justin, Alex, Julia and Bethan, every property is visited and we only take on those we want to stay in. If there’s an aspect of the property (or the owner!) we’re uncomfortable with, we don’t take the property on. We reject dozens every year. This means we can focus our efforts on a smaller but higher quality collection of villas, beach houses and family resorts.



7. Descriptions you can trust - we’re not afraid to tell it like it is

Detail and accuracy in our descriptions are very important. If there are things to watch out for (e.g. lots of steps), we say so. Sometimes owners say we’re too honest with our opinions. We say if it was them or us booking the property we would want to know now, not when we arrive.


8. Close relationship with owners - working with partners we trust - so you can too

We work closely with our owners and have had working relationships over many years with some. Some owners promote their property through other agents or websites but they always say they like our clients best! A close relationship with our partners can often translate into better rates for you. It also means they go the extra mile for you, just like we do.

9. Chef, housekeeper, surf school - we can sort it for you – we know everyone!

As well as finding you the best holiday rental, we can arrange through our partners some extra services to make your holiday just a little more relaxing and to help you experience the region. Surfing is a popular activity and we have leads in most resorts. And if you want the services of a cook for a celebratory meal or most nights of your holiday then we can help there too.

10. Online booking on selected rentals - secure and convenient payment

We recognise that in some cases it’s really convenient to book and pay for your holiday online. We agree and on some rentals we make this possible. However, we do like to have a conversation too and we believe this is what makes us different to the big rental websites. We need to know what is important to get right for your holiday if we’re going to help you to make the best choice.


 The Team in October 2016:
                                        Justin ~ Alex ~ Paul ~ Claire
                                           Julia ~ Helen ~ Bethan

Our Story

We’ve been in the holiday rentals business since 2003 through our first venture, Alternative Aquitaine, and over the years have built up a loyal and growing client base. Our clients are enthusiastic about the service we provide – we've achieved a 99% service rating with Feefo.

"I think you are the best agent we′ve ever used"

Our aim from the beginning has been to take the risk out of booking a holiday rental – we devote much time and effort to selecting and continually monitoring the best destinations and properties - so that you don’t have to. 

"You don′t try to ′sell′ the most expensive property but try to find one to suit individual needs. This is SO refreshing!"

The popularity of our villa holidays in south west France led us to find new destinations where our clients could enjoy high quality villa accommodation plus fantastic beaches and activities but in authentic destinations away from the better-known coastlines.

"It was a perfect place! Easy & safe cycle paths, lovely beaches and lakes too"

Why book with us? We pride ourselves on providing a personal service backed up by the knowledge we have built up over the years. We work really hard matching clients with the right destinations and properties – give us a call and let us help you find the perfect holiday.

"Your description of the property and area was very accurate"

Selected Recent Coverage

A selection of Portugal villa holiday press coverage:

April 2019 - The Times - Top 10 Villas in Portugal
Quinta de Rio Maior is highlighted again!

February 2019 - The Sunday Times, The Hottest New Villas, Hotels and Spas in Portugal
Quinta de Rio Maior featured in this great article by Chris Haslam

September 2017 - The Guardian Travel; 10 Secret Portuguese Beaches
Highlights of some of the best beaches in our region.

January 2017 - The Sunday Times Travel; 50 Best Beaches in Europe 2017
Praia da Amoreria is chosen as 'the perfect beach' 

August 2016 - The Sunday Times Travel; Lying Low in Lisbon's Hamptons
Exclusive Comporta, on the coast south of Lisbon; privacy and exclusivity at the Sublime Comporta villas.

May 2016 - The Scottish Sun
Alternative Portugal is featured in the Saturday editorial.

April 2016 - The Times, Portugal's hottest new resort - Martinhal Cascais
Family-friendly holidays in Martinhal Cascais - an exciting addition to our portfolio.

January 2016 - The Sunday Times Travel, Holidays in the Med
Demand for holidays in the western Med including Portugal is noticeably higher than usual as a result of the uncertainty of the political situation in the eastern Med.

Press Requests

We are always delighted to contribute ideas and suggestions to holiday press requests. Please send short-lead requests to Justin and Alex using the website contact form, we will respond the same day, or please call us on 01395 576655.

Please contact us for a wide selection of images and high resolution copies.

Alternative Portugal & Alternative Aquitaine deliver fabulous holidays to many customers who are lucky enough to be able to visit Portugal & France and enjoy a break with their families and friends. For the last few years we have also been proud to support the great work done by the Family Holiday Association, our chosen charity.

For more information, please visit our Aquitaine page about the Family Holiday Association, or go to their website.

Choose from our stunning holidays, all hand picked and personally visited by us.

Find My Holiday

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01395 865655

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