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Generation game - Portuguese travel specialist sees rise in family breaks as pr

Generation game -

Portuguese travel specialist sees rise in family breaks as pre-pandemic bookings return


       Family bookings on the rise as experiential holidays gain popularity

       Cape Verde remains top of winter list in the Portuguese archipelago

       Surprise climb in charts for Cuba as travelers explore new destinations


An independent travel specialist, which creates bespoke holidays to the Portuguese speaking islands of the Atlantic (Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde and Sao Tome) is heralding a return to a sunnier sales climate as travellers begin to return to "experience led" breaks.


Archipelago Choice, based in Cumbria, has been creating personal holidays based on 24 years of traveling and exploring these unique island archipelagos (there are 23 in total).


Now, with bookings up 25% on 2022 and 86% on 2021, the family-run has noticed that whilst the most popular destinations remain constant, there has been a major shift - family bookings.


Co-founder Ian Coates explains;


‘We've been exploring the world for nearly a quarter of a century, creating imaginative, tailor-made holidays for people who love to travel. There have always been the traditional favorite destinations within the islands, typically Sao Tome and the Azores but this year has surprised us with something bookings.


‘Our holidays are pretty active and they've tended to attract singles and couples who are into hiking, scuba or who just have that sense of adventure and heading off the beaten path. That often means that younger families tend to seek other destinations or experiences as finding that balance can be tricky when not in traditional "resorts".


‘However, there has been a kind of reset after the pandemic. We've not only seen our regular travellers returning to us and a general uptick in new bookings, we've also seen a marked change in the structure of the bookings, as families are bringing their more grown up children with them.


‘We think it comes down to a few things. Some travellers had almost put their holiday plans on hold for a few years and ringfenced the funds for when they were feeling more confident of travelling again. Then there's other people who have had a "penny dropping" moment around creating experiences together as a family.

‘They want to create memories and whilst they might not have booked with the kids before, there's been a few years since they first looked and now, those kids quite fancy a more active break - even if it is with their folks!'


Along with the trend for larger family and group bookings, Ian has also revealed a surprise "new entry" in their top 10 destinations list - Cuba


Cuba is renowned for the ‘all-inclusive experience' and a little known for its charming Casa Particulars (charming B&B style homestays) but whilst its popularity is growing, Ian says there is no danger of it being overcrowded just yet.


‘The Portuguese Archipelagos are never really too busy and the same goes for Cuba, purely because there isn't a vast amount of accommodation to cater for enormous influxes of travellers often seen in other, more popular destinations. So when you are there, you do feel a sense of peace, calm and tranquility - active sports and pursuits aside.


‘Of course what it also means is that if you do want to visit, you tend to need to get your skates (or hiking boots) on as the best accommodation in the top destinations will fill up relatively swiftly.


‘With greater awareness across all our destinations we're seeing demand increasing year on year. My top tip would be to book early for the Azores and then consider doing a split stay between mainland Portugal and the Azores for anyone planning to visit this summer.'


Archipelago Choice's Top 10




Change since 2022


The Azores

Still top


Cape Verde

Moved up from 5


Costa Rica

No move



Down from 2


Mainland Portugal

Down from 4



Was 8



Up from 9


Baja California

Down from 7


Sao Tome

Down from 6


Gabon (usually combines with Sao Tome)

No move




greg@pressforattention.com07791 855 938

Ian Coates available for interviews or travel tips on these destinations