Children's Education

School holidays in Portugal: 2023 and 2024

Here is a list of school holidays in Portugal in 2023 and 2024 to help you know when to plan your holiday and childcare arrangements.

School holidays in Portugal

By Expatica

Updated 8-1-2024

School holidays in Portugal occur regularly throughout the year, so you’ll need to get the dates in the diary if you’re a parent who lives or works in Portugal. Portuguese schools have fewer breaks throughout the year than schools in many other countries but they have a longer than average summer break.

Learn when your children are next off school with the following topics:

School holidays in Portugal

The dates for school holidays are set by the Ministry of Education in Portugal. General holiday dates are the same across the country, however there may be variations between regional districts and schools on additional holiday dates or days off. You can check with your individual school or regional educational authority (Direção Regional de Educação in Portuguese) for details.

Father and son walking on a cliff overlooking the sea
Photo: JulPo/Getty Images

Private international schools in Portugal have their own holiday schedules, which may differ slightly from the general dates, so check with your child’s school for dates.

In general, Portuguese schools have four holidays across the year:

  • Christmas holidays (Os feriados de Natal): Two weeks off
  • Mardi Gras carnival (Feriados de carnaval): A few days off in February/March
  • Easter holidays (Férias da Páscoa): Two weeks off
  • Summer break (Férias de verão): Between June and September

There will also be some additional days off for Portuguese public holidays and other school-related activities.

Families typically use school holidays to celebrate festive occasions such as Christmas in Portugal, take family vacations or local day trips, or to plan activities for kids. Other important dates on the Portuguese calendar, such as local holidays or Father’s Day, may also occasionally fall with school holiday periods.

Portuguese school holiday dates for 2023–2024

Christmas holidays18 December 2023 – 2 January 2024
Carnival holidays12–14 February 2024
Easter holidays25 March – 5 April 2024
Last day of school 4 June 2024 (Year 9, 11, 12) + 14 June 2024 (Year 5, 6, 7, 8, 10)

Additional holidays and days off

In addition to the main school holidays in Portugal, there are other days throughout the year when schools may be closed. These include general public holidays, local holidays or days off within individual schools for things such as teacher training or pupil book days.

These days vary between regional districts and individual schools, so contact your child’s school or regional educational authority to find out when these days are for you.

Many schools, such as the Nobel International School Algarve and the International School of Madeira, publish calendars on their website, so it’s worth checking to see if the information is available online.

Childcare during the holidays

Childcare in Portugal is limited in terms of daycare provision compared to many northern European countries. Many locals expect families to look after kids during the holidays.

Young child walks toward babysitter in garden at home
Photo: gorodenkoff/Getty Images

If you need to arrange care for your child during the school holidays in Portugal, ask your child’s school or check with your regional authority for information on local providers.

Otherwise, here are some suggestions:

  • Holiday workshops: The bigger cities and expat-populated areas tend to have more childcare facilities. In Lisbon, Academia Dos Miudos (Kids Academy) run activities and workshops at holiday cottages. These are primarily aimed at younger children but are open also to school-aged kids during holiday times. The regional authority in Faro runs some holiday programs through its youth and education services. Places may be limited so ask at the earliest opportunity.
  • Private nurseries: Some private nurseries offer summer programs for pre-school children. Check with your nursery to find out what they provide.
  • Summer camps: During the longer summer break, there are several providers of summer camps offering fun activities in the Portuguese sun. Campo Aventura, based in Obidos, runs camps and activities for children of all ages. In Lisbon, Nomad Surfers runs teen surf camps throughout the summer break. Additionally, check the Paginas Amarelas (Yellow Pages) for a list of providers. Other options if family members or friends aren’t available to look after children include childminders, nannies, au pairs, or babysitters.
  • Childminders: If family members or friends aren’t available, you can look into childminders, nannies, au pairs, or babysitters. Check Baby Sisters and MyBabysitter to see who is available in your area.