Increasingly, more newly-weds are opting for a honeymoon in Portugal, realising that the super safe coastal country of 10 million in the south-east of Europe is an incredibly attractive proposition whether they’re seeking stunning sand and surf or city life with incredible local cuisine.
Booking a honeymoon in Portugal is but a dream at present due to the current state of the worlds’ health, economy and general sense of unease. But it doesn’t mean you cannot dream and plan for that glorious honeymoon by the sea, post wedding trip to an ancient city, or driving holiday along the coast – because the epidemic will not be around forever. You may not feel like booking anything right now but this is the best time to plan and save for the honeymoon to end all honeymoons!
Today, Portugal is my focus. A country that has embraced me with open arms on many occasions with its peoples warm spirit, modern outlook and plentiful cheap beer. As a country it has been overlooked for many years due in no small part to its larger and more famous big sister, Spain. But now, Portugal is having a revival (post-Corvid-19…) and tourists are flocking to the capital, Lisbon and its northern rival Porto in their droves. On a typical day in the centre of Lisbon holidaymakers and locals intermingle effortlessly without the bloating of outsiders often felt in other nearby European capitals such as Barcelona or Rome. The influx of tourists to Portugal has greatly improved the economy of the country and helped to stave of the possibility of an economic downfall, something which at one point was certainly on the cards.
When planning a honeymoon in Portugal you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful backdrops, from the semi-crumbling architecture of Lisbon to the beautiful sandy beaches of the Alentejo coast there is an idyllic spot for any newly-wed. So, kick back, relax and discover why I think you should be booking your dream honeymoon in Portugal with these top destinations.
Amazing Locations to Honeymoon in Portugal
Without a doubt, one of the most romantic destinations for a honeymoon in Portugal is Sintra.
Just a 30-minute trip from Lisbon, Sintra is a lush green paradise complete with majestic villas, palaces, and a royal sanctuary.
As it can be easily combined with the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, Sintra is the perfect place to spend a few days treating yourselves like royalty while on a honeymoon in Portugal. There are also beautiful beaches nearby and charming towns, such as Azenhas do Mar, perfect for whiling away the day. Walk through the green paradise of the Sintra Mountains, which may as well have burst from the same fairy tale as the Pena Palace, share the local sweet called travesseiro from the Casa Piriquita (this is a must!), and explore the restaurants lining the cobblestone streets.
As Portugal becomes more of a popular travel destination, Setúbal loses a bit of its secret status, yet it is still among one of the country’s best, hidden gems.
Sitting snugly in a cradle between the Sado Estuary and the Arrábida mountains, it is perfectly positioned to offer honeymooners a range of experiences from hiking the cliff side paths to swimming in turquoise waters and enjoying a romantic candlelit seafood dinner for two. It’s also where you will catch the ferry to visit the Troia Penninsula, another beautiful spot that’s usually missed by tourists. In the Marina of Troia, you can take a boat and watch the dolphins that live in the area! In the summer locals and visitors dive and swim with an amazing selection of wild aquatic animals, an unmissable experience!
Resting beautifully beside the Douro River, Porto is a dream come true for those in search of an abundance of historical monuments alongside a sizzling nightlife. Truly a sight to behold, Porto has served as the perfect destination for a honeymoon in Portugal for many newly-weds.
In addition to basking in the city’s charm, you can go on incredible wine tasting tours and explore any of the numerous port cellars, located right in the heart of the city.
And after a day of sampling some of the finest vintages on offer, you can finish the day by cruising down the Douro River and watching the sunset… the dream honeymoon in Portugal, tick!
Olive and cork trees dot the Alentejo landscape, adding more appeal to this already rustic farm-filled region, of which Évora is the largest city.
Walking through the beautiful and historic city centre feels like stepping back through time, and the cuisine is the epitome of comfort food. Évora is the place to go if you want to spend lazy days hand in hand walking past ancient infrastructure and enjoying delicious yet inexpensive meals and wine. Also, it is 40 kilometers (24 miles) from the ultra-idyllic five-star L’And Vineyards Resort in Montemor-o-Novo, named as one of the hotels with the best views in Europe!
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the capital, and Lisbon offers so much to its visitors.
Charming Alfama is where couples can duck into quaint restaurants where they will find traditional cuisine and hear soulful fado, while Bairro Alto and Principe Real are the neighbourhoods to spend the night with strong (cheap) drinks and lively music. There is plenty of sightseeing to do and so many spas to relax in afterwards. Book a boat ride on the Tagus River or sit at a miradouro and watch the sunset.
True, the Algarve is one big honeymoon zone, and the west coast is where you’ll find majestic caves, but Vilamoura seems built for honeymooners.
The marina and hotels are modern and posh, offering plenty of restaurant options and beaches nearby. It is also close to historical Faro and the Ria Formosa Estuary. Walk through Faro’s Old Town when you want to shake things up and get a cultural taste, or stay by the ocean in Vilamoura and try the Algarve’s famous seafood cataplana from one of the local restaurants.
Porto Santo Island
Just 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from Madeira is the smaller yet equally (or more) beautiful Porto Santo Island.
Practically all white sand beach, this is an unparalleled honeymoon spot for couples who wish to remain seaside. Despite being an island, there is still plenty more to do than soaking in the sun, including horseback riding, golf, and hiking.
Regardless of where you decide to stay, there’s no doubt that a honeymoon in Portugal will leave you and your partner feeling that you have had a real Portuguese adventure in a country where you cannot fail to feel welcome, fed and watered in the best possible way!
Looking to get married abroad? Check out another of my posts on amazing locations around the world to tie the knot here.