The Dream Wedding Destination
Why Portugal for Your Wedding?
Portugal is one of Europe's more underrated countries which means it's lacking a lot of what makes other European wedding hotspots, well, not so hot. Think about Paris, the epitome of a romantic city. It looks great in the movies but in reality, it's loaded with tourists, it can be tough to get around, and, as an American, you can feel a little unwanted at times. Sure the Eiffel Tower makes for stunning photos, but your wedding needs to be a complete package- not just a pretty photo op. Portugal is home to some of the world's nicest people, which is the number one reason why everything is just a little more lovely there than anywhere else you'll ever go. The country is small but offers a great deal of diversity in landscape. It doesn't take long to get to your dream spot from Lisbon. Looking for stunning cliffs overlooking the gorgeous emerald sea? Or how about never-ending fields of sunflowers? Are ancient Roman ruins your thing? How about a quaint, walled city? Do you imagine yourself getting married in a castle or palace? And that's not to mention the wonderful vineyards which are always great weddings spots.
For Beach Weddings, Head South
Praia da Rocha on Portugal's southern coast is a tourist destination for other Europeans because it's simply one of the neatest beaches in the world. To avoid the slight hustle and bustle of this busy beach town head just a couple miles west to Praia do Vau. This is absolutely one of the best kept secrets of Portugal's Algarve region, with stunning cliffs and picturesque rocks jutting out from the sea. At low tide, there are so many caves to explore along the beach, and so few people that you can claim one all to yourself. It's the ultimate romantic spot. Praia do Vau is also home to a wonderful bed and breakfast called Casa Tres Palmeiras. This is where you must stay. The little hotel has only five rooms and does not allow children under the age of 15- perfect for a secluded, private stay with your new spouse. The owner of the hotel is an incredibly sweet woman named Dolly, and after staying here, you'll find you've picked up a life-long friend. Lounge on the beautiful patio with a glass of wine by the saltwater pool overlooking the ocean, or explore the trails that wind through the cliffs. There are countless spots I or around the hotel that make for more-than-perfect wedding spots.
Castles and Palaces in Sintra
Sintra is just a short train ride from Lisbon, so if you're looking to spend time in the nation's capital but want a more quaint locale for your wedding, this is your place! The town is bursting with history and character with numerous palaces and castles providing a perfect wedding backdrop. A good place to start is Quinta da Regaleira because it's home to amazing, never-ending gardens and secret caves and grottos. You'll wind through the enchanting grounds for hours before even discovering the castle! The wedding options are fantastic here. And, if this isn't enough, Sintra is home to four major palaces, and a Moorish castle located high up the mountain overlooking the city. The town itself is charming and full of delightfully happy people. One benefit that Sintra has over some other Portuguese cities is the number of English speakers here. This makes it an easy place to navigate.
The Walled City of Evora
Evora will transport you back to another place in time. The small city located about two hours east of Lisbon features a Roman temple and aqueducts, all surrounded by the original wall built to protect it. This is an excellent way to see ruins up close without the crowds of tourists you'll find in Rome itself. Grab a coffee and a croissant and have breakfast right under an aqueduct arch! For wedding spots, there's a beautiful Roman temple in the center of the city and typically, there's hardly any people around. Just outside the city, you'll find the mysterious megaliths- Evora's version of Stonehenge. If you're looking for wineries, Evora is your city of choice because it's surrounded by some of Portugal's best vineyards. Weddings are popular here so it's easy to make arrangements and there's plenty to see and do if you have guests joining you.
Portugal: The Picture Perfect Wedding
If you're looking for an extra special European wedding, look no further than Portugal. The gorgeous and friendly country has so much to offer and will leave you longing to return.