Elopement guide – Portugal
Who doesn’t dream about escaping with a lover to some magical place to say “I do”? Fairy tales taught us how to picture our perfect wedding day. Even though many people say that life isn’t a romantic movie… should we really believe them? The world is full of places that can make us feel like in a fairy tale, so let’s keep dreaming and make it come true! “But how to make your dreamlike marriage ceremony?”, you might ask. My answer is simply: elope to Portugal. This country is filled with magical, wild places that can make you feel a strong bond with nature and experience your own emotions even intensively. High cliffs will give you wind in your wings, and the turquoise waters of the ocean will happily witness your love.
Elopement in Portugal is easier in organization than you may think, so let me share my ideas and tips for organizing an intimate ceremony with your lover in one of the most stunning and laid-back countries of Europe.
Portugal – elopement in magical atmosphere
Portugal has a lot to offer, but it is still not as touristic and obvious travel destination as other European countries. It is small and not highly populated, thanks to it, you can really find intimate spots to organize a perfect ceremony for you and your lover. Eloping in Portugal has many advantages – you will be surrounded by the beauty of nature, you will easily walk around not crowded places, and, what’s more, you will be able to experience the kindness of people and their welcoming & bright temper.
Sea lovers will fall in love with Portugal quite easily: its length of the coast is almost 1800 kilometers! And the landscape can change very fast – if you decide to go on a trip with your partner, you can see gold-sanded dunes, black beaches, sharp cliffs, green hills and much more. I can assure you, that Portuguese coast can surprise even the most experienced travelers.
If you are searching for a place that’s beautiful, offers different types of activities, is peaceful, filled with beautiful souls and is budget-friendly, it is almost sure that Portugal will be a great place for you to elope.
How to organize an elopement wedding in Portugal? What documents are needed?
You might be wondering whether it is possible to elope in Portugal. It is, and organizing that kind of event is not even as complicated as many people think. Portugal is one of the best countries for getting married or organizing your honeymoon adventure; it is widely known for its magical, laid-back atmosphere, kind people and open-minded society. Therefore, if you are looking for the best possible place to organize your intimate wedding ceremony in nature, choose Portugal.
Remember about translating your birth certificates as they will be mandatory during the organization of wedding ceremony. If you choose to marry your other half in a wild place in nature, make sure to request for a special permission from the local police – but don’t worry, it is actually a really common thing to do in Portugal!
If you are a U.S. citizen, it might be much simpler for you to ask your county clerk for the authorization. In that case, you wouldn’t need to organize your wedding legally by the Portuguese administration – the official can agree to sign it abroad. If you come from any other EU country, it is also easy in terms of organization. All that makes your dream about an elopement in Portugal possible to come true!
If you seek to find the perfect celebrant for your intimate ceremony, simply check websites below – I’m sure you will detect a person that resonates with you both!
What’s more, all the couples can feel free here to celebrate their love – same-sex marriages have been legal here since 2010 already. Also, if what you have in mind is a bigger reception with guests or more of a classical wedding ceremony, I have prepared for you a list of magical wedding venues in Portugal.
What I want to share with you is an idea of going for the most simple solutions, so you can enjoy your beloved and the time you spend celebrating your marriage. To elope, you don’t actually need to do anything but to make your dreams come true. If going the official way is too complicated, I suggest you get all the paperwork in your country and come to Portugal for a small, intimate ceremony between just you two or some of your close ones. You can write your own vows (catch a guide I wrote on that), organize a ceremony with your friends, make a fire, create your own symbols, rituals or ways of showing and sharing your love. Remember, that it is going to be your special day – forget about traditional ceremonies and make it memorable on your own. Simply close your eyes, and imagine… what would make this day perfect?
Sounds great? Now, let me help you choose a location for your elopement in Portugal.
Elopement wedding on the beach in Portugal – ideas
We all know Portugal from beautiful postcards, showing romantic beaches and incredible sunset sky. If you wish to have a truly memorable elopement, get inspired by my ideas and organize a small ceremony by one of the most splendid beaches you can find around Portugal.
Algarve is the most famous region in Portugal, known for its long, golden beaches and orange colored, high cliffs. You can find tiny lagoons surrounded by rocks. Some of the beaches require a little bit of hiking or cautious climbing, but wouldn’t it be great to say your vows in a hidden, serene location? Algarve is surely beautiful, but around summer (June-September) the main locations near touristic cities can be overcrowded. I, for example, have been there in December, it was warm and completely empty, so consider that when planning your elopement adventure. If you prefer to choose summer for your elopement, you might try to escape from the most known, touristic spots. That’s why I prepared for you a list of my favorite beaches that won’t be overcrowded.
Sagres, Praia de Beliche
Sagres is called “the end of the world” in Europe – it is located in extreme southwest of the continent. It offers the most stunning sunsets and high cliffs, from which you can see the real power of the Atlantic. You can either have a romantic walk on the rocks in Cape St. Vincent, or go down to Praia de Beliche, recite the wedding vows and kiss your lover surrounded by small caverns and golden sand. Beach elopement in Portugal? – sound like a dream!
Raposeira, Praia do Zavial
If you feel like going with your lover to some calm place, where you can simply enjoy the view and drink coffee in a small café, choose Praia do Zavial. It is located outside the main touristic path in Algarve, so you will meet only a few locals around. You will have a chance to admire the golden sands of Portuguese beaches and even take a bath! Thanks to its location, the waters are more calm than on the other side of the coast.
Ponta de Piedade
One of the most beautiful form of nature you can see in the world. This magical beach is very famous from its caves and rock forms. If you seek for a bigger adventure, you can rent a boat or a kayak here, and go for a small trip with your beloved. This is another lovely place for an intimate beach wedding in Portugal.
Carvoeiro, Praia do Carvalho
Looking for a really special spot to get married? Praia do Carvalho will stay in your memory forever! In order to get to this beach, you need to have a walk on the stairs that run through… 2 tunnels in the cliff! This small path will lead you to a small beach with a picturesque view. Close distance from Benagil Caves may be encouraging for you and your beloved one to explore the beauty of other cliffs around.
Peniche & Berlengas Islands
The city itself looks like a forgotten island – you can walk it all over on your feet, or move by car. Here you can find great seafood and long, sandy beaches perfect for your elopement and… surfing, of course! If you would like to try that sport, it might be a good opportunity. In the summer season you can also take a trip by boat to Berlengas Islands and if you are lucky, you will see dolphins swimming around. Those islands are totally uninhabited, so there is a big chance you will be there alone, having all this beauty for yourself. Uninhabited island as a place for an intimate wedding?! Sounds like a perfect place to elope!
Praia da Ursa
This beach is one of the most stunning beaches around Lisbon. It is situated next to Cabo da Roca – the western most point of Europe, surrounded by high cliffs and big waves. You’ll need to take a walk there, maybe even small hike behind the rocks, but for sure it going to be worth it. It is perfect spot for golden hour photoshoot and intimate beach wedding in Portugal.
Lagoa de Albufeira
Have you ever seen a beautiful, wild lake connected with the ocean? Lagoa de Albufeira is surrounded by impressive pine trees from one side, and golden dunes on the other side, that are meeting the ocean. It is calm, intimate, and the beach is longer that you could ever imagine. Serene! Time to elope at the ocean.
Praia do Guincho
Well known (but not crowded) surfing spot, long beach surrounded by cliffs and the Cresmina Dune – natural park with wooden walkaway, perfect for romantic walk in the end of the day. This beach is just few kilometres behind Cascais, small city next to Lisbon, often called the Pearl of Portugal. You can find many lofts & villas to rent for your honeymoon there.
Sesimbra, Praia de Cavalo
This beach might be tricky to find, but when you finally get there, you can’t believe it really exists. There is so much beauty located in a small, intimate beach. It is cut from the civilization by the bushes and high cliff, but there is a path for you to reach it safely. The light here gives a special atmosphere, and the color of the ocean makes it something you must see. Eloping there with your lover will be surely an unforgettable experience.
Wild places for your Elopement in Portugal
Looking for magical spots that are a bit far away from civilization? If you don’t mind going out of the touristic path, discover my favorite, wild places in Portugal that might be perfect for every kind of elopement. I have visited all the places from the list below, and I can assure you, that it is easy to fall in love with nature at every step!
Did you know that Portuguese waters are full of dolphins? Comporta beaches are mostly known from the presence of these beautiful animals. White, delicate sand and really clear water can make you feel like on some secret island; and, well, if you’re lucky enough, you might see some dolphins! Comporta can be a perfect place to take a boat tour, so if you and your lover are fans of this kind of activity, make sure to visit this neighborhood!
Farol de Cabo Espichel
Cabo Espichel is a really abandoned and empty place. You can find only a few villages there and some small cafés for local people. It is almost impossible to bump into tourists here, so if you wish to have a really intimate elopement wedding in Portugal, choose this secret location. Farol de Cabo Espichel simply means the lighthouse of this cape, so by going there you might expect beautiful views and most stunning sunsets. Besides that, it is only a 1-hour drive from Lisbon, so you can easily reach that place by car and come back to the airport without any complications.
Nazare, Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo
If you and your lover are fans of water sports, make sure to visit Nazare – Portugal’s capital for surfing. It might be a bit of a tough start for beginners, but it is totally worth coming to see it. Nazare is known from the biggest waves in all of Europe! From time to time people gather by the lighthouse – Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo to admire 20-meter waves. It is one of the most unique spots in the whole country, so if you wish to have a really special elopement ceremony in Portugal, choose Nazare. The town itself is full of cozy cafés and colorful buildings, so it will be a perfect getaway from everyday life in a big city.
Aveiro, Praia da Costa Nova
Want to feel like in a classical romantic movie? Visit Aveiro, one of the most romantic cities in Portugal. Why is that? It is full of canals and wooden boats that offer small rides. That’s why some people call Aveiro a “Venice of Portugal”. The city itself is colorful and full of beautiful architecture, so if you want to choose a not popular place for your elopement, but still be able to have some city life, Aveiro might be a perfect fit. It has a fantastic beach close by, called Praia da Costa Nova, that’s famous from striped-colored wooden huts by the seaside. It will be perfect for your elopement photoshoot!
Lisbon elopement ideas
You dream about intimate wedding with your lover, but you don’t want to go far away from the city? Don’t worry, you can stay in Lisbon and still have a magical, intimate ceremony. Lisbon is famous from its miradouros – city view points, where you can watch the sunset over the Tejo river and colorful, Portuguese buildings. This city might be a perfect place for your elopement in Portugal.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Romantic spot with a small fountain and flowers around. It is situated in the heart of Alfama, famous neighbourhood of Lisbon on one of its hills. You can easily find some local, traditional Portuguese restaurants around and invite your beloved one for a glass of wine, watching the sunset.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
This city view point is located in Bairro Alto, the neighbourhood well known from good restaurants, parties and live music in the evenings. This spot is surrounded by small garden, from which you can see colorful buildings of central Lisbon. A beautiful place for an intimate elopement wedding in the garden.
Have you ever heard about the pearl of Portugal, or, what’s more, the “Hawaii of Europe”? That’s how many people around the world call the Portuguese archipelago of islands, Azores. It includes 9 volcanic islands that lay almost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is still not touristy, so if you dream about an intimate elopement with your partner, it might be the perfect fit. Azores have everything you may dream of – emerald lagoons, hot springs, waterfalls, black beaches, cliffs, volcanoes… and if you’re lucky, you might see a whale during your boat trip around the island.
The most populated one is São Miguel, which is also the biggest one from the archipelago. You will fall in love with the cuisine and culture of the Azores (yes, it is much different than continental Portugal!). The climate here is really mild, so you might sunbathe here even during the winter months, although you have to bear in mind that the weather changes very quickly. Minutes after minutes, it can go from a big storm to blue sky and warm sun. If you decide to choose to elope to Azores, prepare yourself for every kind of weather!
Below you can find the most romantic spots for Azores elopement adventure.
Miradouro da Boca do Inferno
Unique viewpoint, that offers an incredible landscape of few volcanic lakes around. There is no other place like here – where the beautiful greenery of forests and turquoise of lagoon is coming together to create such an explosion of impressions. You will have to do a small hike to reach that place, but for sure it is worth it.
Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego
If you wish to see a really “Hawaiian” landscape, visit Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego, between Nordeste and Aqua Retorta. Your ceremony will be special and memorable, and all of your friends won’t believe the pictures signed with “my Portuguese elopement” sentence. Oh yes, you might easily forget that you are still in Europe here! Beautiful hills & cliffs together with intense colors of the ocean will make you and your partner feel like in a fairy tale.
How much does it cost to get married in Portugal?
One of the main advantages of eloping to Portugal — beside its beauty, of course – are relatively low prices in comparison to other European countries. The food is great here and really affordable: you can try different types of seafood, local fruits & veggies and much more, for smaller prices than in U.S., Italy or France. Portugal is also familiar with vegan food, so all the plant-based foodies will have plenty of options. You can easily get a meal for 2 people with drinks and pay not more than 40 euros, and, what’s more, this price can get lower if you choose rural areas. The cost of accommodation is also affordable, and you can find different types of facilities – from basic village houses on Airbnb, through luxurious villas by the ocean, to eco-farms that can host you and your lover in cozy huts on cliffs. Prices start from 50 euros per night for a double room. As you can see, prices are really reasonable, so it is impossible to be surprised if you choose to elope to Portugal!
Microwedding – Portugal
Not everyone dreams about a big wedding, and that’s surely okay! Some of us need more privacy, and some prefer to bring at least a couple of closest friends for the ceremony. Therefore, Portugal might be a perfect fit for organizing a micro-wedding, which would include only a few people. If you dream about a getaway with your lover to some romantic place far away from civilization, I can recommend you the best places to visit. Portugal is full of agro-tourism venues, such as eco-farms or glamping spots. If you wish to spend your wedding night in a tipi, shepherd’s hut or a luxurious tree house, be sure to check the rural areas of Algarve and Alantejo. You will find many venues there that seem to be a perfect fit for organizing a Portuguese microwedding. Some of them might even give you a hand with the organization; eco-farms are specialized in offering their guests a “full package” of services, for example they can serve organic meals from local products or bring you the best wine from nearby vineyards. It is a great idea for an elopement in Portugal – thanks to your microwedding you might have a chance to meet local people and learn about their culture and everyday life. Isn’t it the best getaway possible?
Unique accommodation for your elopement in Portugal
The Portuguese countryside is full of conscious citizens, who decided to create unique spaces for sensitive people to rest from big cities and its noise. In these places, you connect with yourself better and make your bond with nature stronger, by simply walking around barefoot or watching the sunsets with your lover. If your soul craves for such a getaway, consider my recommendations for your stay in Portugal:
- https://quintadocatalao.com/ – beautiful Quinta (which in Portuguese simply means a farm/estate) that consists of cozy shepherd’s huts, eco-houses and even a DIY, luxurious tipi. Perfect place for couples that appreciate the delicate silence of the countryside.
- https://penedaecofarm.com/accommodation/ – perfect place for people that appreciate bio & organic food. This farm is officially certified and recognized as an organic one, and we all know, that is a really tough thing to do. If you want to learn about local culture and spend a romantic evening, eating delicious fruits and veggies with your partner, choose this spot for your elopement in Portugal.
- https://www.keelayogafarm.com/yoga-permaculture-portugal/accommodation/ – are you a yoga lover? This farm can be a perfect fit for you then! Yoga practice in such a beautiful neighborhood can be an amazing experience, especially if your partner is going to be by your side.
- https://www.aquinta.org/ – If you dream about inviting your lover to a magical yurt or having a date in a tree house, make sure to visit AQuinta! Beside the beautiful nature around, you can also enjoy yoga classes, wine tastings and much more – just talk to the staff, and they will offer you the best packages for your stay.
- https://www.instagram.com/casavadia/ – this farm offers one of the most stunning views from its accommodation. In Casa Vadia you will enjoy silence, beautiful landscapes and great food. During the night, you might have an intimate date with your lover in an outdoor jacuzzi… sounds magical, right?
- https://www.reservaalecrim.com/ – want to try glamping in the heart of Portugal? Come and visit Reserva Alecrim, a unique place that will make your elopement a memorable experience. You can book a romantic dome for your stay and enjoy intimate moments with your partner, watching the stars and listening to the sounds of nature. Some domes even have infinity pools or terraces – isn’t it a wonderful place for a wedding night
Elopement photographer – Portugal
It is obvious that we want to keep the beauty of an elopement for a long time in our minds. Great pictures from this intimate ceremony might be an awesome idea to eternize that day in a palpable form. Some couples like to print the pictures in the form of a poster and decorate their house with them. Portuguese landscapes can create a really magical atmosphere, so I can assure you that photographs from your elopement in Portugal will be even more picturesque than you can imagine. I will be more than happy to help you with capturing your candid emotions and memories from your intimate wedding – in one of the most beautiful nature spots of Portugal. You can easily check love stories that I photographed in different corners of the world, by clicking here.
So you’re eloping to Portugal? Woohoo! Portugal elopement photography packages
Getting married in Portugal sounds like a great plan! Portugal is one of the best countries to elope. If you consider Portugal as an elopement destination, don’t forget to take me with you! 🙂 You can count on me for choosing the best spots for elopement in Portugal and arranging the timeline for the ceremony and a photoshoot of just the two of you celebrating your love.
Reach out to me for elopement prices in Portugal. For example, a full day coverage is 3900 euros and has no extra, hidden costs. But maybe you’re searching for something tailor made? Tell me about your plans and dreams, and let’s write your story together! 🙂