Why you should consider eloping

Many couples are forgoing traditional weddings, which require endless months of planning and opting for an elopement. Now with the Covid 19 outbreak more couples are planning a Portugal elopement to start their life together. The possibilities are limited only for the imagination of the couples to find a scenery in this country that suits perfectly for their vows. And you not need to go alone with your love, some friends and close family could be on board to the adventure too.

Eloping is fun, and Authentic, and adventurous. And cheaper. Having a more intimate ceremony can significantly reduce stress levels now, control your savings and to give you a really incredible honeymoon option. Why not to start your nuptials off on the right track?  If you have always dreamed of going to Europe, Portugal become one of the top elopement destinations in Europe. Here you can find the best portugal wedding venues.

Some of my favorite elopements weddings:

Diane-Jason in Monserrate Palace, Cindy-André in Lisbon elopementmodern elopement at Pena Palaceelopement at the chapel of Monserrate or at the cliffs in Cabo da Roca

After some years as Portugal elopement photographer and photographing my couples in beautiful locations in all Europe, I wanted to bring here some ideas and tips to help with the elopement planning. The modern couples that hire my elopement services when returning home and they host a week-long post-nuptial celebration with family and friends. This is a much more relaxed reception than a wedding at their favourite venue and the elopement experience takes a shared experience with the loved ones. 

8 Portugal elopement checklist

  1. Location for the adventure? Lisbon, Sintra, Alentejo, Douro, Algarve or Serra da Estrela
  2. Wedding dress and shoes. Algarve beach sunset? Lisbon urban vintage? or Sintra rustic vibe?
  3. Vows and rings. Phone note or vintage handwriting 
  4. Makeup, hair, flowers, celebrant and witnesses. Do you need a Planner? 
  5. Don´t write a timeline. Just decide outdoor sunset, nature sunrise or midday at the city 
  6. Cake and some sparkling wine, yes please!
  7. Announcement, the hype of your heart sharing sneak peek photos
  8. Celebrate a wedding dinner at a cool restaurant 

Where to Elope in Portugal

couple in a impressive cave on the beach in Portugal for elopement

Portugal is one of the top elopement destinations in Europe. A small country with a lot of history, great weather and amazing traditions. It is easy choosing a perfect outdoor location or a special old palace, go through all the adventure and finish at an urban fancy cosy restaurant. The affordable prices, easy flight connections and always the Portuguese tiles are a bonus.

Portugal elopement locations

Is easy to follow the natural aspect of the landscapes of the territory. From the big cities as Lisbon and Porto, full of vintage atmosphere, the whimsical forest and palaces in SIntra, following the natural big landscapes of Alentejo, the Tuscany of Portugal. The small hidden beaches and cliffs of the Algarve or the vineyards and wine culture around the Douro Valley.   

Sintra elopement locations

Near Lisbon, Sintra park is full of palaces, whimsical forests and unique cliffs over the sea. Though it is a touristic area, you can find some quiet areas in some palaces, forests and cliffs.  As a Sintra elopement photographer I wanted to bring here the options for those who want a whimsical outdoor elopement. 

couple reading vows in the middle of the door of at the chapel ruins in monserrate palace at sintra park

The Seteais Palace is a neoclassical palace with a cosy garden for ceremonies, walls hand painted and a unique atmosphere. It is perfect to stay and a dinner for two at the middle of the mountainside of Sintra.

 Monserrate palace  is the most romantic location for an elopement, with unique green forest-gardens perfect for portraits and picnic, a music room with arabic decoration and hidden ruins for a special ceremony.

The Hotel Casa Holstein Quinta Sao Sebastiao is a beautiful Boutique Hotel in the historical center of Sintra, a romantic space with a classic and unique treatment. Perfect to stay, relax and to celebrate the ceremony.

Best places to elope in Lisbon

The vintage urban mood of Lisbon offers the perfect backdrop for an urban elopement. The size of the city is perfect for walking downtown. The narrow colorful streets and the famous portuguese tiles easily engage with couples looking for an artistic vibe. Check some nice examples as Lisbon elopement photographer here

couple in front of portuguese tiles in lisbon wedding

Boutique hotels like the three mansions of the Torel Palace offer incredible views of the city, a modernist touch and perfect location. 

LX factory is an industrial hipster area perfect for a warehouse ceremony in the middle of Lisbon.

Estufa Real a botanical french style garden, cosy and with beautiful views of the city. 

Pestana Palace a 19th-century palace with french hand painted room for a styled ceremony. Great views, cosy and calm. A really true experience

Urban street elopements. Lisbon offers some appart areas as other crowded streets. But it is always possible to celebrate an elopement in a famous vintage tram, tiled street or viewpoint sanctuary  overlooking the city and river.

Hidden eco resorts around Lisbon

 located at the beach, forest or the sand dunes for a nature rustic elopement. The food, services and incredible top treatment. The west Oeste coast is perfect for a romantic destination elopement eco-focused.

couple with flower arch backdrop at the sand dunes during elopement at Areias do Seixo

Areias do seixo, with a greenhouse, a modern eco concept at the sand dunes.

Rio do prado, individual lodges at the nature, with an unique wood greenhouse and eco concept 

Sublime comporta with cabins around the water surrounded by trees and close dune beach 

Noah Surf House Portugal here you will have access to incredible modern bungalows, surf school and local food at the beach. A perfect location at the coast for a beach elopement that cares about the environment.

Peniche, Ericeira and Baleal sand dunes. This area is a surf point on the world map with surf camps, guest houses and cabins all along the coast. Cliffs, sand dunes and small fisherman villages are your perfect background for a nature coast elopement.  

Alentejo elopement locations

The most beautiful countryside of Portugal is in this region, where the villages, plains and hills are so rustic and authentic. Nature is unique and different for the rest of the country. Farms, old ancient trees and old heritage will be your backdrop for an adventure elopement in Alentejo.

blonde bride with blanche and groom facing each other at the countryside plains

Areias do seixo, with a greenhouse, a modern eco concept at the sand dunes.

Rio do prado, individual lodges at the nature, with an unique wood greenhouse and eco concept 

Sublime comporta with cabins around the water surrounded by trees and close dune beach 

Torre de Palma Wine Hotel: The tower of the countryside farm dominates the vineyards and the plains. The resort is equipped with 19 rooms that combines the modern minimalist with the traditional, in perfect harmony with nature. The chapel, the horse riding arena, wine culture and the small forest are part of a perfect countryside experience.  

Herdade dos alfanges a typical farm with a modern touch to offer a real experience of the countryside. Surrounded by centenary olive trees and Iberian oak trees, this little oasis with two guest houses can be reached by train from Lisbon.

São lourenço do barrocal, an ancient small farming village lies in the heart of the Alentejo. The whitewashed stone buildings with terracotta-tiled roofs, offer carved out rooms, cottages and a spa for guests in former stables and barns. An idyllic refuge.

Hotel Convento de São Paulo, a former medieval monastery dating from 1182 now as a casual hotel offering gardens and outdoor pools. With 40 rooms, some of which are installed in the old cells, this space is perfect for a wedding in the hot summer nights.

Best places to elope in Algarve

couple facing each other at the yellow cliffs in algarve, with sea behind them

Suites Alba resort, nestled at the top of the cliffs allows an outdoor ceremony over the sea. The privacy of the nature around and the access to the beach make this space one of the easiest to share vows, take photos and have an incredible dinner over the waves. 

Cliffs at Vicentina coast and Sagres  This is a  surfing destination with remote beaches surrounded by stunning wild beauty. You can use some local guest houses and surf camps to explore for an adventure elopement. 

Alvor beach, is one of the finest resort towns of the Algarve, with a long sandstone cliffs beach. A lot of boutique hotels and small guest houses are available in this part of the cast. A perfect area to do your elopement and to start right after your beach honeymoon. and 

Douro elopement locations

The Douro valley is one of my fav locations in Portugal. The temperate weather, the river and all the tradition around the wine is perfect for an elopement and adventure.

fun and smiling couple looking the camera in palace garden after elopement ceremony in Porto

Pinhão: This could be a nice heart quarter for your exploring and start point. Connected by train with Porto, it’s a perfect place to do a wine tasting and a boat trip to explore the heart of the Douro river.

Vintage house hotel: A cool hotel at the authentic heart of the Douro Valley. Perfect to explore the river as the hotel´s doors are close to the water. Relaxed vintage space with breathtaking view of the river and vineyards perfect for intimate elopements and wine tasting. Incredible sunset.  

Quinta de la Rosa: located close to the village of Pinhão, is a working vineyard and winery hotel. The rooms are nested on the cliffs of the river and the views are breaktaking.  

Hotel Rural Casa dos Viscondes Varzea:  A Charm Hotel with romanesque and Gothic-Manueline styles at the middle of vineyards and olive trees, with the heritage of wine culture. Perfect for hiking and exploring the valley.

Best places to elope in Porto

The trendy city is the heart of the vanguard, music and art expression in South Europe now. The city offers boutique hotel rooftop for ceremony over the Douro river, some crazy cool coffees and Palace on the river. The wine culture is everywhere and all the bridges over the river have amazing views, but the top views from the iron bridge are impressive.

The Yeatman

Freixo palace

Malmerendas Boutique Lodging

M Maison Particulière