A Fairytale Portugal Honeymoon for Explorers and Wine Lovers

Castles, wine cellars and beautiful beaches make Portugal a dream honeymoon spot.
Marina da Quinta Grande, Madeira, Portugal
Photo: Alberto Loyo | Shutterstock
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
The Knot Contributor
  • Beth Ann writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, including venues, honeymoons and planning advice.
  • Beth Ann is a lifestyle freelance writer, with bylines on healthline.com and parents.com.
  • Prior to freelancing, Beth Ann was a writer and editor for Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Updated Apr 16, 2024
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On a Portugal honeymoon, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy one-of-a-kind day trips and a lively nightlife scene. Small in size but big on charm, Portugal is full of history, beautiful beaches, cobblestone streets and world-class wine. Altogether, Europe's westernmost country is one of the best honeymoon destinations for newlyweds who want to go sightseeing and dance.

While European honeymoons are generally pretty accessible for those living in the US, Portugal will be an easier trek for honeymooners coming from the Northeast. It's about a seven-hour flight from New York City to the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon. But it's more than twice as long for couples flying in from Los Angeles or Houston.

When it comes to planning your honeymoon in Portugal, let us be your guide. From the best time to visit to romantic things to do, use our expert tips to plan your Portugal honeymoon itinerary.

Portugal Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    multi colored houses of Porto, Portugal
    Photo: Giacomo Augugliaro | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Portugal

    The water is warmest on the beaches during the summer months (June through August), making it the best time to visit Portugal. Daytime temperatures are usually between 75 and 80 degrees. But don't discount spring or fall—temperatures can still reach the mid to high-70's, and you'll see fresh blooms or beautiful foliage. You'll just want to plan on looking at the water, not touching it.

    Best weather: May to September.
    Festival highlights: The Lisbon Carnival in February, with its lively parades and music; Festa de São João in Porto in June, famous for its fireworks, music, and dancing; and the Madeira Flower Festival in spring, where the streets are filled with flowers, parades, and traditional performances.

    Portugal Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Portugal is an ideal honeymoon destination for couples who want a range of experiences. Since it's on the Atlantic coastline, most views include a waterfront. The cobblestone streets in beautiful cities like Lisbon and medieval castles in Sintra make a Portuguese getaway feel like something out of a fairytale. A noted region for vino, Portugal also offers plenty of opportunities to explore wine cellars by day. Plus, the nightlife scene has many spots for upscale dinners and dancing after the sun goes down.

    When planning your honeymoon in Portugal, consider integrating both city experiences and relaxation by the sea. Lisbon and Porto offer rich history and vibrant nightlife, while the Algarve and Madeira will provide a fantastic beach honeymoon experience. Booking accommodations and possibly some activities in advance is advisable, especially if you're traveling during the high season or when major festivals are taking place.

    Entry requirements: A US passport that is valid for at least 3 months. Starting in 2025, US citizens will need to have an ETIAS for Portugal. It's valid for 3 years and can be obtained online.
    Location: Portugal is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
    Currency: The Euro (EUR).
    Flight time to Destination: From New York City, direct flights to Lisbon, Portugal are approximately 6 to 7 hours.
    Getting around: Public trains, buses, trams, taxis, rental cars, bicycles, scooters, walking.

    Pro tip: Make your Portugal honeymoon planning stress-free by inviting a travel expert to your vendor team. Browse The Knot Marketplace for travel agents with excellent reviews and useful testimonials.

    Best Portugal Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    From luxury resorts and boutique hotels in Lisbon and Porto to romantic villas in the Algarve, here are a few of our top picks when it comes to honeymoon accommodations in Portugal.

    Praia de Carvoeiro in the Algarve region of southern Portugal
    Photo: Brandon Rosenblum | Getty

    The Yeatman

    The Yeatman is a boutique hotel built for wine lovers. It's about a 15-minute stroll from Porto's Old Town and sits adjacent to the Douro River. Guests can unwind in indoor and outdoor infinity pools or on a private terrace with a glass of port wine in hand.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Six Senses Douro Valley

    Perched on a hill overlooking the countryside, Six Senses Douro Valley focuses on guest's wellness and comfort. The spa not only offers luxe treatments like facials but wellness screenings and sleep and skin analysis. The resort's expert sommelier will point you to the area's best vintages.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Tivoli Marina Vilamoura Algarve Resort

    A stay at Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is perfect for newlyweds who want to stay right next to the beach. Its location in Algarve is fabulous, with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and gorgeous vistas all around. Each of the hotel's 383 contemporary rooms have a balcony, so you can wake up to beautiful views of the marina or sea every morning.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Vila Alba Resort

    Make your Portugal honeymoon even better with a stay at Vila Alba Resort. Set high on the cliff of Praia de Albandeira in Lagoa, it offers easy access to Algarve's best beaches. The comfortable rooms and apartment offer waterfront views and comfy beds.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: For more private or affordable Portugal honeymoon accommodations, consider booking a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Portugal Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    A honeymoon in Portugal offers a full sensory experience. There are historical places to see, pastel de nata to taste, port wine to sniff (and savor), live music to enjoy and ocean breezes to feel. These are the top places for a truly romantic getaway.

    Pena Palace.Sintra, Portugal
    Photo: Fresnel | Shutterstock


    Portugal's capital is one of its most beautiful cities, and there's no shortage of things to do while there. Start your day with a pastel de nata (a creamy pastry) and espresso for a jolt of energy—you'll need it. Alfama, the city's old town, has one-of-a-kind shops and eateries. You'll hear plenty of Fado, the Portuguese version of the blues.

    Other popular things to do include a tour of the 16th-century Belém Tower and a Tagus River sunset cruise. A night on the town in Barrio Alto, where cobblestone streets create a path to restaurants and bars, is also fun.


    With all due respect to Disney, Sintra is a real fairytale experience. You'll find many castles, most notably Pena Palace, Sintra National Palace and the Castle of the Moors. Tour them for an idea of how the royals once lived. The colorful villas add a special character to the landscape. Sintra serves as a good home base for trips to Cascais, a coastal resort town, and Óbidos, another medieval experience.


    Portugal's second-largest city is known for its port wine and views of the Douro River. Experience both by doing a wine tasting and cruise. Then, take a breather post-day trip before heading to dinner at an Old Town restaurant. On day two in Porto, consider heading to Aveiro, where the sweet ovos moles (Portuguese egg yolk sweets) are worth the 50-minute drive.


    Portugal's Southern-most city is a honeymoon destination for couples who believe sandy shoes are the best shoes. The low cliffs and sandy coves brush up against the pristine Atlantic waters. Kayak and snorkel in Lagos and dolphin watch while cruising through caves. You can also simply sit on the beach and enjoy the breathtaking views the area's natural beauty. Algarve is the place to slow down.

    Alentejo Region

    Sometimes overlooked by sightseers but never by oenophiles, the Alentejo Region is a favorite place for wine cellar tours and tastings. Skip driving so you can savor your vino guilt-free by opting for a tour. The region is also home to restaurants serving real-deal Portuguese cuisine and many meals with a side of gorgeous views.

    Madeira Islands

    The World Travel Awards named the Madeira Islands the top island destination for the sixth year in a row in 2020. It's easy to see why. You'll find Madeira in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the dramatic cliffs and volcanic landscape add to the scenery. Get a gorgeous overview of the islands from the highest sea cliff in Europe, Cabo Girao, where a glass-bottomed lookout gives way to otherworldly vistas.

    Pro tip: Add Portugal honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so your family and friends can give you one of these fun couples activities. Make sure to post honeymoon photos to your wedding website—this way your guests will be able to see what you're up to.

    What to Pack for a Portugal Honeymoon

    Chapel of Souls in Porto with a person in a vibrant sundress
    Photo: PFE | Getty

    You'll want to pack for the range of experiences you'll experience during a Portuguese honeymoon. Lightweight clothing is ideal for the summer months, but it's advised couples pack layers like cardigans for evenings in their honeymoon luggage, too. Fashionable, lightweight scarves will look chic while keeping your neck and shoulders warm. Couples will want to prepare stylish clothes and shoes for wine tastings, upscale dinners and dancing.

    Heels may be fun for nightclubs and restaurants. But bring comfortable shoes like flats for wine tastings, particularly if you plan on exploring the cellars. A good set of walking shoes or sneakers are also ideal for day trips and sightseeing. SPF, a bathing suit and towels are must-haves for the beach. Don't forget: you'll need a power adapter to charge devices, so be sure to include one on your packing checklist.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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