A Perfect Honeymoon in Portugal
Tucked away in the southwest corner of Europe lies perfect Portugal. Europe's oldest country is home to only 10 million lucky residents. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean defines Portugal because the ocean wraps around its coast. Colorful harbor cities and sweeping oceanside towns commemorate maritime history. Impressive castles, hillside retreats, and a thriving food and wine culture offer honeymooners plenty to discover. An outstanding infrastructure connects the seven separate districts making Portugal the perfect destination for couples that want to explore on their own. Spend 2-weeks driving from Porto to the Algarve on this luxury Portuguese honeymoon road trip.
I've put together various versions of the following itinerary for first-time visitors to the country because it does a fantastic job of highlighting Portugals's loveliest cities in a logical, quickly followed plan. But all of the honeymoons I design are entirely tailor-made for you. This sample gives you a taste of what I can do. As it is, you will experience the best that Portugal has to offer. Immerse yourself in Porto's romantic beauty, the incomparable charm of Douro Valley, Lisbon's energy, and the Algarve's laidback luxury. Here is my Perfect Honeymoon in Portugal.
Day 1: Fly into Porto & Begin Your Portuguese Honeymoon
Today you will arrive in Porto. Pick up your rental car and check into your hotel. Spend your day exploring this lovely old city on foot and getting your bearings.
Day 2: Private Porto City Tour
While you stroll the streets of Porto with your local private, you will uncover hidden gems. On the way to the Carlos Alberto Square, you'll come across two churches, but it's in the middle of these architectonic pearls that is a cute little surprise. Check out the world's narrowest house, which is hospitable and hears the fantastic story behind it. Your guide will clue you into all the local hotspots and offer personalized recommendations.
After your tour, I recommend heading to a local cafe for a Franceschina - the local delicacy, Croque monsieur topped off with a sausage, medium-rare steak melted cheese, a fino (or beer as we call it).
Day 3: Explore the Douro Valley
Your private wine expert and guide will meet you at your hotel. Begin your exploration of the Douro Valley in the lovely town of Pinhao. This town is home to one of the Douro Valley's finest vineyards, which will give you a private tour. The same family has managed the estate for five generations. After strolling through the vines and the cellars, you learn about the complex process of making wine. Then you will get to the fun part: the tastings! After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, you will head to your second Quinta (Portuguese chateau) to learn about port and experience a tasting. Before heading back to Porto, you can spend your afternoon enjoying a leisurely sail down the Douro River.
Day 4: Porto to Lisbon (Approximately 200 Miles)
After breakfast this morning, you begin the journey to Lisbon. Usually, it takes about three hours, but I like to stop and explore less known gems along the way. Coimbra's small college town is the perfect spot to stop for lunch; the students mix with lingering past traces. Spend some time wandering the university's beautiful baroque library. Do you love watching a man take on nature? A stop in Nazare will allow you to watch daredevil surfers take on enormous waves. Gifted to Queens of Portugal, Obidos' small, walled-medieval town is a beautiful quaint village perfect for a romantic stroll. You will arrive in Lisbon in time to check into your hotel and find a place to have dinner.
Day 5: Private Lisbon City Tour
Your private guide will meet you at your hotel to introduce you to the lovely old city. You will overlook the beautiful city after jumping on the canary yellow funicular to Barrio Alto district's top. You will take your time walking back down to the city center through winding roads and marveling at Lisbon's incredible street art. On your way to the river, drop in on hidden local cafes patronized by artists and writers at the turn of the century. You won't want to miss tiny shops selling typical Portuguese ingredients to find the best pasteis de Nata (custard tart) in town.
Day 6: Lisbon on Your Own
Time to explore Lisbon on your own. I would suggest setting sail along the Tagus river to witness the city's beauty from a different perspective. Admire Lisbon as you float past its modern gems; fall in love with charming areas like Bairro Alto, Belém, and the Alfama district.
In the twilight, take in a classical fado, which is the song of Lisbon. Vocalists sing the songs during a typical Portuguese dinner, and it is an unforgettable experience.
Day 7: Discover Sintra & Estoril Coast
This morning, your private driver will meet for a full-day tour, Portugal's former summer playground beloved by Byron, Sintra & Estoril Coast.
You will drive up into the hills, past sprawling castles and aristocratic estates, to the Pena Palace, one of Romanticism's greatest architectural expressions. With your guide, you will follow the cacophony of architectural styles brought together in one building, ranging from brightly colored onion domes and Moorish keyholes to Gothic style towers.
After lunch, you will head to a local Quinta, where the owners will allow you to snoop around before your wine tasting. On the way back to Lisbon, you will follow the Marginal - a coastal road with clings to the Estoril Coast beaches and cliffs.
Day 8: Lisbon to Algarve (Approximately 175 Miles)
Today, say goodbye to Lisbon and hit the road to drive to Portugal's southernmost point, the Algarve. On the journey, head in-land to Evora's whitewashed village in the Alentejo region. It is the perfect place to stretch your legs and get some lunch mid-drive. You will be in awe of the Neolithic monuments, and the ruins of a temple dedicated the goddess Diana.
After filling your tummies and stretching your legs, it's time to hit the road for the final leg of your trip to your hotel in the southern Algarve. It is the ideal place to indulge in a romantic beachside dinner for two.
Day 9: Tour Algarve
Your private guide will meet you at your hotel for a tour of the southern Algarve. Start your day in Silves, whose wonderfully preserved russet-colored castle commands the skyline. The Visigoths began construction, but the Moors built most of the surviving ruins. From there, you travel to Lagos, the former capital city of the area. Next, you will head to the end of the world (at least according to the ancient Romans)! You will learn about sea monsters at the Fortress of Sagres that attacked anyone who dare to venture beyond the cape.
Day 10: Algarve on Your Own
The day is open to exploring Algarve on your own. I suggest taking to the sea. It would be a great time to learn to surf! Maybe you could spend your day exploring sea caves, kayaking, or sailing the ocean blue. Whatever you want to do, it's all up to you.
Day 11: Algarve to Madiera
Drive to the Faro airport and turn in your rental car for your short flight to the magnificent Madiera Island.
Your private driver will meet you at the airport for your quick trip to your hotel when you arrive.
Day 12: Madiera on Your Own
Spend the last couple of days relaxing and rejuvenating. Sleep late, and spend time alone. It is the perfect time to indulge yourselves in romantic spa treatments. Relaxation is critical because you will be heading home soon!
Day 13: Last Day of Honeymoon
Unfortunately, your magical Portugal honeymoon has come to an end (Boo Hoo), and it is time to return to the real world. Your private driver will meet you at the hotel to take you back to the airport. Your flight home is the perfect time to start planning your first-anniversary trip!
Remember, you can modify this itinerary to fit your dream. Either way, you can have a perfect honeymoon in Portugal.