Portugal is an incredible elopement location. The vast and diverse landscape can bring you so many different things, such as the crystal clear water, jungles, waterfalls, and cliff-sides. This guide is going to go over everything you need to consider, such as locations, crowds, seasons, and permits. Read on to find out exactly how to elope in Portugal, and see the most beautiful Portugal elopement locations.

Where is Portugal

Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. There are multiple airports to fly into from the US to get into Portugal. Lisbon Portela Airport is the biggest, and located in the capital, Lisbon. This is a great place to start, as Lisbon has so much to offer, and you can really get immersed in the culture.

If you’re looking to be in northern Portugal, you can fly into Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. For Southern Portugal, you can fly into Faro Airport! All of these airports offer direct flights from the US.

When to Elope in Portugal

The best time to elope in Portugal is the fall. This is when temps are still warm and enjoyable, but better yet, crowds have severely died down. However, it’s important to know what all the season are like in Portugal and make a decision based on what’s more important to you and your partner! Here is what each season brings in Portugal:


Spring (March to May) 59°F to 72°F. This is around central Portugal, where Northern Portugal will get up to the 60’s, and Southern Portugal gets up to 77. This is a wonderful time of year to elope in Portugal if you’re happy with warm, mild temps. There are fewer crowds, but more and more each month as it gets warmer. This time of year also brings minimal rain! However, this time of year can be chilly in the morning and evenings, so bring layers!


Summer in Portugal is warm, sunny, and brings very little rain! It’s the busiest time of the year in Portugal, so be ready for crowds. If you love the idea of warmer weather and swimming, fear not, there are still more remote elopement locations in Portugal. Central, Northern, and Southern Portugal all get into the 80 degree temps this time of year. However, evenings still get cooler at night in Northern Portugal. Keep in mind, things will be more expensive in Summer. Not only that, but you’ll want to make sure to book your accommodations and such in advance!


Fall is my favorite time for an elopement in Portugal (especially early fall) because it still feels like summer, but without the crowds! This is specifically the month of the September, while October and November start to cool off, and eventually get to lower temps in the 50’s in Central Portugal. Southern Portugal stays warmer in the 60’s. All that being said, if you still want summer like weather, the BEST time is September. If you’re okay with cooler weather, October and November are perfect as well.


In winter, January is the coldest month, with temps in the 40°F range. Southern Portugal stays within the 59°F to 68°F range, with some rain. This makes winter a great time to elope if you’re okay with the more mild temps. Although, December and January are still huge travel months due to Christmas and New Years. So if you want a winter elopement, February and March are the way to go. You’ll get a lot of privacy, as well as cheaper prices!

Portugal elopement

How to Get a Marriage License in Portugal

You do not need to be a resident of Portugal or Europe to get married here, and you have two different options for this. First, you can go the simple route. This includes going to your local courthouse prior to your elopement, and doing the paperwork there. This ensures that you’ll be legally married, and can simply celebrate your union in Portugal!

However, if it’s important to you to do the legal bits abroad, here is how to get a marriage license in Portugal

Required Documents:

  • Identification: Valid passport or ID card.
  • Birth Certificate: A full (long-form) birth certificate issued within the last six months.
  • Certificate of No Impediment: This document, known as a Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial or Certidão de Averbamento, proves that you are free to marry. It must be issued by your home country’s embassy or consulate in Portugal.
  • Proof of Residency: If applicable, provide proof of residency in Portugal.
  • Divorce Decree or Death Certificate: If either party has been previously married, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate of the previous spouse is required.
  • Marriage Declaration: A completed marriage declaration form, which you can obtain from the Civil Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil).

Steps to Obtain a Marriage License:

  • Gather Documents: Collect all the required documents and have them translated into Portuguese by a certified translator if they are not already in Portuguese. Ensure all documents are apostilled if required.
  • Submit Documents: Take the documents to the local Civil Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil) in the area where you plan to get married. This can be done up to six months before your intended wedding date.
  • Marriage Application: Complete the marriage application form provided by the Civil Registry Office.
  • Review and Approval: The Civil Registry Office will review your documents and, if everything is in order, will approve your application. This process can take a few weeks.
  • Marriage License Issuance: Once approved, you will receive a marriage license (Certidão de Casamento). This license is valid for six months.
  • Schedule the Ceremony: Book your wedding date with the Civil Registry Office. You can choose to have a civil ceremony at the registry office or a religious ceremony if you prefer.
Portugal elopement

How to Elope in Portugal

You plan a Portugal elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Portugal elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to travel, and certain locations will have a cap on the amount of guests you can have. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Portugal elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date and location. Some areas are more mild year round, while some get very hot, whereas northern temps will still have chilly evenings. Determine what type of weather you want to be in, and research what each season brings, and this will greatly help you determine a time of year for your elopement, as well as a general region. 


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Portugal elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Portugal elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Swimming
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Visiting Lisbon
  • Trying Portugesse seafood
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Island hopping
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Portugal

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, villas, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options near Portugal:

Portugal elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Portugal

A basic civil ceremony, marriage license, ceremony fee, and translation can amount to $200-$700. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Portugal Elopement Locations

There are endless amounts of Portugal elopement locations to choose from. From mountains, islands, cities, waterfalls, and more. As an elopement photographer, I make a customized location list for my couples based on their needs, this includes: landscape, drive times, how much they do or don’t want to hike, ideal weather, and guest count. For now, here are some of the top stunning elopement locations in Portugal:

Arrabida National Park

Portugal elopement

This National Park is an amazing Portugal elopement location. It’s dominated by mountains, greenery, and the stunning coastline. It’s popular for tourists and locals, but you can get much more privacy in seasons outside of summer

Ponta de Piedade

Ponta de Piedade is a spectacular natural rock formation and scenic spot located on the southern coast of the Algarve region in Portugal. The breathtaking beauty makes it a stunning Portugal elopement location amongst the water. There’s also beaches, caves, and grottos!

Sete Cidades

Portugal elopement

Sete Cidades is a stunning Portugal elopement location located on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. This is a great place to see lakes, greenery, and go hiking. A perfect spot for adventurous couples who love a variety of scenic views.

Praia de Falésia

This Portugal elopement location is a beach in Southern Portugal. This spot is a great if you want a beach elopement, and to be able to easily access resorts, restaurants, and other amenenities. A perfect destination for couples who want an easy access location and to be near luxuries.


Maderia is my favorite Portugal elopement location, a stunning island with a ton of amazing things to do. There’s forest, coastline, volcanoes, and a ton of stunning hiking trails, all near the bright and vibrant village. Better yet, it only gets down to 63°F in winter, making it a wonderful location year round.

Douro Valley

Portugal elopement

Duoro Valley is located in Northern Portugal. The best time to visit is in September, when it’s still warm, crowds have died down, and when grape harvesting is happening! The river is stunning and makes for a beautiful Portugal elopement background. You can even go on a boat ride along the river to get stunning views of the vineyards.

Azores Islands

Portugal elopement

The Azores consist of nine major islands and several smaller islets. They consists of stunning cliffs, greenery, clear blue water, hiking, amazing cuisine, and anything you could ask for out of a Portugal elopement location. They’re also temperate year round, so you can elope here during the off season to get away from crowds!

Portugal Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Portugal, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Portugal elopement packages starting at $8800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Portugal elopement

Ready to Elope in Portugal?

This Portugal elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Portugal elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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