When it comes to wedding destinations the Algarve is undoubtedly one of Europe’s top contenders. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, incredible landscapes for backdrops and a solid framework of quality, professional services supporting the views and the weather, the Algarve has everything couples need for their dream day to be extra special.
From quintessential beach settings to intimate cliff-top ceremonies, exquisite countryside retreats, luxury resorts and rustic vineyards, whatever your ideal wedding venue may be, the Algarve has it.
Iconic cliff-top resorts
You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to chic cliff-top locations for your special day as the Algarve is awash with stunning resorts.
Among the most popular is the elegant five-star Tivoli Carvoeiro (www.tivolihotels.com, tel. +351 282 351 100), in the lovely fisherman’s village by the same name. Set on the famous Carvoeiro cliff-tops overlooking a turquoise Atlantic alcove, approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Faro airport, the recently renovated Tivoli Carvoeiro is a stunning locale for a wedding. Having undergone a thorough refurb and re-launch in 2017, the hotel is a feat of modern design coupled with manicured gardens and incredible sea views. With ocean-facing balconies that step down towards an elegant decked pool area and lush lawns overlooking an azure sea, it is an idyllic spot for a classic coastal ceremony. Toast saying ‘I Do’ on the Tivoli’s rooftop Sky Bar, which has become something of an institution among locals for its fabulously romantic sunsets and refreshing cocktails. This spectacular seafront hotel provides all services necessary for a magical ceremony celebrated under the sun and the stars.
Alternatively, another iconic Algarve wedding venue is the exclusive Vila Vita Parc resort & spa (www.vilavitaparc.com, tel. +351 282 310 100), located on the panoramic Porches cliff-tops, a 10-minute drive from Carvoeiro. Set in 54 acres of spectacular gardens with dramatic coastal views, the five-star Vila Vita is a bubble of glamour, gastronomy and luxury. The enchanting resort with its traditional Moorish-Algarvian architecture, and two star Michelin Ocean restaurant, has nine different on-site venues for ceremonies, seamlessly organised by its own team of expert planners.
Dramatic outdoors settings
If a dramatic natural setting is more what you had in mind, consider tying the knot at the Algar Seco rock formation. Located in Carvoeiro Village, this unusual rock formation, a startling contrast of jagged red rock against deep blue sea, is embedded in the Algarve’s famous coastline.
Accessed via a cliff-side staircase, the formation comprises a cluster of rock pools, natural archways and alcoves carved out over centuries by the thrashing tides. At the foot of the stairs is the rustic A \Boneca bar, which serves as the main stage for ceremonies and receptions. There are plenty of private villas and hotels in the vicinity for accommodation, and from Algar Seco, a panoramic boardwalk extends along the Carvoeiro cliff-tops, providing breath-taking photo opportunities.
Fairytale mountain hideaways
For something a little different, say ‘I Do’ in an idyllic mountain valley surrounded by fairytale woodland and sparkling spring waters. The Caldas de Monchique springs is a magical setting located some 250 metres above sea level in the Monchique mountain range.
Renowned for its healing spring waters and thermal baths dating back to Roman times it is an exquisite and intimate location that provides an enchanting alternative to seaside settings. Dappled sunlight streams through the verdant greenery that enshrouds the springs, with a quaint whitewashed on-site chapel providing a picturesque location in which to exchange vows.
A number of nearby hotels, such as the Monchique Resort & Spa (www.monchiqueresort.com, tel. +351 282 240 100) and the Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort (www.monchiquetermalresort.com, tel. +351 282 910 910), provide accommodation, while the local 1962 restaurant is an idyllic place for a reception, with its fairy-light-covered courtyard and cosy, rustic ambience.
After the big day, head to the Caldas de Monchique Spa for a relaxing massage and dip in the local spring waters.
Quintessential beach weddings
For the ultimate beach wedding, head to Praia Grande in the charming fishing village of Ferragudo. Facing where the Arade river-mouth meets the Atlantic Ocean, the beach is long and flat, its waters calm and deep blue.
Located on the beach is the fabulous beach-shack-chic Nau Bar (www.club-nau.com, tel. +351 282 484 414), renowned for its ‘Magic Sundays’ live music sessions and mouth-watering food and drinks. This is an idyllic spot for the quintessential dream Algarve beach wedding, followed by a chilled, fun-filled reception.
The nearby cove-like Caneiros Beach, picturesque and bordered by cliffs, is another popular beach wedding venue. Served by the swanky Rei das Praias restaurant (www.restaurantereidaspraias.com, tel. 282 461 006), it is one of the most glamorous beach-wedding locations in the region.
If it’s something a little different you’re dreaming of for your special day, why not consider an Algarve vineyard for your venue. The historic Morgado do Quintão estate (www.morgadodoquintao.pt, tel. +351 965 202 529) is a traditional Algarvian farmstay complete with rustic farmhouse, cottages, and sprawling vineyards.
Nestled in the rolling hills between Silves and Lagoa, this beautiful estate was founded in the early 1800s by the Count of Silves and remains in the family to this day. A relaxing country idyll, it comprises a main house plus three postcard-pretty cottages, flanked by unspoiled Algarve countryside, peppered with olive, fig, almond, and carob trees. Within quick and easy reach of main roads, amenities and the region’s best attractions, it is a little slice of country heaven for your dream day.