When planning your destination wedding in Portugal, there are lots of things to think about. From the caterers to the photographers, the transport to the dresses, you’ve no doubt got a lot on your plate.
Thankfully, getting married in Portugal offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience that all your wedding party is certain to remember. With classic locations and stunning scenery, not to mention delicious Portuguese cuisine, this country has everything you need for the perfect big day.
However, after saying ‘I do’, many new couples tend to stay around their hotel and end up missing out on everything else Portugal has to offer. Packed full of things to do and with almost certain sunshine, Portugal is a treasure chest of activities and experiences for new couples and all their guests.
Whether you’re looking for pre wedding party ideas or after wedding party ideas in Portugal, you’ve come to the right place. At Algarving Tours, our team of locals are always ready to offer you recommendations for fun things to do before/after your wedding. We’ve compiled 11 of our favourites into this handy list below. Enjoy!
Pre Wedding Party Ideas
1. Spa Day
What better way is there to pamper and prepare for your big day than a trip to the spa? Treat yourself and your bridesmaids or groomsmen to a few different treatments to say thank you for all their help in the run-up to the wedding. Or, gift your fiancé a day at the spa to help them calm any pre-ceremony nerves.
With over 1000 miles of coastline, Portugal’s abundance of spas offer a range of ocean-themed treatments. These include thalassotherapy, which uses seawater to detoxify your skin and body and promote circulation, and algae/seaweed wraps that alleviate tension and help hydrate your skin so you’re ready to glow at the altar.
2. Boat Trip
Another great way to see Portugal’s beautiful coast is by chartering a boat for you and your guests. From luxury yachts to sports boats, you’re sure to find the vessel to suit you from one of Portugal’s many boat rental firms. This is the best pre wedding party idea to let your guests get to know each other, as well as swim, sunbathe and sip some drinks on the night before your big day.
With an all-inclusive boat charter, you’ll have a captain and assistant at your beck and call, so you can plan and execute your perfect trip. You can take your charter along the coast and marvel at views you’d never get to see on land, or take the boat out to sea and spend the day playing with kayaks and jet skis. Speaking of…
3. Water-Sports and Hiking
If your wedding party loves to be outdoors, one of the best ways to experience Portugal’s rich variety of flora and fauna is with water sports or a hiking trip. Snorkelling at your nearest beach allows your party to chill out and explore the shallows, while the adrenaline junkies can race jet-skis for hire or surf Portugal’s rewarding swells.
Not fans of the water? Take a trek up to some spectacular cliffs or dramatic natural rock formations. Portugal has multiple hiking spots that visitors love, particularly Camino de Santiago in the north, which follows an ancient trail and is dotted with historical villages and ruins. The Via Algarviana, which runs through the Algarve, is also a popular choice with hikers that want to combine a visit to some quintessential Portuguese towns with a natural excursion.
4. Village Visit
Or, drop the hiking part and take your guests on a tour of a local village. Portugal is filled with quaint settlements that have long and storied histories, complete with architecture from through the ages. This pre wedding party idea allows you to learn about Portugal’s legacy and culture in the run-up to your wedding, as well as snap some candid group photos before the official photographer arrives.
Sortelha is a favourite village among locals and visitors alike. Aside from picturesque cream cottages and a 13th-century castle, Sortelha is the sight of a Portuguese legend known as Um Beijo Eterno, or The Eternal Kiss. Scorned by her daughter’s love for a traitor, the fairy queen waved her wand and made her daughter and lover disappear. In the site of the eternal kiss are two boulders, rumoured to be these very lovers. Hopefully your union will have better luck than theirs.
5. Wine Tasting
If there’s one thing Portugal is known for, it’s unbeatable wine. The Portuguese people have been producing wine for over two centuries, and it is considered one of the oldest wine-making regions on the planet. To get the good times rolling, why not take your wedding party on a tour of a vineyard with a tasting menu included? Algarving Tours offers an all-inclusive experience for a half-day or full-day of wine tasting, as well as private tours, especially for your party. With a trip to a local village included, you can’t beat Algarving Tours for experience and price.
This pre wedding party idea combines the best of tradition, as you can learn all about Portugal’s wine-filled past, and fun, as you’ll be able to sample all the most delectable wines your nearest vineyard has to offer. As well as being a great way to introduce your guests to each other and set a great atmosphere for the weekend, you can dine at most vineyards in front of some of Portugal’s prettiest landscapes.
6. Party Time
For the best pre wedding party, throw an actual party. Or at least attend one of the many festas held throughout Portugal. If you’re in or around Lisbon, the nightlife in Bairro Alto, the party district, is world-renowned. The selection of bars here are always filled with locals and visitors who want to sip delicious cocktails and dance the night away.
If you’re staying on the coast, boat parties are definitely the way to go. With live music and entertainment, your guests can settle in and get to know each other before dancing, swimming, or enjoying a scenic tour of the coastline. Just be sure not to go too hard, or you might not make it up the aisle.
After Wedding Party Ideas
7. Yoga Session
Chances are, if the barman has done his job, after your wedding many of your guests will be feeling a little worse for wear. Help kick those hangovers and rejuvenate your loved ones with a relaxing yoga session. Be sure to check with your hotel first to see if they host any yoga sessions.
Portugal also offers a host of yoga retreats for everyone from complete beginners to aspiring yogis. These sites usually offer classes and one-day yoga retreats for visitors with tight schedules. This is one of the best after wedding party ideas for groups who are moving on quickly and want to spend some quality time relaxing together before they leave.
8. Cooking Class
No matter what cuisine you’ve selected for your wedding menu, if you’re getting married in Portugal you simply have to learn how to make some Portuguese food. Hearty, sumptuous, flavourful and entirely underrated, many Portuguese dishes are surprisingly quick and simple to master.
You’ll learn about Portuguese mealtime traditions and make your very own dishes, from iconic classics like pastel de nata, to local favourites like francesinha. The recipes you learn at your Portuguese cooking class are sure to keep your new spouse happy long after you’ve returned home. As well as being a fun after wedding party idea that all your guests can get involved in, you’ll be able to indulge in a scrumptious meal together before you go your separate ways.
9. Beach Day
Kick back and relax with the help of some sunshine, sea breeze, and white sand beaches on Portugal’s coast. A beach day is a great after wedding party idea, as each member of your group can choose the activities that suit them. Whether they want to sleep off the post-wedding blues on the sand, play games in the sand together, or refresh in a clear blue sea, the choices are endless.
The Algarve is home to some of Portugal’s best beaches, complete with activities such as paddle-boarding and windsurfing. Your guests can enjoy some fresh seafood from a range of restaurants on the coast, purchase souvenirs and keepsakes, and take some great photos in front of gorgeous coastal scenery.
10. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Want to squeeze in as much of Portugal as you can before you leave? Well, see the sights from above on a hot air balloon ride. As well as being a great way to take in Portugal’s dynamic landscape, this unique experience will become a lifelong memory for your guests.
If you’re staying along the coast, there is a range of hot air balloon tour operators that offer private excursions for you and your wedding party. Why not try a sunrise hot air balloon ride to add even more atmosphere to the activity? Those who want to stay on the ground can enjoy complimentary drinks and snap some pictures of the colourful balloons.
11. Farewell Dinner
If you want to stick around your hotel and give everyone the chance to relax on their final day, a farewell dinner is an easy after wedding party idea. As well as continuing the celebrations and dining on traditional Portuguese meals, your guests can say goodbye and prepare for the trip home with one final memory together.
A farewell dinner will also offer you a quieter atmosphere than the wedding reception, to share some tender moments and give other guests the chance to share speeches. Not to mention, this gives you another chance to sample Portugal’s incredible wine, and even take a few bottles home for your friends and family who couldn’t attend.
Wine Tasting with Algarving Tours
At Algarving Tours, we offer a half day of wine tasting to suit your wedding schedule. Why not bring your guests along on an all-inclusive excursion, where you’ll learn about Portugal’s history and culture, and get to say goodbye surrounded by incredible vineyards?
For more information on our wine tasting tours for your pre wedding party and after wedding party, contact us here. A member of our expert team is ready and waiting to help you find the perfect wine-tasting tour for you and your guests.