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June Honeymoon Spain/Portugal or Southern Italy/ Greece

My fiancé and I are trying to decide between Spain/Portugal or Southern Italy/ Greece for our June 2022 honeymoon. We are planning on two weeks and we want to have a good mix of beach/ city. Our budget is about 10k.

We've been to Barcelona and Northern Italy together.

Thank you!

Posted by
5459 posts

Covid wise, it’s easier sticking to one country or at least two countries that can be covered without taking flights. On that basis alone, I would suggest Spain or Portugal, plus there is plenty there to keep you occupied. Otherwise, pick Greece or Italy.

Do you want to tour around? With only 2 weeks, I would suggest that you see Lisbon, Porto and some of the lovely towns in between such as Alcobaca, Tomar and Coimbra. End with a few days of luxury chilling in Comporta. Great food and wine and a lovely climate in June.

Posted by
20785 posts

Southern Italy could easily be unpleasantly hot in June. And I agree that with the COVID situation (not to mention your two-week timeframe), one country would be better than two.

Edited to add: I should have clarified that the two pairs of countries you are considering are particularly challenging on a short trip for logistical reasons. You can't just hop on a train and cross the border (unless you're planning on Porto and Galicia). If you were thinking of something like Belgium/Netherlands, two of southern Germany/Austria/Switzerland, northern Italy/Austria, etc., my logistical concerns would vanish, though there would still be the multi-country COVID risk.

Posted by
3 posts

Good points. I did not factor in the logistic issues caused by covid. Pre-covid we would normally fly into the cheapest destination from NYC (usually Paris or London), spend the weekend there, and then take a cheap local flight to our next destination.

I am thinking we will spend the entire two weeks in Portugal. We were actually supposed to go with friends in June 2021, but it was cancelled because of the Delta variant lockdowns. My fiancé will need some convincing because he is leaning more towards Spain.

Have you been/ recommend Faro/Algarve? The beaches look beautiful.

Thanks!

Posted by
1767 posts

You can fly into San Sebastian, Spain (ES) and sleep there. Good day trip options by direct bus are:
Bilbao ES (1h)
St-Jean-de-Luz FR (45-minutes)
Pamplona ES (1h 15m)
Bayonne FR (1h)
From San Sebastian you can take a nonstop flight to Barcelona for < $75. Good day trips from Barcelona are Montserrat (to learn more buy Rick ES 17th edition guidebook) and the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figures. You can take a direct train from the Barcelona Sants station to Figueres-Vilafant (1h). You can then take a taxi to the museum. Buy your tickets ahead of time.
You can fly nonstop from Barcelona to Faro < $100 and take a direct bus from the airport to Tavira (30-minutes) and use Tavira as your base to explore the Algarve. In 2018 I also liked hanging out on the beach in Salema where there were few people and you could rent straw umbrellas and lawn chairs < ten euros for the day followed by a delicious dinner overlooking the beach and talking to other European tourists.
You can take a direct train from Tavira to Lisbon (4h 15m) and sleep in the romantic Alfama neighborhood. This place is beautiful at nighttime with its quaint tree lined streets and the sound of fado music playing in the background. Good day trips are Belém (take the metro), Sintra (direct train takes 30-minutes) and Évora (direct train takes 1h 30m). If you go to PT buy Rick Steves 11th edition guidebook.
I’ve never been to southern IT on the Adriatic Coast only to the Amalfi Coast and Sicily so I’ll let others chime in with those ideas. From Bari and/or Brindisi, you might be able to take a ferry to Corfu. Hopefully there’ll be an overnight so you can reserve a room and get a good night’s sleep since it takes 7h to 8h.

Posted by
17 posts

My sister and I (obviously not a couples trip) did an 11 day trip to Portugal in late 2019. We really enjoyed our time there! Porto, then drove to Guimaraes, Coimbra, Tomar, and then 4 days in Lisbon after returning the car. No real beach time as it was late October, but beautiful weather, such friendly people, and so much interesting scenery and history. It was my sister’s choice for the trip — we started in a Barcelona, which was mine — and both thought it a wonderful, less visited destination. June would be great weather there.

Posted by
5459 posts

The Algarve will be busy in June (so will coastal Spain), which is why I recommended Comporta in my earlier post.

I don’t know who recommended Faro to you! It’s a large working city, although you could spend a couple of hours walking round the lovely old town. There are much better bases.

Mary Pat and I disagree about Salema - it was a charming fishing village 20 years ago that has now trebled in size, so it’s character has changed - and not for the better IMO. In June the town beach will be heaving with families with kids, so you would need a car to get to the quieter, more romantic beaches such as Zavial, Furnas and those around Carrapateira on the stunning west coast. It’s also windier at this end of the Algarve. I am talking blowing cutlery off tables windy! The sea is glacial and warmer towards the east.

Tavira is charming, but the beach is out on the barrier island, reached by the water taxi shuffle, unless you head to Barril beach, which you can walk out to or catch the small train for a novelty. There’s not much difference time wise, as it’s not a quick train.

Unless you venture inland, Portugal isn’t as hot as Spain in June. I prefer the eating hours in Portugal - lunch between 12 and 2 and dinner from 7pm. I don’t like starting to eat in Spain at 10pm or later.

If you fly opted for Spain and Portugal and this included a flight, depending on the rules at the time, you may have to undertake more Covid tests before boarding. One country not two would remove one layer of stress.

Posted by
5324 posts

By far the beaches in Greece are the way to go. The beaches in Spain's Costa del Sol are nothing special. YOU WOULD DO BETTER TO GO TO THE CARIBBEAN OR FLORIDA.

Greece is perfect for a honeymoon. However, you should visit some of the islands as well as Athens with all is amazing history.

Santorini would be my pick for a honeymoon.

Posted by
5459 posts

The sea is warmer in Greece than in Portugal, as it’s the Med not the Atlantic. The food is much better in Portugal.

If you want the real Greece, head anywhere other than Disneyfied Santorini.

Posted by
7445 posts

I agree with poster above , Jennifer.
Except We loved every meal in Greece, fresh fish, grilled octopus.