Christmas and New Year in Algarve

What's on Christmas and New Year in the Algarve

Spending Christmas and New Year in the Algarve is a great way to enjoy the festive season. The Algarve is an ideal Christmas destination as it caters to both traditional and alternative tastes. There are parties galore along the Algarve during this festive time, from Monte Gordo to Sagres, with concerts, street parties and Santa Claus parades! Albufeira is famous for its lively and fun New Year’s Eve party, and Vila Real de Santa Antonio has a giant crib you can visit! Below you can find some suggestions for dining and entertainment, some gift ideas, as well as ideas for fun days out over the festive season. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar - it's packed with info on parties, fairs and concerts happening all across the Algarve.

► Looking for festival fun - check out this hot list of Algarve Festivals 

Don't forget to book your Faro Airport transfer before you travel. Get a quote, book online and pay when you arrive - easy! Much better than standing in a queue....

Christmas and New Year celebrations – 2017/2018

If you’re looking to spend the festive season at a luxury resort, then look no further than the Algarve!

VILA VITA Parc in Porches is well-known for its fabulous festive programmes and this year's agenda promises to be exceptional. From the 24th to the 30th December, each of the resort’s bars and restaurants will have a special Christmas offering to help you enjoy the festive season with your family and friends - VILA VITA Parc never fails to deliver elegant, inventive and gourmet entertainment. This year’s festive programme is spiced with warm Cuban rhythms and sweet flavours and brings together the very best of cuisine, accommodation, surroundings and the spirit of the season. This year's programme has something to make everyone’s Christmas a special one – enjoy excellent dining at the Bela Vita Restaurant, the Adega Restaurant, the Atlantico Restaurant, the Mizu Restaurant or the two Michelin star Ocean Restaurant. Dine in the unique setting of the Wine Cellar, engage in Germanic fun at the Biergarten, indulge in afternoon tea and Cuban sweets at the Oasis Bar, or celebrate Christmas Day at the beach, with a superb Christmas lunch at Praia Dourada Restaurant on Armação de Pêra beach. Alternatively, if you feel like getting away from it all, experience the bucolic joys of Christmas at VILA VITA Parc's impressive country estate at Herdade dos Grous - the traditional Christmas 'Consoada' promises a memorable evening.

If you're looking for a fun way to see in the New Year, then salsa your way into 2018 at VILA VITA´s Grand New Year’s Eve Ball “One Night in Little Havana”, with a stunning fireworks show at midnight! Alternatively, enjoy a very special meal at the Atlântico restaurant or the Michelin starred Ocean restaurant. Or, see in 2018 with your feet in the sand at Arte Náutica or Praia Dourada restaurants.

There will be plenty of fun and family activities at The Campus in Quinta do Lago over the festive season. This fabulous lifestyle resort’s new sports centre has a packed programme of activities including tennis and padel tennis and, if you fancy a cycle ride or feel the need to burn off those extra Christmas calories, you can hire bikes from the Bike Shed!

Quinta do Lago will be celebrating the festive season at three of their most popular restaurants. Gourmet cuisine, fresh seafood, prime beef steaks, live music and classic cocktails are all in the mix at this exclusive resort’s Bovino Steakhouse, Casa do Lago and Casa Velha restaurants. Welcome in 2018 at special New Year's Eve parties at Bovino and Casa do Lago. There are special menus on offer, live music at both restaurants and complimentary bubbles at midnight! See the full programme for New Years Eve at Bovino and Casa do Lago.

The Holiday Inn in Armação de Pêra is a long-time favourite with regular Christmas visitors in the Algarve. This year they have an extra special family programme for Christmas, including a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Day, and they have a fun-packed New Year programme too! Not only does the Holiday Inn Algarve offer exceptional value stays for the festive season, it also sponsors a number of charitable events. Special mention for the annual Charity dip in the sea on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Take a dip - or just a paddle - for local children in need.

The Gourmet Triangle that is Bon Bon Restaurant, O Leão de Porches and Pimenta Preta restaurants are known for their fabulous hospitality and great food. O Leão de Porches is taking bookings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - check out their mouth-watering menu.

In the Golden Triangle, Parrilla Natural Steak House and Wildfire Smokehouse Restaurant can help you to celebrate the festive season in style. Fabulous hospitality backed up with great food make for fun nights at these restaurants. Check out the Festive Groups Menu at Parrilla Natural - perfect for a festive get together! And, look out for the New Years Eve party at Parrilla Natural - there will be live music, dancing on the deck beneath the stars and lots of fun. After a hectic Christmas Day, you can chill out with a delicious Boxing Day lunch, live music and an ocean view, at Sandbanks Fish & Seafood Restaurant in Vale do Lobo and you can kick start the New Year with a Resolution Lunch on the 1st January there too.

Casa do Campo is magical all year round, but it’s an especially enchanting venue to celebrate the festive season with friends and family. Casa do Campo will be open from the 27th of December until 13th January, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day for dinner.
Restaurante Àbabuja is a great choice for group Christmas dinners - right by the estuary in Alvor, while Belmondo near Armação de Pêra is the perfect restaurant for a romantic festive meal and it's a good choice if you enjoy fine Italian cuisine served with wonderful views. If you're All Turkeyed Out by Boxing Day, beef up your festive season with a nice juicy steak or some fresh fish at Vagabondo in Alvor.

The Praça in Vale do Lobo is home to great parties winter and summer. Check out the super Sandbanks Fish & Seafood Restaurant and don't miss Monty's New Year’s Eve party - dinner, dancing and entertainment. And, there’s sure to be a great programme of top-tapping, foot-stomping music over the festive season at O'Neill's on Vilamoura Marina.

To the west, On the Rocks in Praia da Rocha keeps the party going until the early hours and The Black Stove has live music until late, seven nights a week. And remember, local councils across the Algarve will be throwing New Year's Eve parties too. Albufeira is renowned for its New Year Eve parties - this year there will be live performances from Agir and Xutos. Algarve band 5EX will be on stage in Armação de Pêra, while over in Monte Gordo, they will be partying all night. Lagoa will be hosting the biggest New Year's Eve indoor party and Quarteira will be staging a fantastic New Year's Eve show with their traditional fabulous fireworks display at midnight. Further west, Lagos has prepared a fantastic programme of events to mark the festive season, with D.A.M.A performing live on New Year's Eve. And, back in the Algarve capital, Faro has two nights of great music and fireworks in store, to bring the New Year in with a bang!  In fact, wherever you are, there will be a party near you! And don’t forget to check out the nightlife hotspots where you can party all night.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little shopping. The Designer Outlet Algarve opens at the end of November and will bring luxury brands to the Algarve with up to 70% off, all year round! Adjacent to the Designer Outlet is the new Mar Shopping complex and IKEA. Now there is no excuse for not finding that perfect gift!

For a truly unique gift, a piece of original artwork may be the answer. Check out the ArtCatto Art Gallery, where you'll find a variety of artwork by international artists. Or offer something from the excellent range of Gift Vouchers from Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda in Lagos. Add some extras to your own or friends stays, book a High Tea treat or even offfer a few nights stay at this gorgeous, sea-front hotel.

There are many excellent Christmas markets across the Algarve to get you into the festive mood and where you’ll find gifts galore for all the family, so you can have a fun day out and get your Christmas shopping done too. VILA VITA’s traditional Christmas Market at the Biergarten is well worth a visit - held over three weekends in December, it’s a magical Christmas wonderland! Or, call in at Vale do Lobo’s Charity Christmas Market on 2nd December – this annual indoor market is perfect for all your Christmas shopping.

Check out the Algarve's shopping centres too, where you can find all the main high street brands. And, for both traditional Portuguese fare and expat treats, Intermarché will usually have just what you need - you can order your Intermarché shopping online before you arrive, then simply pull up at the drive-by area, while your shopping is loaded to the car. Makes Christmas very easy indeed!

Family fun and entertainment for everyone
A great family day anytime of the year, Algarve Jeep Safari and Alsafari jeep tours around the Algarve are fun and informative - always a good combination. Book in advance to guarantee your spot. You can book half day tours with Alsafari.

Zebra Safari are running all their Jeep Safari Tours including the Sunset Champagne Safari during the winter months, and will also be offering their Ria Formosa tour all winter, Christmas and New Year included! This tour includes a boat trip to visit the islands of the protected Ria Formosa park.

If it’s some adventure on the ocean that you’re after, there are several great options for boat trips and water sports, even during the Christmas period. AlgarExperience will be operating its awesome boat tours throughout the winter, while have great ideas for making the most of the sea during the winter monthsCruzeiros da Oura offer excellent fishing trips and charters over the Christmas period - all great Christmas presents!

For some indoor fun, pick up the speed at the Hot Wheels Indoor Karting track or knock down pins at the Hot Shot Bowling at Albufeira Marina - a particularly good option should the weather be wet. You can also buy gift vouchers for the track – an excellent gift idea. For big and little kids, a few rounds of fun mini golf at Adventure Golf Alvor is entertaining. Just keep an eye out for the dinosaurs.....

There are concerts, Santa Claus parades, fairs and markets galore over the festive season in the Algarve. Keep up to date with everything that’s happening by checking our Algarve Events Calendar.

Practical Information
In Portugal, the main gathering for families at Christmas is on the evening of the 24th. So expect businesses, many shops, services etc to close at lunchtime on the 24th. Supermarket chains such as Continente, Jumbo, Pingo Doce, Lidl and Aldi usually close around 6pm on the 24th. Many restaurants in resorts also close on the evening of the 24th. However, on the 25th most restaurants are open for business, although advance booking is recommended. Business, services and supermarkets are generally closed on the 25th. The 26th of December is not a Public Holiday in Portugal.

No matter how or where you decide to spend your Christmas Season, we hope it's a merry one!