Christmas and New Year in 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. You can feast on turkey, go ice-skating, or weather permitting, bask in sunshine on the beach. There is usually plenty happening in the Algarve during this festive time, from Monte Gordo to Sagres , with fabulous food to eat and wine to drink, and some amazing experiences to be enjoyed.

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 what's happening all across the Algarve, including fabulous free concerts and fireworks in various towns
  • Scroll down for details on free New Year's Eve concerts and parties across the region

Most towns in the region will have some form of Christmas entertainment. Lagos, Portimão and Albufeira for example, have Christmas villages where you can visit Santa and enjoy some festive fun. There are ice-rinks too, at Portimão and Albufeira, and at some of the shopping centres (see below), as well as markets selling local products and crafts. And the giant crib at Vila Real de S. António is back - over 20 tons of sand, four tons of rock dust and 3,000 kilos of cork have been used to build the scene, which took 40 days and 2,500 hours to complete. There are 5,600 figures, 80 animated or motorized pieces, lakes and local landmarks in the display that covers 230m2. Find out more about the Giant Nativity Scene

Want to spend Christmas at Quinta do Lago? The Magnolia Hotel has a super offer for families, where kids get to say and eat for FREE. That's breakfast, lunch and dinner for the kids each day, included in the package.

The best way to get about and explore when in the Algarve is to hire a car. there are so many different and interesting spots to discover. 

Christmas and New Year 2022/ 2023

Christmas and New Year at VILA VITA Parc
VILA VITA Parc in Porches is well-known for its fabulous festive programmes and this year is no exception. 2022 marks 30 years since Vila Vita Parc opened, and there have been amazing celebrations throughout the year. This year's festive programme, Viva La Vita,  is a continuation of the fun and is open to both resort residents and non-residents. There is a wonderful array of dining options, from beachside dining to gourmet ** Michelin star experiences, unique wine cellar experiences, and of course the New Year's Eve Gala.

Highlights include:

Special Gourmet Menus at Ocean Restaurant **
Chef Hans Neuner will prepare stunning cuisine at Ocean, the resort's 2 Michelin star restaurant, for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year's Eve. Ocean is Vila Vita Parc's flagship fine-dining restaurant and dining here is an outstanding experience.
Find out more about New Year's Eve at Ocean Restaurant

  la carte Beachside dining
Enjoy Christmas and New Year dining by the sea at Arte Nautico restaurant and Praia Dourada restaurant . Both options are casually stylish venues where the food is as special as the views.

Modern Japanese Cuisine
Mizu Teppanyaki will serve the à la carte menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as New Year's Eve. Delicious food crafted with skill and passion.

New Year's Eve Gala Evening
Wonderful dining options, live music and fabulous fireworks will help you step into 2023 in style. There are several restaurant and menu options to choose from, with the highlight of the evening being the big goodbye to 2022 with fireworks at midnight, followed by a party at the V-Club disco with DJ.
One of the main events is the Grand Gala, a black tie event held at the Lisboa ballroom, with a 5 course Gala meal and live entertainment. 

Special mention for the Cave dos Vinhos Experience from 25th to 30th Dec. - a visit and à la carte wine experience 8m underground at the resort's magical wine cellar, home to almost 11,000 bottles of top wines.

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

The resort's many restaurants too will be dressed in their Christmas finery and spreading festive cheer, with special menus and entertainment on Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. 
There are sunset strolls to enjoy, flamingos to watch for by the lake and magical winter sunsets to enjoy.

Festive highlights at Quinta do Lago:

Christmas Light Switch-on
Get into the festive mood on 3rd Dec. There'll be mulled wine, hot chocolate and Christmas music to enjoy at Dano's Plaza.
Get the details on Christmas Light Switch-On

Christmas Market
Enjoy a relaxed Christmas Market at Daon's Plaza on the 3rd Dec. 2022. Traditional products and handcrafts, delicious food and great wines, and lovely gifts. Stay for the Christmas Lights Switch on, and end the evening with a tasty meal at Dano's.
Find out more about Dano's Christmas Market

Boxing Day at Dano's
Recover from Christmas day and chill out at Dano's on Boxing Day, enjoying all the live Boxing Day footie on Dano's big screens, along with tasty food and a cold pint of Guinness.

New Year's Eve at Quinta do Lago
There are some excellent dining options in Quinta do Lago for a memorable New Year's Eve.

Bovino is a stylish option any time of year and it's the perfect spot to see out 2022 and welcome 2023 with hope in your heart! Enjoy the highest quality prime cuts and flame-grilled flavours, not to mention decadent desserts and delicious cocktails.Plus, there's live music to keep the party rocking.
Casa Velha is the home of fine dining in Quinta do Lago. And on New Year's Eve there is an exquisite menu to be enjoyed at this beautiful restaurant.
Casa do Lago is one of the most popular restaurants in the resort, offering fabulous dining all year round to go with the wonderful lake views. Casa do Lago is stylish and relaxed and a great spot to welcome the new year.
Dano's will host a relaxed and fun New Year's Eve evening with great food and live music to see out 2022.

New Year's Day Brunch
Head to Dano's for a relaxed and restorative Brunch with tasty Brunch favourites on the menu.
Get the details on Dano's New Year's Day Brunch

Active Fun this Christmas at Quinta do Lago
The Campus is Quinta do Lago’s sporting hub, created for professional athletes and enthusiastic amateurs, and offering outstanding sporting facilities. Aside from the regular fitness and gym sessions available, you can play tennis and padel, or get some coaching, as well as take a spin with the team from The Bike Shed. There is even triathlon training available. Junior athletes are not forgotten at The Campus - there are several junior programmes for tennis, fitness, swimming and triathlon.

The 2022 Junior Golf Open takes place on the 28th to 30th Dec.. A fabulous opportunity for young golfers to compete and challenge themselves on the outstanding Quinta do Lago golf courses. There are several categories of play and prizes to be won.
Get the details on the Junior Golf Open
And if you're looking for a pretty amazing gift for your kids, how about signing them up to one of The Campus' 2023  special training camps, held during school holidays. There's Rugby Camp with Brian O'Driscoll and Soccer Camps with Football Escapes.

Christmas and New Year at W ALGARVE
The W brand arrived in the Algarve in 2022, bringing its unique energy and style. The sea-facing resort, close to Albufeira, is an ode to comfort and glamour, with iconic Portuguese touches adding some extra style.
As to be expected, the festive season at W Algarve brings fabulous parties, music sessions, experiences and delectable dishes for you to enjoy, ticking the naughty and nice boxes all the way.

Special XMAS Package a W Algarve - stay 22nd to 26th Dec and enjoy all the W Algarve hospitality plus a special Christmas dinner at one of the resort's restaurants - Paper Moon, or Market Kitchen.
Get details on the Special XMAS Package

Happenings at W Algarve
There is a full programme of fun at the resort, including special Christmas and New Year's Eve menus at Paper Moon and Market Kitchen, plus fabulous New Year's Day Brunch.
Highlights include:
House of Funk - The gorgeous inside-outside bar and lounge overlook the pools and gardens. The resident DJs are in the booths from 21:00h pumping out the best sounds from the 80's and 90's.

Mixology Masterclass - Learn from the cocktail masters in the fun and vibrant atmosphere of W Lounge. Great sounds, a cool vibe and outstanding cocktails.

Wine Tasting Series at Market Kitchen - Join W Algarve wine curator, Miguel, and explore some of the excellent wines produced in the Algarve region. A unique tasting experience.

Stay Late at W Algarve - after-hours parties for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

Christmas and New Year at Praia do Canal Nature Resort
For a different Christmas and New Year experience, immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the Algarve's west coast, experiencing the luxurious comfort and tranquillity of Praia do Canal. The perfect spot to recharge and reset in nature, without abdicating any creature comforts, this small, luxury hotel has a super New Year offer as well as tempting Christmas menus.

The Azeitona Restaurant at the resort is home to gorgeous decor and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine, inspired by tradition, and the bounties of land and sea, flavoured with a modern passion for local, fresh and authentic products. There are special menus available for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

For New Year there is a special package at Praia do Canal which includes 2 nights accommodation, buffet breakfast, plus the fabulous New Year's Eve cocktail reception,  Gala Dinner, late night Buffett plus after party, as well as New Year's Day Brunch.
An unforgettable way to welcome 2023.

At MAR Shopping Algarve, the Christmas Village will be Santa's home until the 24th December and he'll be waiting for visitors! There will be plenty of activities and workshops there too, particularly for the younger folk, as well as a skating rink! Check the link below for more details and the rink opening times.
Find out about Christmas Magic at MAR Shopping

Plus, there's an outdoor Christmas Market every weekend and public holiday during December at MAR Shopping.
Find out more here.

At Mar Shopping you can find all your favourite high street brands as well as the first Starbucks in the region. And the food court here takes retail dining to a whole other level - as well as the usual tasty offerings, you tuck into top chefs signature creations at very accessible prices.

Many restaurants in the Algarve offer special festive menus over the Christmas period as well as party menus for New Year's Eve. As Christmas Eve night is when Portuguese families celebrate Christmas together, you can expect to find many restaurants closed on the evening of the 24th and open as usual on the 25th.
Keep checking back as this page is updated regularly.

WELL Vale do Lobo
WELL in Vale do Lobo in a super beachside venue. Perfect for sunny summer fun, it is also a cosy all-year-round venue with the panoramic glass walls taking nothing from the fabulous views and by-the-sea feel, yet protecting you from the cooler weather.
WELL is hosting a series of festive theme events, from Ugly Sweater Day to Festive Cocktail Masterclass.
There are special Group Menus available at WELL too, perfect for gatherings with some friends and family.
Find out more about Christmas at WELL

And if you're looking for a fun yet sophisticated and glamourous New Year's Eve night, then this is it. Choose from the à la carte menu, enjoy the fireworks and dance until late at the after party.
Find out about New Year's Eve at WELL

Right on the beach, Julia's is open all year round, with fabulous food, great views and fun vibes. A great spot for beachside dining and sunset meals, Julia's is open over the Christmas period, with live music on Sunday afternoons and on New Year's Day too. Closed on the night of 24th and 31st Dec. and all day 25th Dec.
Find out more about the live music sessions at Julia's.

Tribulum brings exciting, tasty food, a fabulous wine list and the warmest of welcomes. They have a super Christmas Day menu featuring traditional roast turkey, honey glazed ham and even Plum pudding with brandy butter!
Find out more about the Tribulum Christmas Menu.

Tribulum also has a superb menu crafted for New Year's Eve. There will be live music, tempting cocktails and good humour to welcome 2023. Find out more about New Year's Eve at Tribulum.

And there are special group menus available for celebrations with friends, family and colleagues throughout December.

Parrilla Natural
This is one of the most popular restaurants in the Vale do Lobo / Quinta do Lago areas, known for its outstanding hospitality and quality steaks. Throughout November and December, there is a superb Festive menu available for groups, 
Find out more about Parrilla Natural Festive Menu.

And look out for the Parrilla Natural New Year's Eve Party - details coming soon.

BJ's Oceanside
BJ's Oceanside is doing Christmas in 2022! If you feel the need for some festive cheer and amazing hospitality, then head to BJ's by the sea for mulled wine, yule logs, mince pies, live music and lots of Christmas decor and fun.
Find out more about BJ's at Christmas.

Casa do Campo is magical all year round, but it is an especially enchanting venue to celebrate the festive season with friends and family. Casa do Campo will be open from the 28th of December including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Akvavit Restaurant is located at Vilamoura marina, offering a superb view at any time of year. The outer deck sits above the water right by the sleek yachts. Open all year round, Akvavit menu features Portuguese and French cuisine, as well as some Nordic specialities. Fabulous fresh seafood is always available too. There is a special 4-course menu at Akvavit for New Year's Eve - advance booking is advised.
See the Akvavit New Year's Eve menu.

Paesano Italian Restaurant, Alvor
Paesano is a lovely restaurant, located on the main street in Alvor. With a lovely garden terrace and outside deck for summer, the indoor dining area at Paesano is cosy and welcoming during the winter months.
Paesano has three set menus for groups available during the festive season - all delicious, and all great value.
Find out more about Paesano Group Menus

New Year's Eve Parties
The biggest party night of the year doesn't disappoint in the Algarve. There are open-air concerts, street entertainment, and of course, spectacular fireworks across the region.
Many town councils throw great street parties and entry is free!

The biggest party of all is in Albufeira - Carpe Nox 2023!
Prepare for pyrotechnics, a skydiving light and fire show that promises to be absolutely mesmerising,  fabulous concerts, and of course, amazing fireworks, shooting into the sky above the ocean. 
But the party isn't just in Albufeira. All across the region there are celebrations to mark New Year's Eve. Local council parties are usually free, open air and involve fireworks.

Family Fun and Things to Do

Natalandia at Lagos Zoo
A winter wonderland - Natalandia at Lagos Zoo where you can visit a Christmas village and Santa Claus' house, join in toy making workshops, enjoy lots of activities and of course see the many cute animals at the zoo. At the weekends you can see the pelicans, primates and penguins being fed. Lagos Zoo is a fabulous spot and Natalandia brings a little magic to everyone who visits. Well worth supporting.

Giant Nativity scene at Vila Real de S. Antonio
An amazing nativity scene, made from 20 tons of sand, four tons of rock dust and 3,000 kilos of cork, created over 40 days and 2,500 hours to work. The scale of the display and the attention to detail is amazing! There are mechanical moving figures and incredibly lifelike props. This is the largest crib in Portugal and over the 18 years of its existence, it has become a very popular Christmas attraction. And at just 50cents per person, it's a bargain too!
Get the details on the Giant Nativity scene.

There is plenty for everyone to do over the Christmas period in the Algarve - from winter beach days to days out.

A great family day anytime of the year, Algarve Jeep Safari  tours around the Algarve are fun and informative - always a good combination. Book in advance to guarantee your spot.

Throughout the winter months, you can take a ride on the Ophelia Explorer - a boat trip departing from Portimão, which takes you on a coastal tour to visit the awesome Benagil sea cave. These small boats are perfect for exploring the Benagil cave, as well as the caves by Praia da Marinha and Algar Seco.

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. You can explore the coast on the stylish catamarans. And if you're searching for a great gift or stocking filler, why not offer an AlgarExperience Gift Voucher. Buy before 31st Dec. 2022, and enjoy before 31st Dec. 2023!
Find out about AlgarExperience Christmas Gift Vouchers.

Cruzeiros da Oura offer excellent fishing trips and charters over the Christmas period - all great Christmas presents! The crew are very experienced sailors and know all the best fishing spots along the coast. A great day out!

For a special day out, board the Azure Luxury Charters sleek yacht. Sip some bubbly and admire the scenery in style. Book now for 2023!

For some indoor fun, pick up the speed at the Electric Karting Albufeira Marina track or knock down pins at the Hot Shot Bowling at Albufeira Marina - a particularly good option should the weather be wet. Both are open over the festive period, except on Christmas Day.
You can also buy gift vouchers for the track, an excellent gift idea. As the name suggests, Electric Karting Albufeira Marina uses electric karts which means there is less noise, less fumes and more speed! It's the first indoor electric karting circuit in Portugal.

For big and little kids, a few rounds of fun mini golf is always a winner. Check out the fun at Golfland Family Entertainment Park in Alvor. Or check out the FootGolf course next to Algarve Tennis and Fitness Club.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little shopping. 
For a touch of luxury, head to the VLife Shops at VILA VITA Parc - a boutique shopping plaza where you can find fabulous resort wear, handcrafted jewellery, fashion and some stunning eye-wear.

If you want to make your home more beautiful, then visit Algarve Elegance. A super furniture and decor shop just outside Almancil, it's a treasure trove of unusual items, exquisite craftsmanship, quality fabrics, eclectic art and ornaments. Find out more about Algarve Elegance.

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.

Order early for your festive table  The Natural Meat Co. in Almancil offers top quality Uruguayan grass fed beef and other meat, ready prepared for cooking, local fruit and vegetables, a selection of cheese and beers, and more..... 

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 many 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!

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