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.

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 – 2016/2017

A luxury festive season at luxury resorts....

Vila Vita Parc  in Porches never fails to deliver elegant, inventive and gourmet entertainment! The luxury resort's festive programme brings together the very best of everything - cuisine, accommodation, facilities, surroundings and the spirit of the season, with a  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day programme that has something to make everyone’s Christmas a special one - enjoy fine dining at the Bela Vita Restaurant, the Adega 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 . Or, if you feel like getting away from it all, experience the bucolic joys of Vila Vita's impressive country estate at Herdade dos Grous, where you can take advantage of a fantastic three nights for the price of two festive deal, with all the trimmings!

Start 2017 in style with Vila Vita’s unique New Year programme which includes their New Year package - entrance to the Las Vegas-themed Grand New Year's Eve Ball, fireworks at midnight and dancing into the early hours.

Bovino Steakhouse, the newest addition to Quinta do Lago Resort's range of superb restaurants, is serving Christmas Night Dinner on 24th. The Resort is also offering three excellent options for your New Year celebrations - be part of Hollywood's glamour at Bovino's Oscar Night, chill out at Casa do Lago, or enjoy an intimate dinner at Casa Velha.

The Conrad Algarve has brought extra elegance and exquisite hospitality to Quinta do Lago and the Algarve (not to mention several great awards). Throughout December you can enjoy Festive High Tea, served daily at the Lago Lounge or an Advent Brunch on 18th December. There’s a full programme of Christmas Festivities at Conrad Algarve, including gourmet dining at Gusto by Heinz Beck and contemporary cuisine with a Portuguese twist at Louro Restaurant, on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The New Year at Conrad Algarve will be welcomed in in style with a choice of fine dining experiences or a spectacular Casino Royale style New Year’s Eve Gala, all with fireworks at midnight and, of course, music and dancing. The Little C Palace babysitting service will also be available and New Year’s Day brunch will be served until 4pm!  And, a special mention for the fabulous Christmas Tree at the Conrad - a huge, natural pine tree, standing several metres high and decorated with hundreds of Christmas baubles!

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.

Give more help to local children in need on 20th December with ACCA's Black & Gold Charity Ball at Gourmet Natural. This night of Christmas elegance will keep entertained until the early hours.


Hexagone Restaurant, near Carvoeiro, offers a special menu for New Year’s Eve. Hexagone offers beautiful and innovative mediterranean cuisine with a distinct Portuguese touch. Fabulous!

Restaurante Àbabuja is offering special group Christmas dinners - right by the ocean in Alvor. 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. If you're All Turkyed Out by Boxing Day, beef up your festive season with a nice juicy steak at All Beef in Praia da Rocha or Vagabondo in Alvor. Or grab a spelt pizza or chill out with a real Italian icecream while you watch the world go by at Capriccio's on Vilamoura Marina.

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 has fabulous menus for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

In the Golden Triangle, Parrilla Natural Steak House can help you to celebrate the festive season with extra special menus for Christmas and New Year, while Cocina Natural is preparing for a sparkling New Year’s Eve with great food and live music too!


The Praça in Vale do Lobo is home to great parties winter and summer. Check out the super new look Sandbanks Fish & Seafood Restaurant when it re-opens on 26th December and don't miss Monty's New Year’s Eve party - dinner, dancing and entertainment. De Barra Irish Bar at Quinta do Lago has a special set menu for New Year's Eve combining flavour and value, as well as great music to bring the house down. The Six Irish Men will be livening things up on Christmas Eve at O'Neill's on Vilamoura Marina and they will be back with more foot-stomping music on New Year's Eve.

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.
And remember, local councils across the Algarve will be throwing New Year's Eve parties too. The most famous is in Albufeira, but check out the mega party and spectacular piromusical show in Faro, get Reggae for 2017 with Quem é o Bob? Bob Marley tribute band in Quarteira, join in the celebrations across in Portimão or go east for the two day event in VRSA, featuring singer songwriter Paulo Gonzo. In fact, wherever you are, there will be a party near you!

And don’t forget to check out the other nightlife hotspots where you can party all night.


Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little shopping. At Lewis Andrews Lifestyle Store in Almancil, you’ll find just about everything you could want for Christmas and probably the New Year too!

If you're struggling to find a gift for someone who has everything, 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.

Check out the Algarve's shopping centres, where you can find all the main high street brands or enjoy some traditional shopping at an open market or Christmas Fair – Vila Vita Biergarten Market is taking place over the first three weekends in December and there are plenty more across the Algarve. For both traditional Portuguese fare and expat treats too, Intermarché will usually have just what you need. And this year, 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

A great family day anytime of the year, Algarve Jeep Safari and Alsafari are fun and informative - always a good combination. Or pick up the speed a little at the Hot Wheels Indoor Karting track 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.

Kids will love to visit Christmas Land at Lagos Zoo between 10th and 31st December - complete with artificial snow, reindeer, elves and Santa!

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.

For some adventure on the ocean, there are several great options for boat trips and water sports, even during the Christmas period. 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.

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!