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. 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 – 2015/2016

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 Christmas programme has something to make everyone’s Christmas a special one - enjoy fine dining at the Bela Vita Restaurant or the two Michelin star Ocean Restaurant, engage in Germanic fun at the Biergarten or experience the bucolic joys of Vila Vita's impressive country estate at Herdade dos Grous, where you can take advantage of a fantastic 2-for-the-price-of-1 festive deal, with all the trimmings!

Start 2016 in style with Vila Vita’s unique New Year package – it includes entrance to the Grand Ball, use of a selected range of Vila Vita’s outstanding facilities and an anti-stress massage in the resort’s famous spa.

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 a Festive Brunch every Sunday. 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. Alternatively, feast on an awesome buffet brunch on the ‘big day’ at the Louro.

The New Year at Conrad Algarve will be welcomed in style with a choice of fine dining experiences or a spectacular, Manhattan-style New Year’s Eve Gala, all with fireworks at midnight and of course live music. 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!

Read more about what’s in store this festive season at Vila Vita Parc and the Conrad Algarve.

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 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.


Hexagone Restaurant, near Carvoeiro, offers special menus for both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Hexagone offers beautiful and innovative mediterranean cuisine with a distinct portuguese touch. Fabulous!

Restaurante Àbabuja is celebrating New Year with a mouth watering menu, live music and fireworks - right by the ocean in Alvor.

Lennon's in Almancil is the perfect venue for families and friends to share this festive day.

The Gourmet Triangle that is Bon Bon Restaurant, O Leão de Porches and Pimenta Preta restaurant  are known for the fabulous hospitality and great food. Both O Leão de Porches and Pimenta Preta have fabulous Christmand and New Year menus.Take a look at O Leão de Porches’ special menus for Christmas and New Year.

In the Golden Triangle, Parrilla Natural Steak House can help you to celebrate the festive season with an extra special lunch on Christmas Day great food, dancing and fireworks on New Year’s Eve. And Cocina Natural is preparing for a sparkling New Year’s Eve with a great menu and live music too!


The Praça in Vale do Lobo is home to great parties winter and summer. Don't miss Monty's New Year’s Eve party, at the Praça in Vale do Lobo - dinner, dancing and entertainment.  De Barra Irish Bar at Quinta do Lago has a special set menu for New Years Eve combining flavour and value, as well as great music to bring the house down. 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 don’t forget the clubs. In Lagos, the Bon Vivant has four floors of party mayhem for your entertainment!


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!

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 – Vale do Lobo’s Christmas Market takes place on 5th December 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, the Jeep Safari is 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 5th December 2015 and 6th January 2016, 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 at sea, there are several great options for boat trips, even during the Christmas period. Algarve Seafaris have some great offers on Fishing Trips and Alvor Boat trips offer their cruise upriver to Silves all year long.

Should you wish to explore further, why not visit the scenes from "Games of Thrones" - head to Seville with Safety Transfers 2U for a tour of the city's main points of interests including Alcazar where much of the latest series of this hit TV show was filmed.

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. Most 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!