What's on in Algarve for Christmas and New Year

Our final fun suggestion reminds us that the festive season is about giving, not just receiving


‘Tis the season to be jolly, so let’s take a look at what’s happening around the Algarve for some fun filled Christmas days.

There is plenty of family fun for all around the Algarve. Visit the giant Nativity scene at Vila Real de Santo Antonio. 4.000 figures, 18 tons of sand and 2.000 pounds of cork make up an amazing exhibition that covers 200 square metres. Or visit the fabulous Centros de Ciençias Vivas (living science) centres in Tavira, Faro and Lagos – there is always an interesting and varied (and very good value) programme of activites to keep the kids happy.

While the chances of snow and frost in the Algarve are slim, just because there is no snow on the slopes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good old Aprés Ski time. Head to the Conrad Algarve for Winter, Fire and Ice cocktails, light bites, mellow sounds with the resident DJ and some alpine ambience, every afternoon from 3 to 6pm.

Après Ski at Conrad Algarve

Enjoy some beautiful and seasonal music at one of the many concerts around the Algarve during the Christmas period. There is something for all tastes from modern to classical. At Portimão you can enjoy the Philharmonic Society concert at Tempo Theatre (free entrance) and in Olhão the Choral Society of the University of Coimbra will perform.  On New Years Day the Orquestra do Sul will perform some classic favorites at the Cineteatro in Loulé, including favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas.

Of course, seasonal jollies reach their peak on New Years Eve and the Algarve is the place to be. Many of the regions restaurants offer special menus with live music, DJs and parties to see in the New Year. Others, such as Vaults in Almancil does things a little differently – offering a great New Years Eve meal, and sending you on your way by 11pm so that you (and they) can bring in the New Year at one of the many public street parties along the coast. Look out for the New Year fireworks and concerts at Albufeira and Monte Gordo. There are also great parties at Vale do Lobo with some Monty’s mayhem to welcome 2014.

Swim for Shoes Algarve

Our final fun suggestion reminds us that the festive season is about giving, not just receiving. On Christmas Day and New Years Day you can join the Swim for Shoes Challenge at the Holiday Inn Algarve. Now in it’s 10th year, participants head to the beach in front of the hotel at Armação de Pêra at 11am and take a swim (or just a paddle) and make a donation to assist with the ongoing expense of providing children in care with adequate footwear. After your swim, head to the Holiday Inn bar for a Hot Bomba! This is just one of the many iniciatives that the Holiday Inn Algarve supports, giving back to the local community, and it's also a great way to cure those sore heads on the 1st of January!