The Algarve is a tourist region mainly during the summer, but it maintains its typical charm throughout the year, and Christmas is no exception.
Christmas in the Algarve is mild, with comfortable temperatures yet they still set the mood for a cup of hot chocolate and a book by the fire.
Christmas traditions are seen everywhere with lights on main streets, nativities, Christmas music in the air and the scent of festive delicacies that accompany this season.
Did you know that one of the traditions in the Algarve is to eat octopus?
Along with octopus, there’s the rooster, the cod, potatoes and cabbages and many desserts, the most famous one of which are azevias, sweet pastries filled with sweet potato and cinnamon, sprinkled with sugar.
You can forget about your diet on these days!
In the season gifting, Christmas markets pop up everywhere, always accompanied by Santa, bringing joy to the kids.
There are no reindeers nor snow, but imagination does its job at completing the Algarvian Christmas.
At the Christmas markets, you will find many handcrafted products and gifts for the whole family.
Algarve Fun gives you a full list of Christmas markets and events that you won’t want to miss!
Nativity Village in Odeleite 7th and 8th December
It is the re-creation of the birth of Jesus, with around 50 actors, local producers and craftsmen dressed as they would have been in the day. It feels like jumping back to that time, kids will love it.
Alongside the craft stalls, food, regional sweets and drinks, the evenings are accompanied by the Christmas fire where visitors are offered caldo verde soup with chorizo.
On both days there will be musical and theatrical performances that you will love.
Between 3-5pm all roads lead to Castro Marin, where the entrance to the village is free.
It’s a great way to get into Christmas spirit and one of our favourites.
Christmas Special Kayak Tour to the Caves – Armação de Pêra – 25th December
You have already have your swimming suit, right? Already taste the water on the Santa Swim, now it’s time to jump in a kayak and go for a tour
This tour will take you to the Algarve beautiful caves at 10 am, and during two hours, you will have a fantastic time!
It will be fun and unique experience for a Christmas day.
Vale de Lobo Christmas market- 7th December 2019
The exclusive Vale de Lobo Christmas market is an indoor market in the main auditorium in Vale de Lobo, the biggest luxury resort in Portugal, on the 6th December.
At this market, there will be numerous stalls with gourmet food and luxury presents.
It is a market for the whole family to enjoy, with several amusements for the children, a play area and a closed off area for restaurants.
Its free entry meaning you’ll have even more money to spend on presents, or treats for yourself!
Big Santa Walk in Armação de Pêra- 7th December
At ten o’clock, dress up in a Santa suit and take to the streets in Armacao de Pera!
This fun initiative by the Hotel Holiday Inn is a solidarity event that aims to help families in need in the region. By foot or on a bike, bring with you a food item to add to the hamper that will be handed to the Parish Council.
From stretching exercises to a belly full of laughs, this is an excellent way to start the festive season.
This is a free event and under 15 should be accompanied by an adult.
Em canto pela Algarviana (Singing along the Algarvian Way), Nativity Itinerary- 8th December 2019
Organized by Grupo Coral Ossonoba, this event allies choral music of diverse origins to walks in specific paths in the Via Algarviana hiking route.
The Via Algarviana route crosses almost the whole of the Algarve and its therefore one the most important, and famous, pedestrian paths from Alcoutim until Sagres. It winds through the countryside so its a beautiful way to explore the region.
It is a unique opportunity to try the most typical music and walks in the Algarve, all in one event, in Loulé.
This time, the theme is Nativities. The walk starts at 10am and the concert at 3pm in front of the Igreja Matriz de Alte (GPS 37.236261, -8.176753)
Tickets are 15€ and include lunch. You can book your place or request more information at email@example.com or call +351919764900.
If you enjoy very typical and immersive events, don’t miss this one.
Cacela Velha Christmas market – 8th December
On the 8th December between 10.30 and 5pm Cacela Velha Christmas market will take place. There you will find antiques, second hand items, traditional handcrafted and modern items, Algarvian food products such as honey, figs, jams and liquors. There is also no shortage of books and toys.
There is also a contest for the most beautiful stall so pay attention to the details and the Christmas motifs that will be throughout the market.
Lagoa Christmas market and Living Nativity 6th-8th December 2019
This year, due to its size, it will be outdoors in front of the Municipal Auditorium in Lagoa, between 6th and 8th December from 10 am to 8pm.
What will happen here?
A series of events: from cinema sessions to entertainment programs for the younger ones, with musical and theatrical shows.
A market with over 60 stalls will be available to keep you entertained with your Christmas shopping while helping local artisans.
The biggest attraction will be a recreation of the Hebrew village where Jesus was born, with all the villagers that were a part in its day-to-day. You can learn about trades, commerce and costumes. It won’t be short of the donkey, the cow nor baby Jesus on the straw himself.
During those three days there will be an electrical train taking people to and from the market and Lagoa for free.
Monchique’s Christmas market- 14th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December.
At Largo dos Chorões visitors will find several activities, among which the Christmas market, childrens carousel, ice rink, Santa’s house, amusement for the children, competitions, building wooden nativities and concerts.
The colours, the lights and Christmas songs will fill up Monchique’s main streets.
This market happens in one of the most beautiful mountainous areas in the Algarve. You can count on seeing a lot of traditional crafts and regional food products.
Have you heard of the traditional Algarvian medronho liquor? Here you will try the best ones!
You can visit this market between 10 am and 6pm. Free entry.
Vila Vita Biergarten Christmas market 20th-22nd December 2019
In Porches, at Vila Vita Parc, a German traditional market returns to the lovely Biergarten restaurant.
The gardens are decorated in Bavarian inspired motifs. Lit wooden Alpine huts sell food, drinks, crafts and gifts. Festive music floods the environment. And German delicacies such as grilled sausages, Lebkuchen, Gluhwein, German typical cakes and breads are everywhere.
Alongside the food there are stalls where you can decorate your gifts, wine and beer tastings, games, facepainting and Santa!
The Biergarten dresses up and welcomes all family and friends that wish to experience the German and Algarvian Christmas Spirit in what are three joyful days, between 1pm and 8pm.
Carvoeiro Christmas market- 19th-21st December.
Taking place in the square by the beach, between the sound of the waves and Christmas chanting, this market promises to be very lively.
It will not be short of crafts, amusements/animation, traditional gastronomy and music.
Christmas Village Vila Real-29th November-6th January
In Vila Real de Santo Antonio, festivities start as early as the 29th November with the opening of the Christmas Village, that takes place in the Parca de Marques de Pombal at 6.45 pm, with the arrival of Santa along with the philharmonic band and the lights switch on.
Till the 6th January 2020, this square is filled with family fun where you won’t miss Santa’s house, carousels and a free mini playground.
Between 11 am and 8 pm, this free entry Christmas Village offers dance and music shows, a market with crafts and gastronomy stalls and a lot of sweets in the mix.
If you have no idea of what to buy for gifts, this is the right place to find some.
Santa swim Armação de Pêra – 25th December
The famous Santa’s swims take place in several Algarvian beaches and are growing in popularity every year.
On the 25th of December, many people put their swimming suits and Santa hats on and go for an invigorating swim to commemorate Christmas and energize their bodies. At this time of year, it isn’t very warm and hopefully, it will be sunny and mild and will bring good health to the brave ones that venture into the sea at this time of year.
At the same time, in Armacao de Pera, in the same way, there is the walk on the 7th December, on the 25th (Christmas day!), Santa’s dress up once again but this time jump into the sea!
Adults and children are welcome in this charity event that is both voluntary and free.
The initiative’s organizers welcome donations that will be donated to two local institutions: Espaço Amigo in Armacao de Pera and A Gaivota in Albufeira.
For more information contact Holiday Inn Algarve- 282 320 260.