Tips for a Wonderful Christmas in the Algarve

Find out what to expect during the December holidays. Christmas in the Algarve will be magical and full of activities for the whole family.

Reading time: 5 min.

Hundreds of events take place in the most magical month of the year. By December, temperatures will rise, and the spirit of sharing will flood every street and home. Celebrate the Christmas season with your family and bring your traditions to a new environment near the beach and temperatures around 15 degrees. We want your Christmas 2022 to be unforgettable. That's why we have put together some tips on how you can best spend it. Get to know some Christmas activities in the Algarve.

 Photo by Tim Mossholder – Pexels


Christmas in the Algarve - What to do?

You have made all the arrangements, booked the apartment in Belmar, packed your bags and have the ticket in hand, but you still do not know what Christmas activities you can do in the Algarve? Follow our tips and enjoy the best moments of December.


1.     Ice Rink

It's an image you don't see every day, but there are ice rinks all over the Algarve, and the best thing is to enjoy the experience. We know the younger ones will be the most enthusiastic, but try to do some acrobatic feats on the ice for at least a minute.

In Lagos, the ecological ice rink is already open. From 3 to 24 December, the Christmas Village at Praça do Infante offers many other Christmas-related activities, where the little ones can pass the time between bouncy castles, Christmas stories and talks with Santa Claus. This square dedicated to Christmas is 7 minutes away from Belmar Resort.

In the nearby town of Portimão, Christmas officially begins tomorrow, 6 December. At 5 pm, witness the arrival of Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, and elves and the inauguration of the decorative lighting in the streets of the city centre. In the Alameda, the natural ice rink promises to make you smile. Visit the village of "A Christmas Dream" between 6 December and 6 January.

In Almancil, Christmas has started earlier. Since 19 November, Mar Shopping has had an ecological ice rink, which means that no water or energy is used to keep the "ice" in place. Around the rink are the most adorable characters of this time of year, such as elves, squirrels, reindeer and Santa and Mrs Claus.


2.     Christmas cribs

Like the Christmas tree, the nativity scene used to be one of the most anticipated decorations of the year. Nowadays, this tradition has fallen into oblivion, and only a few people still put up this Christmas scene in their homes. Not to lose this spirit, some communities have authentic works of art on a large scale and with unique details. Find out where you can visit a Christmas crib in the Algarve.

In Lagos, it took Mr José Cortes about ten years to build a nativity scene. He did everything by hand and with great dedication, and then donated it to the Câmara Municipal de Lagos. This Christmas crib has been on display at the Lagos Cultural Centre since 19 November and will remain on display until 7 January.

Salt production has a decades-old tradition in the Algarve, and in Castro Marim, the land of salt workers, salt is the main character of the nativity scene. This year, two artists, Nuno Rufino and Abel Viegas were invited to build the salt Christmas crib, using around 5 tonnes of the Algarve's white gold. The Christmas scene made of salt can be seen at the Casa do Sal on 8 December at 4 pm.

The largest nativity scene in the country has been in Vila Real de Santo António since 1 December. Every year, this nativity scene is set up with more than five thousand pieces and an area of 240 square metres. The authors of this Christmas scene strive to assemble sustainable pieces made of cork and other ecological materials. Celebrate the 20th edition of the country's largest nativity scene from 1 December to 8 January at the Centro Cultural António Aleixo.


3.     Christmas markets

The old Christmas custom of exchanging gifts between family and friends continues. Choosing the perfect gift for everyone can be a difficult task, which is why there are Christmas markets. Find out where the best ones are and get the perfect gifts for Christmas Eve.

Visit the craft market at Praça do Infante in Lagos, in the same place where Aldeia Natal is held. Handicrafts are always a good choice for Christmas gifts, as they are unique and often designed to suit your taste.

In Portimão, in addition to the "A Christmas Dream" event, there is a Christmas market with stalls selling handicrafts and sweets.

The Christmas market is held in Mexilhoeira Grande - Portimão, where the entrepreneurs of this municipality present their businesses. There will also be street entertainment, carousels and musical moments. Visit it from 9 to 11 December.


Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi – Pexels


Now that you know some of the main Christmas events in the region, you can enjoy yourself with the family and feel the magic of Christmas.

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