The Algarve is the beautiful southern coastline of Portugal and the region makes for an enjoyable, alternative Christmas holiday destination. The winter months were typically the low tourist season for Algarve but over the last few years the Christmas holiday season has become more popular, as many of the North African winter sun destination have become unsafe due to political instability or terrorism.
The increase of visitors to the Algarve means that there are more hotels and restaurants open and there is a livelier atmosphere in the larger towns, like Albufeira, Vilamoura, Lagos….
Weather in December
You can say unpredictable, but mild. It can be sunny during the day, and you can even sunbath, but it can also be rainy and windy!
Yes it is November, winter in the Algarve started! Less people, empty beaches, but good news, temperatures are still mild and very nice to explore the Algarve! Okay, I must admit, it can rain too, and when it rains it really rains! But after a few days we have the sun back, so nice. I love the winters in the Algarve! And with me many others, as the first of November Algarve Housing has a long list of arrivals with long stay winter tenants! But good news, there are still a few villas free, for you to book your winter holiday in the Algarve!
December is a wonderful time to visit the Algarve with many wonderful things to see and do. The beaches may not be quite as packed, and a dip on the ocean not quite as appealing, but heading to the Algarve during the winter months means the streets are less busy, the tourist attractions are quieter and you will be able to enjoy your holiday in te Algarve at a more leisurely pace. So what kind of activities and events can you expect to enjoy in the Algarve in December? Read on to find out about things to do in the Algarve in December!
Vila Real de Santo António Christmas Village, Aldeia de Natal
Each year this charming town transforms into a magical Christmas village which both adults and children will enjoy. With quaint market stalls selling homemade goods, an ice drink and live entertainment, if you are in the Algarve in December, this village is well worth a visit.
Christmas Market in Almancil
This will be held at the Jardim das Comunidades, Rua do Centro Comunitario. This annual event features some great entertainment, festive stalls and music from the Salvation Army Band. This year the market will be held on the 6th December, with a special visit from Father Christmas and all proceeds going to Associação Social e Cultural de Almancil (ASCA), which supports local people in need, you are sure to leave feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
Holiday Inn Hike, Armação de Pêra
Each year the Holiday Inn Algarve put on a fun itinerary of events to get you into the festive spirit. The Great Father Christmas Walk at Armação de Pêra takes place in December where people are invited to donate their walking shoes, pull on their Christmas jumpers and hike together. They usually host two swimming events too, so for the bravest among you it is a chance to take a dip and raise some money for a good cause. Donations are welcome and go to help buy shoes for children who are in care.
Zoo de Lagos, Barão de São João, Portugal
Every December the Zoo de Lagos turns into a winter wonderland. This is the perfect place to visit if you have children, who will be enthralled with the events and entertainment provided here, as well as the huge ice skating ring of course!
The Algarve is the perfect place to pick up charming and thoughtful Christmas gifts for your loved ones back home. There are some wonderful places to shop in the Algarve from massive department stores and designer boutiques to independent arts and crafts shops, to street markets and fairs. Traditional sweets such as marzipan sweets, and the wonderful Christmas cake ‘Bolo Rei’, which has a topping of candied fruit, along with a glass of mulled wine will give you the energy to shop until you drop!
Concerts and Music
Throughout December be sure to catch a Christmas concert in the Algarve. They are held all over the region, but usually the Philharmonic Association of Faro put on a good show, and the The Algarve Rock Choir, who teamed up with the Sâo Bras Sally Army last year are a real treat.
So if you are visiting the Algarve in December with these great activities you are sure to have fun and really get into the festive spirit!
The beautiful Algarve is a fantastic place to visit any time of year. If you fancy an out of season holiday you can take advantage of cheaper flights and a quieter time of year. A late autumn holiday can be just the thing to get you refreshed and relaxed in time for the party season, and despite the slightly cooler temperature, the Algarve in November still boasts a wonderful climate, with over 300 days of sunshine each year, so you are still likely to have some pleasant t-shirt weather (around 17-20 degrees in the shade), so do remember to pack a jumper or two to keep you warm during the slightly chillier evenings.
Algarve Housing like to inform you about what is there to do in the Algarve during November. Well there is still plenty going on, and with wonderful landscapes, cozy cafe’s and great places to eat and drink in the evening you are sure to find plenty to keep you entertained. In fact, one of the great benefits of coming to the Algarve in November is that the cafe’s and restaurants will be less busy, they may have shorter opening hours, but friendly staff will have plenty of time to give you a warm, personalized service, and will happily share their knowledge of the area, and give you fantastic tips on must-see places to visit, and things to do.
In November the Algarve starts to blossom with beautiful flora and fauna, and the cooler temperatures make this a perfect time of year to go on long walks, admiring the landscape, spotting wildlife, or heading down to the stunning stretches of coastline where you can laze on the beach, make sandcastles and take a dip in the beautiful aquamarine sea.
The wonderful festive markets begin to come to life at this time of year too, so when exploring the local towns you are sure to find these, with stalls selling local products such as arts and crafts and food, which make for lovely souvenirs to take home with you. While you are there make sure you grab a bag of warm roasted chestnuts which will put you in the festive holiday spirit! The 11th of November is in fact Dia da São Martinho – the day of St Martin, and if you happen to be in a busier town, or city such as Faro, the streets will come alive for the celebration where roast chestnuts are in abundance, music is played and lanterns are lit and people enjoy tasting the new year’s wine. Traditionally this day is also the last day of the 40 days fast known as Quadragesima Sancti Martin, therefore a fantastic opportunity to eat, drink and be merry with the local residents.
Some wonderful places to visit include the peaceful tranquility of the Barragem de Bravura reservoir where you can take walks through the magnificent national forest and also admire the quaint architecture of the local village of Barao de Sao Joao.
Further inland you can immerse yourself in nature even more by heading into the Sierra de Monchique, where you are sure to be impressed by the dramatic mountainous landscape. The town of Monchique itself is also charming with little cafe’s and shops to explore. While you are there why not take a little detour to the little hamlet of Caldas de Monchique, where the ancient spa waters are said to have fantastic healing properties.
November is a brilliant time of year to visit the Algarve, and with fewer crowds you can enjoy your holiday at a relaxed pace, away from the hustle and bustle and stresses of everyday life. With its temperate climate, activities and sightseeing is far more pleasant, so you can really get out there and see the best that the Algarve has to offer.