A Guide To Visiting The Algarve at Christmas

The Algarve is both an inexpensive and enjoyable winter getaway location and, if you’re planning on getting away for the Christmas holidays, it is the perfect location. Whilst the Algarve should never be considered as one of the hottest winter sun destinations, with temperatures averaging around 17ºc, it is ideal for those who are looking for white sandy beaches rather than white snowy fields. 

It may feel like the beginning of summer outside, but when visiting the Algarve at Christmas, you’ll soon be reminded that it is the most wonderful time of the year, with sparkling Christmas lights covering the palm trees. If you are planning on visiting the Algarve at Christmas, here is a guide to the festive traditions, top tips and typical weather forecasts. 

Festive Activities

There are non-stop activities and events around the Algarve at Christmas time, from festive concerts and parades to quaint nativity scene. There are fun things to do for all the family, with Christmas ballet shows in Faro and a fun Christmas event at Lagos Zoo where you can walk around the winter wonderland, visit Santa’s house and see over 150 different species of animal. 

As well as festive activities around the region, you could also make the most of the warm weather. As tourist numbers are much lower at this time of year, the golf courses, tennis courts and other outdoor attractions tend to be quieter, meaning you can easily reserve a morning tee-off time at the coveted Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course.

What’s The Weather Like On The Algarve at Christmas?

The weather on the Algarve at Christmas is, best put, mild but unpredictable. The maximum day time temperature averages between 16-18ºc, which means that it is still warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, but in the evenings it can drop to 5-10ºc, so a jacket or jumper is needed. 

The Algarve shouldn’t be considered as a winter sun destination, but if you want to escape the dreary winter weather in the UK, it is a much-welcome change. In December, there is just as much of a chance of a bright sunny day as an overcast or drizzly day, but there are many ways to make the most of this. Here at The Real Algarve, we offer a wide range of concierge services which can be used when the weather takes a turn, from heated pool services, private dining and wine tasting experiences or even bike hire, no matter what you have in mind, we’re here to help. 

Traditional Portuguese Christmas Celebrations

Portugal has its own Christmas celebrations. A traditional Christmas in Portugal usually takes place on the 24th December, which is the day where many families and friends get together to enjoy the “Consoada” feast, where they exchange gifts and eat food such as Bacalhau (codfish) and Bolo Rei, which is the Portuguese version of a Christmas cake. 

These celebrations usually finish late in the evening and are followed by a midnight Mass service. Towns and villages around Portugal host events in order to bring the community together as a celebration, but Christmas Day itself is very low-key, much like our Boxing Day and, as it is a national holiday, many bars and restaurants will likely be closed. If you are visiting the Algarve at Christmas, then you may want to consider cooking your own lunch in the comfort of your villas and spending the day relaxing, or finding a restaurant which is open and making a reservation. 

Sunset at the beach on the Algarve at Christmas