Enjoy a brilliant Christmas getaway in the Algarve
There’s still time to book your Christmas getaway in the Algarve this year and enjoy golden sands, winter sunshine and a luxury break, the perfect way to end the year.
Imagine waking up to blue skies and temperatures of up to 18˚C instead of grey skies and drizzle. It’s the perfect climate for a game of golf – and in the Algarve you’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to courses. Or how about a game of tennis, a walk on the beach, lunch outdoors in the sun, a dip in the pool, aperitifs on a terrace under the stars…
Christmas in Portugal
Typically presents are opened on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day in Portugal. Christmas trees are common and nativity scenes are treasured, in fact the world’s largest nativity scene can be seen in Santa Maria da Feira, south of Porto, it covers around 3.5 hectares and features more than 7,000 figures.
There’s a lively atmosphere in the Algarve at this time of the year and its become more and more popular with tourists with more hotels and restaurants remaining open all year round. Though it’s not bikini on the beach weather, typically there are ten days of rain in December, the climate is mild enough for T-shirts in the day, jumpers or jackets in the evening.
Fabulous food plays a starring role at Christmas in the Algarve. Although salted cod fish is a traditional favourite for the Christmas meal in Portugal, turkey is quite usual now. If you’re in the Algarve at Christmas you’ll be able to buy all the ingredients for a traditional roast Christmas dinner in supermarkets and butchers.
Enjoy the freshest seafood – “caldeirada” is a local favourite, seafood steamed in a traditional pan. Tempt your taste buds with olives, cheese and bread, and delicious deserts including the famous Dom Rodrigo, an almond delight. Local wines are starting to get noticed as in the last few years, production has undergone an evolution – fine red, white and rosé wines can be tasted and bought at the vineyards as well as the local shops.
What to do in the Algarve at Christmas
Boxing Day isn’t celebrated in Portugal and is the perfect day to get a round of golf in! With 42 nine or 18-hole, all year round courses, most designed by renowned architects, suitable for all levels and budgets, some of them in the top 100 best courses in the world, golfers will have a ball.
Take a wander, cycle or boat ride in the Ria Formosa Nature park, a unique lagoon system. There is also the Costa Vicentina Natural Park with its steep cliffs, beaches, sand dunes and mountains. And if you’ve a head for heights, the Monchique Mountains are the highest point in the Algarve and home to lots of wildlife.
Enjoy a stroll on a sandy beach, perfect for blowing the winter blues away – there are more than 100 beaches in the Algarve.
Explore historic towns and cities, Lagos for instance is a fascinating gem which dates to the Roman period. With many architectural features, cultural venues, restaurants and shops galore, it makes for a superb trip. Albufeira is the most lively of the towns in the Christmas season and especially on New Year’s Eve when there are festivities galore.
Indulge in a spa session – you’re on holiday after all. At Monchique there are wonderful natural thermal treatments on offer and many of the hotels have spa facilities.
Relax at your gorgeous Algarve Villa
At Palmer & Parker we specialise in the very best of the best of holiday rentals in the area. Luxurious and gorgeous, all our villas have pools, maid service, fabulous facilities, and are decorated to the highest standards. Some villas even provide cooks so that you can really take time out to indulge.
Take a look at our wonderful selection of magnificent holiday villas in the Algarve and if you would like more information, recommendations and help – please don’t hesitate to contact us, we want your holiday to be the best it can possibly be.
Photos featured 1: Villa Timosa, Vale do Lobo Close, on the Ocean Golf Course, near the beach , restaurants and facilities. 2: Villa Driftwood, Quinta do Lago with a gym, sauna, cinema room and everything to keep the whole family entertained. 3 Villa Talitha, Vilamoura, bordering the Vila Sol Golf Course with views out to 24th Hole. 4. Villa 22, Vilamoura, a brand-new luxury-built villa on the world-famous Victoria Golf Course.