What Can Algarve Residents Expect At Xmas Time
Thinking of relocating to the Algarve? Once you have found your ideal place in the sun you will be wanting to know how the festive Christmas period is spent by locals and ex-pats alike.
The first thing we should point out is that although the summer is blessed with glorious sunshine, most years last from April to the end of November! The winter months can be a little chilly in the morning and night. However, during the day, the temperature reaches a warm 16-20 degrees.
So not sunbathing weather but much warmer than the UK! It can also rain for a few weeks and off but overall it is quite pleasant. A walk down the empty beaches in a t-shirt and shorts with the sun shining on your face on Christmas Day is not out of the question!
December rings the holiday period for the Portuguese tourist trade and many hotels, bars and restaurants close down until the start or during the festive season. So the whole of the Algarve becomes very quiet which for residents brings a welcome relief from the crowded beaches and resorts.
One thing I appreciate about living in the Algarve is that Christmas is not forced down your throat as soon as Halloween is over as in the UK. The festive decorations start at the beginning of December when the lights and trees appear in the shopping centres and homes.
Christmas is celebrated on Xmas eve in the evening of the 24th December by the locals, when families and friends get together to pass the evening giving presents and enjoying a late meal and drinks. The chimes at midnight ring in the Christmas cheer and the parties can go on until late the next morning.
Christmas Day is spent with close family eating the leftovers from the night before and relaxing after the festivities from the night before.
Again Boxing Day is spent with family and friends, normally out to a local restaurant or bar. Quite a few restaurants and bars reopen for the festive period and the region welcomes plenty of overseas visitors looking to spend Xmas in warmer climes.
News year can get very busy, not only with tourists but folk from Lisbon and further north, especially in the towns that put on entertainment such as fireworks and live music for the celebrating crowds. Albufeira is the main attraction for revellers.
Leading up to and over the Christmas period there are plenty of market fairs and the shopping centres come alive with bargain present hunters. All of the shopping centres put on a great Xmas light show with added extras such as a free Father Christmas Grotto and a free ice rink for the kids.
One problem with living in the Algarve is the distance we put between ourselves and our families, however, I have found living in the Algarve we have none stop visitors the whole year round, especially at Christmas and new year!
Deciding to make the Algarve your new home does come with some disadvantages at times however, on the whole, it is a great place to live and even the Christmas period brings unexpected visitors and surprises.
I have lived in the Algarve for over 20 years and love the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others.
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