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A Guide to Christmas in the Algarve

10 July 2015

Festive Traditions Meet Laid-Back Luxury in Portugal this Holiday Season

With seasonal highs reaching a pleasant 17°C, the Algarve is ideal for those looking for a white Christmas that’s more sandy beaches than snow covered windscreens. Though it may feel like the beginning of summer outside, you’ll soon be reminded that it’s the most wonderful time of the year when the sparkle of seasonal lights adorning palm trees and chic boutique windows catch your eye. A traditional Christmas in Portugal is centred around the 24th, when many families gather together to enjoy the ‘Consoada’ feast and exchange gifts. Villages and towns host events throughout the season to bring the whole community together in celebration, while the mid-December scramble for gifts is actually more of a relaxing jaunt with such a peaceful pace of life. Showcasing the many family-friendly experiences on offer, we’ve put together a guide to enjoying Christmas in the Algarve.

Seasonal Activities and Events

The Algarve offers a non-stop programme of events and attractions every December, from Christmas parades and festive concerts to handcrafted nativity scenes. There'll be fun guaranteed for the whole family with mesmerising ballet performances in Faro, a chance to show off skating skills on ice rinks and a winter wonderland at Zoo de Lagos.

Alongside traditional festive activities, an obvious advantage of an Algarvian Christmas is the beautiful weather and there are so many outdoor attractions to enjoy... whilst it goes without saying that golf facilities are outstanding, including Penina’s 18-hole Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course.

When it comes to New Year’s Eve, nothing quite beats watching fireworks glitter over the ports, rivers and seafronts of the Algarve. Just a 10 minute drive away from Penina, Portimão is famed for its display, while others head over to the marina at Lagos with a bottle of bubbles to see in the New Year. Faro and Albufeira are the ideal destinations for an all-night party atmosphere, with many bars, clubs and a New Year’s Eve concert on Praia dos Pescadores.

Christmas Shopping in the Algarve

For those in need of a little retail therapy or last minute gift buying, there are a variety of shopping centres that cater to all budgets and tastes. Located just 25 minutes away from Penina Hotel, AlgarveShopping is home to over 100 stores, so whether it’s a pretty charm at Pandora, leisurewear at Timberland or a new pair of shoes at Aldo, you’re bound to find the perfect purchase. In addition, just 4km away from the hotel, you can find the Acqua Portimão shopping centre.

Likewise, Forum Algarve in Faro offers 120 high street and higher end stores, with Zara and Lacoste sitting alongside Gant and Swarovski. Find the latest football boots at Adidas, ideal for a kick about on Penina’s FIFA sized pitch, or head to the many perfumeries and cosmetic stores for those glamorous finishing touches during party season.

For something a little more chic, Lewis Andrew Lifestyle Complex offers contemporary and on-trend boutiques that include giftware brands Caroline Gardner and East of India. Jellycat soft toys and Walker Books will keep the little ones occupied for hours, while tech and music fans can browse products from the likes of Bose, Marshall and Skull Candy.

Alternatively, street markets and Christmas fairs will offer more traditional, handcrafted gifts and an array of local produce. With twinkling lights, toe-tapping music and a sip or two of mulled wine, you’ll be in the festive spirit in no time at all. Tempting treats will include pastries and marzipan sweets, alongside the traditional Christmas cake ‘Bolo Rei’, topped with delicious candied fruit.

Christmas and New Year at Penina Hotel & Golf Resort

With a full calendar of entertainment, scenic surroundings and shopping experiences to suit every taste, it’s easy to see why the Algarve has become a dream Christmas destination for many. Located just 40 minutes from Faro airport and nestled in 360 acres, Penina Hotel & Golf Resort will deliver a luxurious and ultimately relaxing escape this festive season. With a delicious array of seasonal gourmet menus, a world-class Kids Club and a full range of five-star leisure facilities, including three exceptional golf courses, be sure to book your seasonal stay early with us!


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Join us for a five-star getaway in the Algarve, filled with great golf, unrivalled gastronomy, exciting evening entertainment and a luxury stay at Penina Hotel & Golf Resort: all included with our selection of exclusive 3 or 7 night golf packages.

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Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course at Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

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Po Box 146, Penina, Portimao, 8501-952, Portugal, Tel: +351 282 420 200 , Fax: +351 282 420 300 ,