Christmas & New Years in the Algarve

Christmas in the Algarve

If you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas, then do try the Algarve! It is nowhere near as commercialised as the UK and things don’t really start happening until the end of November. Christmas decorations go up in the towns and villages and the palm trees along the water front promenades sparkle with Christmas lights.

The main resorts normally have various events throughout the Christmas season which are added to our events calendars as soon as we receive them (normally about the 3rd week in November). One year Faro even laid on some artificial snow which certainly had the children very excited as they certainly won’t see the real thing!

A lot of the shops have their usual range of goods in, rather than gift packs bought in just for Christmas. Christmas trees, decorations and lights, lovely scented candles are all part of Christmas, but one thing that is noticeably different is the sending (or in this case, not sending!) of Christmas cards. Cards tend to be more for the immediate family, not sent in bulk! So the cards in the shops are, on the whole, rather expensive as they are individually wrapped and don’t come in boxes. We did see a few boxes in some shops, but they were still quite expensive and not much choice. Maybe the Portuguese have got the right idea?

During October supermarket shelves start to fill up with very tempting boxes of sweets and chocolates and the very Algarvean boxes of beautifully decorated marzipan sweets, little fig cakes in various shapes and all sorts of glacé fruits, dried fruits and nuts. Come mid-November there are delicious cakes decorated with glacé fruits and nuts, added to the always tempting displays of mouth-watering cakes and pastries that the Algarve is so well known for.

All the traditional foods for Christmas are available – turkey, cranberry sauce, bread sauce (if you don’t make your own!), stuffing mixes and chestnuts aplenty. Turkeys are usually fresh and in all the supermarkets and butchers; the extras we found in some of the main supermarkets, like Intermarché, but also in some of the smaller supermarkets like the Ali-Supers. You don’t see Christmas puddings, mince pies or traditional fruit Christmas cakes everywhere, but there are lots of “English” food shops around that you can find them in.

If anyone is wondering about sprouts and parsnips, sprouts are available, though funnily enough we did struggle to find them for Christmas, but there were plenty around afterwards! Parsnips are more difficult – we have spotted them occasionally but don’t always manage to get them for Christmas. Never mind!

We have been to both of the Algarve’s big shopping centres at Christmas now (Forum Algarve in Faro and Algarve Shopping in Guia) and although at first it felt a little strange shopping on Christmas Eve in the sunshine, we soon got used to it! There’s nothing more enjoyable than pottering around the decorated shops, listening to Christmas music and seeing smiles from fellow shoppers and shop assistants! People looked like they had all the time in the world to get their last gifts – rather different than the frustrating queues of previous years with people fighting over the last turkey or pack of Brussels sprouts! And we’ve never had so much help in choosing what to buy from shop assistants! On a practical note, supermarkets extend their opening hours from the beginning of November, so most are open all day 7 days a week including bank holidays; which probably helps to alleviate any chaos (although we’re not convinced that there would be any anyway!).

Christmas celebrations in Portugal traditionally start on December 8th, (the day of “Our Lady of the Conception”) and end on twelfth night. Christmas itself is celebrated on Christmas Eve night with a big family meal, traditionally of “bacalhau” (salted cod fish), and lots of delicious savoury and sweet nibbles. (“Fatias Douradas” – slices of bread dipped in a milk, sugar and egg mix, fried and dusted with cinnamon are one of the favourite Christmas nibbles in Algarvean homes along with various almond sweets.) Presents are opened at midnight and then Christmas Day is for relaxing with family and friends.

New Year in the Algarve

When it comes to deciding what to do at New Year, do you struggle to think what to do? New Year celebrations can become very expensive, with buying bar or club tickets and booking taxis, so why not think about getting more for your money and having a New Year with a difference?

We usually watch the firework displays on the river front in Lagos and (as long as it’s a clear night) get a view of Portimão’s display as well! Albufeira are well known for their open air concert at Fisherman’s Beach (Praia dos Pescadores) on New Year’s Eve and all the bars and clubs across the Algarve stay open until the early hours for the celebrations to continue.



Calisto & Destino Carvoeiro Rentals

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The Calisto & Destino Carvoeiro Rentals, located in the charming resort of Carvoeiro, areBedroom (A) a perfect choice for families and those looking for a relaxed base for their holiday. The resort centre is a tranquil, former fishing village with bars, cafes and shops to visit, as well as plenty of quiet coves to explore. The apartment complex offers a wide range of nearby facilities and dining options, and if you need to relax, the large rooftop terrace and surrounding area is the perfect spot to laze in the sun.


Welcome to Carvoeiro…

Carvoeiro EastviewCarvoeiro is a tranquil part of the Algarve that stems from humble beginnings as a small fishing village. It has a small, secluded, sandy beach where life spins round the cities’ main square.

Carvoeiro is home to a great natural harbour and remains sheltered from the winds due to its location between rocky headlands and thus ideal to spend your Algarve sun holidays.

The close beach is not big, but extraordinarily clean and beautiful, with neighbouring beaches within easy Algar Secowalking distance. The resort has maintained plenty of its character from when it was only a tiny fishing town and this makes it perfect for families looking to relax on a golden beach.

There is quite a lot to do in the region, with one highlight surely being the astonishing rock formations around the shore that can be admired from boat trips round the Algar Seco.

Carvoeiro Beach 4The nightlife here is pretty lively, as is the shopping district with lots of stores providing quaint products – perfect for mementos, or as gifts to family and friends.

Topped off by some exquisite restaurants that cater to all palates Carvoeiro is a perfect place for those who want to enjoy all the Algarve has to supply in a more tranquil, peaceful setting.

Holidays to Carvoeiro

Carvoeiro West A.Carvoeiro is a brilliantly positioned resort on Portugal’s Algarve coastline that’s great for relaxed breaks with the kids, as a couple, or just with friends. It’s not the largest or busiest resort in the area, but if you want to enjoy a spectacular coastal spot, with all the facilities you need for an amazing break, holidays in Carvoeiro are perfect.

Once a small, traditional fishing village, Carvoeiro has retained much of its original charm, and the sheltered sandy bay is beautifully situated between dramatic cliff Carvoeiro beachfaces jutting out into the water. Fishing boats still bob about on the water, and while the town centre does have shops, bars and restaurants for holidaymakers to enjoy, tourism hasn’t spoilt the natural landscape, with fantastic walking trails to be found.

Book your break to this charming Algarve holiday spot and look forward to a laidback escape within easy reach of the area’s attractions.

Simply Beautiful Carvoeiro

Beach, Carvoeiro, Algarve, PortugalPicturesque with a delightful sandy beach, Carvoeiro is becoming ever more popular, not unsurprisingly so, considering its many charms. Still a quaint fishing village with a working fleet, the main beach and little nearby coves benefit from the shelter of high surrounding cliffs, creating a picture-imagespostcard Algarvian setting. Within the resort, you’ll find a healthy selection of cafés, bars and restaurants and a handful of shops for hunting down souvenirs. Great for families and couples who want to relax in a pretty location. Great bases for exploring are tranquil and unhurried Salicos, whilst Sesmarias, another tranquil location, is a friendly, pretty picturesque fishing village.

Easter break holiday at Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino Carvoeiro

Escape this year for Easter to the Algarve and enjoy highs of 23˚C at Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino Carvoeiro Village Resort, a holiday for the whole family.


Easter is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to escape with the family. Whether you’re looking for a short Easter break or a week’s holiday Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino Carvoeiro could be your ideal resort. Positioned right next to the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and bordered by Portugal’s finest beaches enjoy the tranquility the area offers alongside the many on site and off site activities.


Our two Boutique apartments feature a range of different accommodations from a unique and luxurious 650 sq. ft. T0 / studio apartment to a luxurious one bedroom 1000 sq. ft. apartment with balcony facing east the width of the apartment. Each come with a kitchen, lounge and can cater for a variety of size groups and families.

If you’re looking for something extra special why not stay at Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino for a unique and luxurious way to enjoy a family holiday.


Local Attractions

There are plenty of things to do and see in the local area. Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino Carvoeiro is the perfect base for visiting and experiencing everything the Algarve has to offer. From safaris to water parks to shopping centers and much more. Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino is located in the heart of Carvoeiro Village which is a thriving tourist orientated town with plenty to offer including restaurants, bars and shops with handmade crafts and goods. Take a stroll on the boardwalk in Carver overlooking the Atlantic that leads from the beautiful little church of Carvoeiro to the spectacular rock formations of “Algar Seco”. A more challenging walk is the famous “7 hanging valley walk” starting in Carvoeiro up to the famous “Praia da Marinha”, along cliff paths with the most spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean.


Praia do Carvoeiro is also known as the ‘town beach’ and it is a small sweep of sand sheltered by cliffs on either side. There are shower and toilet facilities and it is well served by bars and restaurants on the paved area just behind the entrance. Access is easy and level with the paving although there is only a short boarded walkway. There is car parking just behind the beach, but spaces are limited and it can get quite busy in summer, so you may need to park a little further away and walk down.

There are several absolutely stunning and family friendly beaches available so you can spend the day relaxing on white sandy shores surrounded by the incredible background of towering stone cliffs and sparking, crystal clear waters. If you’re looking for something more adventurous there are plenty of other shores to explore that are a little less accessible if you’re looking for an adventure.


The Algarve prides itself on its selection of championship golf courses. There are plenty to choose from in the area and close by to the resort. Find out more about the local courses.

Book your holiday today and join us at Studio Calisto & Apartment Destino Carvoeiro for your Easter getaway!



Carnival 2The Algarve Carnival is a popular event in the region, which is held each year to celebrate Mardi Gras. This big festival attracts large crowds from around the world who are keen to witness the large Brazilian-style carnival, which has been running for well over 100 years. The main fiesta is in Loule, where the carnival originates, but there are parties held throughout the region during these dates. It dates back to the celebration of the beginning of Lent and `Carnevale` literally translates as `to put away the meat`. Restaurants in the area serve plenty of seafood and other local delicacies and the streets are decorated in colourful fashion and animated floats parade through the streets to Carnival 3Carnival 5encourage the party atmosphere. Most of the streets in the Algarve will be filled with singing and laughter, with plenty of live music and dancing. Many of the boat owners even decorate their boats in lively fashion to join in the region’s celebrations.