Algarve Christmas cheer

Algarve Christmas lights

December is a busy month wherever you are in the world, of course Algarve is no exception. Check out our choice of events this month.

Santa Bárbara, patroness of miners

Explore the exhibition “Santa Bárbara, Patroness of Miners and Other Arts” as part of the Mineiro Tour or during an exclusive visit to the collection.

Nestled in one of the galleries adjacent to the extraction shaft of the Loulé rock salt mine, spanning approximately 1,000m2, is one of the most extensive collections dedicated to Santa Bárbara.

This compilation comprises sculptures, paintings and religious artifacts associated with her followers, which is globally celebrated on December 4. The showcase pieces, originating from various countries and some dating back centuries, captivate with their impressive scale and diverse artistic techniques.

Enhancing this collection is an exhibition by the accomplished German artist Klaus Zylla. Through 12 vibrant paintings presented in a contemporary perspective, Zylla vividly portrays some of the tragic episodes from the life story of Santa Bárbara.

To delve into these narratives and others not only dedicated to Santa Bárbara but also exploring the mining industry, immerse yourself whilst visiting the rock salt mine in Loulé.

Whether you are on the Mineiro Tour or opting for an exclusive visit, this experience promises a fascinating journey through art, history, and cultural significance.

The exhibition is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm. Tickets are priced at €15, to book tickets click here.

Christmas festivities

Lagos, Portimão and Lagoa all have festive initiatives throughout December.


Lagos has a Christmas Village in the Praça do Infante where visitors can buy locally sourced Christmas-themed craft items, food and beverages.

For those shopping in Lagos itself, the council’s “Christmas in Local Commerce” initiative, in participating shops, offers the opportunity to take part in a prize drawer for one of 60 €100 vouchers.

There is street entertainment in the historic part of town with storytelling, Father Christmas (of course), theatre and choral shows, face painting, balloon modelling and much more.

For more information click here.


“A Christmas Dream” in Portimão will unfold over thirty-seven days, offering enchanting experiences and special moments in key locations across the city centre.

The festive atmosphere cannot fail to captivate both children and adults alike. Fancy gliding on the ice rink? Free of charge, the rink is open from 2pm to 7pm weekdays and on holidays and at the weekend from 11am to 7pm, in Praça da República.

How about taking a Christmas train ride? Pick it up at any stop along the route between Praça da República and Santas’ house in Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes. Daily from 3pm to 7pm, weekends and holidays 10am to 12pm and 3pm to 7pm.

With performances on the Christmas Stage, lively parades, a Christmas Market, visiting Santa’s house and factory and a lot more there will never be a dull moment in Portimão.

Click here for more information on what’s taking place and when.


Lagoa should not be missed with many festive events taking place.

From December 7 to 10, the Largo do Auditório Municipal Carlos do Carmo in Lagoa will be transformed into a festive hub for the Lagoa Christmas Fair, featuring over 20 exhibitors, a lively parade with more than 600 Santas, and a plethora of children’s entertainment.

Simultaneously, on December 8 to 10, Porches is hosting a Christmas Fair, boasting over 15 exhibitors showcasing regional products. Visitors can also enjoy a “Reindeer Walk” amidst beautiful Christmas lights and a variety of entertainment.

Moving on to the following weekend (December 15 to 17), Christmas Fairs open in Carvoeiro, near the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, and in Estômbar, within the municipal garden. Parchal will host a Christmas Fair on December 21 to 23.

Lagoa will again host the Living Statues, captivating spectators on December 15 (2.30pm to 5.30pm) and December 16 (10am to 1pm) along Rua 25 de Abril.

Adding to the festive calendar, the Carlos do Carmo Municipal Auditorium will host the Algarve Jazz Orchestra’s Christmas concert on December 16 at 7pm. Whilst the municipal library will hold various Christmas-themed performances, including the play “Luminous Elves” on December 9, from 10.30am for one hour.

Interested in a traditional Portuguese Christmas? Click here to find out.

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