Looking for the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal? The month of December makes everyone more excited about the holidays. However, Christmas in Portugal is considered truly spectacular!
The wonder of Christmas in Portugal should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. The celebrations begin early and go on for around two months. Cities throughout Portugal are decorated for Christmas in anticipation of another stunning Christmas Eve. In addition, it’s hard to avoid hearing Christmas music in the cities and there is a tonne of festive shows to amuse and put you in the festive mood.
Portugal’s Christmas is particularly unique since local traditions vary from city to city. The Portuguese have a lot to offer because they value tradition and always make an attempt to keep it, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised. However, choose your Christmas spot keeping Portugal’s Christmas weather in mind.
Continue reading to learn which is the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal for you!
Christmas Customs in Portugal
Portugal, a country from a bygone period, is one of the best instances of untouched natural beauty. It is a nation with a rich history and culture that teaches how to celebrate Christmas in a unique yet traditional manner, which is a unique experience in itself. If you’re interested in the options and a traditional way to spend Christmas, book your Christmas in Portugal for 2022 as soon as you can.
· Attending Missa do Galo:
Portugal’s “Missa do Galo” or “Rooster’s Mass” features the rooster, which serves as the country’s national symbol. The event takes place in all Catholic churches around the nation on 24th December at midnight. A legend that inspired the phrase “midnight mass” claims that a rooster was around at the time of baby Jesus’ birth. In the church during the event, young and old people congregate to worship this sacred occasion.
· Create a Presépio:
Making a Presépio with kids is a popular Christmas tradition in Portugal. Many homes have a history of simulating Jesus’ birth. The six main protagonists in The Presepio are Baby Jesus, Maria, José, and the three Wise Men. You will surely see them everywhere in a variety of shapes and colours because Portuguese people adore them. It is customary for Portuguese people to start by decorating and exhibiting their own Presépios in their homes. The tradition is passed down from generation to generation.
· Christmas Trees:
The custom of adorning Christmas trees initially appeared in the 19th century. It was initiated by Dom Ferdinand II, the benign consort who brought the practice from his native, Germany. The story goes that he dressed as Santa Claus and gave his kids presents on Christmas Eve.
However, the tradition has survived and there is always a large Christmas tree in the centre of every city. However, the majority of them are usually decorations disguised as trees.
· Table Decorations:
You should utilise azevinho, often known as holly, to decorate your Christmas table. Typically, this bush blooms with lovely red flowers throughout the winter. The Portuguese interpret it to mean defence, love and hope. If you want to experience love, protection and miracles, get one on Christmas!
· Fire Pits:
The northern and central parts of the nation are where Portugal is thought to have its roots. Because of this, the region still follows centuries-old traditions that date back to the fifteenth century. One of these traditions, while a touch excessive, is still practised. When everyone gathers to wish one another a Merry Christmas, they typically build a big bonfire in the plaza of the church or city centre. Cities, where this tradition is practised, include Cabeça, Bragança, Guarda, and Castelo Branco.
· The Christmas Table
Another tradition that is widespread in Portugal is the Christmas table, where family members gather to share simple yet tasty dishes. Every family has a special dessert table that is used over a number of days when Christmas guests come and gifts are exchanged. Portuguese rice pudding and Arroz doce are two common Portugal Christmas food.
Best Places To Spend Christmas In Portugal
Let’s have a look at some of the wonderful locations in Portugal that are popular for offering an amazing Portugal Christmas holidays experience. You should go to one of these places if you’re planning to spend Christmas in Portugal.
Christmas in Algarve
Algarve is undoubtedly the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal. You will like Algarve around Christmas if you are a sun worshipper. Winter weather in the Algarve is typically sunny and mild. The summer months are the ideal time to enjoy the weather without the crowds.
With all that sun, celebrating Christmas in Algarve Portugal in December seems fun. Also, there are tonnes of traditions to enjoy. For instance, Albufeira has a number of Christmas concerts on Christmas Day, or, you can choose to spend your Christmas in Faro watching ballet for a more leisurely occasion. Christmas in Faro is typically known for its family-friendly activities that take place right in the middle of the city. Additionally, the Lagos Zoo, which is about one hour away from Faro, hosts holiday performances.
MGM Muthu Hotels provide the best stay in Albuferia in the most stunning locations. You can book any one of the six luxury hotels that give direct access to the beautiful beaches.
Christmas in Madeira
The celebration in Madeira around Christmas and New Year is fantastic. Madeiran people are renowned for their joyous dispositions and adoration of Portuguese culture.
Typically, people congregate at Funchal’s Mercado dos Lavradores to purchase food and gifts on Christmas Eve. However, if you want to get into the holiday spirit, head to the city centre and attend performances with carolers. The masses begin at precisely midnight and can be seen in any of the numerous churches that dot the island.
Madeira is the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal with numerous nativity scenes, traditional dances and singing. If you want to discover the island, spending Christmas in Madeira is a terrific idea. The climate is extremely agreeable and ideal for hiking.
You can have the best Christmas holiday experience with MGM Muthu Raga Madeira Hotel which is just a short distance away from the city centre and give guests direct access to Lido swimming pools and beach. The hotel is equipped with world-class facilities to give guests a relaxing holiday experience.
Christmas in Porto
Porto, Portugal’s largest city in the north, is recognised as being the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal. This city is particularly enthusiastic about observing Christmas to the fullest. Because of this, a massive Christmas tree measuring 30 metres high is always brought to Avenida dos Aliados, in front of the city hall.
But there are many more enjoyable pastimes as well, such as ice skating. The skating rink at the Rotunda da Boavista is frequently crowded with skaters of all ages. Therefore, be ready for some races!
But, if you’d rather indulge in some retail therapy, you can head straight to some of Porto’s biggest Christmas markets, such as the Porto Handicraft and Trade Fair, the Urban Market at Praça da Liberdade or Ateneu Comercial do Porto. There are numerous ways to celebrate Christmas in Porto.
Christmas in Lisbon
Lisbon is magical and amazingly beautiful over the holidays and the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal! A lot of fun activities can be found throughout the holiday season at Christmas in Lisbon, Portugal. You can choose to attend Wonderland Lisbon, which is Lisbon’s biggest holiday festival. It is located in Marques de Pombal’s Parque Eduardo VII and is renowned for having an ice skating rink. Additionally, there are many family-friendly activities available, as well as restaurants, bars and gift stores.
You can visit the biggest Portugal Christmas markets, like the Rossio Square Christmas market next to Bairro Alto if you’d want to explore a more cultural side of Lisbon during the holiday season. The best solution is usually to purchase handmade, genuine goods. The Campo Pequeno Christmas Market in Lisbon, which is renowned for featuring numerous original Portuguese exhibitions of clothing, jewellery, toys and other items, operates similarly.
Christmas in Braga
Christmas Eve in Braga may be a spectacular occasion, particularly if you choose to go to Bom Jesus do Monte. This holy location can undoubtedly make your Christmas Eve unforgettable. It is also the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal.
Braga has long been renowned for the significance of its religion. It has hosted many Christians and served as a significant pilgrimage point. As Portugal’s religious capital, Braga is one of the sites where traditions are carefully preserved.
The Presépio de Priscos, often known as the living nativity scene, is one of the great events in Braga. The Presépio de Priscos, the largest nativity scene in all of Europe, requires more than 600 actors to perform. The purpose of the celebration is to portray the holy moment of Jesus Christ’s birth and to amplify the sense of community among participants.
You might choose the so-called Bananeiro if you prefer to party. It’s all about the bananas and muscatel wine at this event. Before the Christmas meal, it happens on Christmas Eve in Rua do Souto. After partaking in wine, bananas and local festivities, you can proceed to your Christmas party.
Christmas in Gerês
If you value tranquilly and nature, then Geres is unquestionably the perfect location for you.
You can go swimming in the city’s hot springs or go hiking in Geres National Park. You can also visit Geres’ water park and rent a boat to continue your exploration.
Christmas in Serra da Estrela
Another great way to spend Christmas Eve is in Serra da Estrela. Skiing is popular at the Parque Natural da Serra do Estrela.
Therefore, you can go to Serra da Estrela Natural Park if you’re looking for some quiet time to practise your favourite winter activities. Additionally, you can hike on the designated hiking routes or visit the region’s landmarks like Covo dos Conchos.
Christmas in Azores
One of the most tranquil, rejuvenating and gratifying things you can do is spend Christmas Eve on these evergreen islands. The more rural Portugal becomes, the more traditional it becomes.
The Portuguese Christmas customs have had a significant influence on these tiny islands in the midst of the Atlantic. However, the majority of it has a few minor variations. In the “Menino Mija” tradition, residents in the Azores visit each household and request the best produce they have to offer. This custom dates back to the 18th or 19th century and serves the wonderful aim of bringing people together. This custom occurs after Christmas Eve but is a lovely way to celebrate Christmas.
Other than that, you can go to Furnas to see the biggest open-air nativity display. Additionally, you have the option of taking a bath in Furnas City’s hot springs.
Now, that you know about the popular destinations to celebrate Christmas, it’s time to book your stay at MGM Muthu Hotels, Portugal. Book your stay and avail exciting offers.