Christmas time and the New Year in Portugal is coming and with it a lot of fun, entertainment and conviviality. Millions of people plan their Christmas and New Year’s holidays around the world and, of course, Portugal is without a doubt one of the best destinations!
In this article you will have the opportunity to discover the best tourist destinations for New Year’s Eve in Portugal. From North to South of Portugal and islands, a lot of excitement awaits the Portuguese and visitors from other countries in the highly anticipated New Year’s Eve.
Réveillon in Porto
The first destination that I will talk about in this article is the magnificent city of Porto. This city, with centuries of existence and a unique charm, offers people various reasons to visit it, and New Year’s holidays are no exception!
One of the most crowded places this time of the year is, definitely, Avenida dos Aliados. Here, thousands of people gather to say goodbye to the year that is coming to an end and welcome the New Year.
After dining at one of several restaurants in the city, the portuenses and tourists gather in Avenida dos Aliados to enjoy live concerts and the long-awaited moment when the clock strikes midnight. At this point, everyone is dazzled by one of the best fireworks in the region and in the country.
For several minutes the skies of the city and, in particular, of the historic centre, are illuminated with different colours in a unique and wonderful show that will amaze everyone there.
After this wonderful moment, there are several places where people can go to enjoy what’s left of a long night. Many are those who go to the riverbanks, to the Ribeira of Porto or Gaia, and spend joyful moments there in the company of family or friends.
But other places also stand out such as Galerias Paris or nightclubs at various points in the city, taking advantage of the fact that the subway will be working all night.
Do you want to take a guided gastronomic tour while visiting the wonders of the historic centre of Porto? See below my suggestions!
Beginning in the morning, this tour (affiliate link) will take you to the most authentic and genuine places where you can enjoy the best snacks and more. In this 3-hour adventure, you will have one of the best gastronomic experiences with a unique combination of saltiness and sweetness. Try the pastel de nata, the bifana, a Portuguese beer and much more!
Unlike the previous activity, this experience (affiliate link) starts in the late afternoon and goes through five different places throughout 3 hours of activity. Among other things, taste the famous and delicious Port wine, try different cheeses and sausages and enjoy the refinement of a beautiful Verde wine. In the company of an experienced guide, this will undoubtedly be a memorable experience.
I also have to talk about Douro river cruises that are offered by some companies of this sector.
By this time, companies like Douro Azul offer package tours of two or three days where people can discover this amazing river and part of Douro Wine Region and, at the same time, they are presented with live shows and Port wine tasting. However, this is a package tour that is not affordable for many, costing at least 560 € per person.
New Year’s Eve in Lisbon
Of course I couldn’t leave out the New Year holidays in the Portuguese capital. Lisbon offers many and varied reasons for it to be considered as one of the preferred destinations for the Portuguese and foreign visitors.
This is a very special occasion and, in addition to the long-awaited New Year’s Eve and before they welcome the New Year in Portugal, visitors can spend their holidays exploring the historic quarters that, by now, are all decorated with Christmas motifs.
In quarters such as Alfama, Graça, S. Vicente and Mouraria, you’ll feel the warmth of the people living in this cosmopolitan city.
Other points of interest exist throughout the city such as the Christmas Village in Parque Eduardo VII which has been on display every year and is one of the places of choice for everyone and, in particular, for kids of all ages.
The long-awaited and last moments of the year are lived in several places in the city but the one that stands out is Praça do Comércio, also known as Terreiro do Paço.
In this wonderful square, flanked by Tagus River, you’ll have live concerts and also the thing that can’t miss at this point, spectacular fireworks that will make the delights of thousands of visitors who descended to downtown, the Baixa Pombalina.
But not only outdoor activities mark the final hours of the year in the Portuguese capital. If you want to and can, there are several places that also offer unique experiences. Look at the examples of several hotels like Pestana CR7, very close to the aforementioned Terreiro do Paço.
If you want to spend a different night, you can also enjoy one of the packages offered by both Casino Estoril and Casino Lisboa. Here you can enjoy a fantastic dinner and watch one of the shows scheduled for this special occasion – definitely, a unique experience!
Information: book this guided tour (affiliate link) and venture into a unique 8-hour experience in which you can discover Lisbon. Start with a visit to the beautiful castle Castelo de São Jorge to enjoy views of the historic city centre. Then, visit the Alfama quarter and the beautiful narrow streets to enjoy a lunch next to Tagus river.
To make this activity (affiliate link) even more special, know that you will have the opportunity to board a boat to admire the capital from a unique perspective, from the waters of Tagus river. An activity you must try!
Happiness and Fun in Algarve
One of the destinations of choice on holidays for the Portuguese is undoubtedly the Algarve. It’s not just in the Easter and summer holidays that this happens, but also on New Year’s Eve.
By this time, the hotels offer a variety of packages for the New Year – for all tastes and wallets. The most requested areas are Albufeira, Faro, Lagos, Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira and Quarteira. In these Algarve cities and towns, people can enjoy an excellent dinner with family or friends.
After dinner, people gather in beaches such as Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira which is one of the most popular. There, everyone is preparing for the light and sound shows – live concerts and, of course, the fireworks at midnight.
But it is not only in hotels that people can enjoy New Year’s Eve. Also the casinos of Vilamoura, Monte Gordo and Hotel Algarve Casino offer many reasons to enjoy the last night of the year.
From 130 € per person and up to 180 € (depending on the casino), visitors can enjoy a welcome drink, appetisers, soup, fish and meat dishes, dessert, after-dinner drinks, coffee, supper and breakfast.
Over dinner and throughout the night there are plenty of live shows with bands like the Replika Band, Full House Band and Night Joker Band.
For more information about the program of these casinos and on how to welcome the New Year in Portugal, you can check Solverde Casino & Hotels webpage and look for one of the Algarve casinos.
Information: do you like photography and admire the wonders of the night? If that’s the case, book a night photo tour (affiliate link) with an experienced guide, good music and lots of entertainment. Being one of the ideal activities for couples, families or friends, keep this special memory of your stay in Algarve. Try it!
Leave from Lagos in a vintage Volkswagen van in a trip to the western Algarve heritage (affiliate link). On this 4-hour tour you will have the opportunity to discover some less-known but not less interesting points of interest such as the menhirs of Padrão and Milrei, the Promontory of Sagres, the Cape of São Vicente and the dinosaur footprints at the beach Praia da Salema.
Amazing Cruises in Madeira
Finally, one of the Portuguese destinations that has been in greater evidence over the years is the island of Madeira.
Before the long-awaited New Year, Portuguese and foreign visitors should take the opportunity to visit the most beautiful places the island has to offer.
If you’re visiting the “Pearl of the Atlantic”, you should take the opportunity and visit places like Pico Ruivo, Pico do Areeiro, the village of Câmara de Lobos and, why not, go for a stroll in one of several existing walking trails on the island.
In addition to these beautiful locations, you can’t forget to visit the capital of the island – Funchal. Here, you’ll find several interesting places like the fabulous Monte Palace Tropical Garden, the CR7 Museum and the beautiful historic centre.
The long-awaited night arrives and, as previously mentioned in other places, people take the opportunity to have a family dinner in one of several hotels on the island.
Close to midnight, everyone wants to be outdoors to watch one of the biggest and most impressive fireworks show in the world. In fact, the fireworks in Madeira were recognised by Guinness World Records as the biggest fireworks show in the world.
The reason why this happens is because the fireworks are launched from more than 50 different places throughout the island. It’s no wonder why there are several cruises that head to Madeira island every year – to present guests with a unique and unforgettable show. Without a doubt, Madeira is a great place to spend the New Year in Portugal!
Information: are you going to spend the New Year in Madeira? If that’s the case, book this activity (affiliate link) and enjoy the amazing fireworks from one of the best places: the sea! Enjoy 3 hours of heaven aboard a boat with a privileged view of the Funchal bay and other parts of the island. Simply a must see!
Other Places to Welcome the New Year in Portugal
But welcoming the New Year in Portugal doesn’t come down only to destinations such as Porto, Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira.
There are also other great destinations such as Aveiro (the “Portuguese Venice”), Coimbra, Braga, Évora and the archipelago of the Azores.
In these areas, not so popular, New Year’s Eve can also be done in hotels with special end of the year packages – of course the recommended is to spend the night in one of these hotels and then enjoy all the monuments that these cities have to offer, some listed by UNESCO as World Heritage.
I can’t forget to talk about the only Portuguese destination where you can practice winter sports – Serra da Estrela.
Many Portuguese who choose to spend their New Year in Portugal, choose this destination to have a different New Year’s Eve with their families – with a lot of snow, loved by all and in particular by children of all ages.
But it is not only the snow that makes tourism in this region – people can also enjoy a great Queijo da Serra, visit the Museum of Bread in Seia or, if the weather allows it, go for a stroll in one of the existing walking routes and admire nature in all its splendour.
In short, I can say that there are several reasons to visit one of the destinations suggested above and enjoy all the good things that Portugal has to offer. Whether a New Year’s Eve with family or friends, just take the opportunity to live unique and special moments.
Take a Douro river cruise, breathe the atmosphere of the typical quarters in Lisbon, go to a casino in the Algarve, see the fireworks in Madeira or ski in Serra da Estrela – just don’t forget, have a Happy New Year in Portugal!
Are you going to welcome the New Year in Portugal? Then don’t hesitate to book your hotel room, your car or the best activities by clicking the links below. This way you are helping me in the development of my blog and I’ll be able to offer you free tips and travel guides so that you can better prepare your visit to Portugal. Thank you!
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