New Year in Algarve: Two kinds of tourists
The New Year is usually one of the high seasons of tourism in Algarve, way more than Christmas. For the Portuguese, the Christmas holiday is a time to spend with the family and the New Year to go out, like if one was a sacred celebration and the other a more profane, secular one. Much as it is considered across the West, anyway. Hotels can come close to 100% of occupation, and there is a significant range of public festivities, amusements, and celebrations to attract the public. Aside from the New Year’s Eve celebrations themselves, with music and fireworks everywhere – and especially in Albufeira.
However, there are usually two types of tourist behaviour during this season.
People coming for the New Year party – or “Réveillon”, the usual French word that the Portuguese also use for this celebration. Lots of tourists, and especially from England, come to Algarve to enjoy and celebrate the short break. Albufeira is among the hottest places, with the large fireworks show. This year, a very emotional and unusual concert: Xutos & Pontapés, the “Portuguese Rolling Stones”, perform for the first time after the death of their guitarist, Zé Pedro, in late November.
Residents and long-stay tourists. Usually, they may try to avoid places of large concentration of people and try to enjoy the sunny days, instead. This can mean going outside, in a beachfront “esplanade”, doing some jogging or just take to visit those areas farther from central locations. Quick day trips to Saint Vincent and Sagres promontories or the Guadiana Valley Natural Park are good examples of this. Even if Portuguese can feel that Winter has arrived, for people coming from Northern countries the daily minimum temperature around 5º C and the maximum of 15º C, or even 20º C, is very welcome compared with the breeze they feel back home.
For 2018, we wish you lots of sunny days and a Happy New Year!