6 ideas for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Portugal

In Portugal, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with pomp and circumstance – from the party venue to the lingerie worn –it is tradition to wear something blue while you initiate the midnight ritual which implies eating 12 raisins (and making 12 wishes!), while savoring a delicious champagne and counting down the last 12 strokes of the year that is coming to an end.

But New Year’s Eve is much more than blue underwear and eating a handful of raisons… The place where New Year’s Eve is going to be celebrated could have a huge influence on the success of the night and of the party, so why not discover one of the many fantastic regions of Portugal that have so much to offer on the last night of the year? As a couple or with a group of friends, say goodbye to the old year and ring in the new in Portugal… with one of these 6 memorable suggestions!

1. Nazaré is inviting

Nazaré is inviting

One of Portugal’s most emblematic New Year’s Eve festivity is, without a doubt, in Nazaré. Thousands of people from around the country and abroad travel to this beautiful spot by the sea where the fun starts on December 30th and only ends at dawn on the first day of the new year. On New Year’s Eve, various stages are set up along the Nazaré boardwalk, as well as atop the Sitio da Nazaré and Pederneira viewpoints. All you have to do is choose how you want to ring in the new year: in the middle of the crowd so you don’t miss any of the fun or atop one of the many lookouts that offer spectacular views of the beaches and the amazing fireworks show.

2. A midnight toast on the water

A midnight toast on the water

Have you ever spent New Year’s Eve aboard a cruise ship? Why not celebrate the last night of the year with a glass of champagne in hand, surrounded by the magnificent landscapes, classified as World Heritage, that Douro has to offer? There are many companies working in the region that organize amazing New Year’s Eve parties on the water. Jump aboard, dine on calm waters and experience the raisin ritual and the traditional midnight toast in a truly unforgettable moment.

3. Beautiful Lisbon

Beautiful Lisbon

Why not celebrate New Year’s Eve with a typical Portuguese night? Delve into the heart of the country’s capital city and, on the night of all nights, duck into one of Lisbon’s many fado houses and let them sing you fado. Most importantly, reserve early so you won’t be disappointed and, after midnight, go out on the streets, dance on the traditional Portuguese pavement and be inspired by the truly genuine festive spirit of the Portuguese people. Recover from all the fun at one of the marvelous Bed & Breakfast the city has to offer…

4. Party down south

Party down south

Algarve is one of Portugal’s most sought out hot spots year round and New Year’s Eve is no exception… it is practically obligatory for those who want to spend the last night of the year on the beach. Although its climate isn’t tropical, Algarve weather is extremely inviting and, using champagne as an excuse (or not!), the midnight swim in the ocean is inevitable. You’ll be surprised when you look around and see that you’re not the only one ringing in the new year in the water! Albufeira and Portimão are perfect New Year’s Eve destinations in Algarve, the fun is up to you!

5. New Year’s Eve on the mountains

New Year’s Eve on the mountains

If you’re looking for a calmer New Year’s Eve – as a couple, with family or a small group of friends – renting a rustic house or a chalet on the Estrela or Gerês Mountains, or even in the Viseu region, could be the beginning of an unforgettable New Year’s Eve. With luck, the last night of the year will bring snow, champagne, a crackling and warm fireplace, as well as many memories to remember forever… or who knows, to repeat!

6. Magical Madeira

Magical Madeira

If there is a place to be on New Year’s Eve in Portugal, that place is the Island of Madeira – chosen every year by thousands of national and foreign tourists who don’t want to miss the “Biggest Fireworks Show in the World” (it’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records), on one of the most beautiful and magical Portuguese islands. Join this big party, have the time of your life and Happy New Year!


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