A Covid Christmas in the Algarve

Well, it has certainly been a strange year, and I am sure for many people, they will be glad when 2020 is over. I have been at best bemused, and at worst, completely confused by all the different Covid measures that have been put in place – especially for the Christmas and New Year Period. My best advice is to check out the Safer Communities Potugal website and Facebook Page as they always give out reliable and sensible information.

Luckily not everything has been cancelled and we can still enjoy some Christmas events safely.

The Living Statues in Lagoa

One of our favourite events of the year is still going ahead and we are delighted. The Estátuas Vivas no Natal – the Living Statues – will be in Lagoa on Friday 18th December from 1430 – 1730 hrs and again on Saturday 19th December from 0900 – 1200 hrs.

They will be laid out differently this year respecting all safety standards and health requirements in relation to COVID-19.

For us, they always represent the start of Christmas with their magical outfits and arresting presence on the street. I have no idea how they manage to hold their poses so brilliantly, and their costumes and displays are exquisite. You can find out more about them on their Facebook Page and if you type ‘statues’ in the search bar on the right of this page you can view all our previous years’ posts about this fabulous event.

The Christmas Presépio

Well the main event has to be the impressive giant nativity scene at Vila Real de Santo António which will be open to visits between November 30 and January 6 at the António Aleixo Cultural Centre. Entry costs only 50 cents and you can enjoy a display that features over 5,600 figures. It is believed to be the largest presépio in the country.

It can be visited between 10am and 1pm and 2.30pm and 7pm for a symbolic fee of €0.50, except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when doors will close at 6pm. On New Year’s Day, the cultural centre will open at 2.30pm.

For me, though, the magic lies in a much simpler, but no less impressive presépio which is in the tiny village of Alferce, above Monchique. The roads leading to the centre are lined with life-size animals and characters and in the main square is a fabulous village scene – recreated with the most amazing attention to detail.

Many of the figures are mechanical and portray tiny little cameos of rural life brought magically to life for you. Everything is lovingly created with so many characters and scenes to enjoy – and it is all free too.

We contacted the local Freguesia and they assured us the presépio would be in place by ‘on or around the 15th December’ and it will be there well into the New Year. So if you get the chance to visit this pretty little village – we can recommend it.

Algarve Network for Families in Need

Dave and I chatted and decided that we could not think of anything that we either wanted or needed for Christmas this year, so we made a generous donation to the Algarve Network for Families in Need charity instead.

There are so many families that are struggling more than ever this year, and worrying about how to put food on the table – let alone buy presents for their children. This is an excellent – if sadly necessary – charity that supports local families by re-purposing items no longer required and collecting food items each week which they then distribute to those who need it.

You can find out more about the charity via their website and Facebook Page.

Online Christmas Charity Fair

You can also help the charity by having a look through the Online Christmas Charity Fair Catalogue – click the image above or the link below – which includes a host of original art work and prints for sale. (You’ll even find some of my art in there too!)

50% of all the revenue made from the sales will go directly to the charity. I have already sold one of my paintings in the catalogue (sorry – Loulé Window has already gone!) so why not have a look and see if anything catches your eye?

Dave Sheldrake Photography – Online Shop

If you are still struggling with what to buy for Christmas, Dave has finally set up his online shop, where you can purchase a wide range of wall art showcasing some of his Algarve Images. You can click the image above or the link below to find out more information.

Living the Quieter Algarve Dream

And of course if you are looking for a little something extra to fill up your Christmas Stocking – why not buy one or both of my books! For more information visit my website:

Tomorrow Algarve Magazine

I now write an article each month for the Tomorrow Magazine. You can read this bumper Christmas Edition of the publication free online – it has lots more Christmas ideas and events for you to enjoy. Click here to read the original printed version online or here to read the smartphone/tablet friendly version.

Their website also has a special Christmas Market feature with a wide range of goods and special offers. Click here to view now.

Wherever you are – we wish you a safe and happy Christmas.

This entry was posted in About us, Algarve, Art, Book, Events, News and information, Places to Visit and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Covid Christmas in the Algarve

  1. Sheilagh Middleton says:

    Stay safe!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Jan Collis says:

    Hello there I purchased from Amazon a Kindle version of your latest book as I do enjoy reading your blogs.

    I do not know how to download it, have googled it but didn’t work. Can you advise please.

    Best wishes Jane Collis

    • it should have come through to your kindle automatically.
      if not go to your Amazon account online, go to the button top right that says ‘hello’ – with your login name beside it. Click on that, look at the dropdown menu and select Manage your Content and Devices>
      Make sure that it has selected Books from the ‘Show’ menu on the top left – you should see the book listed.
      Click on the three little dots to the left of the title and click Deliver to Default Device (or select your kindle device if it is not the default shown)
      It should download it to your kindle for you straight away.
      Any more problems – email me on author@alysonsheldrake.com

  3. restlessjo says:

    Have a great Christmas, Aly! We won’t be straying very far but we have some lovely friends here. Take care 🤗💕

  4. Kate Oldershaw says:

    Just discovered your blog this morning! So glad, signed up to receive it regularly. Have just finished your second book, every bit as good a read as the first. So pleased to learn that you are Happy and settled in Aljezur, despite setbacks! Hope we discover our happy place soon too.
    Keep on writing!
    Felix Natal e Boa Ano Novo.
    Kate Oldershaw

  5. Madilyn June Jorgensen says:

    Hi Alyson,
    It was so nice to connect with you and read your blogs and books. I’ve just started your first book and find it very enjoyable. I too, can’t think of a thing that I need for Christmas, except my family, which sadly isn’t possible, so I have also donated to charities in the Algarve as the need is so great this year – 2021 will be better.
    Be safe and happy,
    Merry Christmas, Feliz Natal,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.