5 villages to visit this Christmas in Portugal

December, one of the most magical months, also arrives. The country is full of markets, towns and villages decorated with rigour, where Christmas is experienced intensely and uniquely. And we are suspects because we love Christmas!

If you’re a fan of these traditions, join us on this journey through 5 unmissable Christmas villages that will help you live this season to the full.


Cabeça, the most ecological Christmas village in the country
[capture / Cabeça Aldeia Natal]


Located in the municipality of Seia, nestled in the natural park of Serra da Estrela, the village of Cabeça comprises only about fifty houses. Still, it has become one of the most beautiful Christmas villages in the country!

In this typical mountain village, the inhabitants decorate every corner with hundreds of natural effects, using materials such as vines, brooms, pine trees, leaves, corn canes and other recycled materials. In turn, the residents open the doors of their homes and create small taverns and markets that allow you to taste the best delicacies of this magical place.

You can visit this village, considered the most ecological Christmas village in the country (recall that this was the first LED village in the country, a real contribution to energy efficiency and promotion of a low-carbon economy), between December 17 and September 6. January 2023.


Piódão, the Nativity Scene

Piodão Natal

One of the most famous, beautiful and picturesque villages in Portugal, Piodão takes on a special glow at Christmas. Located in Serra do Açor, in the municipality of Arganil, this schist village, with blue doors and windows, is also a must-stop at this time of year. The light inside the houses, arranged in terraces and decorated uniquely at this time of year, is reminiscent of a nativity scene.

Visit the village at this time, observe the local crafts, taste a liqueur and the famous potato bread, and let yourself be enveloped by the peace and tranquillity that you can feel in every corner, which is associated with the Christmas season.


Penela, the country’s most extensive animated nativity scene
[capture / Turismo do Centro]


Penela, a village located in Serra da Lousã and dating back to the reconquest of Portugal, has a lot to offer those who visit it during the year. Still, it is at Christmas that the flow of visitors increases significantly. The famous nativity scene with about two hundred animated figures uses technology to recreate various biblical and historical scenarios. This scenario, combined with Christmas lights and street music, makes the historic centre an obligatory stop for lovers of this season.

This nativity scene can be visited between December 8 and January 8, 2023.


Priscos, Europe’s biggest living nativity scene
[capture / Presépio Vivo de Priscos]


Here, very close to us, we also find the  Living Nativity Scene in Priscos, in the municipality of Braga. This Living Nativity Scene, the largest in Europe and has existed since 2006, is a space of 30,000 m2, with more than 90 scenarios and 600 extras. The constructions, which show the customs and daily life of the time, were made by the inhabitants of the village of Priscos with the help of inmates from the Braga Prison Establishment.

This space, which seeks to “convey the deepest heart of the nativity scene”, also allows you to taste the Abade de Priscos pudding, accompanied by excellent green wine.

You can visit this space on December 11th, 18th, 25th, January 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th and 15th. You can consult the schedules here.


Garfe, the village of the nativity scenes
[capture / O Minho]


We continue our journey towards the north to visit the village of Garfe, in Póvoa Lanhoso. If we saw that Piódão is the “Village Nativity Scene”, Garfe is the village of nativity scenes. Every year it is decorated with various nativity scenes alluding to country and local life, scattered throughout the town and the result of the dedication and imagination of the residents of each place.

The 21st edition of “A Aldeia dos Presépios” takes place from December 11 to January 8, 2023, with 20 nativity scenes spread throughout the village.


Let yourself be enchanted by the magic of this season, and don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of these places with your family or friends. Discover this “enchanted world” of light and tradition.


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