New Year’s Eve is unforgettable, it’s a time of year when we come together to celebrate a common act and where ambitions are shared, mostly good luck in love, professional success, and health.
Start the New Year in a unique way, and come celebrate in the North of Portugal, where the traditions are exceptional, astonishing, and distinctive. Today we bring you some activities and traditions you can’t miss: pack your bags, store the champagne, the raisins and wait for the last strokes of the year at a big party, on a vineyard watching the Douro slopes, or on a cruise in the calm waters of the Douro River, within an unforgettable moment. Let’s talk traditions?
It’s midnight, you have a toast with the sparkling wine and eat the twelve raisins while asking for twelve wishes, one for each month of the year, alternatively, you kiss a loved one when the countdown ends. Clanging pots, pans, plates, and glasses, leaning out of windows and doors to make as much noise as possible, a centuries-old tradition, that keeps the evil spirits away. Having money in your pocket, which attracts wealth in the upcoming year, and diving in the ocean are some of the Portuguese traditions.
GWC Regions as New Year’s Eve Destinations
The regions of Porto and Douro, and Vinho Verde present us with several offers for the last night of the year. What do they have in common? The accommodations create specific packages with wine tastings, and fun through the night; the restaurants put together unique and unmissable tasting menus paired with the best wines the regions have to offer; and in all regions there is entertainment in the streets, organized by public and private entities.
New Year’s Eve in Porto is one of the most emblematic in the country. There is inexplicable magic allied to the city at this time of the year, painted with Christmas lights, stages, and human warmth. The party in Porto spreads to different areas, and on this very special day, all downtown streets are closed to vehicles and is filled with locals and tourists who enjoy together the festive environment. Between celebrations and music, the city offers us concerts on improvised stages in several squares and streets, however, the most anticipated cultural moment of the night takes place on Avenida dos Aliados, with performances by important names in national music, followed by a firework show.
In Minho, Douro and Porto, we are delighted with an immersive show of color and light, and choosing the right place to spend the New Year’s Eve is a crucial decision. Choose a cruise on the Douro River, between banks and wholehearted meals, washed down with traditional wine and the quietness of the landscape; breathe the atmosphere of the typical and architectural neighborhoods of Porto, between the warmth and heartfelt receptions of the city’s inhabitants or select the Ribeira and its bars and restaurants, with a privileged view of the riverside.
The Douro region is a clear shot, but there is a magic inherent to the last months of the year. In the higher areas, the Douro is painted in white, and the low temperatures invite the tasting of hot wine that warms the soul and the blanket that warms the body. The New Year in the Douro has a luxurious and cozy warmth to it. It calls for the hospitality of a hotel or a ‘Quinta’, that normally create specific packages for the last night of the year with some of the best wines produced in the region, and non-stop partying, never losing sight of the river and vineyards. For an unforgettable and impressive experience, climb aboard and dine in the calm and pacific waters of the Douro River, try the raisin ritual, and have a toast at midnight. Why not celebrate the last night of the year with a glass of sparkling wine in hand, surrounded by the superb views that the Douro has to offer?
In the North of Portugal, New Year’s Eve is commemorated and appreciated to the fullest, with distinctive experiences, among remarkable views classified as World Heritage, unforgettable firework shows, and centuries-old traditions, becoming the ultimate destination for celebrating the New Year’s. Step into the new year with the right foot and come have a toast with us.
Text by Wine Tourism in Portugal