Weather

When to travel to Portugal: weather and seasons

Weather in Portugal varies considerably from one region to another. It’s influenced by the topography, latitude and how close you are to the sea, and offers mild winters, especially in the Algarve. April to October is the best time to go (except in the Alto Douro and the Alentejo where summers can be uncomfortably hot and droughts common), although the Algarve area is a popular winter retreat for those from colder countries. Portugal has a temperate climate for Europe all year round, as you’d expect from a country bordered on the south and west sides by the Atlantic and by Spain on the other two sides.

Personally, I think the best time to travel to Portugal is during spring and autumn, when days are pleasantly sunny and warm but tourist areas are relatively quiet.

Summers are dry and clear, with warm sunshine extending
long into Autumn. Portugal’s weather ensures that its beaches and coastal resorts are packed throughout the hot summer months. With over 300 days of sun a year, the Algarve is warmed by sea and air currents from north Africa, and attracts more tourists than any other area of Portugal. It’s perfect for beach holidays and activities.

For golfers and other sports enthusiasts the weather is better outside of the summer months and the Algarve is understandably popular with those seeking winter sun.

Autumns are drier and still warm, making it an ideal time to explore the countryside or take a city break in Porto or Lisbon, where the average October temperature still gets as high as 22°C. Actually, in Lisbon it is rare for temperatures to fall below freezing and even December and January you only get average minimums around 8 or 9 degrees. But note that during the Autumn and Winter months, Lisbon is usually rainy with a lot of wind.

Winter weather in Portugal remains mild (average temperature 11 degrees centigrade), with some risk of snow in the mountains to the north. Portuguese winters are moderately cool and are the rainiest time of year; the wet season runs from November to March, concentrated mainly in the northern and mountainous central areas. In the winter in Porto, in northern Portugal, minimum temperatures are around 13 degrees centigrade on average, where as in Faro on the south coast the minimum temperature in January is about 15 degrees centigrade.

Midsummer temperatures range from 20-30 C (70′s F), while winter temperatures range from the low to mid-teens C (50′s F).

Climate in Portugal

Fahrenheit and centigrade, inches and millimetres, average values.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Aver.
Average High
(deg F)
58.1 60.1 63.7 66.4 71.1 76.6 81.3 82.2 79.5 72.3 64.0 58.6 69.5
Average Low
(deg F)
46.8 48.2 49.8 52.0 55.4 60.1 63.3 63.9 62.6 58.3 52.2 48.0 55.0
 
Average Monthly Precipitation (Inches) 4.3 4.4 2.7 2.5 1.5 0.8 0.2 0.2 1.0 3.1 4.5 4.3 2.5
 
Average High
(deg C)
14.5 15.6 17.6 19.1 21.7 24.8 27.4 27.9 26.4 22.4 17.8 14.8 20.83
Average Low
(deg C)
8.2 9.0 9.9 11.1 13.0 15.6 17.4 17.7 17.0 14.6 11.2 8.9 12.80
 
Average Monthly Precipitation (mm) 110.0 111.0 69.0 64.0 39.0 21.0 5.0 6.0 26.0 80.0 114.0 108.0 62.75
 
Average Relative Humidity (%) 80.0 78.0 71.0 69.0 66.0 66.0 63.0 61.0 67.0 72.0 77.0 79.0 70.75

 

Festivals

Portugal has many festivals, religious holidays and events that are worth seeing if you have the chance: Events Calendar