Atlys logo

Best Time To Travel

Best Time To Travel

Written By:

Lamia Darwish

Fact Checked By:

Jakus Eloff

Best Time To Visit Portugal - An In-Depth Guide To Help You Determine When Is The Best Time To Travel To Portugal.

Are you trying to figure out when is the best time to travel to Portugal? We don’t blame you…

Portugal is home to some of the best food, beaches, and surfing in the world, as well as some of the most beautiful old cities you'll ever see. The only real way to experience the splendor and beauty of Portugal is to visit the country. But when is the best time to visit Portugal? In this Portugal travel guide, we'll provide the answer.

Although Portugal is a relatively small country, determining the best time to visit Portugal requires considering the wide range of landscapes that influence the weather, events, popular activities, and peak travel times.

Best time to travel to Portugal

Portugal's peak season tends to be from late June to early September, with the highest number of tourists traveling to Portugal in July and August. This is Portugal's high season, and you can expect travelers flocking to Portugal's popular destinations like Nazare and Lisboa.

The Portuguese shoulder season is from May to early June, and again from middle September to October. During this time you'll encounter fewer crowds making it the ideal time for your trip to Portugal. The weather is pleasant, and while there may be a few showers here and there, they are rarely enough to put your plans off.

That being said, there are still great locations available to the intrepid traveler, even during the high season. If you want to want to avoid the expat and tourist-filled streets of Lisbon you can explore various hidden gems throughout the country. The regions of Algarve, Alentejo, Obidos, and Braga are only a few examples.

Climate And Festival/Event Guide for Portugal

Portugal Climate in January - February

Because of Portugal's mild temperature, it is possible to visit at any time of year. Although January and February are cooler with more rainy days than the rest of the year, you can still get some sun and take advantage of fewer crowds.

Portuguese Events & Festivals January - February

  • Dia do Reis (6 January)

On January 6, Dia do Reis, or Three Kings' Day, groups of carolers sing from home to house at the time when Portuguese children are usually given gifts (from the kings rather than Santa).

  • Carnival (February)

Carnival Is a way of life throughout Portugal and former Portuguese colonies like Brazil. Different Portuguese cities celebrate Carnival in their own unique way, but the festivities almost always include colorful costumes and extravagant parades, no matter where you go.

Portugal Climate in March - May

As the flowers begin to blossom and Portugal comes to life, the temperatures become more pleasant. Spring is a time for celebration, with so many big festivals and holidays bringing an extra joy of energy to the season.

Portuguese Events & Festivals in March - May

  • Freedom Day (April 25)

Commemorating the Carnation Revolution, which ended Portugal's nearly 50-year dictatorship (the longest in Europe), with concerts, mainly in Lisbon, and the annual Corrida da Liberdade (Freedom Run).

  • Easter Holy Week (March/April)

A devoutly Catholic Portugal holds solemn street parades frequently accompanied by lively music and dance.

  • Festival de Sintra (mid-May):

Sintra hosts a classical music and opera festival, with performances hosted in the town's palaces and gardens.

  • The Fatima Pilgrimage (May 11–13)

It is the year's greatest pilgrimage to the place where three shepherd children claimed to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary six times, the first on May 13, 1917.

Portugal Climate in June - August

As the summer heat rises, so does the number of visitors. Along with a large number of Portuguese, sunseekers from northern Europe go to Portugal's pristine beaches. During this period, the Algarve, in particular, becomes quite busy. While traveling at this time is possible, the high temperatures in the cities and inland can make sightseeing difficult, and it's clear to see why most people have decided to stay home.

Portuguese Events & Festivals June - August

  • Festa de São João, or Feast of Saint John the Baptist (June 23–24)

The day is honored with fireworks, concerts, dancing, and the interesting tradition of beating each other with garlic or plastic hammers across Portugal, particularly in Porto.

  • Portugal Day (June 10)

A remembrance of the death of Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões, considered one of the country's most influential figures.

Portugal Climate in September – October

Two of the best months to visit Portugal are September and October. The weather remains warm and pleasant, with temperatures that are far more bearable for sightseeing or trekking. With the grape harvest in full swing, visiting many of Portugal's vineyards is also a great time. In addition, the beaches are quieter.

Portuguese Events & Festivals September - October

  • Our Lady of Nazare Festival (September 8 - 18)

This festival takes place in the picturesque town of Nazare. It celebrates the moment when the Virgin Mary saved the life of Fuas Roupinho, by preventing him from falling off a cliff while chasing a white deer.

  • Republic Day (October 5)

A national holiday to celebrate the 1910 revolution against the Portuguese Monarchy. Expect closures throughout Portugal

Portugal Climate in November – December

The rainy season in Portugal starts in November and December, which means fewer bright days, but the country still gets more sun than rain and has cooler temperatures than much of Europe. The Algarve is known for its excellent weather and might attract European travelers searching for a winter vacation.

Portuguese Events & Festivals November - December

  • Christmas (December 25)

Most towns and villages are festively decorated; the festivities culminate on December 24, when most families attend midnight mass and feast together.

  • New Year's Eve (December 31)

New Year's Eve is celebrated throughout Portugal and it really shows how much importance the Portuguese people place in having a good time. At midnight you'll be expected to eat 12 raisins while making a wish after each one. Also, be sure to wear something blue!

Seasons in Portugal

Portugal has one of the sunniest climates in Europe. Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with a strong influence from the sea. High humidity characterizes the north of the country, particularly the mountainous region, with average annual precipitation of 1 to 2 meters and more.

Portugal in Spring

Portugal's spring arrives early. The Riviera and the islands are crowded with surf school students, European visitors, and other adventure seekers in March. Rainy seasons are becoming less common, and the weather isn't as hot on sunny days. The north of the country, on the other hand, is still experiencing the effects of winter. It is recommended to spend this time in Madeira, where the tourist attractions are many.

April is still rainy, but the weather becomes warmer. This is suitable for beach trips as well as tours and sightseeing. In May, the weather turns extremely hot. Rain is still possible, although it is pretty unusual. The only thing that could be uncomfortable at this time is a sudden change in the weather shortly after sunset. Spring brings a plethora of colorful festivities, such as Madeira's Carnival of Flowers.

Spring in Lisbon

March

Max average temperature: +17 °C (62.6 °F)

Min average temperature: +10 °C (50 °F)

Water t°: +14 °C (57 °F)

Sundial in the day: 7 hours

Rainy days: 11 days

Precipitation: 110 mm (4.3")

April

Max average temperature: +20 °C (68 °F)

Min average temperature: +12 °C (53.6 °F)

Water t°: +15 °C (59 °F)

Sundial in the day: 9 hours

Rainy days: 7 days

Precipitation: 55 mm (2.2")

May

Max average temperature: +21 °C (69.8 °F)

Min average temperature: +13 °C (55.4 °F)

Water t°: +17 °C (62 °F)

Sundial in the day: 10 hours

Rainy days: 7 days

Precipitation: 45 mm (1.8")

Portugal in the Summer Months

June is the most comfortable month in terms of temperature. You can go on long hikes without feeling the heat of the sun because the sun shines for around 10 hours per day. There was a decrease in rainfall and an increase in daylight in the early days of summer. The majority of tourists are observed on land because the ocean is still relatively cold.

The situation is considerably different in the islands. The water is warmer because of the Gulfstream, but the chilly ocean breezes make long swims impractical. The air temperature in the continental area of Portugal can reach 30°C during the summer. Due to the dry air and minimal humidity, such temperatures are tolerable. Madeira's climate is cooler, with air temperatures hovering about 18°C in the mountains. Keep in mind that evenings in Portugal are cool, so bring some warm clothing with you.

Lisbon in Summer

From June through August, the city is at its busiest and most vibrant. Lisbon will be hot in the summer, but not unbearably so, thanks to the Atlantic Ocean's proximity and evening breezes.

The one disadvantage in visiting Lisbon in the summer is that demand for lodging and flights outnumbers supply. Unfortunately, this means that prices have gotten over-inflated, and flights have been sold out because it was too late. So if you plan on visiting Lisbon during the busiest seasons, make sure to book your flights and accommodations well ahead of time.

June

Max average t°: +25 °C (77 °F)

Min average t°: +15 °C (59 °F)

Water t°: +18 °C (64 °F)

Sundial in the day: 11 hours

Rainy days: 2 days

Precipitation: 16 mm (0.6")

July

Max average t°: +27 °C (80.6°F)

Min average t°: +17 °C (62.6 °F)

Water t°: +18.5 °C (65 °F)

Sundial in the day: 12 hours

Rainy days: 1 day

Precipitation: 3 mm (0.1")

August

Max average t°: +28 °C (82.4 °F)

Min average t°: +17 °C (62.6 °F)

Water t°: +19 °C (66 °F)

Sundial in the day: 12 hours

Rainy days: 1 day

Precipitation: 4 mm (0.1")

Portugal in Autumn

In Portugal, the velvet season begins with the first days of fall. September will bring mild warm weather, cold water, and plenty of sunny days. Because the ocean has such a strong influence on the climate, even the hottest temperatures in the fall felt relatively mild.

The intensity of precipitation and the frequency of fogs and nighttime chill increase as October approaches. Unlike mainland Portugal, Madeira's summer warmth lasts well into the fall. The weather in this area shows no indications of deterioration, and many tourists continue to swim. In November, the beach season on the islands concludes. The central regions of Portugal are the best places to visit during this time. The weather on the Atlantic coast is erratic.

Autumn in Lisbon

September

Max average t°: +27 °C (80.6 °F)

Min average t°: +16 °C (60.8 °F)

Water t°: +19 °C (66 °F)

Sundial in the day: 9 hours

Rainy days: 4 days

Precipitation: 3 mm (0.1")

October

Max average t°: +22 °C (71.6 °F)

Min average t°: +14 °C (57.2 °F)

Water t°: +18.5 °C (65 °F)

Sundial in the day: 8 hours

Rainy days: 7 days

Precipitation: 60 mm (2.4")

November

Max average t°: +17 °C (62.6 °F)

Min average t°: +11 °C (51.8 °F)

Water t°: +17 °C (63 °F)

Sundial in the day: 6 hours

Rainy days: 9 days

Precipitation: 95 mm (3.7")

Portugal in Winter

Portugal's winters are mild, with the coastline being the warmest. The weather in the north of the country is cooler, with typical temperatures ranging from 5°C to 9°C. The temperature drops to 0°C or -4°C at night. However, frosts are unusual. However, gusty winds and large waves on the water can give the impression of cold weather.

Madeira has more tolerable winter weather. The temperature here never drops below 17°C during the day. The country has the sunniest hours, while the rest of the territories, covered in fog. For winter trips to Portugal, an umbrella and rain boots are a must-have. Even in the winter, Portugal remains a green country. Oranges and tangerines are ripening in the winter, and fruit trees have been massively blooming since mid-February.

Winter in Lisbon

The winter season lasts from November through February. Winter weather includes both dry, cloudy days and wet, cloudy days, with the major concern being that the weather is unpredictable. The weather could be sunny and pleasant one week and quite wet and chilly the next.

In the rain or cold weather, the popular day trip to Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Sesimbra, and Obidos is not enjoyable to visit. However, there are plenty of things to do in Lisbon if it rains, it will not waste a short trip.

December

Max average t°: +15 °C (59 °F)

Min average t°: +8 °C (46.4 °F)

Water t°: +15.5 °C (60 °F)

Sundial in the day: 5 hours

Rainy days: 11 days

Precipitation: 105 mm (4.1")

January

Max average t°: +14 °C (57.2 °F)

Min average t°: +8 °C (46.4 °F)

Water t°: +14.5 °C (58 °F)

Sundial in the day: 5 hours

Rainy days: 11 days

Precipitation: 110 mm (4.3")

February

Max average t°: +15 °C (59 °F)

Min average t°: +8 °C (46.4 °F)

Water t°: +14 °C (57 °F)

Sundial in the day: 6 hours

Rainy days: 8 days

Precipitation: 75 mm (3.0")

Portugal's North Coast

This region stretches from the Minho River, separating Spain and Portugal, to the Douro River to the south.

The Douro River flows between Porto, Portugal's "second city," and Vila Nova de Gaia, where centuries-old wineries can be found. Summers in the neighborhood are warm and pleasant. A day at the famous wind-surfing beach of Esposende, just north of Porto, will be in the upper 70s to mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit, with stunning blue skies and mild humidity, and rain will be rare.

Temperatures drop to the high 50s to mid-60s F in the autumn, with occasional rains. In December, when temperatures dip to the high 30s to mid-4s F and the rainy season (which lasts until April) officially begins, you'll need to get out your overcoat. The rain has produced a flowery, green spring, with sporadic showers and temperatures gradually rising.

Portugal's North Interior

This mountainous region of Trás-os-Montes is known for the city of Bragança, which is the birthplace of the royal house of Bragança. With temperatures in the 80s to low 90s F in July and August, this hilly region of Trás-os-Montes is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. When opposed to the coast, you'll notice a significant increase in humidity, which keeps the region's farmers busy.

Autumn brings colder temperatures in the low 50s F, as well as cool, foggy nights. Rain occurs in late autumn and early winter, just as it does on the coast, from October to April, and the weather is milder, with temperatures in the 30s F. Finally, in the spring, the olive trees bloom, and the sun shines more often, resulting in temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s.

Portugal's West Coast and Central Portugal

Cities such as Figueira de Foz and Lisbon are located in this region, stretching from the Douro River south to the Tejo River. The University of Coimbra, which was once Portugal's capital, is located in the middle of the coast, halfway between Lisbon and the mouth of the Tejo river. The north-central coastline is filled with fishing villages and beaches vying for the attention of the locals and tourists alike.

On rare occasions, summer temperatures range from the low to mid-80s Fahrenheit, with highs in the mid-90s. September brings breezy days, showers, and temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit, with a slight chill near the ocean. The breezes will be stronger at Mafra and Ericeira, although Ericeira offers world-class surfing.

During the Christmas season, the weather changes, and there are more rainy days. Although, these are counterbalanced by days of warm Iberian sun, unlike in the north. Spring provides blooming plants like lemon trees, as well as warmer days but still cool nights.

Douro Valley to Tejo Interior

The legendary Serra da Estrela Mountains, the country's highest range, and the hills which lead up to it on the eastern side are the area's most prominent features. Cherry farming means cherry festivals, and the Vodafone Ski Resort, Portugal's only one, is located in the center of the range.

Summertime is ideal for outdoor activities because temperatures rarely exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Manteigas, a settlement of sheep, cheese, woolens, and Swiss-style chalets tucked in the mountain valley, is a rural area with only a few villages strewn about. Modern amenities are available in larger communities near the Mountains. Because of its proximity to Porto's airport, ex-pats favor the west side of the mountain.

Autumn is known for its changing leaves and misty mornings and evenings. Temperatures range from 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit from night to day, reflecting the chill of the highlands. You'll understand why handmade woolen products created from local sheep wool are so valuable when winter comes.

Tejo River South: The Alentejo and the Algarve Regions

In these two well-known Portuguese locations, summer is hot, with temperatures in Évora easily exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Faro, the capital of the Algarve and home to an international airport, has a mild climate. Nevertheless, the summer beach season is in full swing by late May. Because of the blistering sun, Alqueva, Europe's largest strategic water reserve, is used to irrigate the famed olive orchards and vineyards.

The plains of Alentejo experience dry, chilly, windy weather with temperatures in the high 40s F during the winter. Faro is a little warmer, but the Atlantic winds keep the temperature cool.

Spring in Alentejo brings colorful fields of wildflowers punctuated by cork and olive trees and the first leaves on the grapevines, with relatively quick transitions. At this time of year, temperatures range from 46 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The region is so well-known for its flowers that Campo Maior hosts a massive Flower Festival every August.

The dazzling beaches of the Algarve region in the south, with temperatures ranging from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, are popular vacation sites for travelers from Spain, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany. Summers are particularly dry and sunny, with 12 hours of sunshine each day, and it is Portugal's most popular tourist destination due to its resort-like ambiance.

Check out the Atlys community discussion forum for more questions.

Related Articles

Best Digital Nomad Visa Programs

Our travel experts rank the best digital nomad visa programs currently available and tell you which to avoid.


Atlys logo

A new way to travel

+1

Download the app

Download on the App Store
Facebook logoTwitter logoInstagram logoTikTok logoPinterest logo

Company

About UsJobsGuaranteeReviews

Disclaimer

Atlys strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. Any documents, including visas, that Atlys provides are issued directly by the respective governments. Atlys integrates only with the official sources and can vouch for the authenticity of any documents obtained.

Atlas Visa, Inc ("Atlys") is a registered Seller of Travel with the California Seller of Travel Office of the Attorney General #2143976-70.

Atlas Visa, Inc ("Atlys") Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation (TCRC) #708507.