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Written by
Hanna Fischer

Published on: November 6th, 2017

Last modified: December 28th, 2023

The best time to visit Portugal is spring, March to June, and autumn, September and October. These warm months are perfect for boat trips in the Algarve, wine tasting in the Douro Valley and sightseeing in Lisbon. The hot weather in July and August means beaches can be crowded and the cities are sweltering.

The winter months of November to February see a drop in temperatures but this period remains a good time to visit Portugal. In the winter there’s plenty of sunshine and temperatures typically stay above 14°C (57°F) in most of the country. It can be one of the best times to visit Portugal for sightseeing and delicious food experiences, particularly in Lisbon and Porto when the crowds of the summer months have dispersed.

Monthly Climate Guide for Portugal


The best month to visit Portugal will depend on your own interests and what you would like to do. Portugal is a diverse country with different climates depending on the location and the time of year.

Some activities that you might like to take part in, such as windsurfing and hiking, will take place during certain months of the year. There’s also festivals and events that you might like to see that only fall during specific seasons – such as the wine harvest in the Douro Valley taking place between September and October. 

Below, we’ve collated our ultimate climate guide to explain the weather throughout the year and our recommendations on what to do each month.

January - February

January and February fall into the winter season and the weather can feel a little chilly at this time. January is one of Portugal’s rainiest months, along with December and sees the least amount of tourists. It’s still possible to experience some lovely long spells of sunshine during a Portuguese winter with comparably mild temperatures to the rest of Europe


February is another quiet month in terms of tourism but an important one for the Portuguese. February is the best time of year to visit Portugal to experience the biggest festival of the year, Carnaval. Festivities take place across the country, just before lent and signify the end of winter. There’s parades, music, dancing, food and brightly coloured costumes for all generations to enjoy, making it a great time to visit Portugal with family

If you’re keen to try surfing or windsurfing, then aim to visit Portugal in late winter to early spring (February to March) when the waves are best. Sagres, Peniche and Ericeira offer waves for all skill levels.

March - May

March to May are glorious spring months in Portugal. March can still be recovering from the cooler temperatures and rainfall of winter, particularly in the north and interior of the country. The Douro Valley for example, in March can feel a little chilly still at just 12°C  (53°F). However, Lisbon and the Algarve are already starting to warm up with highs of 18°C (64°F).

By April and May spring is in full bloom, the landscapes are pretty and this is one of the best times of year to visit Portugal for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities. One of the best places to explore hiking trails is on the glistening green archipelago of the Azores where the weather is warm and sunny. 

The spring can feel like an exciting time in Portugal and the Easter processions, that fall in May, only add to the atmosphere of anticipation for the summer that’s just around the corner.

June - August

June signifies the start of Portugal’s hot, sunny and beautiful summer with highs of 29°C (84.2°F). June itself, although without doubt a summer month, it is not yet a peak month in terms of visitor numbers. This can be a wonderful time to visit the beaches and little towns and villages of the Algarve, before the crowds arrive. 

July and August are the busiest and hottest months in Portugal and the best time to visit for beach weather. Although things are busy, there’s a fun party atmosphere and there’s plenty of water activities to enjoy to keep you cool. Try surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing or take boat trips from the Algarve to search for dolphins, birds and other marine life.

September - October

After the busy, hot month of August, September can feel like a welcome relief in Portugal. However, the start of the month can still feel hot and a little busy. The seawater temperatures are at the warmest in September and October so it can be a great time to go to the beach as the crowds are thinning out.

In late September and during all of October, Portugal is experiencing some of its most beautiful weather. Much like the spring months of March to May, September and October are some of the best times to visit Portugal for outdoor activities such as hikes and biking. 


October is the best month to go to Portugal to experience the grape harvest in the Douro Valley. Combine tasting tours with hikes through some of the country’s most picturesque landscapes in the beautiful autumnal month of October.

September and October are also great months to be in Portugal’s top cities to experience sightseeing, visiting the numerous museums and galleries or taking walking tours around cafes, bars and restaurants in Lisbon and Porto. Both cities have fascinating Jewish heritage that can be discovered on foot with expert guides and in Porto, boat trips on the Douro river shouldn’t be missed during the quiet and balmy autumn season.

November - December

November and December are Portugal’s winter months, and much like January and February, can experience rain. The rains tend to start in November, increasing a little in December and into January. However compared to the rest of Europe, Portugal’s winter is fairly mild and there’s plenty of sunshine. 

The Algarve is one of the warmest regions in Portugal during the winter with average temperatures in November at 19°C (66.2°F). As a general rule, the further south you stay, the warmer and drier the weather. Although the Algarve doesn’t quite experience beach weather in the winter, it can be a lovely time to explore the pretty fishing villages and towns such as Portimao, Albufeira and Lagoa.

December brings Christmas festivities with decorations and lights decking town squares and plazas. Naivety scenes are popular in December and it’s even possible to spot living nativity scenes too. There are plenty of festive dishes to try including one of our favourites, the deliciously sweet, Bolo Rei (King Cake).

What are the hottest months in Portugal?


The hottest months in Portugal are July and August with average highs of 29°C (84.2°F). At this time city temperatures can sometimes creep into the late 30’s°C (80’s°F). The beaches in the Algarve can also get very busy and crowded during these school summer vacation months.

When is the rainy season in Portugal?


The rainy season in Portugal runs from November to December. The rainiest month is December, with the most rain falling in the north and middle of the country, such as the Douro Valley area. However, compared with the rest of Europe, the rainfall is fairly moderate and there’s still plenty of sunshine too.

What months are best for Portugal beaches?

If you’re looking for the hottest temperatures and sunniest weather, then the best time to visit Portugal for beaches is July and August. However, June, September and October are also great months to go to the beaches with warm weather and without the crowds of the peak summer months.

The sunny coast of the Algarve has many stunning beaches to choose from and the weather is usually warm enough to visit from May. June will typically be warm enough for beach weather, without the crowds.In September and into October, the sea temperature remains warm enough for swimming. If you’re looking for great surf, head to the coast from late winter and into the early spring (December to March).

The best months to go hiking in Portugal

The best time to visit Portugal to go hiking is from April to October. It is best to skip the very hot months of July and August, unless you’re heading up into the mountains. Portugal is great for outdoor activities and hiking from the coast, to the interiors, to its collection of naturally stunning islands.

Hiking enthusiasts will love exploring Portugal’s finest hiking routes. Some of the best areas and trails to aim for are Paiva Walkways, Gerês Waterfalls, Caldeirao Verde Levadas in Madeira, and Ribeira Grande and Twin Lakes in the Azores.

Festivals in Portugal

You’ll find carnival parades all over the country in February, with Lisbon and the towns of the Algarve having particularly spectacular celebrations. While it may seem to be all bright costumes and feathers, carnival dates back centuries to when people held feasts to the meat which was forbidden over Lent. 

Over Holy Week or Semana Santa in March and April, there are celebrations and processions all across Portugal. Festivities start on the last Friday before Lent and finish on Shrove Tuesday. If you find yourself in Braga, the Algarve or Tomar over this time you’ll most likely experience an abundance of flowers and lights.

From March to August you will be treated to a display of amazingly intricate sand sculptures as part of Fiesa, the international sand sculpture festival in the Algarve’s Pêra. Artists use around 40,000 tonnes of sand to create works of art, some of which tower to 12 metres high. There is a full programme of workshops, demonstrations and competitions as well.

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