From summer to winter, I’ve explored Portugal in every season and can tell you exactly when to plan the perfect vacation. The best time to visit Portugal is in September when crowds, prices, and humidity are low, but temperatures are still high enough for sunny beach days!
Ultimately, you’ll need to consider where and why you’re visiting since the weather varies between Lisbon, Porto, Douro, and islands like Madeira.
From the Algarve to the Azores, I’ve broken down the different seasons of Portugal as well as the best places to visit based on interests like surfing, swimming, hiking, and more.
Whether you’re looking for the best weather, perfect beach days, cheap prices, or epic surf, this guide will help you uncover the best month to visit Portugal.
- Best Weather: Early Summer (June-August)
- Rainy Season: Winter (January-February)
- Beach Weather: Summer (June-August)
- Surf Weather: Fall/Winter (September-February)
- Avoid Crowds: Spring/Fall (March-May & September-October)
- Cheap Prices: Early Spring (March-May)
- Festivals: June
- Douro Valley Grape Harvest: Late August-September
- Most Variation: Azores
When is the Best Time to Visit Portugal?
Whether you’re gearing up for Portugal solo travel or checking into a luxury resort, timing your trip just right is everything.
To figure out the ideal month or best season to visit Portugal, consider factors like weather, prices, crowds, and the specific activities on your Portugal bucket list. Each season offers something unique, so it’s important that you choose the right time based on what you want to do.
If it’s music festivals like Primavera Sound Porto you’re after, most of the major cities in Portugal host outdoor concerts from early June until the end of summer.
Keep in mind that different regions of Portugal experience different weather patterns and seasonal fluctuations so don’t just look at the country as a whole if you know you specifically want to check out Algarve beach towns like Faro, Lagos, and Albufeira.
Best Time of Year for a Portugal Vacation
A good time of the year to go to Portugal depends on what you want to do. Check out the options below based on your personal preferences.
The best time to visit Portugal for good weather is during the summer months of June to August. This is when you can enjoy warm temperatures and long sunny days.
Here’s what to expect at different times of the year:
- Spring (March-May): Mild temperatures and blooming landscapes make it an excellent time for outdoor activities.
- Summer (June-August): Warm and sunny weather, perfect for beach vacations and exploring coastal towns.
- Autumn (September-November): Pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds make it an ideal time for sightseeing and cultural events.
- Winter (December-February): Mild weather in southern regions, while northern areas offer a chance to experience snow.
Though Portugal is generally sunnier than the rest of Europe, it still rains. The rainy season in Portugal generally falls during the winter months, late November to February. The northern regions of the country, particularly the mountainous areas, tend to receive the most precipitation.
On average, Portugal receives around 31 inches (800mm) of rainfall annually, though this can vary significantly depending on the region.
The best time to visit Portugal to surf is during the autumn and winter months when Atlantic swells are at their peak. However, summer can also offer enjoyable surf sessions with smaller waves best suited for beginners.
Surfing in Portugal is a popular activity among locals and tourists alike. With favorable weather conditions, Portugal offers great waves for surfers of all levels. If you want to stay near Lisbon, you can always take a day trip. Learning to surf is one of the best things to do in Ericeira!
Some other popular surfing locations include Peniche and Nazaré. These areas are known for their consistent waves and beautiful beaches, attracting surfers from all over the world. In addition to ideal conditions, Portugal also has a vibrant surf culture, amazing surf schools, and camps for beginners to learn and improve their skills.
Plus, Portugal’s wave quality and variety make it suitable for both shortboard and longboard surfing. Whether you’re looking for fast barrels or mellow point breaks, you can find them in different regions of the country.
READ NEXT: A Complete Guide to Winter in Portugal
Portugal experiences the biggest crowds during summer, particularly in July and August. Traveling to Portugal in winter or during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall is the best time to avoid crowds. From March to May and September to October, the weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer tourists which means shorter lines, better service, and an easier time getting around, especially if you’re using public transportation.
Portugal is a dream come true when you visit in the off-season. I’ve been to Portugal during every season except winter and I highly recommend late September. It was still warm enough to enjoy the beautiful Cascais beaches, but not so hot that I was sweating buckets after climbing those steep Lisbon hills.
Is your vacation time limited to high season? Visit lesser-known regions and attractions that are not as popular among tourists. By exploring off-the-beaten-path locations, you can enjoy a more authentic experience and avoid the crowds.
PRO TIP: Consider visiting Portugal during weekdays rather than weekends to further minimize the number of tourists.
As the crowds disperse, the prices drop!
If you’re looking for cheap prices, there’s nothing cheaper than January and February, but you’ll have to put up with cold weather and quite a bit more rain. Even though Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, you should ask: Does it snow in Portugal? The answer might surprise you!
For affordable prices, I recommend visiting Portugal during the spring months of March, April, and May. This is a great shoulder season when prices for accommodation and flights tend to be lower, but with almost as much sunshine as you’d see during summertime.
Portugal’s magnificent beaches are simply irresistible with their azure waters, golden shores, and wildly beautiful coastlines. I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you insisted on a relaxing getaway to one of the best beach towns in Portugal.
The very best time to visit Portugal to enjoy the beaches and sunny weather is in the summer, between the months of June, July, and August, with August being the hottest month. Portuguese beaches are enjoyable through September, as well. The months of June-September are the best time for swimming!
For avid swimmers, the ideal time to take a dip in the Atlantic waters is also between July and September, when the water temperatures average a balmy 66-73°F (19-23°C).
Outside of the summer months, the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean can drop significantly, requiring a wet suit for swimming and surfing.
Festivals & Events
There’s never a dull moment in Portugal, but certain times of the year offer especially unique experiences you won’t want to miss. Here are the top festivals and seasonal events:
- Festival of Saint Anthony in Lisbon (June): One of the most celebrated parties in Portugal, Festival of Saint Anthony is a tribute to the patron saint of Lisbon, featuring a week of exciting parties and cultural events.
- Surfing Championship in Peniche (October): One of the biggest events in the World Surf League, this competition brings the best surfers from around the world to Peniche’s famous Supertubos Beach.
- Carnaval in Lisbon (February/March): This lively festival is filled with parades, colorful costumes, and vibrant music.
- Porto Wine Festival (June): A week-long festival held at the best port wineries in Porto, you can try a huge selection of wine, along with fun workshops, and cultural activities.
- Óbidos Medieval Market (July/August): A charming, gorgeous town, one of the best things to do in Obidos is to step back in time and experience Portugal’s Middle Ages at Obidos Medieval Market with traditional foods, arts, and a medieval parade.
Seasons in Portugal
Portugal offers a variety of travel seasons throughout the year, each with its own unique charm. Whether you prefer mild temperatures and fewer crowds or vibrant festivals and lively beach days, Portugal has something to offer. Here are four key points to consider:
- Spring: Experience Portugal’s beautiful landscapes and blooming flowers during the spring months. The weather is mild, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring historic sites.
- Summer: Summer is the peak season in Portugal, with warm temperatures and bustling tourist attractions. Enjoy the stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife that the country has to offer during this time.
- Autumn: As the summer season comes to an end, autumn brings cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. This is a great time to visit if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, while still enjoying pleasant weather and various cultural events.
- Winter: Portugal in winter sees milder weather compared to many other European countries. While some regions can be a bit rainy, there are still plenty of indoor attractions, museums, and cozy cafes to explore.
It’s worth noting that the best time to visit Portugal’s various regions will vary since they have slightly different climates and experiences during each season. Therefore, it’s essential to research specific destinations within Portugal to find the perfect travel season for your preferences.
Portugal Temperatures by Month
Here’s a look at the average temperature and rainfall in Portugal’s most popular destinations.
The Best Time to Visit Each Region
Looking for the best time to visit Lisbon? Or the ideal time of year to sightsee in the Algarve? Let’s take a look at the weather in each of Portugal’s different regions throughout the year.
Lisbon & Central Portugal
In Lisbon and the Central Portugal region, the weather tends to be more temperate than in the north.
- Average temperature: Around 63 degrees Fahrenheit, with lots of sunshine.
- Best time to visit Lisbon: Spring and fall, specifically from March to May and September to October, are optimal times to visit due to pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
- Worst time to visit Lisbon: The summer months of July and August can be extremely hot and crowded with tourists, while December and January are typically the coldest and rainiest months.
- Special Events: The Festival of Saint Anthony is a massive celebration that takes place in Lisbon every June.
LISBON TRAVEL RESOURCES
Any 4 day Lisbon itinerary should include these great activities and day trips!
The Algarve, located along the Southern coast, is known for its famously sunny and warm climate with more than 300 days of brilliant sunshine each year, offering the most pleasant weather in all of Portugal.
- Average temperature: Typically ranging between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit, the region is bathed in sunshine for most of the year.
- Best time to visit Algarve: Late Spring or early Autumn when the weather is pleasantly warm, and the crowds from summer tourists have subsided. For the best surfing in Algarve, be sure to stick around from November up through April.
- Worst time to visit Algarve: Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong in the Algarve with temperatures in the 60s throughout winter and surfing at its peak. However, if you’re after swimming and sunbathing, November-April will leave you pretty disappointed.
- Special Events: The annual world surfing championship takes place in Peniche every October.
Whether you’re traveling in a group or on an Algarve solo travel adventure, the best way to see the entire coast is to take a series of fun day trips from Faro to spots like Tavira, or even Seville, Spain.
Porto & Northern Portugal
Northern Portugal, particularly cities like Porto, Braga and Guimarães, experiences a cooler climate compared to the country’s southern regions.
- Average temperature: Approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with a higher probability of wind and rainfall.
- Best time to visit Porto: The milder months, when the weather is more pleasant and the chances of rainfall are lower are the ideal time to explore Northern Portugal.
- Worst time to visit Porto: During the winter months, specifically January and February, Northern Portugal experiences relatively harsher weather conditions.
- Special Events: Porto hosts the annual Port Wine Festival every June.
PORTO TRAVEL RESOURCES
The Douro River Valley, renowned for its vineyards, enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cool winters.
- Average temperature: Usually fluctuating between 50-85°F, depending on the season.
- Harvest Season: Timing varies between late August and October, so September may be your best bet to soak up the autumn beauty and enjoy harvest festivities.
- Best time to visit Douro Valley: Late spring and early fall are ideal times to see all the best wineries in Douro Valley in full bloom while avoiding the extreme summer heat and humidity, with temperatures as high as 100°F.
- Worst time to visit Douro Valley: The winter months, particularly from December through February are full of cold, rainy days and naked vines. However, you may enjoy seeing the vines pruned the first week of January or smaller tours where you get more of the winemaker’s attention.
Madeira, an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, enjoys a subtropical climate. Locals claim that these Portuguese islands are home to the best climate in the world with warm temperatures year-round.
- Average temperature: Ranges from 64-75°F, with the ocean breeze providing a cooling effect.
- Best time to visit Madeira: Pretty much any time outside of the rainy season guarantees an incredible visit full of hiking and gorgeous views.
- Worst time to visit Madeira: The highest rainfall occurs between October and January.
Portugal’s Azores Islands are home to an ever-changing climate that adds an element of excitement to your trip. You can enjoy sunny beaches in the morning before spending your afternoon in a misty mountain surrounded by fog.
- Average temperature: The temperature in the Azores typically ranges between 60 to 70°F, dipping into the 50s in winter.
- Best time to visit Azores: For the best chance of clear, sunny skies and minimal rainfall, plan your visit between June and September.
- Worst time to visit Azores: The months from September to March experience a higher amount of rainfall, with an average of 30 to 45 inches of rain per year depending on the particular island.
Is there a hurricane season in Portugal?
Typically, the period from June through November is considered as the hurricane season in Portugal. Despite this, Portugal rarely experiences direct hurricane hits. Rather, the detritus of these storms often results in rainfall and gusty conditions over the land. The regions most frequently impacted include the Azores, Madeira, and the northern part of the country.
Is Portugal humid or dry?
The climate in Portugal is predominantly influenced by the Atlantic, resulting in a majority of the country falling within the humid zone of the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal experiences a high level of humidity year-round, with certain months being exceptionally humid. The humidity in Portugal is at its lowest in August, with a relative humidity of 60.3%. Conversely, January is the most humid month, recording a relative humidity of 74.7%.