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Best Time To Visit Portugal

Continent: Europe
Region: Southern Europe

What is the best time to visit Portugal?

The Best time to visit Portugal is during spring and fall seasons as they have a balmy weather, summers are long and hot, while winters are wet and cold. However, the country does not have a particular holiday season - it is an all year round destination, and everything depends on what the visitor wants to see and how they want to spend their time in Portugal. July and August are two of the busiest months in Portugal, as it is the time when many Europeans take their summer holidays. For those who want to enjoy the beach, the ideal season is from June until the end of September. However, for seasoned surfers, a good time to travel is between November and January. Even though the air and sea temperatures are not the warmest, it is during these months that the waves are the most magnificent. Late spring or early autumn is considered as another good to visit the country, as it is less crowded, and the weather is beautiful. It is best that travellers on a budget avoid major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Since these seasons come with long weekends and vacations, flight and hotel prices soar. For those seeking a cost-effective holiday, the early months of spring and autumn, are the best months to travel. As for exploring the historical sites and cultural aspects of Portugal, it is a favourable destination all days of the year.

Portugal Peak Season

Portugal does not have a particular holiday season. However, the tourist influx remains high starting from June to September. This is mainly because of the beaches open in June, and Europeans from all across come here to enjoy the beach and the sun. Several music festivals also add to a high influx of young travellers. South and Central Portugal are the best travel options during this time. However, it must be noted that expenses in food, accommodation and travel surge during this period. So, it is better that you take care of your travel needs in advance.

Portugal Shoulder season

Spring and Autumn are two the best time to visit Portugal. The weather is pleasant - neither too cold, not too hot, and the number of travellers to the country is relatively less. As such, the prices for accommodation and travel also go down. Spring begins in March and lasts till May, while October and November make for the Autumn season. Layers of the colourful, velvety cover make Portugal a beautiful place during this time. For sightseeing, exploring, day tours and activities, this is one of the ideal time to travel. However, beaches remain closed, so for those seeking a seaside holiday, travelling during these months will be a disappointment.

Portugal Offseason

The winter that is the months of December, January and February are considered an off-season for tourists in Portugal. The winters are wet, and the average temperature hovers between 14°C to 8°C. But again, there is a tourist surge around the time of Christmas and New Years eve owing to long weekends and holidays. Invariably, there is an increase in flight and accommodation prices. Beaches remain closed during the winters, but those seeking to explore and take up sightseeing activities, there should not be any problems. Just make sure you carry with you the right clothing for protection from the cold and rains. The Alentejo and the Algarve regions in Portugal's south are good destinations to travel during winters if you wish to enjoy the snow and some skiing, head to. Serra da Estrela.

Winter in Portugal (December-February)

Weather in Portugal in Winter
Winter is a low tourist season in Portugal, but proper planning could make it a delightful and benefiting holiday. To enjoy the beaches is not an option during winters, but it is a perfect destination for those seeking to explore the historic towns, stunning scenery and vibrant nightlife.
December, January, and February mark as the winter months of Portugal. Cities like Porto and Lisbon are year-round destinations, and during the winters, one can enjoy a less hectic sightseeing experience, as well as get hold of some great flight and accommodation deals.
The season is one of the best time to visit the Alentejo and the Algarve, the Southernmost region of Portugal. Many come to this place to escape the cold and gloom of Northern Europe and enjoy the bright and sunny days in the resort towns. North and central Portugal needs to be avoided during this time as the weather gets freezing and wet. Serra da Estrela is very cold, and mountains are covered in snow during this time. Skiing is a major attraction during this time here. In the northern part of the country, the average temperature is about 5°C to 9°C. In Madeira, the temperature is around 15°C. During December and early January, the festive spirit throughout the country adds to the joy of travelling. Umbrellas, boots and heavy winter wears are must-have for those travelling in winters.

Key Events in Winter
Christmas and New Years day ensures a festive spirit throughout the country, especially in traveller friendly destinations of Portugal. On February and March, Lisbon and Algarve turn into an exciting sight as ‘Entrudo’ a.k.a. The ‘Carnival’ kicks off in the city. It is characterised by parades, dances, colourful costumes, fireworks, music and food.

Spring in Portugal (March-May)

Weather in Portugal in Spring
Spring, beginning in March, and running through May, officiates the holiday season of Portugal. The bright cities with pastel-painted buildings are added with other hues by season's new blooms. The weather in spring is pleasant during this time; with a temperature between 20-27°C, it is neither too hot or too cold. The tourist sights are less crowded, and there will be full availability for accommodation. With winter fading away, it is an ideal time for hiking or to explore the historic towns and cities of Portugal, and the regions of Madeira and the Azores offers much to the visitors during this time. While rains are scanty during this time, beaches are not open for swimming and other activities until summer. So sightseeing, history and culture tours as well as culinary experiences are the best things to enjoy. The sights around the country are carpeted in vibrant colours, and the pleasant weather makes it convenient for travelling around. Great outdoor dining and wine tasting experiences are other highlights of the season.

Key Events in Spring
Spring also marks the onset of several festivals and events in Portugal. The Fantasporto International Film Festival usually takes place on the last week of February or the early months of March at Porto. In the city of Santarém, St. Joseph's Day (Dia de São José) is celebrated with much pomp on March 19, 2018. On April 25, Portugal celebrates its Liberty day with parades and fireworks. Establishments in the city might remain closed on this day.
Food festivals are a big tourist draw during Spring. ‘The Lisbon Fish & Flavors’ (a.k.a. Peixe em Lisboa) gourmet seafood festival that takes place in the country’s capital during the second and third week of April. Around the same time, the ‘Óbidos International Chocolate Festival’ is held in the town of Óbidos. Easter weekend also falls in this month; hence, many food activities pop up.
From May until September ‘Out Jazz Festival,’ characterised by free outdoor concerts, takes place in Lisbon on the weekends.

Summer in Portugal (June - September)

The warm and sunny summers of Portugal begins in June and ends in September. The average daytime temperature throughout the country is around 30 °C. The summer months in Portugal is packed with tourists, especially on the beaches. August is the official Portuguese holiday month; local and people of other European countries usually plan their holidays during this time. As such, this period tends to turn into a luxurious travel experience. Prices at restaurants and hotels are quite high during this time, and flights, if not booked early, will burn a hole in your pockets. It is quite cold in north Portugal during this time.

It is best to travel to South and Central Portugal during this time. The summers are mild and sunny, and best for those seeking a beach holiday. Rising temperatures and arrival of one of the biggest festivals - Santo Antnio and So Joo, marks the beginning of summer. Music, dance, bonfires and grilled sardines are everywhere. Beaches and seaside resorts are the most crowded whereas hotels in cities offer quieter alternatives with alfresco dining. However, the beaches and the sea are the main attractions in summer.

Key Events in Summer
  • ‘Festas de Lisboa,’ a series of festivals characterised by parades, food streets and colourful street decorations take place in Lisbon throughout June.
  • The festivities peak on St. Anthony's Day.
  • Early in June, the nine-day long ‘National Agriculture Festival’ takes place in Santarém. Dancing, bullfights, and bull-running are an important part of the festival.
  • The ‘Portuguese National Day’ (Dia de Camões) is held on June 10.
  • From June 23 to 24, Porto celebrates St. John's Day (Dia de São João), while Évora celebrates St. Peter's Day (Dia de São Pedro), on June 29.
  • The Portuguese are big on fireworks and dances during these festivals. 'Festas Santos Populares' (Popular Saints’ Festivals) in June is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Portugal. No matter which city you are in, there will be some festival or the other.
  • ‘Assumption Day,’ a religious festival takes place on August 15.
  • ‘Our Lady of Nazaré Festival’ on September 8, again, is characterised by the procession, concerts, folk dances, bullfights, and fairs.
  • For music lovers, the summers can be one of the best holiday time in Portugal.
  • From ‘Rock in Rio,’ Lisbon (outdoor rock concerts) (July) to Sudoeste Festival, Zambujeira do Mar (August), and Festival de Sintra (September and October), several music fests take place throughout the country.

Autumn in Portugal (September - October)

Weather in Portugal in Autumn
Autumn, beginning with the end of September, is the velvet season in Portugal. The weather is mild, the waters are cold and the sunny days come to an end by October. Autumn is the best time to explore Southern Portugal as the temperatures are still warm and pleasant with the added advantage of empty, clean beaches as most tourists leave by the end of summer.
The ocean has a significant influence on the weather, and on the Atlantic coast, the weather gets pretty turbulent. Hence, swimming and other beach activities come to a close in October. But the atmosphere is enjoyable in mainland Portugal, especially in the country's central region. At the areas of Madeira and the Azores, the weather is still warm and summerlike. Autumn is the season of harvest, which also means, it is the wine season in Portugal. This is a good time for sightseeing and day trips. The holiday hotspots are less crowded, and there is always a chance for last-minute deals on hotels and flights.

Key Events in Autumn
Autumn is not too big on festivals and events, mostly because, several tourist-friendly events are held throughout the country during the previous months, starting from May to early October.
October 5 is the Republic Day of Portugal, and many establishments remain closed during this day.

Best time to visit the top destinations in Portugal

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