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Panoramic view of Alfama quarter, Lisbon, Portugal

When is the best time to visit Portugal?

The best time to visit Portugal is in spring (March-May), when the country is in bloom and waking after the winter. You could also go in fall (between September and October) when the sun is still shining, the weather is warm, and many of the crowds have dispersed. Summer (June-August) can get very hot, particularly in central Portugal. Large numbers of Portuguese head to the beach during this period, when the water temperatures are warmer than usual. Visitors are drawn by the sunny and inviting southern European climate. The winters, though colder, still offer a good amount of sun. While many beach resorts wind down at this time, it can still be a good time to explore the cities and inland areas.

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Audley Travel Specialist Rob

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I think Portugal is prettiest in September, when the changing of the seasons sweeps over the countryside. The vineyards are particularly lovely, the foliage shifting from green to yellows and reds and even purple. It’s also a good time to visit wineries because you can actually see the process, starting with the harvest. Summer’s high heat lessens to a comfortable temperature and the crowds start to thin out, too.

Cara, Italy, Spain & Portugal Specialist

Portugal Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Lisbon 15°C 102mm 16°C 93mm 18°C 74mm 19°C 54mm 22°C 42mm 25°C 20mm 27°C 3mm 28°C 5mm 26°C 23mm 23°C 71mm 18°C 107mm 15°C 106mm
Porto 25°C 93mm 24°C 84mm 23°C 134mm 20°C 103mm 17°C 115mm 15°C 137mm 14°C 121mm 15°C 145mm 17°C 119mm 19°C 103mm 21°C 104mm 23°C 128mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Portugal

Skyline, Porto

Visiting Portugal in November - December

Portugal’s rainy season begins in November and December, meaning fewer sunny days, but the country still experiences more sun than rain and warmer temperatures than much of Europe. The Algarve usually remains especially pleasant and sunny and can attract European visitors looking for a  winter getaway.

Events & Festivals

  • Christmas: most towns and villages are festively decorated throughout December; the celebrations culminate on the 24th, when most families attend midnight mass and enjoy feasting together.

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Portugal