Index


Introduction



The climate of Portugal is temperate and influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. In the north, the climate is cool and rainy, while moving south it becomes gradually warmer and sunnier; in the far south, the region of Algarve has a dry and sunny microclimate. In the interior, on the border with Spain, the climate is a bit more continental.
In summer, Portugal is protected by the Azores High, so it's usually sunny everywhere, however, a few weather fronts can still affect the northern part of the country. In the rest of the year, and especially from November to March, rainfall can occur, especially in the north where it is more frequent and abundant. Therefore, the landscape in the north is definitely green, while it gradually becomes more arid towards the south, down to Algarve, which has a fairly dry climate.
In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga and 1,100 millimeters (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January is around 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, and 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.
In winter, there are periods of good weather when the Azores Anticyclone settles in the country, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which, in fact, are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).
Summer, from June to mid-September, is sunny, and it's warm in the center and south, and mild or even cool on the northern coast: in Porto the daily average temperatures in July is 20 °C (68 °F), with highs around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F). In Lisbon, the average in summer is higher, and reaches 23.5 °C (74.5 °F) in August, with highs around 28 °C (82 °F). Along the southern coast, the temperatures remain similar to those of Lisbon because of the influence of the ocean.
The heat is more intense in the interior, especially in the south-central, in the plains and in valleys at low altitudes (see Évora, Beija), where sometimes it can be scorching.

North


Porto

Here are the average temperatures of Porto, located in the northern part of the coast.
Porto - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)558911131515141185
Max (°C)131416182023252524211714
Min (°F)414146485255595957524641
Max (°F)555761646873777775706357

The rains in Porto are more frequent and abundant from November to February, while in summer they are quite rare. Here is the average rainfall.
Porto - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1601451108585402025501051501701145
Prec.(in)6.35.74.33.33.31.60.8124.15.96.745.1
Days13141099534691213107

The temperature of the sea in the northern part of the coast is very cool, if not cold, even in summer, in fact it reaches 19 °C (66 °F) in August.
Porto - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)141414141517181918171615
Temp (°F)575757575963646664636159

In the inland areas of the north, east of Coimbra and Oporto, the winter is colder, not only for the greater distance to the sea, but also because the altitude increases, and at times it can snow.

Bragança

Here are the average temperatures of Bragança, located in the extreme north-east, at 700 meters (2,300 feet), near the Montesinho Natural Park. Here, during the most intense cold periods, the temperature can go down to around -10 °C (14 °F).
Braganca - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)0135812141412841
Max (°C)91115162026292925181310
Min (°F)323437414654575754463934
Max (°F)485259616879848477645550

Further south, and north-east of Coimbra, we find a mountain range, the Serra da Estrela, which reaches 1,993 meters (6,539 ft). Here are the average temperatures of Penhas Douradas, at 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) above sea level and a short distance from Manteigas.
Penhas Douradas - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)0012510121310720
Max (°C)567912172121171276
Min (°F)323234364150545550453632
Max (°F)414345485463707063544543

Center-south


In central and southern Portugal, winter is milder, while summer is warmer; Atlantic disturbances pass less often over the region, and windy days are less frequent.

Lisbon

Here are the average temperatures in the capital, Lisbon, located in the south-central part of the coast.
Lisbon - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)8911121417181918151210
Max (°C)151619202226282827231815
Min (°F)464852545763646664595450
Max (°F)596166687279828281736459

Here is the average precipitation.
Lisbon - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1101107555451555306095105710
Prec.(in)4.34.332.21.80.60.20.21.22.43.74.128
Days11118772114791179

The sun in central and southern Portugal shines regularly in summer, but even in winter there are several sunny periods, as we can see from the data of Lisbon. In the north, the sun shines a little less often in Porto, on average, about an hour less in both winter and summer.
Lisbon - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours557891011119755

In Lisbon, the sea temperature is slightly warmer than in Porto, although it's still very cool for swimming, in fact, it only reaches 20 °C (68 °F) in July and August.

Lisbon

In inland south-central areas (Alentejo region, see Évora, Beja), summer is definitely hot, especially during heat waves from Africa.
Here are the average temperatures of Beja, where from June to September the temperature can reach or exceed 40 °C (104 °F).
Beja - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)567810131616151297
Max (°C)141518202329333329231815
Min (°F)414345465055616159544845
Max (°F)575964687384919184736459

Algarve



Map of Algarve

In the far south, in Algarve, along the south-facing Atlantic coast, in cities such as Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Faro, and Tavira, the climate is Mediterranean, though the summer is not as sultry as in the real Mediterranean areas. The climate here is similar to that of Lisbon but a little less rainy, in fact the yearly rainfall is around 500 mm (20 in). Summer is sunny, and there are often lively breezes; in addition, there may be some days a bit cool, with highs below 25 °C (77 °F), especially in June and in the first half of July.

Albufeira

Here are the average temperatures of Albufeira.
Albufeira - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)89911131618181714119
Max (°C)161618192225282826221916
Min (°F)464848525561646463575248
Max (°F)616164667277828279726661

In Albufeira, rainfall amounts to 550 mm (22 in) per year; in summer, it rains very rarely. Here is the average rainfall.
Albufeira - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)95705540301512155585100560
Prec.(in)3.72.82.21.61.20.600.10.62.23.33.922
Days91179521128101277

In Albufeira, the sun shines normally in summer, but there are several sunny days even in winter.
Albufeira - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours66891011121210866

The sea on the south coast of Algarve is cool, although a little less than in the rest of Portugal, in fact, it reaches 21 °C (70 °F) in August and September.
Albufeira - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)161616161819202121201917
Temp (°F)616161616466687070686663

On the south-western tip, in Cape St. Vincent and in Sagres, the summer is particularly cool: average highs in July and August are only around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F). Here are the average temperatures in Sagres.
Sagres - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)91011121316171817151211
Max (°C)151617182022242525211816
Min (°F)485052545561636463595452
Max (°F)596163646872757777706461

Sagres

Best Time



The best months to visit the cities of Portugal are May, June and September, since in July and August, it can sometimes be hot. However, given that in the north (see Porto), hot days are rare even in mid-summer, you can visit this area from June to September.
Winter is mild, but it can be very rainy and windy, especially in the north, and it can be cold in inland areas. Summer is generally not too hot, except during the short periods when the wind blows from Africa and the temperature can exceed 35 °C (95 °F), which happens especially in the center and south.
If you want to go on a beach holiday, the best period is summer, especially July and August (and also the first half of September in the center and south), however, as mentioned, the temperature of the ocean is not high, and is definitely cool on the north coast.

What to pack



In winter: for Lisbon and the south coast, bring spring/autumn clothes, a sweater, a coat, a rain jacket; you can bring a jacket a bit heavier and a hat for Porto and the northern coast. For inland and mountainous areas: warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a hat, a raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: bring light clothes, a sun hat, a light scarf for the sea breeze, a sweatshirt for the evening; a sweatshirt and a light jacket for the north and the mountains.