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 mild or even cool on the northern coast, and warm in the center and south. 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). However, in the coastal areas most exposed to ocean winds (see Peniche, Sines, Sagres), it is cool even in summer. The Algarve coast is more sheltered, and therefore the temperatures are similar to those of Lisbon.
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.



Here are the average temperatures of Porto, located in the northern part of the coast.
Porto - Average temperatures
Min (°C)567911141615141287
Max (°C)141517181923252524201714
Min (°F)414345485257615957544645
Max (°F)575963646673777775686357

The rains in Porto are more frequent and abundant from November to February, while they are quite rare in summer. Here is the average rainfall.
Porto - Average precipitation

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
Temp (°C)141414141517181918171615
Temp (°F)575757575963646664636159

In the inland areas of the north, east of Aveiro 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.


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).
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
Min (°C)0122510131311631
Max (°C)6691013182222191397
Min (°F)323436364150555552433734
Max (°F)434348505564727266554845

To the north-east of the Serra da Estrela we find Manteigas, at almost 800 meters (2,600 feet), and Guarda, which is located at 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) above sea level.


In central and southern Portugal, winter is milder, Atlantic disturbances pass less often over the region, and windy days are less frequent. Summer is warmer, but not on the coast, where the ocean air is felt even in this season.


Lisbon, the capital, is located not exactly on the Atlantic coast, but in a sheltered bay on the estuary of the Tagus river (the Sea of Straw), so in summer it is warm (while for example, at Cabo da Roca, it is cool even in summer). Here are the average temperatures.
Lisbon - Average temperatures
Min (°C)8910121316181817151210
Max (°C)141618192125282826221815
Min (°F)464850545561646463595450
Max (°F)576164667077828279726459

Here is the average precipitation.
Lisbon - Average precipitation

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

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.


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
Min (°C)567810131616151297
Max (°C)141518202329333329231815
Min (°F)414345465055616159544845
Max (°F)575964687384919184736459


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.


Here are the average temperatures of Albufeira.
Albufeira - Average temperatures
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

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

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
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
Min (°C)91011121316171817151211
Max (°C)151617182022242525211816
Min (°F)485052545561636463595452
Max (°F)596163646872757777706461


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.

See also the climate of the Azores islands and of Madeira.