Portugal Weather And Best Time To Visit Portugal
Portugal marks the south-western tip of Europe; and predictably so, has the most mild European climate with a marked Mediterranean touch. The country sees high humidity in forested mountainous regions and lots of long, sunny days on beaches and seaside towns. That is the reason Portugal’s weather is categorised as ‘exotic’ in Europe. With its white-washed red-roof houses and sparkling seas, cobbled terra-cotta lined gullies and tropical vines, Portugal is a great summer holiday destination. The best time to visit it, though, is spring and autumn.
Spring (March to May)
Spring comes to Portugal by early February and March makes for a lovely weather. Surfing schools on the islands swell with visiting students and European tourists start to trickle in. Rains take a rain check and the temperature hovers between 13-21°C. While northern Portugal is still in the thrall of winter, Madeira makes for the best place to enjoy spring. Carnival of Flowers in Madeira is a very beautiful spring festival that you mustn’t miss.
Summer (June to September)
Summer is hot and humid in Portugal but also the peak season as all of Europe is on summer break. The temperatures keep rising and reach crescendo by mid-July. June is the most comfortable, temperature-wise, and sees 10 hours of sunshine with cool water temperatures. So if you want a summer holiday with the best weather then choose June. On the islands of Portugal though, the water is warmer because of Gulf-stream currents and the temperatures reach up to 30°C, while the mainland is breathable between 17-28°C. Madeira and high mountains see the coolest weather in summer and do require warm clothes after sunset.
Autumn (October to November)
With a temperature range dropping from 17°C to 11°C by the end of the season, autumn in Portugal is called the ‘velvet season.’ The weather is mildly warm and waters cool if not tepid. October end brings some rainfall and chilly evenings are followed by foggy roads. Beaches are no good by November and only the hinterlands of Portugal remain open for holidaying. This is a good time for back-backers and budget travellers because the crowds are all gone, leaving heavy discounts on everything.
Winter (December to February)
Winters in Portugal are mild compared to other countries in Europe. The coasts are warm even through the thick of winter. The average temperature in the north is 5-9°C and nights are frost-filled with -4°C. The mountains do get snowed-in but the lowlands and plains are far from such bitter cold. Rainfall is moderate to high in all other parts of Portugal and fog very common. This is definitely not the best season to visit Portugal unless you want to embrace the cold. Madeira, however, being an all-year-round destination sees some warm weather at this time too.