Sara and John say...
It’s not surprising that a country that boasts sunny beaches, lush vineyards, arid plains and a wild Atlantic coast, possesses a climate of variety. However, there’s a reason why visitors head to Portugal in their millions: the weather is usually warm and sunny.
Southern Portugal sees most sunshine and the highest temperatures through the year. Blue skies can be relied upon in the summer months, making the beaches of the Algarve especially popular. However even in July and August, a breeze often prevents the heat from becoming too stifling, with days typically in the high 20s or low 30s Celsius.
Inland, however, the arid plains can become very hot indeed. Hydration and sun-protection are essential.
Further west, the heat tends to be less intense. And while the capital, Lisbon, is reliably dry and sunny through the summer months, showers do occur more often as we head northwards up the windier Atlantic coast.
Towards, Oporto and the Duoro Valley, this fresher and more showery climate gives the countryside a verdant look and helps to swell the vines! That said, most summer days remain warm and sunny.
It’s not until the autumn that Atlantic winds spread cooler and less settled weather more widely across Portugal. But even in the depths of winter, most days remain fine across southern parts of the country, making this a great winter-break destination - whether for sightseeing, golfing or just relaxing. Daytime temperatures typically range form the low to high teens, north to south across the country from December to January, although nights can get chilly.
Fresh warmth brings a greenness to the countryside through March and April; and as sunny skies become more reliable again, this season is one of the best times to enjoy the many spring festivals and a crowd-free vacation, before the country heads to the beaches in the summer months to come.