WEATHER & CLIMATE
Portugal is a small country, with a large range of weather conditions but mainly characterised by a warm temperate, Mediterranean climate with a wet season in winter. As you head east toward the Spanish border, winters become longer and summers hotter.
The climate along the 700km coast line is predominantly influenced by the currents and winds of the Atlantic Ocean, especially so in the northwest of the country where a mild, rainy climate is observed in winter. As a rule, as you head south you will find temperatures and hours of sunshine tend to increase while precipitation declines. As in any coastal destination, the summer highs are tempered by the cooling sea breeze and the winters warmed by the ocean waters.
Summer months bring perfect beach days and many hours of sunshine, with temperatures averaging 28ºC (82ºF) in Lisbon and often going well up into the high 30s. The highest temperatures are felt in inland areas, namely the Alentejo and central and north-eastern Portugal, where the cooling effects of the winds blowing off the sea are not felt as they are in the Algarve and the western coastal areas. Sea temperatures are considerably higher in the Algarve than on the western coast.
Winters are mild by northern European standards, with temperatures averaging 10ºC (50ºF) in Porto, 12ºC (53ºF) in Lisbon and seldom reaching freezing point at sea level. Algarve winters are especially mild, with average temperatures of 15ºC (60ºF) and considerably less rainfall than in the north. Most of Portugal’s rainfall occurs from November to March, always falling more heavily in the greener and more mountainous north. Snow is very rare in Portugal
Spring and autumn months bring lovely mild weather which is perfect for sightseeing and travelling around the interior to witness the blossoming countryside in spring and the grape harvests in autumn.