Europe & Britain | Destination Guides

This is the best time to visit Portugal

Portugal is a year-round destination for travelers, with something magical to offer in every season. That means the best time to visit Portugal really depends on what kind of travel experiences you’re looking for. If you want to soak up the sun on Algarve’s golden beaches, summer will be best for you, but if you’d like to enjoy wine harvest festivals and wine tastings, you’ll love the autumn season. To help you decide when to go to Portugal, we’ve rounded up all the highlights and what you can expect during each season. 

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Family riding a bike along the riverside in Lisbon

Spring (March to May)

Spring in Portugal is arguably one of the best times to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, making it perfect for exploring cities like Lisbon and Porto without the sweltering heat of summer. The countryside is in full bloom, with iconic bright pink geraniums coating the cities. The coastal areas are usually less crowded, making for a peaceful retreat.


Festivals: Spring is the season for some of Portugal’s most colorful festivals, including the famous Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations in Braga.

Wine tasting: Late spring is an excellent time for wine tours, especially in the Douro Valley, where vineyards are vibrant and beginning to show their colors.

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spring blooms in Obidos Portugal

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the peak tourist season in Portugal, thanks to its long, sunny days and lively atmosphere. Beaches in the Algarve and coastal regions are at their best, with water temperatures ideal for swimming and water sports. It’s the best time to enjoy long balmy nights, hopping across bars and restaurants as fado music floats through the air.


Beach vacations: The Algarve becomes a haven for beach lovers, offering crystal-clear waters, golden sands, and a plethora of activities from surfing to sunbathing.

Festivals: Summer is also a time for festivals, including the popular São João Festival in Porto.

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Two female tourists walking down a board walk towards a beach in the Algarve

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is a wonderful time to go to Portugal as the heat of summer subsides and the tourist crowds thin out. The weather remains warm, especially in September and October, with temperatures comfortably between 20°C to 25°C. You’ll also get to admire the beautiful orange, red and golden foliage across the country.


Wine harvesting: Participate in or observe the traditional wine harvesting activities in regions like Douro and Alentejo.

Sightseeing and hiking: Explore Portugal’s natural beauty with fewer crowds, from the rolling hills of Serra da Estrela to the cliffs of the Algarve.

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Sintra in Portugal, shot from a high angle, with trees showing autumn leaves

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Portugal is mild compared to much of Europe, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C. While it’s the rainiest season, there are still plenty of sunny days, especially in the Algarve, which enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine per year. You’ll also get to soak up the lush green scenery – a photographer’s moody dream.


Christmas markets: Experience the festive spirit at Christmas markets in Lisbon, Porto, and other cities.

Cultural tourism: With fewer tourists, winter is the perfect time for cultural exploration of Portugal’s museums, historical sites, and architecture without the queues.

cathedral illuminated with Christmas decorations Portugal

When to avoid

While Portugal can be enjoyed year-round, those seeking beach holidays should avoid November to March, when temperatures are cooler and rainfall is more frequent. Similarly, if you prefer avoiding crowds, July and August might be less appealing due to the influx of tourists.

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vineyard along the Douro Valley Portugal

Your most frequently asked questions on best time to visit Portugal 

1. What months are considered the best time to visit Portugal?

The best time to visit Portugal is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). The weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are smaller compared to the summer months.

2. What months are the rainy season in Portugal?

The rainy season in Portugal typically falls between November and February. The highest rainfall usually occurs in December and you can expect an average of 14 rainy days during this month. 

3. What time of year is Portugal hottest?

Portugal is hottest during the summer months of June, July, and August. Temperatures can soar above 30°C, especially in the interior regions and the Algarve.

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4. Can I visit the beaches in Portugal during winter?

Yes, you can visit beaches in Portugal during winter, especially in the Algarve, where the weather is mild and sunny most days. However, water temperatures will be cooler, and swimming might not be as comfortable as in the summer.

5. Are there any specific festivals in Portugal that are worth planning my trip around?

Absolutely! Portugal hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. Some of the most famous are the Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations in Braga during spring and the São João Festival in Porto in June. There’s also various wine festivals in the autumn, particularly around harvest season in regions like Douro and Alentejo.

6. Is summer a bad time to visit Portugal due to the crowds?

While summer is the peak tourist season and certain areas, especially popular beach destinations, can get crowded, it’s still a great time to visit if you enjoy a lively atmosphere and warm weather. Early booking and exploring lesser-known regions can help avoid the biggest crowds.

7. What activities are best suited for autumn visits to Portugal?

Autumn is an ideal time for wine tasting and participating in harvest festivals. It’s also great for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring the countryside, and enjoying the country’s rich cultural heritage without the high season crowds.

8. How cold does it get in Portugal during winter?

Winters in Portugal are generally mild. In the coastal areas, temperatures usually range from 10°C to 17°C during the day, but it can get colder in the interior, especially at higher altitudes.

9. Are there any advantages to visiting Portugal during the off-peak season?

Visiting Portugal during the off-peak season (winter and early spring) offers several advantages, such as fewer tourists, lower prices for accommodations and flights. You’ll also enjoy the unique charm of Portugal’s cities and landscapes in the quieter months.

10. What should I pack for a trip to Portugal in the spring?

For spring, pack light layers, as the weather can vary from cool mornings to warm afternoons. Include a light jacket for cooler evenings and comfortable shoes for walking. Don’t forget sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong even in spring.

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What is your favorite time to visit Portugal? Let us know in the comments below…

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