Algarve’s popularity as a tourist destination has increased rapidly over the last few years, likely to be due in some part to its year-round warmth and sunshine.
Algarve is a popular tourist destination for visitors to Portugal, benefiting from the Mediterranean climate which brings long, warm and dry summers and very mild winters.
One striking weather fact about the Algarve: the region receives more sun each year than California.
Algarve weather averages and climate information
When is the best time to go to Algarve?
Algarve’s tourist fortunes may well be to do with its warm climate stretching through the entire year. Those seeking a comfortable break to explore Algarve, its food and culture in cooler conditions will certainly enjoy a visit during the early spring or late autumn months. Those looking to enjoy some time in the sun will want to head to Algarve in the summer months, taking advantage of the long, hot, summer days.
Algarve’s spring season is warm, with temperatures averaging around 20 °C to 21 °C across the season. A quieter time of the year in Algarve, visitors to the area need not worry too much about the rainfall, but there are occasional showers. By the end of spring, the weather is more like summer with temperatures rising quickly, leaving visitors warm in the shade and hot in the sunlight. The days in the Algarve grow longer through the spring, with an average of eight hours of sunlight per day at the start of the season, rising to around 10 hours by the end of spring.
Tourists looking for sunshine will enjoy the Algarve summer. With almost no rainfall across June, July and August, the Algarve is dry through the summer months with the long days (peaking at 12 hours of sunlight in July) and near-zero cloud cover leaving a very warm climate. Temperatures can hit as high as 30°C in July, ranging upwards from the mid-20s. A gentle breeze may offer some relief from the heat, but wind speeds are relatively low so taking refuge in the shade at the height of the summer days might be advisable.
The autumn in Algarve is typically hot to begin with, cooling only slightly too warm temperatures by November. Late-season sun seekers can still be found sunbathing throughout the autumn, enjoying average daily maximum temperatures ranging from 26°C in September to 19°C in November. Whilst it remains warm in Algarve, rainfall rapidly increases through the autumn season: 26mm in September, 56mm in October and 81mm in November. Despite the warmth of autumn, Algarve’s average sunshine falls to around 6 hours per day by the end of the season.
December is winter’s wettest month in Algarve with 96mm of rainfall through the month, typically. Whilst the winter season is warm – expect the air to feel cool to mild, although you might find temperatures in the sunlight to be as high as 20°C – the days are much shorter, with 5 to 6 hours expected each month through the winter.
Algarve tourist information
Not only does this beautiful region have more sunshine per year than California, but it is also a hub for tourists wanting to experience its fantastic food-related culture - the Algarve is renowned for the local seafood and fruit which are economically important to the growth of the region. It's not surprising that the Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal.
The Algarve's sunny shores date back thousands of years and have seen vast development since its 12th-century routes. The coast is now scattered with mountain ranges and terracotta rooftops; and while travelling around this beautiful region, tourists are greeted with an array of 15th-century architecture - the buildings are typically lavish with high ceilings and wide archways.
The region is bustling with some 10 million visitors per year and still manages to preserve its relaxed, homely feel - with visitors looking for more secluded stays in nearby Sagres. This tranquil town has a mix of picturesque views and beautiful beaches, and is still a relatively untouched part of the Algarve.
Due to its shore side location, many travellers expect this town to be a wind trap, but surprisingly the landscape is quite sheltered, with typically mild weather throughout the year. Sagres is popular amongst visitors all year round, especially those looking for water based activities - the Sagres Ocean provides perfect conditions for surfing and fishing because of the western Atlantic waters.
Although the Algarve is not solely known for its laid-back beach life, it is also equally as appealing for those looking for an upbeat entertainment and nightlife - Lagos is the energetic part of the region. The historically rich town is home to many tourist-friendly bars and restaurants which sit alongside architecture dating back 2000 years. The vibrant centre of the town has lots going on, with tourists flocking to visit the square which is filled with all kinds of entertainment throughout the year. The sweeping sandy beaches of Lagos Bay provide for some incredible views in any season.