Portugal weather

Portugal weather averages and climate information

Although Portugal has a coastline that faces the Atlantic Ocean, its climate is very much like that of most Mediterranean countries. This means it’s hot in the summer and temperate in the winter, which makes it popular with tourists looking for some winter sunshine.

Portugal gets more sunshine on average than California, which is due to it sharing the same latitude as its neighbour Spain. An average temperature of 21 °C for the year is helped by mild winter temperatures that dip to 14 °C in the capital Lisbon in the centre of the country. Head further south to the popular Algarve region and average temperatures are 16°C.

The inland part of Portugal is smaller than most European countries, but it’s hotter than the coast during the summer as it doesn’t have the same cooling winds. To the north, the weather is cooler, but where you find beaches the water temperature is good for swimming. When the Atlantic winds blow, Portugal is also noted for its windsurfing.

Regional variation

The Algarve region in the south of Portugal is the most popular tourist destination due to its higher temperatures year-round than the north. You can expect a high average of 29 °C in the height of summer and an average of 26 °C throughout this season.

Head for the north of Portugal and temperatures are a little cooler in general but still average 26 °C between June and September. This is tempered on the coast by a breeze from the Atlantic, but inland regions can be hotter as they are protected from the wind by mountains.

Summer weather in Portugal

Peak summer temperatures of 29 °C in Lisbon and the southern half of Portugal can be expected during the daytime. It makes this part of the country feel comfortably warm and there’s very little rainfall from June to August, with no more than 4mm expected per month. Between May and August, there’s at least 10 hours of daily sunshine, rising to 12 hours in July.

Winter weather in Portugal

If you stay in the southern half of Portugal during the winter, you’ll experience mild temperatures that average 16 °C between December and January in the Algarve. Move to the north of the country and the weather is more severe due to the effects of the Atlantic Ocean. Strong winds and high rainfall averaging as much as 120mm in December make the weather more severe.

When is the best time to go to Portugal?

The best time to go to Portugal is in July when temperatures rise to 29 °C but coastal areas still feel fresh thanks to a cooling wind from the Atlantic.

For sunshine and warm temperatures, it’s best to avoid the north of Portugal between November and March. The southern half of the country from Lisbon down has much more agreeable winter temperatures, with an average of 14 °C in the capital and 16 °C in the Algarve in winter.