When is the best time to travel to Portugal?
Spring and fall. Portugal doesn’t suffer from quite the extreme temperatures as neighboring Spain does. The Atlantic Ocean affects the Mediterranean climate of the south, while the Gulf Stream moderates the northern area, keeping temperatures mild but rainy.
Springtime in Portugal is a lovely season: wildflowers embroider roadsides, crowds are fewer than summertime, and hotel rates are still moderate. The next choice is September-October. The brilliant colors of the wildflowers are replaced by the gorgeous russet tones of the hillsides and vineyards.
Summers in Portugal are hot, but ocean breezes keep the air delightful. Think coastal California. The Alentejo region, however, scorches during the summer. July and especially August attract swarms of vacationers, but because the beaches in Portugal are rocky with cold Atlantic water not favored for swimming, you won’t find the grossly packed conditions as exist in Spain. The overdeveloped region of the southern Algarve is the exception to the rule—avoid in summer!
Winter means snow in the mountain regions (yes, there are ski resorts in Portugal), and lots of rain in the north, less so in the far south. For most of the country, temperatures are coolish but not freezing.
Some attractions may close during the winter months. Hotels mentioned on this website remain open year round.