Located at in the southwest of Europe, Portugal nestles alongside Spain, with its coast being bathed in Atlantic waters. Thanks to the country having a very long coastline, and most of the major destinations being located by the sea, Portugal enjoys a mild and temperate climate with warm summers and cooler winters but without experiencing many extreme weather events that plague other countries in the world.
For many, Portugal is known for its sunshine-filled summer days but there are a variety of climates to be found within this small country.
The Algarve and Alentejo
Perhaps one of the most well-known areas of Portugal has to be the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal where you can expect 300 days of sunshine every year – yes you read that right – 300! Here the hottest of the weather is between June and September when temperatures average highs of 74ºF however the cooling breeze off the Atlantic helps to make it feel cooler. In the winter you can expect plenty of warm days with January highs dropping to averages of 54ºF.
The Alentejo is a largely rural region of Portugal, and while it has some coastline to the west, it is predominantly inland which means that it is hotter in the summer when compared to the Algarve. In July average maximum temperatures reach 84ºF, while in January the maximum daily temperatures peak at 60ºF.
The Center and West Coast
Above the Algarve and the Alentejo we have what is referred to the west coast or the “Silver coast” and the central region of Portugal. This area includes the capital of Lisbon, Cascais and the university city of Coimbra.
It is a little cooler here than in the south and you can expect a few more rainy days and some stronger breezes – which makes it perfect for surfing fans along the coast, not only in the big wave capital of Nazaré but also in the surf town of Ericeira.
Serra da Estrela
You may picture golden sands and blue seas when you think of Portugal but the country is also home to mountains that welcome skiers in the season! Serra da Estrela is the highest range of mountains in Portugal and in the winter temperatures can drop below zero but usually you will find winter average highs of 49ºF and in the summer average highs of 75ºF. So if you are a fan of cooler weather then look inland around this area.
Porto and the North
Porto, often considered to be the “second city” of Portugal and boasts spring-like weather for much of the year with average daily highs of around 70ºF to the mid 80ºF in the summer months. The further north you go the cooler it becomes during the winter with snow even likely in some areas of the north including in Guarda.
As you move further inland it can become more humid in the summer and in the winter foggy mornings are the norm.