Wondering when’s the best time to visit Portugal? Well, the answer is right now. But read on to discover when to see different parts of Portugal in this handy guide.
My love affair with Portugal is still going strong, in case you were wondering. It truly is a wonderful year-round destination.
I’ll advocate for a trip to Portugal no matter the occasion, but technically speaking, the best time to go to Portugal changes depending on where you want to visit. The bigger cities might get packed during the peak summer months, but that’s when Portugal’s islands and coastal escapes shine.
But there are plenty of other factors to consider, which is why I wrote this guide. So wait no longer; let’s dive into the best time to travel to Portugal.
When’s the Best Time to Visit Portugal?: At a Glance
Let me be frank; there’s no golden rule on when to visit Portugal. You can have an excellent holiday regardless of the season, as there are always cool things to do in Portugal.
That said, depending on your budget, weather preferences, and things you want to see or do, you might just want to consider the best time of year to visit Portugal.
I love visiting Portugal in late autumn and early spring when most of the country has mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and prices are lower.
But for those tightening their shoestrings, January and February are the cheapest time to go – and you’ll likely still catch some winter sun. It’s an all-around winner.
The Best Time to Go to Portugal
What is the Best Month to Travel to Portugal?
It goes without saying that choosing the best month to visit Portugal depends on where you’re going. Some locations, like parts of Alentejo, can swelter in the summer, while Madeira and other coastal gems are still cool.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best time to visit Portugal for each area.
Looking for the best time to visit Lisbon, Portugal? The good news is there are cool things to do in Lisbon at any time of the year.
But April and September are the best months to visit Lisbon because you’ll get ideal weather for going to the beaches, rooftop bars, and parks without the peak summertime crowds.
The best months to visit Portugal if you’re heading to Porto or the Douro Valley are May and September. You’ll be able to enjoy warm weather, avoid the rain, and still have longer days for packing in wine tasting, hiking, and sightseeing.
But don’t sleep on Porto or the Douro Valley as an early autumn or late winter getaway. The weather is usually mild, and it’s a more affordable time of year to visit.
February is the best time to travel to Portugal if you want a cheaper holiday in Porto or Douro Valley.
Although they are in entirely different locations (nearly 1,000 km apart), August is the best month to visit both the Azores and Madeira after warm weather.
The good news is that even during fall and winter, you can enjoy incredible hiking and get plenty of winter sun on your European Island holiday.
It’s no little secret; Alentejo is easily one of my favourite European places and something I would add to any Portugal itinerary.
So when is the best time to visit Portugal if you’re going to Alentejo? May is an outstanding time to visit Alentejo to see some wildflower blooms, experience great weather, and explore its famous fishing villages, beaches, and hiking.
What is the best month to visit Portugal if the Algarve is your primary destination? Let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons to visit the Algarve is to spend time on the beach.
July is my favourite month to plan a holiday enjoying the best beaches in the Algarve, dining al fresco, and dancing until the early morning hours.
When’s High Season in Portugal?
Summer is the busiest time of year to visit Portugal, especially in August.
August in Portugal is the busiest month because you get international crowds, and locals are on holiday.
The Cheapest Time to Visit Portugal
If you’re looking to save some serious cash when heading to Portugal (AKA one of the best places in Europe to travel to), you’ll be happy to hear that there are some very affordable pockets of time throughout the year.
I’ll let you in on a secret: Winter (particularly after the holiday season) is the best time to visit Portugal if you want cheaper hotel rates and flights.
To See Cities
It might seem strange, but I ADORE visiting Lisbon, Porto, and other Portuguese cities in the winter.
The weather is colder and there’s a higher chance of rain (not too much, though), but wouldn’t you rather spend the dreary months eating fantastic food, visiting museums, and exploring new places anyway? I thought so.
To See Beaches
There’s no doubt about it. Beach weather requires some serious sun. Despite higher hotel rates and larger crowds, July and August are my favourite months to catch some rays in and around Porto and other Portugal beach destinations.
To See Popular Events
Portugal is a festive country full of incredible cultural celebrations and rich history. Spring and early summer are the best time to visit Portugal for festivals and popular events.
Fiesa (sand festival), Santos Populares, Rock in Rio Lisboa, and Pride are just some of the epic events popping up at this time of year.
But don’t worry if you can’t make it in May or June; there is seemingly always something going on in Portugal, and I’m sure you’ll stumble upon something incredible.
To See Hiking Trails and Vistas
Not many people know that Portugal is a country of epic hikes. My favourite time to hike in Portugal is in the fall. The weather is pleasant, autumn colours begin to show, and trails are far less crowded than in the summer (sign me up).
Portugal by Season
Spring in Portugal
Spring in Portugal is from March to mid-June. The highs in March are typically between 15.5°C (60°F) and 18.3°C (65°F), and it rarely gets colder than 10°C (50°F).
June starts to heat up, and towards the end of the month, you can see average temperatures around 26.6°C (80°F) or even higher.
Portugal in the spring is a beautiful time for cultural events, too. I’m always game for seeing what the locals love to do; who’s with me?
Key Events and Things to Do in Portugal in Spring
- Liberty Day (April 25) celebrates Portuguese democracy and is usually full of parades and festivities, with Lisbon being the centre of the celebration.
- Football season is getting close to the playoffs, so there’s a competitive energy I just love.
Pros to Travelling to Portugal in Spring
- Fewer crowds at popular locations.
- Hotel rates are a bit cheaper.
- The weather is typically beautiful.
Cons to Travelling to Portugal in Spring
- You may experience some rainy weather in early spring.
- It can be windy at times.
Summer in Portugal
Summer in Portugal (June to September) is jam-packed, especially at the beach, and it’s no wonder why. Temperatures are at their warmest, sometimes reaching above 32.2°C (90°F), making it an excellent time for outdoor activities by the water.
Key Events and Things to Do in Portugal in Summer
- Concerts like the amazing Boom Festival are in peak season.
- Beaches are the place to be during the warmest months.
- Outdoor dining is popular.
Pros to Travelling to Portugal in Summer
- Temperatures are at their highest of the year.
- Events seem to happen nearly every day.
Cons to Travelling to Portugal in Summer
- Hotel rates are the highest.
- Reservations require more planning.
- August crowds are exceptionally high.
Autumn / Fall in Portugal
Autumn in Portugal is easily one of my favourite times to visit Portugal. You’ll find warm weather in the daytime and cool evenings, making it perfect for nearly any itinerary.
Key Events and Things to Do in Portugal in Autumn/Fall
Visit Portugal in Autumn/Fall to do things like:
- Explore ancient cities like Evora, Braga, or Coimbra.
- Plan a hike; one of my favourites is the Fisherman’s Trail.
- Visit Sintra and see the leaves changing colours in the most idyllic setting.
Pros to Travelling to Portugal in Autumn/Fall
- The weather is still beautiful in most locations.
- You can visit famous destinations with smaller crowds.
Cons to Travelling to Portugal in Autumn/Fall
- Some areas of Portugal start to get windy and rainy.
- Businesses may be slower or even closed during bad weather.
Winter in Portugal
Winter in Portugal lasts from December to March. Temperatures can get very cold at night but are typically warm during the day, and most destinations in Portugal stay around 10ºC (50ºF) for highs.
One area of Portugal you may want to avoid in the winter is Serra da Estrela, where they regularly see temperatures below freezing during the winter.
Key Events and Things to Do in Portugal in Winter
- Check out a winter holiday celebration like Óbidos Vila Natal.
- Carnival is an excellent event in Lisbon, Madeira, and other smaller cities.
- Visit a museum or popular restaurant.
Pros to Travelling to Portugal in Winter
- You can get into popular places much easier.
- Hotel rates are at their lowest.
- Flights can be very affordable.
Cons to Travelling to Portugal in Winter
- The weather will be much colder than at other times of the year.
- You may experience stormy conditions.
When to Travel to Portugal: Practical Tips + Tricks
- Check the forecast before you pack. Although I’ve given you the average temperatures, following the forecast IRL is always your best bet.
- Make reservations for restaurants and museums during peak season.
- Arrange airport travel or rental cars ahead of time to get the best rates.