July in Portugal: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Beautiful beach in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
Jacek_Sopotnicki / Getty Images

The entire country of Portugal basks in the sunshine in the summer, with only slight temperature variations from one region to another. In July, cooling breezes off the Atlantic Ocean buffer the heat in the coastal towns of Lisbon and Porto, especially at night, while the inland Douro Valley often sees the country’s record high temperatures but also the biggest drop in temperatures at night. A temperate microclimate in the southern portion of the country maintains beach weather on the Algarve nearly year-round.

Lisbon Weather and Events

While you’re pretty much assured of good weather in Lisbon in July, the dependable sunshine also means plenty of other people will be in town taking advantage of it too. If you're staying for a while, make sure to book a hotel in advance to save money and avoid a potential headache down the line. Endless blue skies mean the city sees very little moisture in July, with an average rainfall of less than a quarter of an inch and more than 14 hours of daylight.

Average high: 82 F / 28 F

Average low: 64 F / 18 F

You can have plenty of fun in Lisbon just wandering the streets and people-watching from your table at a sidewalk café. If you're the athletic type, you can even take a surf course and hit the waves. But the city’s summer events schedule does include several notable July events.

NOS Alive: One of Europe's most respected festivals ushers in the summer season with a line-up of international indie rock and alternative music acts at the Passeio Maritimo de Algés.

Super Bok Super Rock: This show brings iconic artists and emerging talent to Parque De Nações (Nations Park) for a compilation performance of rock, pop, hip-hop, rap, and electronic music.

Tall Ships Races: This event brings the biggest regatta of the year to the port in Lisbon in 2020, where more than 50 vessels moor for a few days of festivities on their route from Spain to France.

Porto Weather and Events

July provides the perfect weather for terrace dining or port tasting outside one of the wine cellars. With more than 14 hours of daylight and just two days of rain, on average, Porto’s beaches are also a big summertime draw. Recorded temperatures here have reached as high as 100 degrees F and as low as 51 F but on average the air remains comfortable all month, with sea temperatures in the mid-60s.

Average high: 77 F / 25 C

Average low: 61 F / 16 C

Wine aficionados and anyone curious about the local specialty can take advantage of the many opportunities to book port-tasting tours around the city. There are many affordable accommodations in the city and you certainly won't lack for things to do in Porto.

MEO Mares Vivas: Big names in rock and pop music draw huge crowds to Vila Nova de Gaia for a three-day festival.

The City of Porto International Folklore Festival: Invited performers from Portugal and abroad showcase the culture and heritage of their countries through music and dance.

Vinho Verde Wine Fest: At this four-day event on the Gaia river bank, you can sample the signature wine at guided tastings, take cooking classes, cheer on dueling chefs, attend parties, and enjoy plenty of food.

Douro Valley Weather and Events

As elsewhere in Portugal, July brings sunny days to the valley, making it prime time for a visit to the grape terraces at the many wineries. Again, if the wine is your thing, why not book a full-day wine tour? Summer is a perfect time to sample all the Douro Valley has to offer. On average, 0.67 inches of rain falls in July in Vila Real, where you have more than 14 hours of daylight for exploring.

Average high: 83 F / 28 C

Average low: 58 F / 14 C

You may not find any organized festivals in the Douro Valley in July. But the beauty and cultural significance of this wine-growing region, one of the world's oldest, is reason enough to celebrate just an average day here. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley’s hilly landscape makes a dramatic backdrop for picturesque towns dating back centuries. Choose one or several to explore.

Favaios: This charming town is known for its sweet Moscatel wine and four corners bread. The grapes will be lush on the vines in July; you can visit the winery, take a tour, and sample recent vintages.

Lamego: Port wine got its start here. The ancient city dates back to the seventh century, and a large number of churches remain from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Pinhão: This small town makes a good jumping off point for visiting the multiple wineries dotting the hillsides. Even if you don’t arrive by train, go see the historic Pinhão train station and its collection of murals. There is also a notable bridge here designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame.

Algarve Weather and Events

It's all about the sun and surf in the Algarve in summer, and the temperature and long days make it the ideal time to enjoy the many beaches. You're unlikely to see any rainy days here in July when less than a tenth of an inch of rain typically falls.

Average high: 85 F / 29 C

Average low: 66 / 19 C

Everyone naturally spends a lot of time outdoors on the Algarve, dining at sidewalk cafes and lazing on the beach. You can find an abundance of open-air festivals, concerts, theater performances, and celebrations all year long, with a few notable events taking place in July.

Alameda Beer Festival: In the seaside town of Faro, you can taste more than 200 beers from around the world, while enjoying live entertainment and plenty of food.

Festival Internacional de Jazz de Loulé: At the Castle of Loulé, this long-standing event brings the world's best jazz to the Algarve.

Salir do Tempo Medieval Festival: Look for archery, music, and performing arts when the village of Salir takes itself back to medieval times for this three-day festival.

What to Pack

You can count on many sunny days during the summer in Portugal, but it’s still a good idea to pack a rain jacket or umbrella for the inevitable shower. Be sure to carry sunscreen and a floppy hat for maximum protection from the UV rays, and bring a swimsuit even if you don’t plan to visit the beach. You’re within just a few miles of the sand in both Lisbon and Porto, so you should be prepared for an impromptu trip to the shore. Many resorts in the Duoro Valley include an onsite spa.

Light layers provide the most versatile comfort. For women, a large scarf can double as a fashion accessory and an extra layer for cooler evenings or a modest covering when visiting religious sites. Bring comfortable, flat-soled walking shoes for sightseeing on Portugal’s many cobblestone streets.

Travel Tips

Book high-season accommodations and transportation early for the best prices and most availability.

Experience local life by getting a bit off the beaten track. You can head just a few miles from the major towns and tourist destinations to discover quiet villages.