October in Portugal

Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Lisbon in October
Image: hfc104/Creative Commons (Some Rights Reserved)

One of the great perks of Portugal is its year-round sunshine and nice temperate weather, particularly on the coast and in the south. October is a great time to visit Portugal since you will have fewer crowds than the tourist-packed summer and you will likely have comfortable temperatures throughout the country. There is a lot that you can do this time of year.

Portugal Weather in October

In Lisbon, the average temperature during the day reaches a high of 72 F and at night dips down to around 57 F.

This time of year has higher than usual humidity rates, averaging from 68 to 80 percent, but it's not terribly uncomfortable since the temperatures are mild. You can expect rain for about half of the days of the month. The warmer Portuguese parts are Lisbon and the Algarve, the southernmost coastal cities.

In Lisbon, You can still enjoy sunsets outside at the miradouros (look-out points) but without the hordes of people. The beaches in autumn along the Algarve coast are beautiful. The weather is nice enough for you to grab a book, plunk down on the beach, and enjoy the sun with fewer crowds. You can even take a surfing lesson or a paddle board excursion although the water temps may seem a little cool at 67 F, this is the warmest the water gets during the year.

Porto and the Douro Valley are a little cooler in October than the rest of the country. For example, in Porto, the average temperature is about 10 degrees cooler at 61 F.

But, it is still nice enough to enjoy a glass of Port wine on a rooftop while looking out at Porto's skyline. Or, take a tour of the city's famous Croft Winery, the oldest winery in Porto, for some out-of-this-world port.

If you are visiting the Douro Valley, you will still be able to sit outside at a quinta (wine-producer) and do wine tastings while taking in the views.

You can book a day-long tour of the wineries, then, find a nice comfy bed in a close-by hotel.

What to Pack

In October, it is best to dress in layers. You may leave the morning with a pullover on, then by midday, it may warm up enough that you can remove it. The evenings usually cool down to the point where you will wear it again. You may feel like you want to wear shorts on a few warmer days, but you would be better off in jeans or long pants in case of rain.

Bring a sweater and a light jacket. Comfortable closed-toe shoes, or a pair of sneakers, are the best option for touring Lisbon’s steep paved streets. You may want to pack an umbrella.

October Events in Portugal

You may not want to participate in a marathon or two, but it is always nice to cheer the runners on. This time of year is prime time for marathons in this part of the world. Food, films, and fashion are the buzzwords in October in Portugal.

  • Lisbon Marathon and Porto Half Marathon: The 26-mile Lisbon marathon starts in Cascais and ends at the Parque das Nacoes in Lisbon. The route includes stunning views by the river or seaside and crossing the Vasco da Gama bridge, one of the longest bridges in Europe. Separately, the Porto half marathon also takes place. The course goes along the ocean and the Douro River crossing three bridges and passing by historical sights.
  • Francesinha Festival: Usually in October, the Francesinha Festival was created in order to pay tribute to one of signature dishes of the city of Porto, the francesinha, which translates from Portuguese to mean "little French girl." It is a sandwich with steak, sausage and cheese, and a spicy sauce. The event brings together various restaurants to show how they re-invent and present this popular Porto snack.
  • Lisbon Fashion Week: Europe’s oldest independent fashion week presents Portuguese designers’ new collections.
  • French Film Festival: The French Embassy and the Portuguese Cinematheque present a month of French films.

Travel Tips

  • Take a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, where you can visit the three palaces of Regaleira, Pena, and Royal Palaces and the Moorish Castle. This is a popular day trip from Lisbon. 
  • At the Douro vineyards, the vines are bursting with grapes in October. You might even be able to join in the harvest and do some grape-stomping at some of the wine estates.
  • If you're looking to stay in Lisbon in October, there are some affordable hotels in the area.  As well, there is a list of cool hotels to check out while you're staying in Porto and some hotels that won't break the bank in the Algarve.