Considered one of the warmest countries in Europe, Portugal is known for its mild weather. Although Portugal is bordered on the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean, and by Spain, the country still experiences a Mediterranean climate in most of its regions. However, the temperature can still vary a bit throughout its regions, which includes over 1,000 miles of coastline as well as several interior locations with extreme summer heat. In winters, some areas may experience light snow at times, but it’s not a regular occurrence. When planning a trip to Portugal, it’s best to do a bit of homework to ensure that you’re realistic about the expected temperatures in the cities and regions you plan to explore.
Popular Cities in Portugal
As Portugal’s largest city, Lisbon enjoys mild weather most of the year, with almost 300 days of sunshine annually and temperatures that rarely dip below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) in the winter. It’s common to see some rain from November to February, but the city is on the drier side for the rest of the year.
Summer can get very hot, with several days reaching over 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) in July and August. Due to its proximity to the ocean (and its cooling breezes), the temperature is not excessively uncomfortable, however, if you find it to be too oppressive in summer, there’s relief close by! Lisbon is close to Portugal’s loveliest beaches—with several situated less than 30 minutes away.
Up north, Porto is the second-largest city in the country and features moderate weather year-round, as the temperatures range from 50 to 70 degrees F (10 to 21 degrees C). It’s situated on the breezy banks of the picturesque Douro River and is surrounded by one of the most prominent wine regions in Portugal, the Douro Valley (where Port is produced). In winter, Porto gets a fair amount of precipitation, with December usually bringing the most rainfall.
Keep in mind that if you travel east of Porto into the Douro Valley, you may hear the locals remark that the area has “nine months of winter and three months of hell,” and they are not exaggerating as temperatures often reach a sweltering 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) for days on end in the summer.
Located in inland Portugal in the vast Alentejo region, this ancient city features many historical sites, churches stunning views, as well as Roman ruins. It is situated between Porto and Lisbon, so many tourists decide to spend some time here as they travel between those two areas. This region offers plenty to see and do, as it’s home to exceptional wineries and stunning landscapes. It's also the region that produces cork, so you'll notice shops selling unique cork products.
While mild and pleasant throughout most of the year, Evora gets extremely hot in the summer, with desert-like conditions and temperatures frequently spiking over 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). If you visit, be prepared for getting an early start to your sightseeing and staying in the shade for a few hours during midday.
Waves at Nazaré
If you’re lucky enough to be in Portugal in the late fall or winter months, check out the coastal city of Nazaré, known far and wide for its incredible winter swell and massive waves that reach over 90 feet (27 meters) high. In summer, it's a popular beach resort, but in winter, this area attracts big wave surfers from across the globe.
Winter in Portugal
Portugal is known for its mild temperatures, and winter here is much more moderate than other European countries. The colder months are the most unpredictable. You should be aware that despite the fact that Portugal often boasts a lot of sunny days that may reach 60 degrees F (15.5 degrees C), there’s also a fair amount of grey clouds and rain during winter. On chillier days, temperatures can drop to the mid-30s Fahrenheit (2 degrees C), depending on where you are in the country.
What to pack: Be sure to pack long pants, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and closed-toe shoes during the winter months. It’s always a good idea to bring a jacket, raincoat, and/or umbrella and rain boots during this time of year. Snow is not common, but depending on which region you visit, there can be snow showers in the colder months.
Spring in Portugal
Spring is a lovely time to visit Portugal, no matter which region you are exploring. You will certainly enjoy the warmer temperatures and abundance of sunshine. Although it may not be full-on beach weather, it certainly won’t be uncomfortable to walk around and sightsee just about anywhere in the country.
What to pack: Pack light clothing and a lot of layers. Jeans or casual pants are ideal and can be paired with a T-shirt during the day. Plan to wear flat shoes or sneakers when sightseeing (no matter which season you visit). In the evening, add a sweater or a light jacket for additional warmth if needed.
Summer in Portugal
Summer will see the mercury rise considerably in Portugal. After all, there’s a reason why the Portuguese flock to the beautiful beaches to escape the heat. This is the time to avoid centrally-located regions like Alentejo. While it produces excellent wines, the area is known for its brutally hot summers.
If you visit Portugal in summer, plan to spend at least a day or two at the beach and try to avoid the interior regions. Whether you are based up north in Porto, or South in the Algarve, there are many stunning beaches where you can relax in the sunshine. Portugal is also known for its premier surfing spots, but despite the warm temperatures, the ocean temperature is often less than 70 degrees F (21 degrees C).
What to pack: You can’t go wrong with light, breathable clothing, such as shorts and sundresses, sandals, and bathing suits when visiting Portugal in summer. Remember to bring a hat, carry water, and use a lot of sunscreen if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. The weather is usually dry, so unless there is an unexpected storm, you won’t need an umbrella, either.
Fall in Portugal
By far, the most temperate season in Portugal is the fall—and it’s a fantastic time to explore Portugal. Quite often, the temperatures are warm enough for a day or two at the beach (without the crowds), and pleasant enough without being uncomfortable to walk around during the day.
What to pack: In the fall, the weather is transitional all over the country. It can be hot during the day and cooler at night, so be sure to pack accordingly. You will feel most comfortable wearing jeans or light trousers during daytime sightseeing activities and a short-sleeved shirt. It’s also wise to bring boots, an extra scarf, and a sweater or jacket for the evening.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||59 F||3.9 inches||10 hours|
|February||61 F||3.3 inches||11 hours|
|March||66 F||2.1 inches||12 hours|
|April||68 F||2.7 inches||13 hours|
|May||72 F||2.1 inches||14 hours|
|June||78 F||0.6 inches||15 hours|
|July||83 F||0.2 inches||15 hours|
|August||83 F||0.2 inches||14 hours|
|September||80 F||1.3 inches||12 hours|
|October||72 F||4.0 inches||11 hours|
|November||65 F||5.0 inches||10 hours|
|December||59 F||5.0 inches||9 hours|