Summer is the most popular season, when it can seem that half of Europe is heading to Portugal’s beaches. July and August are the hottest, most expensive, and most crowded months in the Algarve and other beach destinations. Although Atlantic breezes generally keep the coast relatively cool, if you are planning to tour in the interior, it can get seriously hot—topping 100°F (40°C). Humidity, however, is usually low. You get better deals if you go in September or June, when the weather is still good.
Portugal’s climate is similar to California’s. Lisbon is Europe’s sunniest capital, and along the coast the country enjoys mild winters and warm summers. Average temperatures range from 77°F (25°C) in summer to about 58°F (14°C) in winter. Spring can be a great time to visit, when wildflowers paint Algarve clifftops, Alentejo pastures, and northern hillsides with color. Temperatures are more extreme inland. Winters in the northern hills can be bitter, snowfall is common, and there is some (limited) skiing in the Serra da Estrela mountains. Winter can also bring delights. In February, groves of almond trees are covered in snow-white blossoms in Trás-os-Montes and parts of the Algarve. Cool but sunny winter days can be best for exploring the cities or playing a round of golf on one of the Algarve’s many excellent courses.
Madeira has its own subtropical climate and boasts year-round springtime. When it rains on one side of the island, you can often escape to sunshine on the other side, with a short scenic drive over the mountainous interior. Weather in the Azores is mild, but unpredictable. July and August are the driest months and the best for viewing the islands’ famed hydrangea blooms.
Lisbon and Estoril enjoy 46°F (8°C) to 65°F (18°C) temperatures in winter and temperatures between 60°F (16°C) and 82°F (28°C) in summer.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.