When to visit the Algarve

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no-one does anything about it.” Mark Twain

We are often asked ‘When’s the best time to visit the Algarve?’ – closely followed by ‘What’s the weather like?’

Having experienced every month of the year here, we thought it might be fun to give you an idea of what you can expect – with some hints about the weather and what to pack if you are coming here on holiday!

Algarve temperatures

So here goes, let’s start with Spring, which can be a very nice time of year to visit the Algarve:

Aljezur flower

You may need to pack a sweater or warm coat for the evening, but during the day you can enjoy some lovely balmy temperatures – even in February! 17 to 20 degrees – sometimes even slightly hotter during the day – and it’s often 8 or 9 degrees in the evening. The oranges are at their best – straight from the roadside and from March onwards you can see the beautiful flowers come to life all over the cliffs and paths – why not head to the West Coast for some really dramatic displays?

Aljezur flowers

You can also enjoy some fantastic blue skies and seas – again this is the West Coast for you in all its finery in February – truly stunning:

Aljezur Coast, Algarve

April is an interesting month out here – it usually coincides with the Easter holidays from school – which pushes the prices up for accommodation – but we have often found it to be a rainy month! Certainly at best it can be unpredictable – you might need to pack a raincoat, but equally you’ll need some T-shirts – and even some shorts! It’s that kind of a month…

April sunset Algarve

You can still find plenty of room on the beaches though – and the cliff top walks are wonderful now:

April coast Algarve

May / June are often some of the nicest months out here – it can easily reach the mid 20′s during the day – no need for that coat anymore – and of course if you are lucky you can also spot the White Stork families emerging:

White Stork family Algarve

You’ll find the restaurants still nice and quiet, and you can enjoy the dappled sunshine without feeling too hot:

Dappled shade Algarve restaurant

And then we get to July and August! The weather really hots up now – we have known it to reach 40 degrees in the peak of August – it’s rarely below 28 – and be warned – it stays hot at night too! At 11pm one night in August we noticed it was still 29 degrees – ouch!

summer boat Algarve

The summer months are full of events, festivals and exhibitions for you to enjoy – the Algarve certainly comes to life in the summer – regular readers of this blog will know how much we love the Medieval Festival at Silves – you can read more about it here Medieval Enchantment and you can also catch the Sardine Festival at Portimão and lots of concerts and fairs – My Destination Algarve has a great events page to check up on what is happening

summer beach Algarve

It also gets very busy out here too! I have to admit we tend to stay away from the ‘touristy’ places in August – if you know where to go you can still find a beach with some space on it – but if you pick a major resort it is going to look like this:

summer beaches Algarve

If you don’t have to visit during the ‘peak season’ then September is a fabulous month to come to the Algarve – the weather is still hot – often 26 – 28 degrees (or sometimes higher!) and the evenings are not quite as hot – but still lovely and warm.

You can find space on the beach, and tables free in the restaurants – and the pace of life seems to have slowed down a bit too – perfect for late afternoon strolls in the sunshine:

Prainha beachwalk Algarve

From October and into November you are risking the weather a bit more – especially in November which can be quite a rainy month! The temperature starts to drop in the evening – jumpers please! Roasting chestnuts and local markets abound – you can read more about them here: Chestnuts, Peppers and Wellington Boots

Albandeira at dusk

But you are also likely to witness some of the most amazing skies and sunsets of the year – and some lovely sunshine too!

Marinha sunset Algarve

December is a magical time on the Algarve – especially Christmas and the New Year – you can read more about it here The 12 days of Christmas – Portuguese Style None of those fights in the aisle for the turkey and stuffing, or January sales that start in December – just a gentle and peaceful time – with amazingly empty beaches, crashing waves and often bright blue skies with temperatures that can even reach 18 or higher during the day:

Ferragudo beach December

The one thing that the guide books will gloss over though is just how cold it can get at night – once the sun drops you’ll notice the difference – only + 3 or 4 degrees at night will get you reaching for the blankets, heating system and a hot water bottle at night!

But if you can stay for New Year’s Eve you will really enjoy yourself – the Portuguese like to party and they love their fireworks:

New Year's Eve fireworks Algarve

And what can be better than wrapping up and heading off to a deserted beach on New Year’s Day for a walk – and the first ice-cream of the year? (well – why not?!)

first ice-cream of the year

If you have enjoyed this post then you may also enjoy our Places to Go page with lots of ideas on where to explore – and our 7 Day Holiday Guide to the Algarve might be a good place to start planning your next Algarve holiday – hope to see you here one day!

 

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35 Responses to When to visit the Algarve

  1. Spectacular post! Would you mind if I wrote one like this but on Sardinia? I would gladly link back to your post here.

  2. I love the new year ice cream. A tradition well worth establishing :)

  3. fgassette says:

    Very informative post. If I were given the chance to visit I have a lot of information to go by. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  4. restlessjo says:

    Our next door neighbour sold up recently, Aly, so we’ve been bequeathed an electric blanket for those chilly nights. Couldn’t believe how warm it still was at night this week, but I’m sure it’s set to change. You MUST be needing some rain. We have a little to spare if you could use any?

  5. writecrites says:

    So many wonderful things to see all during the year (stork families, festivals, cliff-top walks), which all makes it hard to decide when to visit. I guess the only solution is to make several trips at different times of year. Thank you for such an informative post and lovely pics.

  6. And someone hasn’t tapped you to do paid travel advertisements? What’s wrong with them! I’m not much of a traveler, for many reasons, but I would be so tempted to come your way. You have shared so many lovely reasons why! :-) Debra

  7. So what I get from this is, so long as you don’t mind the odd rain shower, there’s no wrong time to visit the Algarve :)

  8. Great tips about when to visit!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  11. Beautiful land, beautiful photos! The Christmas holidays sound wonderful. Peaceful? Sounds wonderful…

    • ferragudofan says:

      ah yes – there is much about the UK Christmas season that is so frantic and pressured – give me a walk on a sunny beach any day!
      how busy does your Christmas get?!

      • It has gotten less busy, for we are senior citizens now. However, the season is so long. I’ve thought a lot about why this is so. For example, in the U.S., the Hallmark Television channel runs Christmas movies from the first weekend in November through Christmas.

        As a child, I celebrated Advent, which is a season of anticipation; however this one-long holiday is too much. Of course it is promoted by companies that want to sell us things, but I think the length of the season may also have to do with escapism; that this world is so complicated and frightening that we want a perpetual imaginary holiday from it, for as long as we can.

        I like to imagine you and your husband celebrating with all the fun and frills, but a holiday (holy day) that is shorter, more rational, and more spiritual in Portugal.

        Maria

        • ferragudofan says:

          you are spot on re our holiday here – much simpler and more meaningful! and hopefully with some sunshine too!
          it’s when you start seeing Christmas food and gifts in the shops in the first week of September that I start to growl – if it’s a box of mince pies then they will be out of date by October ….!??
          and I worry for people that get into debt and have huge credit cards bills in January … that’s SO not what it should be about!

  12. adinparadise says:

    Fabulous photos. What a lovely holiday destination, for sure. :)

  13. beebeesworld says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for reading my blog-I will follow yours and invite you to follow my blog as well, best wishes, beebeesworld

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  15. Leanne says:

    I’m going to Praia Da Rocha on the 2nd week of May, this will be my first ever holiday abroad. Hoping it’s going to be lovely weather! :D

  16. bex says:

    Hi!
    We came to the Algarve for our first holiday abroad this past Easter. We had some lovely weather and went in the sea most days (coming from the UK, any water that doesn’t give you hyperthermia when you enter is a pleasant surprise) Many locals thought it was cold and while we were in sun dresses, they had coats and boots on!
    I have 4 children and, as you can imagine, funds for holidays are rather limited. We have to go during school holidays and the only flights that we can afford are in April (Easter 2015 is early in the month) or October (last week). So my rather long winded question is which month would be better to visit? I have 4 kids so it’s days like the beach and zoo marine and relaxing by a pool.
    Thanks for any advice.xxx

    • we have always joked that it always rains in April and the last week of October out here – it’s as if the weather knows when the UK holidays are held! given a choice you have a better chance of some sun in April – Zoomarine re-opens March 3rd 2015 and will be quieter than in October … but given a perfect world I’d plump for the May half term if you can afford it – almost guaranteed some sunshine then! whenever you come I’m sure you will enjoy yourselves x

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