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Best Time to Visit Portugal

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Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

The best time to visit Portugal is in April, May, September, or October. However, the right time for your visit may be different, based on what you would like to see and do.

Portugal is both serene and lively, with captivating cities, exceptional scenery, and diverse cultures influenced by the changing seasons.

With the dry sunshine of the south and the cool northern winters, the dramatic Atlantic coastline, and wild eastern border, Portugal’s evocative landscape supports unique culinary flavors and vibrant regional cultures.

Best Time for Sightseeing

Walking the castle walls around the medieval town of Óbidos, Portugal

Walking the castle walls around the medieval town of Óbidos, Portugal

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Whether visiting the regal gardens in spring, lounging on the golden sands, or admiring the variety of fresh seasonal ingredients, you can find the true essence of Portugal’s heritage, culture, and natural landscapes in spring and fall.  The seasons are not dramatic but change the spirit of the land and sea with shifting weather patterns, fewer crowds, and different atmospheres ranges. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall, mainly in April to May and mid-September to October, are known for the best weather in Portugal while still giving you the best opportunity for the country's vast array of essential activities.

Best Time for Beaches

Beautiful beach and architecture in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

Beautiful beach and architecture in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

Best Months: July | August

Summer is definitely the best time to visit Portugal’s famous beaches, specifically in July and August. While these are the most popular times of the year to visit Portugal’s beaches, July and August also offer the best weather. The heart of summer also makes sure that the waters around Portugal, whether with an Atlantic beach or on one of the popular riverbanks, has warmed for the season, cooled by a comfortable maritime breeze and views of historic coastal cities.

Best Time for Grape Harvesting

Coastal vineyards on Madiera island, Portugal

Coastal vineyards on Madiera island, Portugal

Best Months: September | October

Not only is fall the best time for the grape harvest in Portugal, but it is also the best for wine tasting. The harvest season brings a celebratory atmosphere to the country, especially in the winegrowing regions like the Douro Valley and Alentejo. Tastings and wine production give you an authentic experience of the harvest season amidst the autumn scenery, making it a perfect time to walk through the vines or cycle along the valley terraces for a unique and unquestionably memorable experience in Portugal.

Best Time for Olive Harvesting

Olive trees surrounded by yellow lupine flowers in the Alentejo region of Portugal

Olive trees surrounded by yellow lupine flowers in the Alentejo region of Portugal

Best Months: October | November

Olives in Portugal are an essential part of the culture and gastronomy, representing a richer sense of history with the harvest taking place in October and November. With a timeless connection to ancient Mediterranean life from the Romans to the Moors, the olive harvest brings another understanding to the wealth of culture and its indelible connection to the cuisine. The harvest experience brings wizened trees in ancient orders to light and offers a new life to represent local heritage captured in the aroma and taste.

Best Time for Food

Mixed fresh Portuguese seafood selection at restaurant in Portugal

Mixed fresh Portuguese seafood selection at restaurant in Portugal

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Portugal in spring and fall, will show you the best seasonal produce for some incredible food.  Between April to May and from September to October, Portuguese food is focused on seasonal, local ingredients. With so many flavorful and fresh options for produce, fresh seafood, or pristine meat. With the shifting landscape and daily offerings, you can find enticing aromas around every corner.  From fresh figs to blackberries, pumpkins to olive oil for a rounded perspective of the authentic cuisine.

Best Time for Surfing

Body boarding and surfing in Carcavelos, Portugal

Body boarding and surfing in Carcavelos, Portugal

Best Months: January | February | March | September | October

Late winter and early spring is the best time for surfing in Portugal. The winter storms off the coast and shifting weather keep the water cold and create months of powerful swells producing waves up to 15 feet tall. While winter and spring are best left for those with advanced skills, it is still a great time to witness the drama of surfers carving the break or just enjoy crash of the curling waves along the coastline.

Best Time for Hiking

Hiking the cliffs around Cape Roca, Sintra, Portugal.

Hiking the cliffs around Cape Roca, Sintra, Portugal.

Best Months: March | April | May | September | October

Hiking is an essential part of the travel experience in Portugal to give you a chance to appreciate the diverse scenery of the country. Stunningly beautiful, it is best to visit in the spring and the fall, especially from March to April and September to October. The sunshine offers warm weather without feeling too hot, and the changing colors bring lush greenery to an array of vibrant shades of autumnal trees.

Best Time for Cycling

Biking along the Alentejo coast in Sines, Portugal

Biking along the Alentejo coast in Sines, Portugal

Best Months: March | April | May | September | October

Cycling is an exciting way to see the country of Portugal with gorgeous scenery in the spring and beautiful yellow and brown fields in fall. Cycling in spring between March to May or in fall between September and October offers fewer crowds, particularly away from the coast, while still bringing great weather with blooming wildflowers, the beginning of the grape harvest, and spectacular views of the seaside cliffs.

Best Time with Family Travel

Family fun in the Park of Nations in Lisbon, Portugal

Family fun in the Park of Nations in Lisbon, Portugal

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Spring and fall are the best times to visit Portugal, specifically between April and May or September to October.  Perfect weather gives you plenty of time to explore the sun-soaked beaches, fairytale castles, and dramatic historic city centers as a family without huge bags and extra jackets. Instead, you can concentrate on the thrills of sightseeing in stunning nature reserves for charming fishing villages, trek the rugged coastline, or snack in Lisbon's cosmopolitan cafes.

Best Time for Couples

Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal

Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal

Best Months: April | May | September | October

Portugal is the perfect place for couples to experience a romantic getaway. With the charming ambiance of Old-World Europe, the weather of the spring or the fall are ideal. From April to May, and again from September to October, Portugal has no shortage of picturesque seaside resorts and storybook towns to explore. From pastel-colored buildings to elegant museums, lively cafes to mazes of historic lanes, Portugal is intimately traditional and beautifully contemporary.

Spring and Summer Activities

Kayaking Ponta da Piedade in the Algarve, Portugal

Kayaking Ponta da Piedade in the Algarve, Portugal

Best Months: May | June | July

The spring and summer are great months for visiting Portugal. The vibrant life never stops across the country with welcoming Mediterranean sunlight. Between May to July, you can embrace the coastline or indulge in the cooler days of a mountain escape, explore the budding gardens or enjoy the glistening waters of the famous rivers that wind through the country. Each new month creates a different atmosphere to enjoy the elegance, prestige, and seasonal cuisine of Portugal’s diverse travel experiences.

Hiking | Cycling | Beaches  | Kayaking | Food Tours

Fall and Winter Activities

Lisbon square during the Christmas season in Portugal

Lisbon square during the Christmas season in Portugal

Best Months: October | December | February

The fall and winter in Portugal introduce a different view of the scenery and culture. The sun continues to shine over the nation, especially in fall, but the landscape shifts in color and gives way to celebrated festivals like the grape harvest, olive harvest, or the mesmeric atmosphere of the Christmas markets. Whitewater rafting can make an exciting splash, and the cooler days provide a great time to hike both in the hills and through the rich valleys for a memorable perspective of one of Europe’s oldest countries.

Chestnut Roasting | Whitewater Rafting | Hiking | Wine Activities| Surfing

More Travel Information & Tips

Pastéis de Nata, Portuguese egg tarts, and wine with a view of Porto

Pastéis de Nata, Portuguese egg tarts, and wine with a view of Porto

Portugal has mild but distinct seasons that let you experience the wealth of natural colors, cultural cities, enticing activities, and rich flavors. Knowing the type of experiences you want will help narrow down when to visit for exciting things to do, like sipping wine at an antique vineyard or lounging on a pristine beach. You can find our Portugal Travel Guide for more information and helpful tips on ways to craft your perfect trip. You can also speak with a Portugal travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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