Nov 28, 2023



Travel Inspiration

The Best Time to Visit Portugal: Season-by-Season Guide

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


Icon Share


When’s the best time to visit Portugal? We’re covering the broad strokes as well as when to visit for a few niche reasons, like when to avoid crowds or catch the best weather. 

Not in a reading mood? Connect with Fora to plan and book your trip to Portugal with a pro travel planner who can tailor your trip to your preferences and budget. 

Maybe you want to know the best months to go surfing at a very specific beach. Or perhaps you’re wondering when to visit the best places in Portugal for cultural immersion. No matter the reason you want to visit, we can answer all your travel questions while unlocking VIP hotel perks and other extras for you. 

Portugal’s weather in broad strokes: sunny, warm summers & wet, mild winters

Before we get to Portugal’s seasons, it helps to understand the country’s climate. Broadly, Portugal has mild highs and lows — it’s rarely sweltering, nor is it ever frigid (outside of the mountains, of course). 

Throughout most of the year, Portugal is sunny and comfortable, with only occasional showers in spring and summer. Southern Portugal is notably dryer than the country’s northern regions throughout the year, which may be something to consider if you’re planning on visiting Porto or Lisbon. 

(Love the idea of visiting Portugal’s coolest cities? Check out the top hotels in Lisbon or the top hotels in Porto. Or see both and plan a road trip from Lisbon to Porto.)

Season-by-season guide to visiting Portugal

Here’s a quick breakdown of each season’s claim for why it’s the best time to visit Portugal.

And remember: if you’d like pro advice on when to visit Portugal (for any reason), book and plan your trip with Fora.

Summer: the best time to visit Portugal for great weather & to enjoy the beach

With nearly nonstop sunshine, the scenic Atlantic coast and comfy temperatures that rarely exceed the mid-to-high 80s on the coasts, summer is the absolute best time to visit Portugal if you’re keen on checking out the country’s natural beauty and beaches. 

Northern Portugal’s beaches can still be fairly cool in early summer, and the country’s interior (like the lovely Douro Valley) can get pretty hot, but for the most part, this is the best time to visit Portugal for great weather. 

On the flip side, June through August is also Portugal’s high travel season, so you can certainly expect more crowds, especially in the major cities.

(Curious about beach resorts in Portugal? See our guide.) 

Autumn: one of the best times to visit Portugal for experienced surfers, to avoid crowds & more

Autumn is a good time to visit Portugal if you want to enjoy mild temperatures and skip the worst of the travel crowds. This is Portugal’s shoulder season, so many attractions throughout the country are still open, and prices are a bit more favorable than they are during summer. 

Portugal’s Algarve region, for example, tends to see a sharp decline in travelers even though the weather is still generally agreeable. And if you’re experienced, this can be the best time to visit Portugal for surfing — the waves are much stronger in autumn, and the colder ocean temperatures discourage crowds.

However, it’s worth noting that rain becomes increasingly more common as the season progresses, particularly in northern Portuguese cities like Porto. For most, the rain typically isn’t enough to dissuade travel, but it’s worth considering if you’re planning lots of outdoor activities.

(P.S. Want to check out the Algarve? See our guide to the best hotels in the Algarve, Portugal.)

Portugal in winter: the best time to visit Portugal to experience the cities’ cultural sights (and for lower rates)

Winter is a great time to sightsee in Portugal because even though it’s noticeably cooler than it is in summer, it’s certainly not freezing, either. You can totally explore most cities and towns in light layers during the day. Winter also begins Portugal’s holiday season, so it can be an extra magical time to visit. 

Moreover, Portugal doesn’t get a ton of travelers in winter, so hotel rates are generally more affordable — except for the mountainous regions, where snow sports draw travelers from all over.

Otherwise, the only major downside is that Portugal experiences a lot of rainfall in winter, with more average rain the further north you travel. Coupled with large waves and minimal beachgoers, though, winter presents an ideal time for expert surfers.

(Need itinerary ideas? Read our guides to things to do in Lisbon and things to do in Porto, Portugal.)

Portugal in spring: a great time to visit for light crowds, blooming flowers & mild weather

Visiting Portugal in spring is comparable to doing so in autumn, except rain and cool weather obviously become less common as the season goes on. 

April to early June counts as shoulder season, too, so the crowds are generally manageable, especially outside of the busiest places to visit in Portugal.

The key difference between fall and spring in winter is that the beaches are still (for the most part) too cold to really enjoy. Beginner surfers may appreciate the smaller waves, but on the other hand, waves can be inconsistent, so it’s hard to plan for beach trips.

The best time to visit Portugal for niche reasons

Read on for quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best times to visit Portugal.

Or get personalized travel suggestions when you plan and book your trip with Fora.

What are the best months to visit Portugal for lower prices?

This depends on the region or city to an extent, but winter is generally the best time to go to Portugal for lower prices across the board (i.e. hotels, rental cars, meals, etc.). Spring and fall also tend to offer more affordable rates, but this is more region specific. 

When is Portugal’s rainy season? Which part of the country receives the most rainfall?

Northern Portugal, including the city of Porto, receives significantly more rainfall than the bottom half of the country throughout the year. However, Portugal’s rainy season generally extends from late fall to early spring, peaking in winter. 

When is the best time to visit Portugal for wine tasting?

Fora Advisor Eva Alcaide says, "The harvest season runs from September to October. You can witness the winemaking process, participate in grape picking activities and experience the lively atmosphere of wine festivals. Then during spring (March to May), the vineyards are lush and green with the picturesque landscapes."

Fora - Home
Advisor - Eva Alcaide
Eva Alcaide
  • Barcelona,
  • Madrid,
  • European Cities,
  • Urban chic
  • , +3 more

When is the best time to visit Portugal for surfing?

This depends heavily on your skill level. Summer and spring can be good for beginners, but it’s worth noting that waves can be inconsistent and crowds can make the conditions unpleasant. 

Fall and winter bring larger waves and fewer people, creating excellent conditions for experienced surfers who don’t necessarily mind the chilly temperatures.

Need more intel? Connect with Fora to plan and book your surfing trip to Portugal (or anywhere).

Is there a “worst” time to visit Portugal?

Hardly! Portugal is a gorgeous and culturally rich country — it’s hard to be bored here no matter when you visit. On the other hand, if you’re visiting for a very particular reason, there are less-than-ideal times to visit the country.

When is the best time to visit Portugal for festivals?

There’s always something going on in Portugal, so it depends on what types of festivals you’re most interested in. Music festivals are most often held in summer, while arts and culture festivals are more common in fall and spring. Gastronomy events, however, are typically held in winter. 

Ultimately, this is something that’s hyper-specific to cities or regions.

When should you go to Portugal to avoid crowds?

Portugal’s busiest season is summer, with crowds slowly dispersing from fall to winter, then gradually rising throughout spring. 

There are some exceptions, though. For instance, Portugal’s mountain regions see more travelers in winter because of the snow sports opportunities.

Need to know the best time to visit Portugal for your itinerary? Plan with Fora

Need help deciding your best time to visit Portugal? Plan and book your trip with Fora. We'll help you build a plan that fits your budget and interests — whether that’s avoiding crowds, skiing in the Azores or anything in between — while unlocking awesome travel perks along the way and providing you with one-on-one support any time you need it. 

Even better: booking with us costs the same as booking by yourself. 

Need more Portugal travel inspiration? Check out the guides below:

This article has been fact checked by Fora Advisor Eva Alcaide, an expert on travel to Portugal.

    Book with Fora

    Tell us more about yourself to get matched with a Fora Advisor and start planning your dream trip today.

    Furnished room behind open barn style doors