Portugal is a fabulous country to visit and is actually fine to visit all year round, although when you choose to go will depend a great deal on your interests and what you want to do there. Most people say that the Best time to go to Portugal is to catch the beginning or the tail end of the holiday season when it is still warm but less crowded – around June or September time. You can still enjoy beach days at this time of year, without everywhere being packed with screaming kids!
When is high season?
Peak Tourist Season in Portugal
The best time to go to Portugal, also the busiest period of the year, corresponds to July and August. This holiday season extends throughout most of June and September. The beginning or end of June and mid-September are not advisable in terms of weather conditions. Between these two periods there is a “light” period.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Peak Season?
The advantage is certainly that you can enjoy warm weather beaches, a pleasant climate and sceneries without any problem in terms of accommodation. Crowded cities may not be your thing but if it is what you want, then go for it. It will be difficult to find an affordable hotel room in popular destinations but fear not, it is likely that there are still some offers.
When should we visit Porto and Lisbon?
You will enjoy more time to explore the city and its surroundings if you decide on visiting these places in May or June. The temperature drops a little while still being considerate. In July and August, temperatures can reach higher than 40 degrees in the city center.
By choosing to visit Portugal in May or June you will experience more pleasant temperatures than between July and September. May or June is the Best time to go to Portugal if you want to visit the cities and walk around old town architecture.
Remember that as well as Lisbon and Porto there are some other fantastic cities for history and architecture including Tomar, Evora and Coimbra. I visited Tomar in June for the Nights Templar Convent and Tomar Old Town – the weather at that time was perfect!
When is the best time to go to Portugal?
January: winter season, temperatures from 5 degrees in Lisbon and Porto; must be booked well in advance if you want to visit popular places. February: less crowded than the months before but it will still be cold.
March and April: milder weather with temperatures that vary between 7 and 14 degrees. May: spring season, temperatures from 11 to 20 degrees;
June: milder weather than in the previous months with more sunshine but still not too hot. Perfect for visiting the cities and enjoying walking tours.
July, August and September: high tourism season with sunny days but also very humid, temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees.
October and November: this is a good time for visiting the country if you are a football fan; weather is very mild with temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees in all regions.
December and January: winter season, low temperatures around 5 degrees (Porto) and Lisbon will not get above 8 or 9 degrees. It can be cold inside during the winter as many Portuguese houses are not very well insulated and they don’t have very effective heating systems. Many Portuguese head to the warmer climate of Brazil during the winter!
The Festival de Jazz at Colares takes place every year in June at the magnificent Egreja de Santa Maria in Colares. On this occasion, jazz concerts are organized by renowned European jazz musicians and even some American artists as well.
The Festival Internacional de Sintra is held every year between 6th and 15th September in Sintra, a town that borders Lisbon. This festival allows you to enjoy a varied program that includes art exhibitions, film screenings and concerts.
The Tomar Festas de Sanjoaninas take place in September every year in the town of Tomar (about an hour from Lisbon). During this festival, there are traditional parades as well as music performances and sporting events such as bullfights.
When is the best time to go to Portugal?
Sure, you can choose your own period but as a reminder, we propose the following months according to the activities mentioned above:
- January – winter season;
- May and June – milder temperatures that are pleasant for walking around in Lisbon and Porto;
- July and August- good weather for sunbathing, perfect for a beach holiday;
- September – Festival time.