If you're prepared for the cooler temperatures and spontaneous showers, January can be a great month to see a low-key, untouristy side to Portugal, with fewer crowds, lower prices and some excellent deals available. The beach might be a no-go, but this is a terrific time to hit the cities or embark on a trek in the warmer south of the country.
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While the weather can be cool and wet, a trip to Portugal in February means that you’ll be able to dodge the crowds in the sight-crammed cities, and get the beaches, mountains and trails virtually all to yourself. The cost of flights and hotels plummet, making for some tempting deals. And things heat up events-wise with carnival festivities up and down the country.
While there’s still the odd shower and chilly day, the first whiff of spring is in the air in March, with days steadily getting milder and sunnier, and the countryside awash with blossom. This is a great month for low-key, crowd-free city breaks, leisurely road trips, and coastal and backcountry hikes.
Spring has finally sprung, the countryside is blooming, there’s lots of sunshine between the showers, and Easter is on the way, making April one of most enticing Months to visit Portugal. Avoid the school holidays and you can still bag a good deal (and beat the crowds).
With longer days, plenty of sunshine and temperatures climbing steadily higher, May is a fantastic month to explore Portugal’s coast and cities, not to mention the vineyards and mountains that ripple across the hinterland. Go now before the big crowds of summer begin to show up.
Summer has officially arrived in Portugal, with lots of beautiful sunshine up and down the country and a roster of happening festivals. June is a great month to visit, as the the throngs that descend on beaches and cities in July and August are still a way off, temperatures haven’t yet reached scorching point and there are still some good deals to be had.
July marks the start of peak summer season in Portugal, and just chilling on the coast appears more enticing than ever, with refreshing Atlantic waves to dive into, breezes taking the edge off the heat and ice-cream close by. The major cities and resorts are humming, and festivals are bringing a buzz to all corners of the country. If you like things lively, now’s the time to go.
Portugal brings on the summer highs in August. Yes, you’ll have to contend with higher crowds, temperatures and prices, but there’s a delightfully upbeat mood in the air, as everyone seems to be on vacation and a stream of high-spirited festivals and late-night parties keep things nice and lively. And if the heat gets too much to handle, take the lead of the locals and head to the nearest praia (beach) for an invigorating dip in the Atlantic.
September is hands-down one of the loveliest months to visit Portugal. The weather is still fine (but not as hot as August), the ocean has had all summer to warm up, and the crowds are finally starting to thin. And the first whisper of fall is bringing seasonal color and new wine to regions like the Douro as the grape harvest gets underway.
One of the finest months to visit Portugal, October brings a riot of fall colors and some glorious clear days. While rains begin to fall on the north, the south is still largely sunny, making this a terrific time for coastal hiking, slow touring in the rural interior and even the odd beach day. The crowds are drying up in the cities and at the country's Unesco World Heritage sites, too, making this the perfect month for exploring in peace.
Don't let the odd drop of rain dampen your visit to Portugal in November. With the right clothes and attitude, this can be a fantastic time to explore the cities, rural interior and coast without the crowds — and the sun shines more often than you might expect. You're going to love the peace, authentic vibe and rock-bottom prices as autumn begins to usher in winter.
Christmas is coming and Portugal is in full festive swing, with brightly lit towns and cities, fairs popping up everywhere and parties on the agenda. Before the holidays arrive, however, it is a quiet month, ideal for exploring hotspots that get crowded in sunnier months and taking advantage of low-season deals.