Weather in Portugal

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The weather in Portugal is temperate all year round, as you would expect from a country on the southwest side of Europe that is bordered on the south and west sides by the Atlantic and by Spain on the other two sides. The summer months, from June until September, are filled with endless days of sunshine and temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade. Portugal's weather ensures that its beaches and coastal resorts are packed throughout the hot summer months, with a consequent rise in prices to match. The Algarve, especially, benefits from the average 12 hours' of daily sunshine to make the most of its tourist trade.

The lush, green Portuguese landscape is due to the months of rainfall it receives from November through to March. Northern Portugal is more prone to rain than the south, and in the higher parts of the north it is not uncommon to see showers periodically throughout the year. The southern areas of Portugal have a milder climate and, even in the winter, temperatures are fairly consistently warm.

In the winter in Porto, in northern Portugal, minimum temperatures are around 13 degrees centigrade on average, where as in Faro on the south coast the minimum temperature in January is about 15 degrees centigrade. In July, Faro sees temperatures of about 28 degrees centigrade on average, with Porto's average temperature a slightly milder 25 degrees average. Lisbon comes in between these two cities, with lows of 14 in winter and highs of 27 degrees centigrade in summer.

Late spring and early autumn are pleasant times to visit Portugal because the temperatures are warm, without being oppressively hot, and the crowds have dissipated somewhat. The official tourist season is from June until mid September so be aware that amenities such as swimming pools may be closed outside these times. Lifeguards tend to man the beaches only in summer (the sea gets pretty chilly the rest of the year anyway). The weather in Portugal during the winter remains mild (average temperature 11 degrees centigrade), with some risk of snow in the mountains to the north. The central and southern areas experience bright sunshine and crisp mornings, making it a good time to see the 'real' Portugal with hardly any tourists around.

The key things to pack are your sun cream, whatever time of year you visit, and your umbrella if you are planning a trip to the north as this area has an average yearly rainfall of 2000mm compared to the 1100mm national average.