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The weather in the Algarve

The weather in the Algarve

This article about the weather in the Algarve was written by the author Cees Groenewege n, known for the nice book: "Portugal piece by piece", highly recommended!

Would you also like to enjoy the wonderful weather in the Algarve?
This is possible at our future Boutique Guesthouse-Moncarapacho. During the construction period you will receive up to 40% discount on your future stay with us. Look for more information about our anticipation discount promotion .

Can you go to the beach in January or not? Do you need air conditioning in July or not? The answers to those questions and many more below in a monthly characterization of one of Europe's most popular destinations, the Algarve. The Algarve: south coast on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo Cees Groenewegen

January
After the busy festive week at the end of December, peace returns to the Algarve in January. Winter visitors often choose to arrive in January. The days are slowly starting to lengthen and the weather is ideal for long walks on the beach. And during those walks on the beach you will see that there are always some people just sunbathing in bathing suits. The days are longer in winter in the Algarve than in the Netherlands, you have more than two hours more daylight. Restaurants often have wonderful winter offers, so why would you have lunch at home when you can have it on the beach for next to nothing? January is by far the quietest month of the year, but it is certainly pleasant. Temperatures regularly reach 18 degrees and the sun is always more powerful than in Northern Europe. The number of hours of sunshine in January is no less than 174, which is double that of Bordeaux and quadruple that of Amsterdam. Lunch on the beach in Albufeira in January. Photo Cees Groenewegen

February
If it gets cold in the Algarve, it is at night in January and February. Every year the night temperature reaches almost zero on a few days. Not on the coast of course, especially a bit further away. Fortunately, clear February nights also mean that temperatures during the day can quickly rise to 20 degrees. After all, the sun is already a lot higher in the sky, which means it always feels much warmer than in the Netherlands. February is therefore often a month of lots of lunches outside and beautiful walks, and in the evening the fireplace or the heating with the air conditioning on.


March
March is an in-between month in everything. Tourism is already starting, but is of course still far from what we are used to in the summer. There are still plenty of winter visitors because it is still quite cold in Northern Europe. The sun continues to increase in strength, but the sea water is still far from warm. Without sun the days can still be quite chilly. On a typical March day it rains for a few hours in the morning and the sun breaks through before lunch. Temperatures sometimes reach 22 degrees during the day and on clear days it can drop to around 8 degrees at night.

April
As a family celebration, Easter is almost as important as Christmas, and has the special feature that tourism is technically much more interesting. After all, it lasts three days (Good Friday is a real holiday) while Christmas is over in a day and a half. And it falls at a time when spring has started and the days have already stretched considerably. Easter is the real start of the holiday season (where Carnival is a bit of a false start). Officially the bathing season has not yet started, but in April there are plenty of people on the beach, walking and sunbathing. The number of usual rainy days in April is only 6. And that does not mean that it rains all day, it just means that there are six days with some rain. One beach is even more picturesque than the other! Photo Cees Groenewegen

May
May in the Algarve is a great summer month by Dutch standards. Maximum temperatures vary from 20 to sometimes 28 degrees and minimum temperatures do not fall below 10. It may rain sometimes, but then you sit on a terrace in your shorts and watch it until it blows past. The summer season has now fully started, there are many tourists and, in the opinion of the commercial community, also the better ones: many people with time and money. What they save on travel and accommodation they probably spend in the restaurants.

June
The days are at their longest in June and temperatures rise quickly. The sun is high in the sky, there are no fewer than 12 hours of sunshine per day for a total of more than 14 hours of daylight. There is no longer any rain. It is pleasantly busy because the month is just as nice as the high season months and a lot cheaper. Lots of things are organized, including free concerts on the beach in Albufeira. This was “The Gift” on July 27, 2018. Photo Cees Groenewegen

July
July is hot and busy. Fortunately, the Portuguese heat is dry, due to the very low humidity, 37 degrees in the Algarve is more comfortable than 30 degrees in the Netherlands. If there are periods of several very hot days in a row (35 and above) then it is usually in July. However, air conditioning is not always necessary, if you arrange your daily rhythm based on the heat and seek the coolness or a swimming pool in the early afternoon, you will also have a wonderful day without air conditioning. The month of July has on average zero rainy days and in July it rains on average 1 mm throughout the month. That little bit of rain evaporates before it hits the ground. Fortunately, in the Algarve we have enormous water reservoirs in the mountains, behind large dams that also provide a big boost of ecological (hydropower) energy. Portugal is at the top in Europe in terms of ecological energy consumption, 54% of its consumption is sustainable energy. You can take cave tours in various places in the Algarve, both in summer and winter. Photo Cees Groenewegen

August
The traditional peak holiday month brings many Portuguese to the Algarve by car. There are many festivals and events with a Portuguese character, great fun for those who enjoy a local flavour. The typical Portuguese holiday daily schedule is: go to the beach early, have an extensive lunch around noon, then take a “sesta” (afternoon nap), then return to the beach around four o'clock and stay there until the sun sets. After all, the restaurants and supermarkets are open until midnight.

September
In terms of weather, September is perhaps the nicest month of the year. The sun has lost some power, with the advantage that you don't burn as badly if you bake for a few days in a row. And the air and water are as warm as ever. The big tourism wave is over and everything is less high-voltage. Local commerce is doing great days. Evenings are often sultry. I think it can be September every day. At midnight it is still wonderful outside. Photo Cees Groenewegen

October
There is always some rain in October, but there are always many wonderful days. Of course it gets dark faster and for the evenings you should bring a sweater just in case. But the heating doesn't have to be on for a long time yet. Swimming is fine during the day, the sun is still strong enough. Tourism often experiences a revival because there are school holidays here and there in October. And the first winter visitors are already starting to drive into the country, fleeing the gray and cold.

November
November is known as a winter month, but it is certainly not. Sometimes nights are cold up to 10 degrees, but during the day it is often wonderful. Although the sun is low in the sky because the shortest day is approaching. Dining outside is happening less and less, but lunch outside certainly is! And sunbathing is also fine, but the pool is starting to get chilly. There is of course always a period with rainy days, which makes November not very suitable for the “week tourist”. But anyone who spends the entire month of November in the Algarve will have a wonderful time. A beach is always a party! This was in November 2017. Photo Cees Groenewegen

December
December is a real festive month. Colorful street lights appear everywhere and every village wishes you a grand “Boas Festas”. The days are getting shorter, but not as short as in the Netherlands, there is always two full hours of light longer. So no long dark days before Christmas, which makes a big difference in the feeling of happiness. The most important Christmas moment is Christmas Eve, on December 24, shops close early and government services often do not even open. Family huddles together, a lot of food is eaten and gifts are handed out (after all, we don't know Sinterklaas here).

In winter the shadows are long but the water and air remain as clear as ever. Photo Cees Groenewegen

In December the shops are full of great offers and the shopping centers organize all kinds of activities to attract people. While Christmas is mainly a family celebration, New Year's Eve is mainly celebrated in the cafes. Fireworks are only controlled by the municipalities, so there are no unsafe conditions. And a lot is organized in the last week of the year. December is a fun month! Fortunately, the serene peace of January is just around the corner ;-).

Faro
Many weather measurements and forecasts are based on Faro, the district capital of the Algarve. However, remember that Faro is located on a coastal bulge in an extension of the Atlantic Ocean. The weather in Faro is therefore not actually indicative for the rest of the Algarve. Outside Faro it is often warmer, drier and sunnier during the day, and often cooler in the evening.

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And the rest of Portugal?
The Algarve has a mini climate due to its southern location behind a mountain range. In the rest of the country the weather is relatively less good and often more unstable than in the Algarve. Inland it can get cold in winter and scorching hot in summer. Snow in Guarda is quite normal. The wind along the coast of Northern Portugal can be viciously cold, even in spring and autumn. In Lisbon it rains as much as in Amsterdam (with much fewer rainy days, that is). But all that certainly doesn't make it any less interesting to visit. Absolutely do it!

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Published 12-12-2022 / Copyright © Guesthouse-Moncarapacho