Portugal has a continental temperate weather. Rainfall occurs mainly in the North, and decrease as they move to the South and the Algarve region, which is characterised by a dry and hot microclimate.
Temperatures are generally mild, making Portugal the ideal holiday destination all year long. Of course, for sea and outdoor activities lovers spring and summer are the best months to visit the country, as for other countries like Italy, Spain or Greece. The best time to go hiking are spring and autumn; during summer time your walks could be difficult or unpleasant due to high temperatures. Winter is the best time for those who wish to surf; more wind, better waves, less tourists.
Below are the weather forecasts for the next days for the main tourist destinations.
There are many differences between the North and the South of Portugal; the weather is oceanic in the North, with winter temperatures that can go down to -12°, while it is subtropical in the South, where on summer time temperatures can reach 44°.
There is another remarkable difference between the coastal areas characterized by moderate and even cooler temperatures during summer months thanks to flow of oceanic winds, and the inland, which is stiff in winter and drizzle in the summer months.
The only exception is the Madeira archipelago, which is characterized by a never ending spring. Its sub-tropical weather provides a non-existent thermal excursion; the weather is mild and constant all year long!
The temperature of the sea is usually very cold; if you want to spend time in the sea, Portugal is not really the ideal destination.
To the west coast the temperature of the sea water is about 15°, making it almost impossible to swim, while in the Algarve region it goes up to 21°: it is still very cold, but you can still dive into the crystalline waters of the South.