The perfect time to go to the Algarve, Portugal's golden coast

The golden, cliff-backed seashores of the Algarve rank among the many loveliest stretches of sand in Europe. Given the area’s apparent pure magnificence – plus the nice browsing, kayaking and different aquatic actions – it’s no shock that southern Portugal attracts huge crowds.

Though temperatures fluctuate from month to month, the Algarve will get dependable sunshine 300 days a yr. Summertime sees the largest inflow of tourists, whereas winter looks like a wholly native affair, however there are many actions occurring irrespective of while you go to.

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Till just lately, many resort cities within the Algarve just about closed up for the winter, with restricted choices for lodging, eating and arranged excursions. That has modified in the previous few years because the Algarve’s tourism authority has begun selling the area as a year-round vacation spot.

Nonetheless, some locations nonetheless shut for the season, so hold that in thoughts when making your plans. Here is our information to the perfect occasions to return to the Algarve.

The excessive season (June–August) has the perfect seashore climate 

The Algarve sizzles throughout excessive season, encouraging days of lounging on the seashore adopted by refreshing dips within the ocean (chilly Atlantic currents imply that the ocean by no means will get fairly as heat because it does within the Mediterranean). There’s additionally little or no rainfall and skies are just about cloud-free in the course of the summer time peak. In July and August – the Algarve’s hottest months – the typical temperature is round 28°C (82°F), although some days can get as sizzling as 40°C (104°F). With cool ocean breezes, night temperatures hover round 22°C (72°F), making for snug outside eating. 

Naturally, the height season for tourism coincides with these inviting circumstances on the seashore. Resort costs are highest and the crowds are thickest in July and August. When you plan to journey presently, you’ll must plan effectively upfront. Anticipate to pay a premium to safe your high selections in relation to lodging. You’ll additionally must share these fairly sands with loads of different vacationers – although you’ll be able to nonetheless discover quieter seashores if you happen to journey away from busy vacationer facilities reminiscent of Albufeira and Lagos. 

With 300 days of sunshine, the scenic Algarve shoreline might be loved at any time of yr © F.J. Jimenez / Getty Photographs

The spring and autumn (fall) shoulder seasons are the occasions to take pleasure in outside adventures

The spring months from April to Could and the autumn months from mid-September to October are the perfect occasions to go to if you happen to’re involved in mountain climbing, horseback driving, mountain biking and different land-based actions. The times are nonetheless heat and sunny, although there is a small likelihood of sparse drizzle, and the temperatures hardly ever get so sizzling as to be uncomfortable. You’ll discover noticeably fewer crowds presently, and it can save you as a lot as 30% on lodging charges in comparison with the excessive season. April and Could are additionally good months to see wildflowers dotting the hillsides, fields and coastal areas of the Algarve.

Get the perfect offers by touring within the off-season (November–March)

The Algarve looks like a unique place if you happen to journey within the low season. You’ll see far fewer crowds and listen to far more Portuguese spoken all over the place you go. Temperatures drop, however the days are nonetheless fairly nice, with common highs of round 16°C (61°F), even in the course of the coldest weeks in January and February. Although a lot of the Algarve’s annual rainfall comes in the course of the winter, the showers are typically quick, and also you’ll probably see a good variety of sunny days. In all, it’s nonetheless a good time to be outdoor, although image your self taking lengthy walks on the seaside (with a light-weight jacket helpful) relatively than swimming within the ocean. 

A surfer at sunset near Sagres in the Algarve
Although probably the most well-known surf seashores are additional north, the Algarve sees some spectacular waves from September to April © Westend61 / Getty Photographs

January is for cultural exploration

There’s rather a lot occurring on the Algarve’s cultural calendar in January, with artwork exhibitions, dance and theater performances and particular winter movie screenings. Faro, Portimão, Lagos, Loulé and Albufeira have probably the most occurring, together with Tavira and Silves.
Key occasions: Festa das Chouriças (Sausage Pageant, Querença), Encontro de Janeiras (Silves)

February is for live shows

On chilly February nights, locals head inside to catch stay music and dance performances in Loulé, Faro and different key cities. With the overall absence of vacationers, days are pretty quiet at seaside cities, besides in the course of the Carnaval celebrations, which see parades and revelry within the streets.
Key occasions: Carnaval (Loulé and different cities), Al-Mutamid Music Pageant (Albufeira and different cities), Volta ao Algarve bicycle race, Algarve Cup ladies’s soccer (soccer) event

March is for springtime flowers

The early days of spring convey longer days and the primary spring blooms to the hillsides across the area. With nice temperatures, March is good for lengthy walks with out the crowds.
Key occasions: Spring Mediterranean Garden Fair (Faro), Feira dos Enchidos meals pageant (Monchique)

April is for Easter celebrations

Easter usually marks the top of the low season within the Algarve, with the primary indicators of life rising within the Algarve’s slumbering seaside cities. Easter processions add pleasure, as does Liberation Day (April 25) when you’ll be able to see fireworks and parades in some cities. 
Key occasions: Easter procession in São Brás de Alportel, Liberation Day

Praia da Falesia beach on a sunny day, Algarve, Portugal
Algarve seashores reminiscent of Praia da Falésia are a imaginative and prescient of perfection in summer time © Eloy Rodriguez / Getty Photographs

Could is the time to hit the paths

Whether or not you are heading off on a protracted trek such because the 300km (186-mile) Via Algarviana, or just going for a seaside stroll within the afternoon, the sunny, rain-free month of Could is a good time to be out and about.
Key occasions: Mãe Soberana procession (Loulé), Kizomba Open Summer Festival (Albufeira)

June is the official begin of summer time 

Rising temperatures convey seashore lovers to the Algarve in droves, particularly towards the top of the month. Issues get noticeably livelier in seaside communities, with a tangible feeling of joie de vivre as guests fill outside eating places and bars and the outside pageant season kicks off in earnest.
Key occasions: Dia de Portugal (Portugal day), Festival MED (Loulé), Santos Populares folkloric pageant (Portimão)

July is the perfect month for festivals 

Through the baking month of July, you’ll discover a variety of occasions occurring all throughout the Algarve, together with music festivals on the seashore and a surreal outside market lit by candles.
Key occasions: Afro Nation Portugal (Portimão), Arrifana Sunset Fest (Aljezur), Alameda Beer Fest, Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas (Lagoa). 

August is the time to hit the water 

Through the hottest month of the yr, beat the warmth by staying near the ocean and having fun with your fill of aquatic actions. August can be a very good month to identify dolphins on boating excursions.
Key occasions: Silves medieval festival, Portimão road meals fest, Fatacil summer fair (Lagoa), Olhão seafood pageant

A female hiker walking along cliffs above an empty beach in the Algarve, Portugal
Come to the Algarve in fall or winter to hike the coast with out having to dodge the crowds © hansslegers / Getty Photographs

September is for seashore days with out the crowds

Water temperatures in September aren’t a lot totally different from water temperatures in August, however cooler air temperatures make for nice seashore days. You will see fewer crowds than in the course of the earlier month.
Key occasions: Lagoa International Guitar Festival, FOMe festival of objects and puppets, Lagos flamenco festival

October sees the skies fill with migratory birds

Birdwatchers flock to the Algarve in October to see winged beauties passing by means of en path to Africa in the course of the annual autumn migration. That is additionally an incredible month for outside actions, as you’ll get a welcome break from the summer time warmth.
Key occasions: Oktoberfest (numerous areas), Feira de Santa Iria (Faro), Feira de Praia (Vila Actual de Santo António)

November is the time to take pleasure in native celebrations

Within the midst of autumn, issues are getting sleepy within the once-busy resorts alongside the coast. You’ll have astonishing seaside views all to your self, however you may must pack a light-weight jacket for cooler days and nights. Be prepared for the odd rain bathe.
Key occasions: LUZA International Festival of Light (Loulé), Feira de São Martinho (Portimão), Walk & Art Fest (Barão de São João), Aljezur candy potato pageant

December sees loads of enjoyable Christmas occasions

As the times develop shorter, you’ll face brisk nighttime temperatures however pretty delicate days, with highs round 17°C (62°F). Within the buildup to Christmas, many cities have particular markets and put out life-size nativity scenes (Vila Actual de Santo António has certainly one of Portugal’s greatest tableaus).
Key occasions: Christmas markets, vacation theater performances, New 12 months’s Eve fireworks