The Algarve is a region of Portugal, located in the south of the country. It has a mild Mediterranean climate and it’s known for its beaches, golf courses, and natural beauty. When most people think about the Algarve, they think about summer holidays spent sunbathing at the beach and warm nights dining at local restaurants. This is accurate, but only if you visit the region during the summer months. Between May and September, the Algarve boasts temperatures well into the twenties. This is why the majority of tourists flock to the area during the warmer months. However, that’s not to say that a trip to the Algarve is out of the question at other times of the year. So, what is the Algarve like during the winter?
Can You Visit the Algarve During the Winter?
Yes, you can visit the Algarve during the winter. Though it’s by no means the most popular time of year to visit, there is nothing stopping you from heading to the Portuguese coast during the colder months. In fact, a lot of people do, simply because flights and accommodation tend to be cheaper during the off season. Of course, visiting during the winter means that you won’t experience the warm weather and sunshine in the same way as you would between May and September. So, you might not get as much out of the beaches and outdoor attractions. But, that doesn’t need to deter you completely.
Visiting the Algarve in Winter? Here’s What to Expect
As is the case in a lot of places, temperatures drop in the Algarve region during the winter months. The temperature can drop to as low as nine degrees Celsius during the day, but other days it sits around the 13 or 14 degree mark. It’s not uncommon for the Algarve to experience temperatures as high as 18 degrees celsius during the winter, which is warm enough for days out and scenic walks. December is the wettest month in the Algarve, so you can certainly expect to see some rain during this time. However, it’s not as wet as other places in Europe, and the UK sees a lot more rainfall.
As you can tell, the Algarve is a lot warmer than many other places during the winter, which is why a number of tourists choose the Algarve for their winter break. Instead of braving the cold and snow at home, they can relax in a much more comfortable and reliable climate. Temperatures rarely go below freezing and snowfall is rare, and typically only occurs in the mountains. However, it’s important to remember that winter evenings in the Algarve can be cold and therefore it’s a good idea to pack jackets, trousers and jumpers.
The Best Things to Do in the Algarve in Winter
There is certainly no shortage of things to see and do in the Algarve, but a lot of these can be weather dependent. For example, you might not want to spend an entire day at the beach or explore a water park during the cooler months. Thankfully, there are still a lot of things to do during the winter. If you visit the Algarve region during the winter, you certainly won’t be bored.
- Visit the Caves in Carvoeiro – During the winter, Carvoeiro is one of the quieter parts of the Algarve but there are still activities to enjoy. One of these is a tour of the caves, which the town is famous for. There are regular organised trips to the caves by boat, and some strong swimmers even bravely swim there.
- Go Shopping in Albufeira – If it’s a little bit too cold or wet to enjoy the great outdoors, head to Albufeira and enjoy the array of shops. Albufeira is one of the busiest areas of the Algarve, even during the winter months. There are a lot of shops, restaurants and markets to explore throughout the year. It’s the ideal way to spend a few hours or the entire day, depending how far away you are staying.
- Head to Sagres – As the most south westerly point in Europe, Sagres is worth visiting during the winter. There are a tonne of day trip options, and it’s an enjoyable trip regardless of the weather. Sagres boasts dramatic cliffs, bird watching and beautiful landscapes. Going in the winter means you will miss the crowds that gather during peak season.
- Visit the Zoo – If you are in the Algarve with children, visit Lagos Zoo. It’s open throughout the year and it’s ideal for children, and those who are interested in animals. There are feeding opportunities and lots of animals to see, all of which are enjoyable during the cooler months.
- Head to Praia de Marinha – With its dramatic landscape and cliffs, heading to Praia de Marinha is well worth your time. It’s usually busy during the summer, but the wintertime attracts fewer tourists; this gives you a better view of the impressive sights and more space to enjoy the beautiful beach.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to do in the winter if you are holidaying in the Algarve. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that all the region has is beautiful beaches, enjoyable walks and water parks. Though these do feature heavily, the draw of the Algarve doesn’t stop there. The region has a lot more attractions on offer, many of which are perfect for winter holiday makers and tourists who are visiting during the off season.
The Benefit of Visiting the Algarve in the Winter
There are many obvious benefits that come from visiting the Algarve in the summer; the weather is better and it’s warmer, so you can spend longer at the beach and relaxing outside. However, there are definitely benefits that come with going in the winter. For example, there are fewer visitors and therefore attractions are less crowded, and there is a quieter vibe. Plus, accommodation tends to be cheaper during the winter.