Holiday Weather

Weather Algarve

Last updated:

2 Aug

Local Time: 08:43 WEST UK Time: 08:43 BST
66°F
(19°C)
West 2mph
(4kmh)
  • Sunrise 06:37
  • Sunset 20:38
  • Moonrise 12:36
  • Moonset 23:59
Temp feels like: 66°F (19°C)
Length of Day: 9h 40m
Humidity: 88 %
Dew Point: 63°F (17°C)
Pressure: 29.98 " (1015 hpa)
Visiblity: 6 miles (10 km)

Average for August: 74°F (24°C)

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Weather Overview for Algarve

The Algarve boasts a fantastic Mediterranean climate that has seen it become one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations. With an annual average of 3000 sunshine hours and over 300 days of sun a year, the Algarve is one of Europe’s sunniest places, sunnier even than California in the USA. The summer months will see 12 hours of sunshine per day on average and almost no rain.

With the Mediterranean to the east and the Atlantic to the west, resorts on the Algarve’s eastern coast such as Monte Gordo and Tavira are generally hotter and drier than those to the west such as Lagos and Praia da Luz. The difference is not enough to alter your travel plans unless travelling in search of heat in the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring.

Summer, from June till September, is filled with long days of brilliant sunshine and soaring heat. The average high temperature starts out in the pleasant mid 20s then reaches a peak of 28ºC in July and August, which is similar to what you would find in the Costa del Sol. While September falls slightly back down to 26ºC. On the other hand it is the fringe months of June and September that are perhaps the most comfortable in terms of heat with average temperatures reaching anything from 21ºC to 23ºC. However, in the peak months daytime temperatures can rocket up into the mid 30s, such as in August 2013, where temperatures soared up to 35ºC.

Furthermore, night time lows rarely go below 20ºC, which makes it an ideal climate to eat out in the evening. Cooling sea breezes help to take the edge off the heat as do the moderately low humidity levels ranging from just 60% to 65% compared to December and January, where humidity levels can reach a maximum of 85%. If rather than from the north the wind comes from the south, up from Africa, temperatures can rocket. The sirocco wind that originates in the Sahara brings with it extreme heat, aridity and sometimes even sand.

In June 2010, Portugal experienced a significant heat wave, where temperatures regularly topped 42ºC, making it the hottest year on record since 1880.

The highest temperature ever registered in Portugal was 47.4ºC in Amareleja in 2003 found north east of the Algarve. This was mainly put down to the influence of an anticyclone that extends towards North Africa and the western Mediterranean, forming a wind chain that carries hot and dry air from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to southern parts of Portugal. This heat wave also affected many parts of the Algarve, which contributed heavily to widespread mountain fires, leading to hundreds of people having to evacuate their homes across southern Portugal.

Most of the summer in the Algarve is free from rain, with an average of just 10mm of rainfall per month throughout the summer season, however on rare occasions short-lived thunderstorms may occur for a very short period of time, which will very rarely affect your holiday.

The sun shines for ten or more hours per day on average for the entire summer season from June till September. The average sea temperature can also rise up to 21ºC which is cool in comparison to the Mediterranean but more than warm enough for a long swim – remember that this is the North Atlantic Ocean.

The summer is a great time to visit the Algarve due to the positively hot climate. The Algarve boasts a number of stunning beaches such as Praia de Falesia and Arrifana Beach. The area is also popular for water sport activities such as scuba diving and surfing.

Autumn, in October and November, is very warm with an average high temperature of 22ºC in October and 19ºC in November. November night times, however, can be very chilly at an average low of 13ºC. Rainfall does increase but only to around 50mm, which is unlikely to cause more than a brief inconvenience. It usually falls in brief thunderstorms that come in from the Atlantic. While sunshine levels are good for autumn at six to seven hours per day they are dramatically reduced from the Algarve’s summer sunshine levels, which can average at 12 hours per day. However, the average sea temperature is starting to decrease, in October temperatures average at 19ºC and in November at 17ºC, compared to a positively warm 21ºC in August. Even though the temperatures are starting to decrease at this time of year, the humidity is starting to gradually rise. In autumn, the Algarve usually sees an average of 80% humidity compared to July in the summer which sees an average of a relatively comfortable 60% humidity.

October is perhaps one of the best months of the year to visit the Algarve as temperatures still hover around the high 20’s and can often reach the mid 30s. There may be the odd shower, but it is nothing compared to what you are likely to experience back in the UK. One of the benefits of visiting the Algarve in the autumn is that tourist numbers are generally low, meaning the beaches hardly ever get crowded. The warm weather also makes it comfortable to walk around and enjoy sports such as golf, cycling and hiking.

Winter, from December till February, is very mild with an average high temperature of 16ºC in December and February which drops just slightly to 15ºC in January. Night time lows hover around 10ºC which is chilly but nowhere near as cold as it is in the UK. It rarely gets down to freezing though further from the coast it can dip down and frosts can occur. However, in 2006 snow covered the beaches; in this time of climate change nothing can be out-ruled, but freezing temperatures are still exceptionally rare in the Algarve. What is more likely than snow is a gust of hot wind blowing up from Africa; even in winter temperatures in the low 20’s can be experienced. However, this is not to be relied upon and no one should expect to show off their swimming costume if visiting at this time of year. Furthermore, the average sea temperature in the winter season is around 14°C to 17°C, which is considered relatively cool compared to the rest of the year.

Sunshine levels, peak at around six hours per day. Rainfall is also at its highest with an average maximum of 100mm in November and December across the whole of the Algarve, but this usually sticks to short showers or thunderstorms over a short period of time.

It is very rare for the Algarve to experience extreme weather conditions, however, in January 2013, strong winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour and heavy rain caused widespread destruction and havoc across most of Portugal, and even led to the fatality of one man and dozens of injuries. It was mainly central Portugal that was affected by the catastrophe, but districts in southern Portugal such as Lisbon and Faro were put on a yellow warning due to rough seas, severe wind and even snow. In the Algarve there were also several reports of blown down trees and an electric pylon obstructing the A22 motorway near Faro.

The disaster was described as the biggest natural catastrophe in Portugal in recent years, and according to weather experts, was caused by a freak cyclone weather phenomenon, also known as an explosive cyclogenesis, which is said to be extremely rare in Portugal.

Spring, from March till May, is a great time to visit as the temperatures rise and the sun returns. The average high temperature climbs to 18ºC in March, 20ºC in April and 22ºC in May, with an average low temperature of 10ºC to 13ºC from March to May. Sunshine levels jump to nine hours per day in April and ten hours in May, which is a considerable increase from the winter months which peak at six hours per day. However, night time temperatures remain cool, so it may be best to bring along a light coat if you plan to go out in the evening. Like autumn, spring is best for activity holidays such as horse riding, cycling, windsurfing or golf; though by the end of the season true beach weather is almost guaranteed.  The humidity levels at this time of year are generally moderate, ranging from 60 to 75%, compared to the winter where humidity levels can exceed 80%.

Furthermore, by the end of spring the sea temperature can be quite cool, ranging from 16°C to 17°C, so for some it may still be at bit too cold to go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Rainfall is also starting to decrease from March to May, with an average maximum of 40mm in March and April and only 20mm in May, compared to London in the UK, which sees an average of 50mm of rainfall in the month of May.

Spring is a superb time of year to visit the Algarve as temperatures are consistently warm and sometimes even in the mid 20s. The spring season is also relatively quiet, meaning that many of the beaches are deserted or just taken up by the locals.

The Algarve is a region covering the southernmost portion of Portugal; compared to the north of the country the Algarve receives a positively warm climate all year round. The mountains that separate the north and south of Portugal afford the south some protection from north winds and those coming over from the Atlantic. These winds are cool and rain bearing so the south of Portugal is much warmer and drier than the north. The Algarve in particular is a place for heat and sun due to its proximity to the equator and exposure to weather systems coming over from the Mediterranean, most notably southern Spain, and from Africa. However, it is more open to Atlantic winds than the area just south of the mountains and blustery weather can make it feel cooler. These winds are much stronger offshore and are the reason why the Algarve is such a favourite with sailors and water sports enthusiasts. You will find the marinas packed full of yachts and the sea flecked with white sails: fishing and sailing schools run courses all year round.

The Algarve is also a magnet for golfers from across the world, and has been for more than 30 years. This is mainly down to the regions famous coastline and mild climate during autumn and spring.


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