Weather Averages for Algarve in March
Averages for Algarve in March
During the month of March spring starts to break through and temperatures begin to climb in the Algarve and the popular city of Faro. The maximum temperature averages out at 19°C, while the temperature falls, on average to around 10.5°C overnight. The average temperature usually stays around 15°C, but it has been known for temperatures to soar up to the mid 20’s on a good day. On the other hand on a cold day temperatures can lower down to 10°C, but it is still expected for temperatures to average around 15°C to 19°C during March compared to August where temperatures usually average out at 24°C on a warm day. Furthermore, the humidity at this time of year usually averages around 70% to 75%. But bare in mind usually when the climate starts to get hotter, the humidity usually starts to decline.
Rain becomes less frequent into March but still crops up from time to time, mainly when the jet stream tracks further south than usual. The average March rainfall at Faro is 39mm, and is spread over an average of nine days out of a possible 31, implying that during a typical stay at the Algarve, more than two days in three will have no measurable rainfall. Compared to London, which receives on average 16 rainfall days throughout the month of March. The probability of rainfall in the Algarve changes little throughout the month, with the average chance of seeing some form of precipitation at just 28% to 32%.
Sunshine totals begin to increase markedly at this time of year, particularly near the Mediterranean coast. Faro’s average sunshine total in March is 232 hours, an average of over seven hours per day, which is higher than what most parts of north-western Europe experience during the summer months. Mean annual totals exceed 3000 hours close to the Mediterranean coast and on average the Algarve is said to receive 300 days of sunshine per year. During the winter months the Algarve receives on average five hours of sunshine per day, therefore you can see how the sunshine hours are starting to gradually increase up until a peak of 12 hours per day in August.
Throughout March, wind speeds tend to be generally low. Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 m/s to just 8 m/s, which is considered to be a calm to moderate wind speed. While in March the average daily wind speed is just 4 m/s, considered as a gentle breeze. The wind direction is mostly ten coming from the west followed by the north-west.
On average March is mostly clear, with the average cloud coverage ranging from just 24% to 25% throughout the month, which basically means most days are partly cloudy or mostly clear. If you compare this to January, there is quite a large contrast. January is usually the cloudiest month of the year, however at only 44% which is partly cloudy and occasionally overcast.
The sea temperature off the coastline averages around 15°C to 16°C at this time of year, so it is not particularly a good time of year for holidaymakers who would like to swim in the water off the resort’s many beaches. However, there are plenty of other activities holiday makers can take part in at this time of year including golf, horse riding and sightseeing, as the temperatures around March are comfortable enough to walk around and take in the stunning Portuguese scenery.
- Ponta de Piedade in Lagos, Algarve
Things to do
Fans of horses and horse riding are quite well catered for in the Algarve. The Holistic Riding Centre in Monte Velho, near the Bordeira and Armado beaches, is particularly well-rated by customers, and offers horse-riding lessons and trail rides, courses and workshops, as well as courses to help with treating horses responsibly. The Albufeira Riding Centre at Vale Navio is also worth considering, which offers a pony club, riding lessons, and also all-inclusive holiday packages, for the benefit of those who would like a horse riding-themed holiday to the Algarve. The Monte Da Ribeira at Aldeia de Tor is also good, and offers guided horse-riding trips through the Algarve countryside.
There are also numerous good historic sites in the Algarve, and scenic hotspots. For example, the Cerro da Villa ruins are located in Villamoura, and date as far back as the 1st century. There is a museum with some Roman mosaics in an adjacent outdoor area, alongside other attractions.
The Fortress of Sagres at Sagres on the coast of the Algarve is one of the most impressive historical buildings in the whole of the region. The fortress boasts stunning panoramic views and on a clear day you may be lucky enough to see out all the way to the inlet of Mareta and Sao Vincente Cape. If the weather is favourable for outdoor activities, you may also catch some local fishermen fishing around the nearby coastline.
The Camera Obscura at the Tower of Tavira gives a very good view of the town of Tamira. Guides demonstrate the laws of optics, as explored in the famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, and show panoramic views of the area. Considering that the month of March is relatively clear you are highly likely to experience some stunning sights.
- Horse riding in the Algarve
Dates for the diary
March features the Festival of Hot Bread and Fresh Cheese (Feira do Pao Quente e Quejilo Fesco). It takes place in Vaquerios on March 10th every year, and celebrates the finest local breads and cheeses, in association with local entertainment, making it a great occasion for a day-trip to Vaqueiros.
The EXPOMAR Fair (Fair of the Sea and Nautical Activities) takes place in Olhao, and features an exhibition covering a variety of areas such as fishing, recreational boating, specialised equipment and seminars from some of the leading experts in the Algarve area.
In Monchique during March there’s also the traditional Sausage Fair which usually takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of March. As the name suggests, the event focuses on traditional cured sausage recipes, which are made in the town from the ‘carne de porco preto’, otherwise known as ‘black pig.’ There will of course be plenty of opportunities to taste the sausages and discover how they are made by the locals. Apart from the sausages on display, there are also a number of craft stalls and musicians to keep you entertained.
On March 29th and 30th the fair of Grandma’s Sweets (Feira de Doces d’Avo) is held in the Algarve. There will be many sweets and delicious local treats on offer, as well as savouries for those who do not have as much of a sweet tooth. As Easter is just around the corner there will also be many Easter-themed activities on offer such as egg painting and scavenging for the little ones.
If you would like to spend some time shopping whilst in the Algarve there are many interesting Flea Markets held in some of the popular resorts and towns including Olhao, Tavira and Silves. At Olhao there is a monthly market in Moncarapacho on Rua das Olarias on the 1st Sunday of every month. While in Silves there is a gypsy and Flea Market next to the cemetery on the 3rd Monday of every month. Last but not least Tavira holds its own monthly market on Rua Vale Caranguejo on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Most of these markets sell local goods and clothes, as well as souvenirs to take back home.
- Sausage Fair in Monchique
Where to eat & drink
There are many good restaurants to choose from in the Algarve. Johnny Hooper’s Saxophone Bistro at Rua Almeida Garrett, Areias de S. Joao, Albufeira offers grills and traditional European cuisine, and the owner of the restaurant frequently plays the saxophone, offering musical entertainment.
The Aventura Wine and Cocktail Bar at Rua Dos Pescadores, No 80, Salema offers good views from within the premises, and the international cuisine options are many and varied and of high quality, and it is also a good restaurant for trying out a variety of wines and cocktails.
The Lounge Bar at Rua do Castelo 23, Alvor, Portimao, offers a range of high-quality and reasonably-priced pub food and broadcasts sporting events on TV screens around the bar, making it a useful outlet for those who would rather not miss significant matches while away on holiday. For musical entertainment on evenings and overnight, Michael’s Bar, situated at Rossio Grande, Alvor, Portimao, has frequent live music nights as well as karaoke sessions.
Hit the beach
As the weather warms up during the spring months, March is a more attractive time of year to hit the beach than the winter months, and it is prior to when the main crowds arrive in the summer, though the weather is still not always reliable enough to enable a relaxing beach stay. It is worth paying a visit to Tavira Island, which is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve and also has plenty of facilities including numerous restaurants. Meia Praia at Lagos is a large and popular Blue Flag beach which also houses numerous restaurants, and offers water sports opportunities.
This time of year is great for water sports such as surfing. Praia de Odeceixe at Estrada da Praia boasts an excellent surf school, and the Atlantic Ocean at this time of year can get quite choppy, which makes it an ideal spot for surfing. Similarly Arrifana Beach, which is also a recognised Blue Flag Beach, is located to the north west of the Algarve. This golden beach is ideal for water sports and is protected from the strong winds by the surrounding large cliffs.
- Benagil Beach Algarve
Where to stay
There are numerous good accommodation options in the Algarve. The Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel at Urbanizacao Quinta do Martinhal, Sagres, is the ideal outlet for a special occasion or romantic retreat, offering high-quality five-star accommodation, a spa and also offering easy access to the nearest beach.
Quinta Bonita Luxury Boutique Hotel is a luxurious 4-star boutique located at Quatro Estrados, Lagos, offering good bed and breakfast and also a special weekly evening meal for those who fancy special occasion dining at a bed and breakfast outlet. A good value 4-star option is Estrela da Luz at Praia da Luz, which contains a restaurant, a jacuzzi, and a gym, among other facilities.
Those on a tight budget can consider the Hotel Zodiaco, at Fonte Nova, Quarteira, which offers good bed and breakfast deals. Self-catering options in the Algarve are numerous, such as the Verandas de Carteia at Quarteira, which is a fully air-conditioned two-bedroom apartment that also boasts a shared outdoor swimming pool.