Weather Averages for Algarve in May
Averages for Algarve in May
May is an excellent time to visit the Algarve for those after moderate warmth and reliably dry sunny weather. At the region’s capital, Faro, the daytime temperature reaches an average temperature of 18°C and a high of 23°C, while the temperature falls to 14°C during an average night. Temperatures do occasionally fluctuate significantly either side of the long-term mean, however, and highs in excess of 30°C are possible.
Rainfall is observed occasionally during May, but there are usually prolonged dry spells. When it does rain at this time of year, the rain is often quite heavy and thundery. The average rainfall at Faro in May is just 22mm, and rain falls on an average of 7 days out of a possible 31, compared to December which can recieve up to 100mm of rainfall, which falls on average 12 out of 31 days.
Throughout May the sky is relatively clear compared to January 1st where the sky is mostly overcast or cloudy 44% of the time, while in May the skies are only 21% to 25% cloudy throughout the whole month, so you can generally expect very clear skies if you are planning on staying in the Algarve at this time of year.
The probability of precipitation at this time of year is generally low. Over the entire year, the most commons forms of precipitation are moderate rain to a light drizzle, with the odd thunderstorm. Moderate rain can occur during May, but this is only around 15% likely. Thunderstorms at this time of year are unlikely at only 3% to 5%, compared to November where thunderstorms usually occur 7% of all the days that month.
- Ponta de Piedade in Lagos, Algarve
Over the course of the year wind speeds vary from just 0 m/s to 8 m/s, which is a calm to moderate breeze, rarely exceeding a strong breeze of 11 m/s. The highest wind speed likely to occur in the month of May is just 7 m/s, which is generally the average wind speed throughout the year, with the exception of April where wind speeds are likely to reach a maximum breeze of 8 m/s. Most of the time the wind is coming from the west and north-west at this time of year. Because the Algarve is by the Atlantic Ocean, it is prone to a gentle breeze throughout the year, which can be very beneficial during the summer season where temperatures can reach a blistering 28°C in August.
Throughout May the relative humidity typically ranges from a comfortable 41% to a very humid 96% over the year, rarely dropping below a day 25% and on very rare occasions the Algarve can even reach a very humid 100%. The air is usually driest in the summer months from June to September, at which time the humidity rarely drops below 50%. In May the average maximum humidity is at 90% and the average minimum humidity is at 50%, compare to December where the lowest humidity levels usually stay around 64% up to a very humid 95%.
Over the year the dew point typically varies from a dry 5°C to a muggy 19°C. May lies within the most comfortable part of the year, which runs between January 1st and July 13th. Throughout these periods the air feels neither too dry nor too muggy. On average May is at a 9°C to 15°C dew point, compared to August which can reach a muggy 19°C.
May is a reliably sunny month with an average of 313 hours bright sunshine at Faro, which amounts to an average of just over ten hours per day, in comparison to January, which recieves just five hours of sunshine a day on average. The Mediterranean coastline is generally the sunniest part of the Algarve region.
The length of day varies significantly over the course of the year throughout the Algarve. The shortest day is usually December 21st with just 9:37 hours of daylight compared to May which can receive an average of 12 hours of daylight per day.
In May 2012 the Algarve experienced a freak heat wave, where temperatures rose over the 30°C mark, which is rather uncommon at this time of year, but not impossible!
The sea temperature off the coastline continues to rise at this time of year, with a May average of about 17°C, but this is still rather cool for swimming in.
Things to do
With the heat not as excessive as in the summer months, and the weather generally reliable, May is a good time of year to try mountain biking. The Mountain Bike Adventure Day Tours at Lagos offer a range of cross country and mountain trips, and also offer all-inclusive holidays. Bike hire is available, or users can bring their own mountain bikes. These trips offer opportunities to see spectacular scenery that visitors would not normally find while driving around or visiting the main tourist hotspots.
For motor racing fans, Algarve Racing at Mexilhoeira Grande, Portimao offers a wide range of racing-related options. These include packages for watching racing events around the race track at the establishment, going on holiday tours in the surrounding areas, going karting, and going for a drive or passenger ride in a Touring Car.
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, situated at the Sitio do Escampadinho, Portimao is the main alternative, which is good for go-karting facilities. Karting enthusiasts can also consider the Algarve Indoor Kart Centre at Ria Shopping, Olhao, which is one of the largest karting centres in Europe and makes karts available for rental.
- Go-karting in the Algarve
Dates for the diary
The “May Sweet May” jazz festival is held in the Portimao riverside area each May, held over four days, and features jazz performances.
The “May Fair” is held annually in Azinhal, and enables crafts specialists to show off their skills, for example bobbin lace, basketwork, embroidery and tapestry, and some also wear esparto grass, a craft that is often used for baskets and cords.
May Day is another popular special spring festival held on May 1st. There are many celebrations and festivities going on all over the Algarve, many of which include traditional Portuguese dancing and music. It is also very popular for locals to go out into the countryside and enjoy a picnic lunch (as long as the weather permits).
If you want to try something completely different head to the Snail Festival (Festival de Caracois) in Catro Marim. May is supposed to be the best month of the year to eat snails. At the festival you will have the chance to taste the snails, accompanied by toasted bread with butter and a refreshing pint of beer or two.
Foodies will also love “The Gastronomy of the Sea” festival held in Tavira, which usually runs from May 7th up until May 35th. The festival is usually very popular and many local restaurants and chefs take part to showcase their amazing cooking skills. There is of course the chance to try many different types of cuisines from across the globe.
The International Sand Sculpture Festival is a popular event held every year in Pera, Algarve from May 25th until October 25th. The festival offers visitors the unique opportunity to wander amongst the giant, life-like sculptures during the day and at the night the sculptures are lit up and projections of previous events are also shown. Many of the sand sculptures come in different sizes and shapes, from giant lizards to famous landmarks. There are also a variety of workshops where you can learn how to create your own masterpiece ma de out of sand – this is a great day out for the whole family.
Further events include Festa da Pinha (Festival of the Pine Cone) in Estoi – a traditional event set up to celebrate the end of spring and coming of summer in May.
- International Sand Sculpture Festival
Where to eat & drink
The Algarve boasts a range of good restaurants, and most tastes are well catered for. For something expensive and luxurious and a little out of the ordinary, Restaurante Ruccula at Rua Poeta Joao de Deus, Alvor, Portimao is a good choice. A Tasquinha do Rossio at Rua Dr. Santos, Albufeira, sells a range of seafood with a mainly Portuguese theme, and offers good value for money.
There are also numerous good pubs in the region. The Tunes Bar at Praca Miguel Bombarda 32, Albufeira, serves a variety of traditional pub food including cooked English breakfasts, and those who wish to view important sporting events are also well covered thanks to numerous TV screens across the bar.
A reasonable nightclub is Libertos Club at Travessa Antero de Quental 59, Albufeira which has a good disco area for dancing, and music is played well into the early hours of the morning.
Hit the beach
May is quite a good time of year to visit the beaches in the Algarve, for the weather tends to be good for relaxing and sunbathing, while the main crowds of tourists tend not to arrive at the Algarve until July and August. Praia de Falesia, between Vilamoura and Albufeira, is a Blue Flag beach and tends to be quiet most of the time, while it overlooks some spectacular cliff formations.
Olhos de Agua Beach at Olhos de Agua, Albufeira is also good for relaxing and sunbathing, while there are also numerous facilities nearby including restaurants and a pharmacy. If you’re looking for another secluded option you may want to try Praia da Marinha also known as ‘Navy Beach’. This beach is so spectacular and peaceful it has been named as one of the top 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Dona Ana beach at Lagos, Algarve
Where to stay
Accommodation options in the Algarve are numerous, and there are good budget options as well as many luxurious places to stay. For those after luxury, Conrad Algarve at Estrada da Quinta do Lago, Quinta do Lago offers a wide range of good facilities, including numerous pools and a spa pool. The Gusto restaurant, contained within the premises, is particularly well-received by customers.
Lake Spa Resort at Avenida Cerro da Vila, Vilamoura, as well as offering 5-star accommodation and spa pools, is handy for the golf courses around Vilamoura. Romantic retreats are also numerous, for example the Dom Manuel Hotel at the Vila Praia D Ana at Lagos.
Those after budget accommodation can consider the Hotel Frentomar, which is a reasonably priced beach hotel with good rooms and good views over the sea front. Self-catering options include the Atlantida Algarve Holiday Home in Vilamoura, which is a one bedroom apartment that offers a communal outdoor swimming pool.
- Algarve Beach