Averages for Praia de Rocha in December
At the beginning of the winter season, temperatures are moderately cool with an overall monthly average of 14°C. Coldest mean temperatures fall to around 11°C, slightly chillier. Temperatures below freezing are extremely unlikely and, along with it, a white Christmas, but frosty conditions have been recorded for January and February. Warmer days are not uncommon, with highest mean temperatures for December reaching up to an ambient 17°C with the ...
Daily averages for Praia de Rocha
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At the beginning of the winter season, temperatures are moderately cool with an overall monthly average of 14°C. Coldest mean temperatures fall to around 11°C, slightly chillier. Temperatures below freezing are extremely unlikely and, along with it, a white Christmas, but frosty conditions have been recorded for January and February. Warmer days are not uncommon, with highest mean temperatures for December reaching up to an ambient 17°C with the highest record being at just less than 25°C!
December is the second wettest time of the year but, generally speaking, rainy days can be expected to occur for about 12 days of the month, limiting the dampening effect the rain might have on any holiday plans, outings or adventures. Winter falls are not excessive by most European standards and precipitation is recorded at close to 80mm on average. This is juxtaposed to the very dry summer months. Mean sea temperatures are a brisk but potentially refreshing 18° and generally the water isn't as cold as in the later winter months and break of spring. That said, however, unlike air temperatures, the moderating ocean temperatures vary only a few degrees throughout the year, between 16°C and 22°C, making winter bathing a reasonable and welcoming prospect.
Those not game enough to splash in the ocean and take to the waters, can be assured of six sunshine hours to enjoy every day elsewhere. This is plenty of time to spend pursuing other activities, dedicated to enjoying some of southern Portugal's occasional fine, sunny winter days, simply wandering along the promenade, feeling the warmth and breathing the fresh sea air. As with all weather predictions, nothing is set in stone so to speak. Therefore would-be holiday makers at Praia da Rocha would be well advised to consult the local weather forecast.
Where to Stay
Apartmentos Turisticos Presidente offers self-catering apartments overlooking the Praia dos Castelos, which are spacious, clean and well-equipped. It is about 2km from Praia da Rocha, so it offers some peace and quiet with access to all the amenities of the main hub of the resort. The complex is equipped with a games room, and the apartments have balconies, some with sea views. Prices are extremely reasonable in the off-peak season.
A similar option, which may suit families spending Christmas in Praia da Rocha, are the Oceano Atlãntico Apartments, They have a health club, swimming pools, a snack bar, free Wi-Fi, restaurants and a children's playground. The apartments themselves are modern, comfortable and functional, and there are studios, one bedroom, two bedroom and four bedrooms options available.
A budget option for visitors who want to save their money for the amenities in the resort itself, is São Roque which is located in the centre of Portimão town. It is a little dated in its decor, and basic, but offers comfortable rooms at a good price. Staying in Portimão in December can be a good option if visitors want to spend time in museums, or at local events rather than in the beach areas, which are less attractive at this time of year.
Things to Do
December is a great month to visit Praia da Rocha and grab some winter sunshine, particularly over Christmas and New Year's Eve. There are lots of local traditional markets and craft fairs taking place for those unusual Christmas gifts. For party-goers, the NYE fireworks display and some of the parties on the night are a big hit. The temperatures may have dropped to an average of 14°C, but there is plenty to keep people enjoying the break.
One of the local markets worth checking out is the Loulé Mountain Fair. The Fair aims to promote the culture and traditions of the villages in the upland regions, and it offers a great opportunity to purchase handicrafts, products, food and traditional gifts from the area.
Winery tours have already been suggested for the summer months, but one company, Algarve Drive U, offer winter winery tours, which is the perfect way to spend those bright, clear but cooler December days. They prioritise family-owned businesses, offer transfers from anywhere in the Algarve and also include the option of a yacht cruise as part of the package.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Restaurants and hotels in the area really make an effort to cater for the off-season visitor, particularly around Christmas and NYE. There are so many options and activities organised, and it's just a matter of deciding what best suits.
A spot that is a favourite for location and ambience alone, is the Safari Restaurant in Rocha itself. It is a little quirky in its decor, but the head chef is passionate about local food. The specials come recommended. The roof-top terrace is a great place to watch the sunset (if the temperatures allow). For visitors that want to enjoy the NYE fireworks display in comfort, they offer tickets to a meal and champagne reception for the occasion where there are great views.
On the Rocks Bar is literally perched on the rocks, on the cliffs overlooking Praia da Rocha beach. It offers cheap drinks, DJs, live music and a large dance-floor to enjoy into the hours of the morning. It has something for everyone, and staff are known to be friendly and professional. All major sports fixtures are shown on the big screens, and there is free Wi-Fi for customers. It often has a big night for NYE celebrations that attracts crowds and goes to on well until the morning.
For a NYE to remember, Portimão is a good place to be. The town organises a number of events including live music, food stalls and fireworks by the seafront. For late night clubs in neighbouring towns Bon Vivant in Lagos comes recommended with its four floors of dance and music.