Praia de Rocha Weather January Averages, Portugal
As with many of the resorts in the Algarve, and the Mediterranean areas in general, Praia de Rocha, offers a mild climate for visitors who prefer to take their holidays off season or to avoid the busier summer months. January is the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 13°C, and high-low averages of between 16°C and 10°C. Average temperatures creep slowly upwards from here, and start to exceed 20°C from June onwards.
It's not the wettest month but rainfall reaches an average of 49mm and is more frequent than other months, spread over an average of 10 rain days. October through to December tend to be much wetter, as is February. For many it will be too cold for swimming, but with sea temperatures reaching 17°C at times, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty to occupy them with their wetsuits on for warmth.
Winter months of course bring shorter days, but there is still an average of six hours of sunshine, which leaves plenty of time to walk the stunning beaches, or enjoy the occasional drink outside in a sunny spot. January and December see the shortest sunshine hours, gradually lengthening from February onwards. Of course, with this being a slightly less reliable time than others for sunshine, it's worth referring to the forecasts for the resort to know exactly what to expect.
The hilly region to the North does protect the resort from some of the harsher winter weather that can be found in other parts of Portugal at this time. For some visitors, this out-of-season period also offers cooler temperatures to sightsee and enjoy the resort without competing with the crowds. However, resorts in southern Spain, and the Canary Islands will offer drier, warmer weather at this time of year.
Where to Stay
The benefits of travelling off season include lower prices, more choice, and less crowded accommodation. Some properties will close for renovation at this time of year, but the resort is saturated with choices in their absence.
For a unique, luxurious stay try the boutique Bela Vista Hotel which offers individually designed rooms that will impress, alongside traditional service and values, and the decadence of its Moorish architecture. This hotel has history, claiming to be Praia de Rocha's first hotel, superbly located on the cliff-top just minutes from the Marina de Portimão, and with direct beach access. This is the place to stay in January, if you plan on lazy mornings in bed, days at the luxurious spa, and long dining experiences in the evenings. You might also catch one of their special package offers, which can include meals, spa treatments and late check-out. A five-star hotel, you can expect excellent service and prices starting at around 140 per night.
In the lower budget range, there are ample apartment rentals in the area, particularly off-season. One of the best rated are the Riomar apartments centrally located and offering affordable self-catering options within walking distance of the Marina, the beach and the nightlife area of Praia de Rocha.
Some of the best January deals can be found at the excellent Hotel Algarve Jupiter which is located by the beach, has spa facilities and is beautifully designed. It also has its own restaurant serving international cuisine. Book a Premium room, Delux room or suite for the best possible experience, which come in at great value at this time of year and offer full sea-views.
Hit the Beach
If you're lucky and catch some of the higher-than-average temperatures in Praia de Rocha, you might still want to hit the beach, but more than likely you'll be staying out of the water and making the most of strolls along the promenade, the marina, or the chance to experience the ocean from the comfort of one of the many boat trips on offer.
Portuguese-Irish family business Alvor Boat Trips have been in operation for almost two decades and offer fun and informative trips and fishing excursions. Choose from their leisure trips on the solar powered Alvor Flor do Sol, the family sea adventure cruise, with fishing, swimming and snorkelling, a cultural river cruise with lunch to the historical town of Silves or a champagne sunset cruise for a more romantic setting. They occasionally operate from Portimão itself, more often from Alvor, less than 8 km away.
Things to Do
January offers the chance to spend time enjoying the amenities and offerings of this resort. Praia de Rocha itself, and the nearby town of Portimão, have endless shopping options with its many malls and craft shops. If you are on the look-out for some local food or unique souvenirs to take home with you, there are markets taking place at the Parque de Feiras e Exposicões in Portimão on the 1st Monday of each month, and a flea market in the same location on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month (08.00 12.30).
In Portimão you will also find some fascinating museums to while away the hours. The Museu de Portimão is situated in an old canning factory, and gives a great overview of the cultural and social development of the town. There is also a collection of over 200 Portuguese artists at the Museu Diogo Conçalves which will occupy art enthusiasts for a few hours.
January is an exciting time in the arts and culture calendar in the region, if you are willing to travel a little further afield. If you happen to be seeing in the New Year here, kick it off with the Paderne Medieval Festival, which is a great opportunity to experience local culture and learn about the history of the region. It's a bit of a journey beyond the resort, located approximately 45km away beyond Albufeira, but it is a unique experience that will entertain all ages, with stalls, food, music, arts and events. There is a historical procession on New Year's Day which is seen as a highlight. For something completely different, the Festival de Musica Al-Mutamid takes place at the end of January, and is in its 16th year, with performances of Arabesque World music, including oriental dancing in Lagoa (approximately 15km away).
The nearby town of Silves is worth a visit, and lies just a 30 minute bus-ride away. Silves maintains much of its original architecture including its red-stone hill-top fortress which offers a wonderful vista on first arrival. The Moorish influence is strong here, and the town is twinned with the Moroccan city of Marrakech. Time can be spent wandering around the streets, enjoying the architecture and local artist studios. Local bus services are economical and run from Portimão.
Restaurants and Nightlife
The popular and long-running Servi Vau offering mostly Portuguese dishes, with some other Mediterranean influences, is a top pick for authentic local dining. The owner is renowned for his attention to guests, and warm hospitality. The restaurant is atmospheric and carries a small menu, but daily specials keep it varied. There isn't a website but the phone number is +351 960 000 000 and it is located at Avenida Rocha-Vau, by the roundabout.
If you like a more varied fair on your plate, and the football on the TV (without the sound), combined with a high quality dining experience, in a sleek, modern setting, the All Beef restaurant is a great centrally located choice. They serve steak, seafood and a wide variety of International dishes and it can be a lively place for a fun meal.
A more affordable budget option is the Pizzeria La Dolce Vita which offers a large pizza and pasta menu in a relaxed environment. They have great value buffet options, including an all-you-can-eat Pizza option, with plenty of side-dishes and salads to accompany. The restaurant is located near to the Hotel Algarve Casino.
The lively night-life of Praia de Rocha, can be a little slower in January so it's best to try visit some of the local establishments. If you want to grab an evening drink take a short stroll inland towards the Rua Jose Bivar where you'll find the friendly and atmospheric Nana's Bar. It offers cheap local beers and a distinct local character.