As someone who has visited Portugal five times and the Algarve region twice, my answer is below.

The best time to go to the Algarve in Portugal is late spring and early summer, and a brief period of autumn, so from mid-May to the end of June and then again in September. To understand why, I will discuss below how the Algarve is in different seasons.

Quick Intro about the Algarve

Praia da Malhada do Baraço, Algarve, Portugal
Praia da Malhada do Baraço, Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is a stunning coastal region in the South of Portugal with unique rock formations that create stunning hiking trails, viewpoints, caves, and hidden beaches.

Over the last few years, due to the uptick in the tourism industry post-COVID-19, the Algarve is one of the regions that has seen increased visitors. Moreover, an increased number of budget airlines all over Europe are flying to Faro, which is an airport in the Algarve so the number of travelers has definitely increased.

Spring in the Algarve (March to May)

Portugal is a warm destination but the water is extremely cold since it is the Atlantic Ocean.

MonthDaily Mean TemperatureAverage HighAverage Low
March14.8 °C (58.6 °F)9.1 °C (66.4 °F)10.5 °C (50.9 °F)
April16.1 °C (61.0 °F)20.4 °C (68.7 °F)11.8 °C (53.2 °F)
May18.4 °C (65.1 °F)22.8 °C (73.0 °F)14.0 °C (57.2 °F)
Climate Data for Faro, Agarve: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera

The months of March, April, and May are all good to visit but it won’t be possible to get into the water at all times. This is why, for me, the best time in Spring to visit the Algarve is May, preferably after the 15th of the month.

The Algarve isn’t just a beach destination, it is also a hiking destination. March and April aren’t the best months to visit the Algarve because it can rain anytime and because of this, the hiking trails tend to get slippery.

Cactus Flowers in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal
Cactus Flowers in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

So late spring is actually the perfect time to hike because the heat won’t slow you down, the trails won’t be as wet as early spring, and you will see loads of flowers everywhere. I did too when I did the Ponta da Piedade hike in Lagos.

So if you want to visit the Algarve in spring, make it as late as possible and plan towards the second half of May. Be prepared for a random rainy day here and there and keep an eye on the weather map before you go hiking.

Summer in the Algarve (June to mid-September)

The stunning and empty Praia do Camilo in Lagos, Portugal
The stunning and empty Praia do Camilo in Lagos, Portugal – June 2022

The Algarve is a perfect early summer destination because you can enjoy the beaches and swim in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

MonthDaily Mean TemperatureAverage HighAverage low
June21.9 °C (71.4 °F)26.4 °C (79.5 °F)17.3 °C (63.1 °F)
July24.2 °C (75.6 °F)29.2 °C (84.6 °F)19.1 °C (66.4 °F)
August24.1 °C (75.4 °F)28.8 °C (83.8 °F)19.4 °C (66.9 °F)
September22.3 °C (72.1 °F)26.6 °C (79.9 °F)18.0 °C (64.4 °F)
Climate Data for Faro, Agarve: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera

If you see the above temperature chart, that the Algarve really has the perfect summer vacation weather throughout the entire summer.

The only reason why I say that it is better to visit the Algarve in early summer, that is June – is because that’s not the busiest holiday time in Europe. Moreover, that’s the month when you get to enjoy the warm weather but it isn’t too hot as well.

"A Boneca", Algar Seco Caves, Carvoeiro
“A Boneca”, Algar Seco Caves, Carvoeiro

It is worth noting that the above temperatures are the averages but not the “record high” temperatures and they have been known to cross 40°C in July / August on some occasions.

Also in the month of June, you can see some amazing cactus flowers if you go on the hiking trails. I did too! However, if you go in late summer, sometimes also late June then the excess heat will slow you down on the hikes. This is how I felt when I did the Seven Hanging Valleys Hike.

Inside Benagil Cave - June 2023
Inside Benagil Cave – June 2023

July and August are the months when there are school holidays so the prices skyrocket and the beaches get crowded like crazy. But hey, the beaches in Portugal still don’t get as crowded as the ones in Italy!

Moreover, if you want to visit “smaller” beaches that are now on Instagram such as the Benagil Cave, you should consider early summer to avoid the crowds.

Although not as busy as July and August, September is still a busy month because those who weren’t able to go for a vacation in the peak month do it in September. This is actually the trend that I have seen while living in Europe.

Autumn in the Algarve (Mid September to November)

Lagos Old Town, Portugal
Lagos Old Town, Portugal

Early autumn is a decent time to visit the Algarve because it isn’t as crowded, and it isn’t as hot as summer so hiking is fun but be aware that it can rain suddenly, in October and November which makes hiking a bit dangerous.

Unless I am visiting family, I’d prefer not to visit the Algarve in the late autumn months. The only beach destination in Portugal that you should visit in Autumn is Nazare. It is known for its massive waves and they are even bigger in colder months.

MonthDaily Mean TemperatureAverage HighAverage LowAverage precipitation days
September22.3 °C (72.1 °F)26.6 °C (79.9 °F)18.0 °C (64.4 °F)4
October19.3 °C (66.7 °F)23.2 °C (73.8 °F)15.3 °C (59.5 °F)9
November15.7 °C (60.3 °F)19.6 °C (67.3 °F)11.7 °C (53.1 °F)10
Climate Data for Faro, Agarve: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera

I do see that some travel guides mention visiting the Algarve in autumn. The thing is, I think it maybe didn’t rain when they visited but autumn and winter months see the most rain in the Algarve and you are better off visiting some of the other destinations in Portugal.

Winter in the Algarve (December to February)

Winter in the Algarve is not the best time to visit because you can’t enjoy the beaches unless you have a lucky day with the weather. It rains a lot in winter months in the Algarve so hiking can also be dangerous.

The only beach destination that you can visit in winter in Portugal is Nazare. But you can still not go in the water but just enjoy the spectacle of the world’s biggest waves that have ever been surfed.

If you have to spend winter in Portugal then pick places like Lisbon, Porto, or Coimbra.

MonthDaily Mean TemperatureAverage HighAverage LowAverage precipitation days
December13.3 °C
(55.9 °F)
17.0 °C
(62.6 °F)
9.6 °C
(49.3 °F)
13
January 12.0 °C
(53.6 °F)
16.1 °C
(61.0 °F)
7.9 °C
(46.2 °F)
11
February 12.8 °C
(55.0 °F)
16.9 °C
(62.4 °F)
8.7 °C
(47.7 °F)
12
Climate Data for Faro, Agarve: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera

If you are looking for a beach destination in winter then a better option would be to go to Asia (Thailand / Goa / Sri Lanka) because it would be spring-like weather of the Algarve there when it is winter in Europe.

Closing Thoughts: Best Time to Go to Algarve Portugal

So to conclude, the end of May, the entire month of June, and September are the best months to visit the Algarve. Honestly, even the peak months are decent as long as you don’t mind the heat when you are hiking and you don’t mind the crowds.

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