The sun shines in Portugal for at least 3000 hours per year. Located on the Atlantic coast with its many picturesque islands, this country is known for its mild climate throughout the year, meaning there is no need to fear the dreaded ‘Winter Blues’. In addition to plenty of sunshine, you’ll still find a wide range of leisurely activities available in the colder months – even surfing!
Are you fed up of grey skies? Yearning for some warmth? Then off to Portugal you go! Here is what you can expect while you’re over there.
During the wintertime, the average temperature ranges from 14-18 degrees Celsius, which means that you can still enjoy a glass of wine sat outside, under the midday sun. However, the general climate can be as diverse as the country’s wine selection.
Bordering Spain in the north, you will be captivated by endless green forests, which often have an air of mystery to them, due to the fog. On colder days, you may even get a glimpse of a snowy landscape – especially further inland, where Portugal reveals another side of itself, with mountain ranges of up to 1990 meters in height.
But let’s get back to what probably interests you the most: the sunnier sides of the country. You can pretty much bet that any areas along the Atlantic coast will enjoy some great weather. Naturally, the further south you go, the more pleasant it gets. Although you can enjoy temperatures of up to 15 degrees in coastal cities in the north and center of the country, such as Porto or Lisbon, it is also likely that you will find much less rain in the Capital.
If you’re travelling to Algarve, for example, from the months of November to February, temperatures can lie around a high of 17-20 degrees which means you most definitely shouldn’t forget your sunglasses!
Are you a student who is interested in going on exchange during the Winter? We understand that you don’t just want to go ANYWHERE. In this section, you will find out what Portugal has to offer during the colder months of the year and why so many students have chosen Portugal as their destination for an exchange semester.
Perhaps you’ve already guessed it: Portugal’s landscape and climate are so diverse, that even in the middle of the Winter, there’s not much you are being forced to missed out on. Spend a few days in Porto and when you get tired of the rain, make it an all-out ‘summer holiday’ by visiting Faro in the south. If you need a more wintery atmosphere to get into the Christmas spirit, just take a trip to the mountains. The point is, regardless of which season you prefer, there is something for everyone.
Speaking of traveling: Depending on your budget, it’s relatively easy to get from A to B at reasonable prices. The cheapest form of transport is the train, although you may find that certain connections may not be as well developed, in comparison to some other European countries. However, you can also reach most destinations by modern and air-conditioned buses, which run both long and short distances. If you’d really like to travel in comfort, you can also take a cab or even rent a car – prices are much lower from November to March, after peak season for tourists is over. This goes for booking a hotel room, renting an apartment or even visiting a restaurant.
During the summer, fresh fish and other seafoods are a staple of every menu. However, during the cooler months, many local restaurants offer hearty soups and stews for the soul. A particularly well-known winter dish is the Cozido à Portuguesa, a stew made of different kinds of meat such as the beloved blood sausage (referred to as Morcela), vegetables and potatoes. As for the house-wine, don’t worry, that is available everywhere pretty much year-round and definitely should not be missed out on!
Even though there are bound to be tourists in Portugal after the Summer has come and gone, the numbers stay well within their limits. Wandering the empty beaches, you’ll begin to feel much more like a local. This would also be an opportune time to experience the Portuguese flair and culture, particularly for nightlife. Around these dates, it is much easier to get a seat at some of the more ‘hip’ bars and restaurants, which often require reservations. If you’re planning on staying at MILESTONE, you’ll also meet plenty of people who will be willing to show you all the hotspots.
The diversity of the landscape, as previously mentioned, automatically means that there are plenty of leisure activities awaiting you that you may not have thought of yet. The best tips for your personal Portugal experience for Winter are listed here:
You mind has been made up and your bags are half packed. Now all you need is a place to stay? Check out our apartment selection in Portugal.
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