Portugal is a relatively small country with its 10 million people and 92,212 square kilometers of land area. It is a country that lies on the Iberian Peninsula and borders Spain. It has two archipelagos and a coastline of 2,830 km (including archipelagos and islands).
Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean is a country with mild temperatures in the colder months and hot (not extreme) in the summer seasons. It has 300 days of sunshine, so even in winter it can present, although colder, very sunny days.
One thing is clear: The further south in the country, such as regions in Alentejo (Comporta, Sines, vila nova de mil fontes, odeceixe) or in Algarve (Lagos, albufeira, Vilamoura) are sought after in this time of year, because normally the sun is stronger.
The further south, the hotter!
How cold does it get in Portugal in the winter?
Depending on the winter month and above all on the region, temperatures can go from negative to mild.
In the north:
Average temperatures are 10º degrees, reaching a minimum of 6ºC and a high of 14ºC ( from December to the end of February). This is a large region and the further north you go, the colder it gets.
The large city of Porto is located in the north of the country and has an average temperature of 14ºC.
In the center:
A very popular destination in the winter months is the Serra da estrela village: A gem of nature, where you can find the highest altitudes in Portugal. If you are looking for snow in Portugal, this is the place. In this village the temperatures can go from -2 to 4º degrees in the months of December, January or February.
Remembering that last year all the months mentioned were sunny and where the snow only fell for 4 days at the end of April 2022. This is definitely the coldest place in Portugal and in fact worth a visit.
Big cities like Lisbon (which is also in the center) have temperatures between 9ºC (minimum) to 16ºC. The good part? Most days are sunny.
In the south:
South we talk about alentejo and Algarve. Algarve is the hottest region of Portugal, with the exception of Madeira Island (an archipelago of Portugal). In the Alentejo region the average temperatures are around 16ºC (depending on if you are on the coast or in the interior) and in the Algarve region 18ºC.
Which part of Portugal is the warmest in December?
Alentejo is known for its virgin land, its vineyards, its fantastic wild beaches, the food and towns like comporta, tróia, Melides. The average temperatures, as mentioned above are around 16ºC, but it depends on where you are in this region. There are villages in the interior that are famous for being cold in winter and very hot in summer.
The Algarve, with the exception of Madeira Island (Portuguese archipelago) is the warmest region in Portugal in the winter.
The average temperature is around 18ºC. It is an excellent place in Portugal in the winter, as is the Alentejo, to spend a few quiet days, escaping the summer crowds and enjoying the calmness of its charming villages.
What month does it snow in Portugal?
There are some villages/districts that can present Snow, like Bragança, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Vila Real and Viseu but the most known and sought after is Serra da estrela. As talked about in the first paragraphs of this article, it is an unforgettable place, where many go to enjoy the landscapes and do/begin the sport of sky/snowboarding.
The period with the highest probability of finding snow in Portugal is from December to March, although last year it snowed in April (Global Warming!). So if your goal is to find snow, get informed before you travel.
Where is the best place to winter in Portugal?
It depends on what you are looking for. For snow the previous question answers (Serra da estrela). If the goal is to enjoy the culture, exploring the streets, the museums and the life of the cities, big cities like Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Lisbon will satisfy your requests.
All of them, with their own characteristics but all of them beautiful and full of history.
If you are a person who loves surfing and wants to see the biggest waves in the world, Nazaré is your destination in the winter in Portugal.
If you are a person who just wants to relax and enjoy the sunny nature in the winter in Portugal, Alentejo is an excellent option.
Does Alentejo have beaches?
Is a region that has a very large coastline and villages such as Comporta, Troia, Melides, Vila Nova de Mil Fontes, etc.
Comporta is undoubtedly the most sought after and has grown a lot in recent years.
Besides the beach (which despite being cold, as the winter is mostly sunny, you can drink a hot chocolate on the beach), there are other attractions in the whole region. Even for less sunny weather know what to do in Comporta when it rains. The new holidays houses are prepared with all the necessary comforts for a few winter days. It is a growing region and with some options of hotels in comporta.
The Alma da Comporta holiday houses, besides being fully equipped for all seasons, have a fireplace, climate control, and heated floors in some properties, apart from the fact that they all have an unobstructed view of the rice fields. It is the right retreat!
Is the Algarve warm in winter?
If you are looking for quietness but with the possibility to enjoy more structure, Algarve can be a solution: Is the hottest region in Portugal continental! Algarve is a big region and the most famous places are Lagos, Vilamoura and Albufeira. These are very crowded towns in the summer, so you will be happy to enjoy it with far fewer people.
Regardless of what you choose, one thing is certain: Portugal in winter has a much milder climate than most European countries. Whatever you decide to do, the days will be very well spent!
It’s well worth it!