Visiting the Algarve during the winter months can be the ideal time to visit. A clement climate, no madding crowds, low-cost air travel and bars and restaurants lowering their costs to attract more business. Therefore the winter can be, for some, the ideal time to visit. Especially so for those who don’t wish to be baked like a potato on the beaches.
That is not to say that you won’t get a tan but the scorching temperatures of August are replaced by a much more moderate climate. We have many More Portugal Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.
I’m often asked by people, ‘what will the weather be like in February?’ (or December) for example. I always have to smile and reply ‘I don’t know’. All I can do is tell them what it was like last year and point them in the direction of the average weather statistics. You see the winter months will have times when there will be quite a long spells of clear skies, beautiful sunshine with temperatures around 19 to 21 degrees Celsius. Therefore,whilst it is like this, you’ll see many people sunbathing on some of the most glorious beaches in the world. However at this time of the year it is never, ever crowded. With the Sun shining and sitting in the old square in ‘Old Albufeira’ listening to the incredibly talented street musicians whilst enjoying a snack or a drink in one of the many restaurants, is more than simply a pleasant experience, but a must for those want something special. It can also rain. However it rarely rains all day, and most of the time the Sun will make an appearance. On these days temperatures can drop significantly to around 14 degrees Celsius although it will feel much warmer when the Sun makes an appearance. As a result you’ll not see too many people lying on the beaches trying to get a tan! However most days do not see rain but when it does rain it can be quite spectacular. Many days resemble a fine spring day in Southern England. A few clouds with the Sun popping its head in and out throughout the day.
An old friend of mine once said that Portugal was ‘a cold country with a hot Sun’. What he meant was, whilst the Sun was shining the glow from it and warmth would relax the body, but when a small cloud came over there would be a perceived massive drop in temperature! Quite chilly! The Algarve is far from simply great beaches, numerous bars and restaurants etc. It has much, much more to offer. It is an ideal destination for bird watchers, horticulturists, walkers etc. They find that the winter months are the ideal time to explore the countryside as the temperatures, in general, are ideal for these activities.
At this time of the year it is very verdant with many species of Flora and Fauna. The Algarve has numerous paths and tracks interweaving with each other leading into some terrific countryside. Although I cannot claim to be a ‘twitcher’ myself I have observed some of the most remarkable incredibly coloured and shaped birds throughout the year. Sometimes I’ll sit on my veranda outside my living room at home looking over the valley to the sea and watch the birds flying in the valley below, and although they fly high above the ground, they are still below my eye level. It is quite surreal. I often wonder where they come from or are going to. ‘Now what clothes do I bring with me’, I hear you ask? Answer- warm ones. Although daytime temperatures can get into the low 20s Celsius and it does feel quite warm, it quickly cools down when the Sun disappears around 5.30 pm. Therefore I always emphasise to anybody considering a visit outside the summer months that they must bring warm clothes for the evening and night-time as it can, and does, get quite chilly. Best to bring a couple of warm wooly jumpers and a coat.
In winter and when comparing villas in Portugal to rent make sure that you chose one that is HEATED. Also it is worth noting that many bars/restaurants/hotels/ apartments/Cottages/Villas do not have adequate heating and once one gets cold it takes a lot to warm oneself up again. Temperatures can get down to 3 degrees or so during the night but more usual is around 10 to 12 degrees Celsius.
A few years ago, whilst waiting for my bags to appear in Faro airport, having just returned from the UK, I heard an elderly gentleman with a Newcastle accent commenting to his mate ‘how ruddy cold it was’ (or something like that)! His mate replied ‘Ah don’t worry yourself it’ll be up in the 80’s by about 3 o’clock’. Well as it was about 20 minutes past one with temperatures about 15 degrees Celsius I didn’t have the heart to tell him otherwise. Both they and their wives were dressed in tropical type gear and must have though that the Algarve in the winter was like going to the Gambia. I wonder what they had in their suitcases?
Earlier this year (2011) we had an enormous hail storm which looked like snow laying deep on the ground. My next door neighbor’s, (Sir Cliff Richard) lawn (which is absolutely enormous), was completely covered with Hail stones and it looked absolutely wonderful with a distinctly Xmas feel. His chief gardener Carlos, informed me that he’d never seen anything like it before! It didn’t take long though for it to all disappear as the temperature rose quite quickly. Still another quite surreal experience.
The Algarve is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year. There is something for everybody here. If you don’t mind the chance of the odd drop of rain now and again then give the Algarve a try, I’ll bet you’ll be back! We have many More Europe Tourist Destinations Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.