Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east.
Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, plays a significant role in shaping the culture and economy of the country.
The seasons in Portugal are hence a major part of the country’s developmental factor, from spring to summer, then autumn and Winter.
Winter in Portugal may not be as harsh as in other European countries, but it still brings a chill to the air.
The mild winter season, lasting from December to February, adds a unique atmosphere to the country’s already captivating landscape.
However, for tourists visiting Portugal during this time, it’s essential to be prepared for the colder weather and the occasional rainfall also.
Portugal’s Four Distinct Seasons
The interval between each season is approximately three months and normally stays mild also.
1. Spring (March to May)
The weather during spring is mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F). It’s a great time to visit Portugal, though, as the flowers are blooming and everything looks green.
2. Summer (June to August)
Summer is the hottest season in Portugal, with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F) in the south and 20°C (68°F) in the north. The beaches are crowded during this time, and it’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and swimming.
3. Autumn (September to November)
Autumn in Portugal is characterized by mild temperatures, ranging from 18°C (64°F) to 23°C (73°F). It’s a beautiful time of year as the leaves turn red and orange, and the grape harvest takes place.
4. Winter (December to February)
Winter in Portugal is mild compared to other European countries, with temperatures averaging around 12°C (54°F) in Lisbon and 8°C (46°F) in Porto. It’s still a great time to visit Portugal as the Christmas markets are open, and there are fewer crowds at popular tourist attractions.
How to Survive Winter in Portugal
To survive the winter in Portugal, try some of these tricks, even if you are in Portugal for a vacation, a work-related conference or as an immigrant.
In your plans, remember to pack warm clothes, dress in layers and avoid the coldest hours of the day by staying indoors.
Furthermore, the use of public transportation can help with eating hearty meals and staying hydrated. Cultivate an interest in indoor activities, and wear waterproof shoes during rainy weather.
1. Pack warm clothes
When in Portugal during winter, it is not necessary to bring heavy coats and boots, but it is still a good idea to pack clothes like a sweater, a jacket, and a scarf.
Include a light jacket or coat for cooler evenings, sweaters or hoodies for warmth, and long-sleeved shirts. Comfortable, insulated footwear is essential.
2. Stay Indoors
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy the cozy atmosphere of cafes, restaurants, and bars. Many of these places have fireplaces and heaters, making them an ideal place to escape the cold. But warmer will be the comfort of your living room than outside.
Spending more of your time in the living room than at the fireplace. Sipping a warm coffee, as the warmth of staying indoors helps moderate the amount of temperature your body gets exposed to.
3. Explore The Cities
Contrary to Wise, the weather may not be conducive enough for outdoor activities. But you can try visiting museums, galleries, and historical sites that are less crowded during the winter.
During winter in Portugal, consider exploring cities like Lisbon for its mild climate, historic charm, and cultural events.
Also, Porto, with its stunning riverside views and cozy wine cellars, offers a delightful winter experience.
Additionally, Sintra’s romantic palaces and the Algarve region’s coastal beauty can be enjoyed without the summer crowds.
4. Try Traditional Winter Dishes
The perfect time to try a traditional Portuguese dish is during the winter. Some dishes like cozido à portuguesa (Portuguese stew), arroz de cabidela (rice with chicken blood), and caldo verde (green soup).
These hearty meals will warm you up from the inside out and chase away the cold of winter.
Not all of them serve traditional Portuguese winter dishes during the winter. But you can easily explore local culinary guides to get a hint on where to get some.
Some online review platforms, like TripAdvisor, or food blogs will also do.
5. Enjoy The Festive Atmosphere
Normally, the winter falls between December and January, which is the season of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations in Portugal.
The streets are decorated with lights, and there are plenty of festive events and markets to enjoy.
Moreso, winter in Portugal brings a festive atmosphere filled with holiday markets, decorated streets, and a sense of togetherness.
And when you are with family or friends celebrating, the warmth of their presence can keep you warm.
6. Stay Hydrated
Although it’s not as hot as summer, it’s still important to drink plenty of water during the winter, as dehydration can occur due to indoor heating.
It is safe to take in some water from time to time while running away from the chills of the outside world.
Stay hydrated during winter in Portugal by drinking water regularly, even if the temperatures are cooler. Try to always carry a reusable water bottle and consider incorporating hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables into your meals through the winter.
7. Be Prepared For Rain
During the winter, it is safe to expect rain at any time. Winter is also the rainy season in Portugal, so it’s essential to carry an umbrella or a raincoat with you at all times.
It is also wise to have a compact, travel-sized umbrella for convenience. Additionally, consider bringing a water-resistant backpack to protect your belongings.
During this period, keeping your body moist is also not a bad idea for your hands, legs and whole body. Keep your hands moisturized with a thick hand cream regularly.
Add an oil serum to your skincare routine for extra hydration and nourishment during the winter months. Apply the oil serum after cleansing and toning but before moisturizer is the best time to do so.
9. Local Wines
As winter sets in, Portugal is elegantly transformed into a perfect landscape of rustic charm. There are the Douro Valley’s bold and spicy reds. And the Dão region’s smooth and elegant whites, Portugal’s winter wines, are a feast for the senses. And it is worth trying during the winter.
10. Learn Basic Phrases
While many people in Portugal speak English, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can enhance your interactions during the winter with immigrants. You can try some phrases to use in a local market or with neighbors.
Winter in Portugal may be better than in other European countries, but it still requires preparation for immigrants who are new to the country.
By packing warm clothes, staying indoors when necessary, and trying traditional winter dishes, you can survive the winter.
Also, by enjoying festive celebrations, staying hydrated, and being prepared for rainfall, you’ll be able to make the most of Portugal during the winter.