Summer, from June till September, is filled with long days of brilliant sunshine and soaring heat. The average high temperature starts out in the pleasant mid 20s then gets up to a peak of 28ºC in July and August. September gets back down to 26ºC. It is the fringe months of June and September that are perhaps the most comfortable in terms of heat. In the peak months daytime temperatures can rocket up into the mid 30s and night time lows rarely get below 20ºC. Cooling sea breezes help to take the edge off the heat as do the moderately low humidity levels. If rather than from the north the wind comes from the south, up from Africa, temperatures can rocket. The sirocco wind that originates in the Sahara brings with it extreme heat, aridity and sometimes even sand. The sun shines in ten or more hours per day on average for the entire season. Rainfall is so low it’s hardly worth mentioning. The average sea temperature gets up to 21ºC which is cool in comparison to the Mediterranean but more than warm enough for a long swim – remember that this is the North Atlantic Ocean.
Autumn, in October and November, is very warm with an average high temperature of 22ºC in October and 19ºC in November. November night times, however, can be very chilly at an average low of 13ºC. Rainfall does increase but only to around 50 mm which is unlikely to cause more than a brief inconvenience. It usually falls in brief thunderstorms that come in from the Atlantic. While sunshine levels are good for autumn they are dramatically reduced from the Algarve’s summer sunshine levels. October sees around eight hours per day and November sees around six. This is a great time to visit the region to enjoy a sporting holiday rather than a beachbum break, for instance to go walking or sailing. There are fewer tourists in this season and accommodation prices are generally lower.
Winter, from December till February, is very mild with an average high temperature of 16ºC in December and February which drops just slightly to 15ºC in January. Night time lows hover around 10ºC which is chilly but nowhere near as cold as it is in the UK. It rarely gets down to freezing though further from the coast it can dip down and frosts can occur. However, in 2006 snow covered the beaches; in this time of climate change nothing can be out-ruled. What is more likely than snow is a gust of hot wind blowing up from Africa; even in winter temperatures in the low 20s can be experienced. However, this is not to be relied upon and no one should expect to show off their bikini if visiting at this time of year. Sunshine levels, around six hours per day, are six times the measly helping doled out to most areas of the UK. Rainfall is at its highest but it still isn’t particularly high and usually sticks to short showers or thunderstorms.
Spring, from March till May, is a great time to visit as the temperatures climb and the sun returns. The average high temperature climbs to 18ºC in March, 20ºC in April and 22ºC in May. Sunshine levels jumps to nine hours per day in April and ten hours in May. However, night time temperatures remain cool, as does the ocean. Like autumn, spring is best for activity holidays though by the end of the season true beach weather is almost guaranteed. Though even by the end of the season the sea temperature can be quite cool.