An overview of the Algarve climate
The Algarve is known as a popular summer holiday destination for good reason. It has a Mediterranean climate (csa in the Köppen climate classification). This means that summers are warm and winters are mild. The average maximum temperature is 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) in January/February and 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) in July/August.
300 days of sun per year
The Algarve has around 3000 hours of sun per year and over 300 days of sun per year. This makes it one of the sunniest regions in Europe.
Differences within the Algarve
The climate in the Algarve is a bit more dry than in other parts of Portugal. In the interior of the Algarve, it can be really hot and dry, due to the absence of wind from the sea. This sometimes leads to forest fires, like in Monchique. The east of the Algarve is usually a bit hotter and drier than the west of the Algarve, because of the influence of the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
In general, it rains little in the Algarve. Most of the rain falls in the period from November until the end of March. The summer is usually quite dry. In the winter it rarely gets below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and it rarely snows.
Sea water temperatures
The sea water is around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. Because of the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean winds, the sea water is generally warmer in the east of the Algarve than in the west of the Algarve.
Average temperatures and other weather data
Below you can find more information about the climate in the Algarve (source). The Algarve is a big region and these are average numbers. This means that deviations are possible locally.
When is the best time to go to the Algarve?
It depends on what you want. The Algarve is warm throughout the year. If you want to enjoy the food and culture when it is not too hot, but still nice, you can best visit in the early spring or late autumn months. There are also less tourists in spring and autumn, compared to the summer. If you want to enjoy maximum beach time and get the most out of the sun, then you can best visit in the summer months. The summer is also the busiest time of the year in the Algarve. It will be more crowded everywhere. A reason to visit the Algarve in the winter is to escape the weather of your current hometown. And if you like surfing, the winter is also probably the best time to go to the Algarve, due to the higher waves.
The influence of climate change
Climate change will make the Algarve dryer. It will become more hot and it will rain even less. Forest fires will become more frequent. Sea levels will rise, which might affect coastal regions. All of this will affect agriculture, fishing, wine, but also the beaches of the Algarve. In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, we need to use clean energy and use energy more efficiently.