If you’re planning a Portuguese holiday and want to pick the best time of year to visit, this article is for you! We’ll get into more detail, but in short, traveling to Portugal in September is your best bet for perfect weather, less crowds, good deals, solid swells, and fun festivals!
Here’s why September is the best time to visit Portugal!
Table of Contents
- September Weather in Portugal
- Why Visit Portugal in September?
- Special Events & Holidays in September in Portugal
- The Best Month to Visit Portugal is September
- Visiting Portugal in September: FAQs
- Did you know…
September Weather in Portugal
You’ll be happy to know that Portugal is one of Europe’s warmest countries! With a Mediterranean climate, you can expect humid, cool winters and dry, hot summers – with variability by region and season.
September is the best month to visit Portugal because the temperatures drop a bit, while retaining the remnants of summer weather.
Note that ocean water temperatures are very cold in Portugal year-round (61 °F)… But they warm up to as high as 67.8 °F in September.
What to Pack for September Weather
Wondering what to pack for your September city break in Lisbon? Remaining summer heat (highs of 86 °F) in early September mean you’ll be set with shorts, tank tops, and dresses. In late September, that number drops to 76°F; perfection! In the evenings, have pants and a jacket on hand, since temps can dip to 61 °F.
Porto, another popular city break, has cooler September averages (highs of 75 °F, lows of 58 °F), due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
In general, it’s a good idea to pack a jacket or sweater for all your travels. Portugal is no exception!
Fancy a trip to the Algarve? Make sure to bring your swimsuit! Resort towns such as Lagos see temperatures dip from high 80s in the summer, to mid-70s in September. Sweet relief!
As for rainfall, there’s a chance you’ll encounter rain during the shoulder seasons, but it’s low.
Fun fact: The mountainous regions of northern and central Portugal can receive rainfall measuring two meters or more during the winter months!
Why Visit Portugal in September?
There are many reasons for visiting Portugal in September. You’ll luxuriate in the coveted Portuguese sunshine, while experiencing less foot traffic, and less competition for just about everything! Plus, there are some fun festivals and traditional holidays in Portugal in September.
First time visiting Portugal? Here are my favorite booking resources:
The weather in Portugal in September is mild. All over the country, people relish in relief from the summertime heat. The wonderfully warm autumn weather is perfect for enjoying outdoor adventures, from the beach to the mountains.
By September, nighttime temps have significantly cooled off, too. On the flip side, the sea temperatures are the warmest they’ve been all year! Hello, surfing?
P.S. For experienced surfers, fall and winter are the most idyllic months for big swells – from Sagres to Nazaré.
RELATED READING: Sagres, Portugal Guide: Best Things to Do & See
In September, school holidays have come to a close, meaning college kids are back to their studies, and family vacations have come and gone. At last, some peace!
Of course, there will still be travelers (after all, this is the best time of year for those in-the-know), but the tourist age group increases. Older travelers make their way to resort towns in the Algarve, while the giant street parties in Lisbon disperse.
Indeed, a more relaxing affair. By late September, the resort towns and cities have quieted down even more.
- 3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary: BEST Things to Do, See & Eat!
- The Coolest Lisbon Neighborhoods to Explore
Ease of Travel
By traveling to Portugal in September, there’s less pressure to book reservations for flights, hotels, transportation, restaurants, etc. way ahead of time. Simply put, there’s less competition!
Don’t worry, September opening hours are largely the same as summer opening hours for most shops, hotels, restaurants, sites and attractions.
Not to mention you’ll have no trouble securing a spot in group tours. Sintra Palace, anyone? Or maybe you’d like to fulfill your dream of kayaking the Algarve. You can even book just a day before! Ah, how simple.
P.S. Crowd shrinkage extends to the surf line-up, too!
RELATED READING: 12 Amazing & Adventurous Things to Do in Lagos, Portugal
Perhaps the best part, prices for everything from flights, hotels and food, to souvenirs, surf lessons, and excursions shrink. This extends to board rentals, car rentals, private transfers, and more.
Special Events & Holidays in September in Portugal
Pilgrimage to São Paio da Torreira (Early Sept.)
If you happen to be in northern Portugal in early September, make your way to Praia da Torreira for the Pilgrimage of São Paio. Find yourself at one of Portugal’s largest sandy beaches, home to a rich cultural event! These festivities date back to the first century. In fact, Portuguese people travel from all over the country to celebrate their beloved Patron Saint Paio with boat races, fireworks, performances, concerts, and competitions.
Our Lady of Nazare Festival (Mid-Sept.)
Some refer to Nazaré as the most picturesque town in all of Portugal – pay a visit to this beautiful fishing village during the Our Lady of Nazaré Festival! Witness spectacular bullfights, concerts, and folk dancing. Though this festival celebrates an important story of the Virgin Mary, there is an emphasis on the procession of the fishermen of Nazaré, who risk their lives in the treacherous sea. A powerful celebration, indeed!
“Vindima”: Harvest Season
The months of September and October are referred to as the “Vindima,” time for grape harvest! Ever heard of wine tourism? What better excuse to visit the vineyards around Portugal? There are more than a handful of festivities during harvest season, and you can find a few featured below.
Madeira Wine Festival (Late Aug. – Mid-Sept.)
The Madeira Wine Festival is one of the most popular events for Vindima. Venture to the main island of Madeira (there are four Madeira islands!) off the coast of Morocco for the ultimate wine tourism adventure. Click here to find amazing deals on Madeira accommodation.
Morgado do Quintão (Early Oct.)
Though the Algarve is famous for its beaches, this region also boasts stellar mountain ranges and vineyards. Visit Morgado do Quintão for CAMP, the estate’s swanky three-day Vindima celebration. CAMP is complete with workshops, musical performances, speakers, food, and… wine!
Casa Relvas (Late Aug. – Late Sept.)
The family-owned vineyard of Casa Relvas in the Alentejo region of Portugal hosts guests for an entire month at their estate, Herdade de São Miguel. Join them for guided vineyard tours, wine-making workshops, foot-treading, and finally, tastings.
The Best Month to Visit Portugal is September
Whether you’re drawn for a September trip to Lisbon and Porto for a city break, or Nazaré and the Algarve for a beach vacation, you’ll likely enjoy warm temperatures and sunshine all month long.
Portugal in September is the perfect balance of residual summertime heat and excitement, and authentic, autumnal traditions. Be sure to plan your trip to encounter at least one of the religious pilgrimages or grape harvest celebrations for true Portuguese charm!
First time visiting Portugal? Here are my favorite booking resources:
What to Pack for Portugal
- Flowy summer dresses
- Light scarf/shawl (for evenings, sun protection, and visiting churches)
- Light, breathable clothes for warm weather
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Cute yet comfy sandals
- Daypack for day trips
- Sunscreen (natural and reef safe)
- Floppy sun hat
- Insulated, refillable water bottle
- Travel insurance (Please, make sure you’re covered while abroad. Accidents happen.)
- Universal or European travel adapter
Quick Tips for Portugal
- HOTEL: I use this website for scoring amazing deals on accommodation worldwide. Find amazing deals on accommodation here.
- HOSTELWORLD: If you’re traveling on a budget, this is the best website to score cheap hostel deals.
- VACATION RENTAL: I use this site for finding the perfect vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Never go on a trip without travel insurance! It isn’t worth the risk if something goes wrong.
- GUIDED TOURS & EXCURSIONS: Many of the tours I recommend are hosted with Viator, which also works with local tour operators. Search them all here.
- CHEAP FLIGHTS: Get great deals on flights using my favorite flight fare aggregator.
- TRAVEL GEAR: A collection of all of my must-have travel gear are all listed here. Most important to remember is comfortable shoes and sunscreen.
- CAR RENTAL: If you are taking a longer road trip book car rental in advance here for the best deals.
Visiting Portugal in September: FAQs
September is the best time to visit Portugal because of the perfect weather (expect mild temperatures and lots of sunshine!), smaller crowds, lower prices, and special cultural events. The month of September is best if you’re looking for more beach-friendly weather, though October is also a great time to visit Portugal.
The weather in Portugal in September is mild. Cooler than the summer months, but not yet cold. There is little rainfall and the sea temperatures are at their warmest.
Since it’s still relatively warm in September, you can plan to wear shorts or loose pants with a t-shirt. Summer dresses, flowy skirts, and sandals are still very wearable at this time too! Bring a sweater or light jacket, though, just in case.
The entire country of Portugal in September is ripe for visiting, as temperatures are pleasant all over. The Algarve, Alentejo, Central, and Northern regions are good places to travel.
The average daily high temperature in Portugal, country-wide, is about 78 °F (or 26 °C) during the month of September. That makes this month the perfect time to explore the country! Hot, but not too hot.
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