Does it snow in Portugal?

Does it Snow in Portugal? Experience Winter in Portugal (2024)

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on: 11th December 2023, 11:38 am

Does it snow in Portugal?

Portugal, a country known for its sunny beaches and warm climate, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of snow.

Portugal experiences a winter season from December 21st to March 20th, with mild temperatures averaging around 10°C (50°F).

While the country generally has a mild climate throughout the year, there are a few regions where snowfall occurs, such as the Serra da Estrela mountain range and parts of the north.

In this article, we’ll explore what to expect during the Portuguese winter and the winter weather patterns in different regions of Portugal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Portugal experiences a mild winter season from December to March.
  • The country generally has mild temperatures, ranging from 5°C (41°F) to 27°C (80.6°F) annually.
  • Snowfall in Portugal is limited to certain regions, such as the Serra da Estrela and parts of the north.
  • The Algarve region in the south offers the warmest temperatures during winter, ranging from 12°C (53.6°F) to 30°C (86°F).
  • While Lisbon rarely sees snowfall, it experiences mild winters with occasional heavy rainstorms.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Does it snow in Portugal?

Does it Snow in Portugal?

Yes, it does snow in Portugal but only in the mountainous regions.

Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with mild and rainy winters, which means snowfall is rare and limited to high mountain regions like Serra da Estrela.

When Does it Snow in Portugal?

Curious about when you can expect to see snow in Portugal? We’ve got you covered.

While Portugal is known for its mild winter climate, there are certain months when snowfall is more likely, especially in the mountainous regions, particularly the Serra da Estrela mountains.

The snowiest month in Portugal is typically January when average temperatures in the Serra da Estrela mountains drop to the low 30s Fahrenheit. Although it is rarer, there is also a possibility of snowfall in December and late February.

On average, Portugal receives about 15-30 inches of snowfall per year.

So, if you’re planning a winter Portugal vacation and hoping to experience the beautiful snowy landscapes, January is the best time to visit.

Where Does it Snow in Portugal?

In Portugal, snowfall is primarily limited to the Serra da Estrela mountains in the northern region of the country.

The Estrela mountain range, with its peaks reaching over 6,500 feet, offers the perfect conditions for snow to accumulate during the winter months. These mountains are not only known for their stunning natural beauty but also for the ski resorts that attract winter sports enthusiasts.

The Serra da Estrela mountains are home to several towns that serve as popular destinations for experiencing snow in Portugal.

Sabugueiro, Manteigas, Cabeça, Gouveia, and Piodao are all picturesque towns nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks. These towns offer a range of accommodation options, from cozy mountain cabins to charming bed and breakfasts, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the winter wonderland.

Other parts of northern Portugal, such as Guimarães and Braga, also have occasional snowfall. However, snowfall is relatively rare in most of the country, including popular cities like Porto and Lisbon.

Yes, it does snow in Portugal.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Snowfall in the Serra da Estrela

The Serra da Estrela mountain range, the highest in Portugal, is known for its winter wonderland experience.

With its elevation reaching nearly 2,000 meters, the Serra da Estrela receives regular and abundant snowfall during the winter months, making it a popular destination for skiers and snow enthusiasts. The ski resort located in the range offers a variety of slopes catering to beginners and experienced skiers alike.

RegionAverage Snowfall (cm)
Serra da Estrela10-15 cm per week
Guimarães2-5 cm per month
Braga2-5 cm per month

In addition to the Serra da Estrela, some areas in northern Portugal also experience occasional snowfall.

However, it is important to note that the majority of the country, including popular tourist destinations like Porto and Lisbon, rarely see significant snowfall. These regions typically have milder winter conditions with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing.

So, if you’re looking for a winter wonderland experience in Portugal, head to the Serra da Estrela for abundant snowfall and exciting winter activities.

However, if you prefer milder temperatures and a more typical winter climate, other parts of Portugal may be more suitable for your winter getaway.

A dreamy view of Porto from an open window.
Consider the dreamy destination of Porto if you want a winter destination without snow.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Winter in Lisbon – A City of Mild Weather

In the winter months, Lisbon experiences mild weather, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a pleasant escape from colder climates.

While snow is extremely rare in Lisbon, with the last recorded snowfall occurring in 2006, the city does have cooler temperatures during this season. Average minimum temperatures range from around 5°C (41°F) to 10°C (50°F), providing a comfortable environment for exploring the city.

Despite occasional rainfall, Lisbon’s unique urban density and narrow streets help create a microclimate (Sintra also creates its own microclimate) that offers some shelter from the elements.

The medieval architecture and concentrated buildings in the city provide protection and make Lisbon an enjoyable place to visit, even in the winter months. With its charming streets, historic landmarks, and vibrant culture, there is plenty to see and do in Lisbon regardless of the season.

Heading to Lisbon soon? Discover where you can find the best miradouros (viewpoints) in Lisbon!

When planning a winter trip to Lisbon, it’s always a good idea to pack layers to adapt to the fluctuating temperatures. A lightweight rain jacket or umbrella can also come in handy during rainy days.

Embrace the mild winter weather and explore the city’s colorful neighborhoods, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and visit iconic attractions such as the Belém Tower and the picturesque Alfama district.

Winter Climate in Lisbon (Average Temperatures)

MonthAverage Minimum Temperature (°C)Average Maximum Temperature (°C)

While Lisbon may not be the warmest place in Portugal during the winter, its mild climate and unique charm make it a delightful destination for travelers year-round.

Tourists bundled up against the winter chill waiting to board the historic yellow Lisbon tram.
Lisbon is mild during winter and great to explore during the cold season.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Winter in Algarve – The Warmest Place in Portugal

The Algarve region in southern Portugal is a haven for those seeking warmer temperatures during the winter months. With average temperatures ranging from 12°C (53.6°F) in winter to 30°C (86°F) in summer, the Algarve offers a pleasant escape from colder climates.

While the region’s beaches might not be as inviting during the winter, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy.

Average Winter Temperature in Algarve

MonthAverage Temperature (°C)

One popular activity in the Algarve during the winter months is golfing. The region boasts more than 40 golf courses, offering golfers a chance to enjoy their favorite sport in beautiful surroundings. The mild temperatures and sunny blue skies provide the perfect conditions for a leisurely round of golf.

The Algarve is also a great place to explore picturesque towns and villages. From the historic charm of Lagos to the colorful streets of Tavira, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to be had. The region’s natural beauty, including stunning cliffs and rugged coastline, is best appreciated through leisurely walks or hikes.

If you’re planning a winter getaway in Lagos, make sure to stop at Mar d’Estorias for some local cuisine!

The Algarve truly comes alive during the winter months, offering a unique blend of warm weather, outdoor activities, and cultural exploration.

Aerial view of Portimao.
The Algarve is gorgeous all year round.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Winter Weather in Portugal

When it comes to winter weather in Portugal, temperatures vary across the country.

In the coldest regions, such as the Serra da Estrela mountain range, temperatures can drop below freezing. January and February are the coldest months, with average minimum temperatures of 1.7°C (35.06°F).

On the other hand, in most areas like Lisbon and Porto, temperatures rarely reach below 5°C (41°F) at night. During the day, temperatures typically range from 10°C (50°F) to 15°C (59°F) in most parts of Portugal.

Rainfall is also more common during the winter months in Portugal. Some regions experience heavy showers, especially in higher altitude areas like the Serra da Estrela.

Overall, Portugal’s winter weather offers a mild climate compared to other European countries, making it a comfortable destination for winter activities and exploration.

CityColdest MonthAverage Minimum TemperatureAverage Maximum TemperatureRainfall (mm)
LisbonJanuary5°C (41°F)15°C (59°F)83mm
PortoJanuary5°C (41°F)13°C (55°F)147mm
Faro (Algarve)January9°C (48°F)16°C (61°F)68mm
Serra da EstrelaJanuary1.7°C (35.06°F)3.8°C (38.84°F)289mm


  • Coldest month: January
  • Average minimum temperature: 5°C (41°F)
  • Average maximum temperature: 15°C (59°F)
  • Rainfall: 83mm


  • Coldest month: January
  • Average minimum temperature: 5°C (41°F)
  • Average maximum temperature: 13°C (55°F)
  • Rainfall: 147mm

Faro (Algarve)

  • Coldest month: January
  • Average minimum temperature: 9°C (48°F)
  • Average maximum temperature: 16°C (61°F)
  • Rainfall: 68mm

Serra da Estrela

  • Coldest month: January
  • Average minimum temperature: 1.7°C (35.06°F)
  • Average maximum temperature: 3.8°C (38.84°F)
  • Rainfall: 289mm

As you can see, Lisbon and Porto have similar winter temperatures, while Faro in the Algarve region experiences slightly warmer conditions.

The Serra da Estrela mountain range, as the coldest place in Portugal, has significantly lower temperatures, with average minimums below freezing.

Keep in mind that these temperatures are averages, and weather patterns can vary from year to year.

Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca on a bright blue winter day.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Winter Activities in Portugal

During the winter months in Portugal, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Whether you’re a fan of winter sports, enjoy exploring culture and history, or simply want to relax on the beach, Portugal has something for everyone.

Outdoor Adventures: Skiing and Snowboarding

If you’re a thrill-seeker, head to the Serra da Estrela mountains for skiing and snowboarding. With its ski resorts and stunning slopes, this mountain range offers a unique opportunity to experience winter sports in Portugal. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find trails suitable for all skill levels.

Exploring Culture and History

Winter is also a great time to explore Portugal’s rich culture and history. Visit towns like Obidos, Faro, Sintra, and Évora, where historical architecture and landmarks await. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets, visit ancient castles, and immerse yourself in the local traditions and customs.

Beach Getaways in the Algarve

If you’re more inclined to escape the cold, head to the Algarve region. With its mild winter temperatures, this coastal paradise is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation. Enjoy long walks along the shoreline, soak up the sun, and indulge in delicious seafood at one of the many beachside restaurants.

Winter Activities in PortugalHighlights
Skiing and SnowboardingExperience the thrill of winter sports in the Serra da Estrela mountains.
Exploring Culture and HistoryImmerse yourself in Portugal’s rich heritage by visiting historic towns and landmarks.
Beach Getaways in the AlgarveEscape the cold and relax on the beautiful beaches of the Algarve region.
Hike through snowy terrain in the Portuguese mountains.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Where to Stay in Portugal in Winter

When planning a winter getaway in Portugal, choosing the right accommodation is essential.

Whether you want to experience snow in the northern regions or prefer to enjoy milder temperatures along the coast, Portugal offers a range of options that cater to different preferences and budgets.

Winter accommodations in the northern region

If you’re looking to experience snow during your stay in Portugal, the northern region near the Atlantic Ocean is the best choice.

Towns like Sabugueiro, Manteigas, Cabeça, Gouveia, and Piodao in the Serra da Estrela mountains offer cozy chalets and hotels that provide easy access to the ski resorts and winter activities. These accommodations often feature stunning mountain views and are perfect for those seeking a winter wonderland experience.

Coastal retreats with milder temperatures

If you prefer to avoid the snow and cold temperatures, the Algarve and Lisbon areas are great options.

The Algarve region, known for its beautiful beaches, offers milder temperatures and a higher chance of sunshine during the winter months. You can find a variety of accommodations ranging from beachfront resorts to charming villas.

In Lisbon, you’ll find a vibrant city with plenty of cultural attractions and mild winter weather. There are numerous hotels and guesthouses available that cater to different budgets and provide easy access to the city’s sights and activities.

Planning a trip to Lisbon? Discover whether Lisbon is safe for travelers and some safety tips for your visit.

Ski resorts in the mountain ranges

For those interested in winter sports, there are ski resorts located in the Serra da Estrela, Beira Alta, and Serra de Açor mountain ranges.

These resorts offer a range of accommodation options, from comfortable hotels to chalets and apartments. Staying at a ski resort gives you the convenience of being close to the slopes and other winter activities, making it a great choice for avid skiers and snowboarders.

RegionAccommodation Options
Northern Region (Serra da Estrela)Cozy chalets, hotels with mountain views
AlgarveBeachfront resorts, charming villas
LisbonHotels, guesthouses

With these options in mind, you can choose the best place to stay in Portugal during the winter months, based on your preferences and the experiences you’re looking to have during your trip.

A typical Portuguese town.
There are plenty of cute accommodation options in Portugal in winter.

Does it snow in Portugal?

Does it Snow in Portugal FAQs

What months does it snow in Portugal?

Snowfall in Portugal is generally limited to the winter months, typically from December to February. The northern mountainous regions, like Serra da Estrela, are most likely to see snow during this period.

What are winters like in Portugal?

Winters in Portugal are relatively mild, with temperatures varying by region. Coastal areas have mild and rainy winters, while inland regions experience cooler temperatures. Snow is rare except in the mountainous areas.

Does Portugal get any snow?

Yes, Portugal does get some snow, but it’s mostly confined to the elevated areas, like Serra da Estrela. Coastal cities like Lisbon rarely experience snowfall.

Does Lisbon ever get snow?

Lisbon occasionally experiences snow, but it’s a rare occurrence. The city’s coastal location and mild climate make snowfall infrequent.

How cold is Portugal in Christmas?

Portugal is generally mild around Christmas. Coastal areas like Lisbon have average temperatures of around 10-15°C (50-59°F), while inland regions can be cooler. Snow is more likely in the northern mountainous regions during this time.

What is the coldest city in Portugal?

Covilhã, located near Serra da Estrela, is often considered the coldest city in Portugal due to its higher altitude and proximity to the mountains where snowfall occurs in winter.

Does it snow in Portugal? Not usually but they still have Christmas markets.
The Christmas market in Lisbon.

Does it snow in Portugal?

So, Does it Snow in Portugal?

So, does it snow in Portugal?

While snow is not common in most regions of Portugal, the country does experience a winter season.

From December to March, average temperatures range from 10°C (50°F), providing a mild climate compared to other European countries.

So, if you’re planning a winter getaway, Portugal is definitely worth considering!


Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts