Ah, February in Portugal – the month when the country straddles the thin line between the chilly whispers of winter and the teasing warmth of spring. If you’re considering a getaway to this European gem when Valentine’s hits, you’re in for a treat that’s as varied as the Portuguese landscape!
From the historic streets of Lisbon to the sunny shores of the Algarve, Portugal in February is a journey that’s part adventure, part relaxation, and entirely unforgettable.
Best Cities to Visit in Portugal in February
Lisbon: The heart and soul of Portugal, Lisbon in February is like a well-aged Port wine – just right. The crowds are thinner, the lines shorter, and the charm, oh, thoroughly undiluted. Check out my Lisbon in February blog post. My favorite hotel in Lisbon is Lisbon Art Stay, which is perfect for couples who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
With temperatures that make you whisper “Is it really winter?” you can explore Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and those quaint yellow trams without sweat.
The average temperature in Lisbon in February is around 13-16°C (55-61°F). This can vary slightly from year to year, but February is generally cool and mild in Lisbon.
Porto: Ah, Porto, where the wine flows as freely as the Douro River. The city’s moody weather adds a dramatic backdrop to its stunning architecture.
Wrap up warm and meander through the Ribeira district, or find solace in one of its many wine cellars. Porto’s allure in February is as intoxicating as a glass of its finest.
Porto has the perfect winter/fall vibes! With it’s unique cuisine like the popular fazendia and delicious wine, it’s a great city to visit in February. Make sure you also head out to the wineries of the Douro Valley.
Algarve: Seeking the sun? Algarve’s your loyal companion with the warmest embrace. Its golden beaches might be too chilly for a dip, but the scenic walks, fresh seafood, and breathtaking cliffs are as inviting as ever.
February, here is the off-season secret you didn’t know you needed!
Algarve weather in February
In February, the Algarve region of Portugal experiences mild but variable weather, being one of the warmest areas in the country during this time. Here’s a general idea of what you can expect:
Temperature: Average temperatures in the Algarve during February range from about 8°C (46°F) at night to 16°C (61°F) during the day. While these temperatures are relatively mild, especially compared to northern Europe, it’s still winter, so expect cooler evenings and mornings.
Rainfall: February is one of the wetter months in the Algarve, though it’s still relatively dry compared to many other European destinations. You might experience occasional rain, with an average of around 50-60mm over the month and about 12 days with some rainfall. It’s a good idea to pack a waterproof jacket or an umbrella. I was there in March, and it was Sunny, but be sure to check weather apps right before you leave.
Sunshine: Despite the rain, you’ll still get a good amount of sunshine in the Algarve during February. There are usually around 5-7 hours of sunshine per day, giving you plenty of time to explore outdoors during daylight.
Sea Temperature: The sea is typically quite cold in February, with average sea temperatures around 16°C (61°F). While it’s not ideal for swimming, the coast is still beautiful and worth exploring. This is too cold for me to swim in but maybe you are one of those brave ones.
What to Wear: Pack layers to accommodate the mild days and cooler nights. Include a waterproof layer for the rain, and if you’re planning to be out in the evening, a warm jacket is advisable. Always wear comfortable shoes too.
Activities: February in the Algarve is great for outdoor activities like golfing, hiking, and visiting the region’s many historic sites and beautiful landscapes, as the cooler temperatures and lower tourist numbers make for a more comfortable and intimate experience.
Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to check a reliable weather forecast closer to your visit for the most current information.
Madeira in February
Madeira: February might just be Madeira’s best-kept secret. With its subtropical climate, the island is alive with color from blooming flowers. The Funchal Carnival is a burst of energy, rhythm, and color that’ll have you rethinking what winter should feel like. It will take place from February 7-18th in 2024.
Madeira enjoys a mild subtropical climate, which makes its weather relatively warm and pleasant year-round, including in February. Here’s what you can typically expect weather-wise during this month on the island:
Temperature: In February, temperatures in Madeira are mild and comfortable. Daytime highs average around 16°C to 19°C (61°F to 66°F), while nighttime lows are usually between 11°C and 13°C (52°F to 55°F). The island’s temperate climate means it’s rarely too cold, and the weather is generally spring-like.
Rainfall: February is one of the wetter months in Madeira, but the rain usually comes in quick, passing showers rather than prolonged downpours. The northern parts of the island tend to receive more rain than the southern parts. On average, you can expect some rainfall around half of the days in February, so it’s wise to pack a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
Sunshine: Despite the rain, Madeira enjoys a fair amount of sunshine in February. The island typically sees around 5 to 6 hours of daylight, allowing plenty of time for outdoor activities and exploring.
Sea Temperature: The sea temperature around Madeira in February is on the cooler side, averaging around 18°C (64°F). It might be too cold for some to swim, but others find it refreshing, especially on warmer days. Again to chilly for me to swim at, but maybe not for you.
What to Wear: Packing layers is key for Madeira in February. Bring some warmer clothes for the evenings and early mornings, as well as lighter attire for the daytime. A waterproof layer is also essential due to the chance of rain.
Activities: February in Madeira is ideal for hiking and exploring the island’s lush landscapes, as the temperatures are comfortable and the island is not as crowded as in the peak tourist seasons. The famous Madeira Carnival usually occurs in February or March, depending on the year, offering vibrant parades and festivities.
From Dawn to Dusk: What to Do in Portugal in February
Dance your way through the Carnival in Madeira or Lisbon, where the beat of the drums is as infectious as the laughter in the air. Wine lovers, rejoice! February is the time for Porto’s Essência do Vinho, an event that celebrates the nectar of the gods. For the romantics, a stroll through the gardens of Pena Palace or a sunset view from St. George’s Castle makes for a perfect Valentine’s gesture.
In Portugal, February offers a range of activities despite the cooler weather. Some popular things to do in Portugal in February include:
- Attend the Torres Vedras Carnival: This cultural and traditional carnival is a well-known and anticipated event in Portugal, featuring unique style and revelry.
- Explore the Historic Districts: Visit the historic district of Alfama in Lisbon and explore its narrow streets and alleys. Additionally, take a day trip to Sintra, a picturesque town with stunning castles and palaces.
- Outdoor Activities: While the weather may not be warm enough for swimming or sunbathing on the beach, there are still plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking through scenic trails or taking a bike tour along the coast.
- Romantic Experiences: Portugal offers romantic experiences such as wine-tasting tours and strolling through charming areas, making it a great destination for couples. Douro Valley is a great location for that.
- Explore Museums and Galleries: Portugal has many indoor attractions, such as museums and art galleries, which are great for exploring during the cooler weather.
- Go Shopping. With less crowds and some sales, this is a great time to go shopping.
- Try local cuisine. Trying seafood is a must when visiting Portugal any time of the year. Also don’t forget the pasteis de nata and pastries.
- Explore the rolling plains, medieval towns, and historic castles. Visit Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy wine tasting in one of Portugal’s underrated wine regions.
- Celebrate the Fado Festival in Lisbon: If you’re a fan of Fado music, the annual festival in Lisbon is a must. Experience the hauntingly beautiful music that’s a fundamental part of Portugal’s cultural heritage.
- Visit Coimbra: Explore the ancient university town, with its historic library and beautiful old cathedral.
- Attend a Football Match. If you’re a sports fan, attending a football match in Portugal can be an exhilarating experience, with passionate local fans and a great atmosphere.
- Thermal Bath and Spas: Visit the thermal towns like Caldas da Rainha or the spas in the mountains for a relaxing day.
Overall, visiting Portugal in February means avoiding the peak tourist season, enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere, and experiencing unique cultural events and beautiful landscapes.