Portugal is a year-round destination. In the coldest months we tend to prefer our cozy sofa instead of seeking adventure outdoors. However, Portugal has to offer places that are full of charm and therefore worth a visit. Although the weather is not as inviting as in summer, during this season prices are much lower, places are not overcrowded and there are beauties that only winter provides. Hit the road and let the adventure begin!
Regardless of the road trip you plan, here you have some precious tips:
- Make a light travel itinerary. Few cities, saving time to enjoy them
- Avoid driving after 7pm. In winter time, sunset happens between 5 and 6pm
- Bring warm clothes suitable for cold and rain
- It’s time to enjoy hot chocolate, teas, coffee, liqueurs and wines
- Keep your program flexible. Always have a plan B in case of adverse weather conditions
Lisbon, the city of 7 hills
Among the European countries, Portugal has the mildest winter. For tourist who prefer cooler temperatures, the winter in Lisbon is perfect! During the day, the temperature usually varies between 8 and 14 degrees with a bright and sunny blue sky.
With the city less crowded, visit our art galleries, exhibitions and museums around the city. You will enjoy not facing long queues and making the most of a cultural tour.
Portugal is one of the most famous wine producers in the world. Do and redo an unforgettable wine tasting experience while you admire the beautiful view of the city. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine while listening to “Fado”, a traditional Portuguese type of music, recognized by UNESCO as World Cultural and Immaterial Heritage.
Best surf destination in Europe
Good news for surf lovers! In Portugal, you can surf all year-round, but if you are a beginner the best time for you is summer (April to September). However, if you are experienced and ready to face more challenging waves then it is winter (October to March) when you will find the perfect conditions to do it!
Portugal, besides being awarded as the best touristic destination in the World, was considered the best surf destination in Europe due to the quality and diversity of waves! Depending on what you are looking for here you have the top 3 spots:
- Ericeira & Peniche: These beaches are notorious worldwide as providing the perfect waves for surfing, hosting World Surf League and Quicksilver Pro.
- Nazaré: Only for the most experienced and brave ones, with waves reaching up to 30 meters.
- West Coast (Rota Vicentina): You will find unforgettable wild beaches along the coastline and excellent conditions for surfing.
So that nothing goes wrong on your winter surf trip, we advise you to list everything you need:
- Surf trip is automatically linked to campervans. Rent one and hit the road!
- Keep it simple in terms of clothing. Warm clothes and comfortable shoes.
- Winter can be harsh, especially heading north. Choose a thick neoprene wetsuit.
- Don’t forget a first aid kit, solar protector and travel insurance.
- Bring or rent proper surf equipment, especially a good surf board.
Adventure & Nature, disconnecting from daily routines
In a small territory, Portugal concentrates such varied landscapes, fauna and flora that makes any trip, no matter the duration, an unforgettable experience. From the imposing mountains to the vast plains, from the endless sandy beaches where the waves slowly break to the jagged coast bathed by the impetuous Atlantic, the country has a bit of all.
Wherever you are, you can count on the presence of the sun that shines all year-round, resulting in a mild climate, ideal for enjoying nature outdoors. The Centre of Portugal reserves many surprises for nature lovers. Mountains, protected areas, unique places with breathtaking landscapes… embarking on a journey in Central Portugal is synonymous of a memorable journey, the best nature can offer you.
If you are a fan of nature you will certainly be amazed at the diversity of this region. Be enchanted by the unique animal species and let yourself be carried away by unimaginable trails, lakes, caves and much more… an astonishing adventure!
Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela is one of the best places to visit when the colder weather arrives. Located close by Celorico da Beira, Guarda, Covilhã, Seia and Gouveia, Serra da Estrela Natural Park is a protected area where some of the most beautiful landscapes can be found. Here, the serenity of the valleys and mountains is contagious to those who visit them. Discover the springs, the glacial valleys of Loriga and Manteigas, observe some of the fascinating bird species that nest here and be amazed by the gastronomy along with a glass of wine from Beira Interior and a generous piece of local cheese.
It is at the top of Serra da Estrela that you will find the only Portuguese ski resort, located at the highest point of continental Portugal. The cold and snow show a totally different country.
With about 70.000 hectares, the Peneda-Gerês National Park concentrates breathtaking landscapes, being the ideal place for a short getaway in perfect intimacy with Mother Nature. After visiting the woods, waterfalls and lakes, you can warm up, under the stars, in the natural pools of Caldo River (in Torneiros) or in the pools of Bande (in the village of Baños). Both locations are in Galiza, very close to the border between Portugal and Spain.
Climb up Pedra Bela, more than 800 meters high, go to the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda, in the town on Gavieira, don’t miss Portela do Homem and dive in historic villages’ communities, such as Poajo famous for its granaries.