Planning to visit Portugal on the winter? Why not!
There is something about Portugal that is under your skin in an extraordinary way. Until the last few years, what the world knows about this tiny country bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean is its football hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players of all time. While he may still be the face of the country, the world captures other secrets and can’t get enough.
About the size of Maine, Portugal has excellent wine and food, charming culture, interesting art and architecture, fascinating history, beautiful beaches, friendly people and affordable prices.
Although this country is known for its stunning beaches and endless summer sun, it's good to consider vacationing at another time of the year. If you visit in the winter, you will find cheaper prices, good food, fewer crowds and maybe a lot of that sun too!
Here are some reasons why you should consider going to Portugal in the winter according to Casa Rosa Montes.
Avoid the Crowds
While Algarve has been British and other European’s favorite tourists for decades, most of the rest of Portugal is a bit of a hidden secret until now. However, that is no longer a problem, with both Lisbon and Porto very much on the tourist radar, and seeing hordes of visitors from mid-spring to mid-autumn.
During the peak summer months, it´s pretty difficult to move in the main tourist attractions, or on narrow city center sidewalks in both cities. Because many restaurants and bars are in the North, they are also often overflowing, with endless demands encouraging the patience of stressed waiting staff. Combine that with high temperatures, and visits in July or August begin to look less attractive.
In winter is a very different story. With cooler temperatures a big reduction in the number of visitors. The pace of life is slowing down, it is possible to walk to most restaurants without a reservation and still get a seat (although don't try it with a Michelin starred place!) and even popular places like Sintra see a small fraction of their summer visitors.
If you like to go sunbathing for a less crowded and tense visit, you definitely have to come in winter!
Save a Bunch of Money
Because the number of visitors drops so much in the winter, there is few of spare capacity on all the services that serve them. Planes, rental cars, trainsand accommodations are all less booked between around November and March, and that means crazy discounts are offered.
While accommodations prices in Porto and Lisbon in the peak season have skyrocketed in recent years, they have dropped in winter. It's not uncommon to see discounts of 50% or more in January and February, when hoteliers and landlords are trying to fill their empty rooms. After Christmas, the price of the flight also cheaper, both from the United States and elsewhere in Europe.
Once you are there, exploring around by train, bus or car can be very cheap, especially if you book in advance. A three-hour one-way train trip from Lisbon to Porto, for example, is often under ten euros. Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in Europe all year round, but in winter it is very cheap to visit!
Enjoy Traditional Winter Food and Drink
Portuguese cuisine is not well known elsewhere in the world, which kinda surprising. This country excels in simple, meat dishes, delicious seafood and often paired with cheap, but very drinkable, local wine.
While lighter dishes dominate during long, hot summers, winters see tastier food appearing throughout the country. One of the most severe of all is cozido, a decoction that contains many animal products. Various pieces of pork, chicken and beef usually all appear, along with vegetables and potatoes.
Each region (and maybe, every cook) has a different version, so it rarely gets the exact same thing twice. However, don't expect to see it in tourist restaurants or fancy places - cozido is clearly a simple local affair.
The cooler months are also a good time to check caldo verde (green soup). Winter is when it traditionally makes an appearance on the menu, although you might be able to find several places selling it throughout the year.
Often called simply "sopa" or "sopa do dia" (today's soup), this simple heating bowl usually contains kale, onions, potatoes, garlic, and olive oil, often with some local pork sausages thrown in for a good size.
Get a Dose of Winter Sunshine
Unlike most other parts of Europe, most of Portugal doesn’t really suffer from gray skies or freezing temperatures in the middle of winter. Although snow regularly fell in the interior of the country, the long Atlantic coastline in Portugal you will often sees sunshine and blue sky at that time, especially in the south of Portugal.
It's not uncommon that temperatures reach the mid-sixties in the Algarve in January or February, warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine in the sun and Lisbon is usually a little bit cooler. However, this is a different story in the north, because Porto is usually gray, cold, and humid that year.
Another option for winter sun is visiting one of Portugal's two island chains. Madeira is located off the coast of North Africa, and regularly sees temperatures in the mid to high sixties. Although rain is a definite possibility at the end of winter, rain is far from guaranteed, and climatic conditions make climbing and other outdoor activities more pleasant than in the middle of summer.
If by chance your visit it in New Year's Eve, you will also witness one of the biggest and best fireworks celebrations in the world. The island's capital, Funchal, set a Guinness world record in 2007 for the greatest firework display.
Azores, who sit in the middle of the Atlantic, are also surprisingly mild during the winter months. The maximum daily temperature in the low sixties is typical from December to March, although again, like Madeira, you are more likely to get short showers during your stay too.
It's Peak Wave Season
If you want to surf, or just want to watch professionals do it, definitely plan your trip to Portugal during the cheapest months. Nazaré, about ninety minutes' drive north of Lisbon, is known for its towering waves, and they are at their peak in winter. The world record for the biggest surfing waves in the world was set here only a few years ago, and big big wave surfers descend on that small city whenever the conditions are right.
If trying to master a 100-foot breaker seems a bit ambitious, go somewhere else on the mainland, or to the Portuguese islands instead. Wherever you go, winter makes conditions greater and better in all the surf spots of the country, and you will have far fewer people to share the waves while you are there.
Of course, the Atlantic is not known for its comfortable water temperatures at the best of times, and that is especially true in the middle of winter! If you plan to spend time at sea, be sure to pack or rent very thick diving suits.
If you are looking for the best beaches to surf, click here!
Those are the reasons why you have to visit Portugal on the winter according to our Bed and Breakfast in Lagos.
If you are looking for the best place to stay in Portugal, our bed and breakfast in Lagos is definitely the perfect place to stay in Lagos, Portugal.
Casa Rosa Montes is the right place to stay in Lagos, perfect for family holidays and for couples retreats, where you are guaranteed to spend days of absolute peace and relaxation in a comfortable and family atmosphere. We even have bicycles for rent, so you can explore the city in an environmentally friendly and hassle-free way. All of our rooms are equipped with a TV, air conditioning and minibar, offering outstanding balcony views.
Why you have to chose us?
Located only 2 km from "Praia do Burgau" and "Praia da Luz" and very close to the Costa Vicentina, Casa Rosa Montes is unlike any other guesthouse in Lagos. At Casa Rosa Montes you will find a family atmosphere, our friendly staff will be happy to help you with anything.
You will find a variety of extraordinary activities that we can recommend during your stay at our Bed and Breakfast in Lagos.
We hope you will enjoy our suggestions for your Lagos Adventure. From cycling around Lagos, to a day at the beach, boat tours to caves, kayak tours, surfing lessons, watching dolphins, zoo visits, and the list continues to grow.
The city offers many tourist attractions and activities suitable for your children, with a variety of restaurants.
What are you waiting for? Make sure to book your bed and breakfast in Lagos with us for an unforgettable experience!