Summers are hot and dry throughout Portugal, particularly in the Algarve, which experiences very little rain. The southern Portuguese province of the Algarve, divided from the rest of the country by a series of low-lying mountains, is one of Europe's most popular coastal holiday destinations, catering for millions of tourists every year.
The Algarve boasts more sunshine hours than California! Yes-honestly! Even in the winter, the Algarve is, without doubt, one of the sunniest spots in Europe. Blue skies, sunshine and warm algarve temperatures in spring, autumn and winter - and even more sun and high temperatures in the summer.
Year round, flowers and vegetation grow in abundance, thanks to the region's sub tropical climate. Humidity rarely causes a problem- however, coastal breezes can occasionally cause evenings to seem chilly. The sea breeze can also be deceptive - masking the fierce rays of the sun - particularly in the summer, when algarve temperatures have been known to hit the high 90'sF.
Throughout the year the Algarve offers some of the best climatic conditions in Europe, thanks to the proximity of the Gulf Stream and North Africa. The region offers over 3000 hours of sunlight per year, an average of 8 hours per day. Rain primarily falls between November and March, although it may continue into April.
The annual algarve temperatures vary between 15/35?C. During winter, algarve temperatures never drop below 0?, and while your may experience a few hours of rain, the sun soon returns warming protected areas to 20 to 30?C. The average temperature of the Atlantic Coastal waters is in the order of 21/22?C. In Summer, high temperatures in the interior of Portugal may create areas of low pressure which in turn can result in refreshing sea breezes along the coast.
Most people have heard of the Portuguese island of Madeira, but not many know exactly where it is. Located more than 600 miles (966km) southwest of Lisbon, it is a mere speck in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Madeira, along with its sister island of Porto Santo, is actually the summit of an undersea mountain, rearing up with craggy cliffs from the warm blue Gulf Stream waters in one of the deepest parts of the Atlantic. It features one of the world's highest ocean cliffs, soaring 1,933ft (589m) above the sea, which presented a forbidding sight to the ancient Portuguese mariners who first discovered the island archipelago in the 15th century.
Madeira climate is mild, more or less constant year-round with high temperatures in the summer. Actually, the island has two different climates. One on the north side, and a different one on the south side. The nearly 2000 m high mountains in the middle stop the rain coming from the north side. That gives a lot of rain in the mountains and on the north side. The south side also gets a lot of rain, but mostly as showers, and primarily in the winter.
On Porto Santo (the other inhabited island of the archipelago of Madeira) the climate is very dry, so it's not the "floating garden" Madeira is.