• ~ mins read

Head for Portugal in May if you want to steal some summer fun even before the season begins. Days are longer during this time of year (the country receives more than twelve hours of sunshine) and the weather is consistently dry. And though the seawater is yet to reach swimming temperatures, the land is befitting for some leisurely beach time.

Weather conditions across mainland Portugal in May are perfect for sightseeing in cities like Porto, Lisbon, and Coimbra, or for hiking through the backcountry in Serra da Estrela and Peneda-Gerês National Park. The weather across Portugal’s islands also improves significantly as winter recedes, with the Azores finally seeing some dry days. Spend your days swimming in warm waters or relaxing in one of its natural lava rock pools.

Enjoyable and informative
  • gary Holzman
  • From Australia
5 - Excellent
“Rita, our tour guide, was excellent. She was knowledgeable, helpful, and cheerful. O...” Read More
View Incredible Tours in Portugal

Portugal Weather in May

Young woman tourist in Lisbon city Portugal
Welcome the summer in Portugal in May with some summer clothes with the warm and pleasant weather throughout the month.

Chuck winter coats and slip in some shorts and tees because the weather calls for it, especially during the day. For cooler evenings, pack a light layer of warm clothes. Portugal typically sees sunny days around 64 percent of the time during this month, whereas a mix of sun and cloud cover might affect the rest of the days. Rain gear is advisable because the country records around 16mm of rainfall in May. Sea temperatures, which range from 18 to 20°C, are still not suitable for swimming.

The average daytime temperature in Lisbon is around 22°C during this month, while nights do not go below 13°C. Porto sees temperature shooting up to 20°C during the daytime, while evenings see the mercury drop to 12°C. The Algarve and the southern coast of Portugal are the warmest in the country during May, scoring a high of 24ºC and a low of 17°C.

To get a seasonal overview of the country, browse through our page on the best time to visit Portugal.

Weather in Portugal in May - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)202226
Avg Nightly (°C)121417
Avg Daily (°F)687279
Avg Nightly (°F)545863
Avg Rainfall (mm)685416

Why Visit Portugal in May

Street view of Alfama district on sunny day
Take advantage of the low tourists season by taking leisurely walks around the calm and quiet Portuguese towns.
Madeira Flower Festival in Portugal
Portugal in May sees many festivals throughout the month, like the Madeira Flower Festival.

In addition to extremely kind weather gods, a trip to Portugal in May packs plenty of other plus points. We have listed a few of them below.

  • Better rates: Get a bang for your buck with a budget holiday before the summer rush commences. May is when almost all properties open shop after a winter break and offer enticing deals to attract customers as footfall is low and it is still off-season. Airfares are also economical, and car rentals are affordable as well.
  • Lesser crowd: Barring the Whitsun school break that normally takes place in the last week of May, the rest of the month hardly sees any tourist horde. Enjoy a laid-back and deep exploration of any destination you pick as attractions are open till late as per their summer-opening schedule.
  • Festivals: From a spectacular display of flowers in Festa da Flor Madeira in Funchal to Feira do Livro de Lisboa in Lisbon where you can satiate the bookworm in you, from jamming at Somersby Out Jazz to Rally de Portugal for racing fanatics, Portugal in May offers a dazzling array of celebrations. And for a glimpse of something spiritual, join the candlelight procession of Our Lady of the Rosary on May 13. This celebration takes place in the tiny village of Fatima.
  • Outdoor activities: Walk for miles without breaking a sweat during your trip to Portugal in May. Exploring its quaint cities on walking tours and hiking through its coastal trails or mountain routes are some of the activities worth enjoying during this month. The sea might be cold for swimming, but you can still enjoy the water if you like surfing.

Where to go and what to do

Beautiful Landscape of the Douro river region in Portugal
The bright and shiny weather of May makes for the best time to take a visit to the beautiful vineyards in the Algarve.

If the erratic rains of April made you skeptical about visiting the Douro Valley, the drier and sunnier May will invite you back. Take in lush, terraced vineyards and double the fun with enjoyable boat tours and wine tastings in the mild May weather. If you are thinking of touring the Algarve, now is also the busiest time for golfing down in the region. Along with teeing off on a world-class golf course, you can also pile up on some quality beach time in the Algarve's stunning cliff-backed beaches or go on a coastal hike to enjoy an intimate nature workout. Explore the archipelago of Azores as it is the window of calm between the stormy month of March and the tourist-heavy June. Cherish its landscape bursting with wildflowers, do some whale-watching and, for the ultimate thrill, risk it all to run with the bulls at Tourada a Corda.

Shrugging off its winter hiatus, the whole country opens up to welcome travelers in May. Portugal’s weather in May is mild and the number of travelers is still low, which means that you can do plenty at your own pace and that too at an attractive budget. Take a look at our travel guides if you are wondering about how many days to spend in Portugal. A 10-day trip would give you the perfect opportunity to experience all the major highlights of the country. If you have limited time, a 7-day trip would also provide you with a good blend of the highlights, though not as extensive. But still, to grab the best without any worry, let our local travel experts help you with a customized holiday to Portugal

There is no perfect time to plan a trip to Portugal apart from May.  

Published by Lucas Toft, updated on June 24, 2022

Related Articles

Plan a trip to PortugalWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Portugal.
  • Sandro Pinheiro
    Sandro PinheiroTravel Expert in Portugal & Spain
  • Marisa Santos
    Marisa SantosTravel Expert in Portugal
  • Tiernan O'Rourke
    Tiernan O'RourkeTravel Expert in Portugal & Spain
Our travel experts are recommended by:
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Lonely Planet
0 COMMENTSWe welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.