‘Winter days are likely to be pleasantly mild’

‘What is the weather like?’ is I guess one of the most frequent questions we are asked when we mention we are spend our winters in the Algarve. My usual answer is ‘at least 10 degrees warmer than it is in England and much less grey’. However I’ve learnt that whilst my response is accurate it can be misleading for those who come out to join us. So I was nodding away when MrB read the following to me from Charles Wuerpel’s excellent ‘The Algarve, Province of Portugal’.Busy beach in winter!

To be sure, tourists lying in direct sunshine protected from chilling breezes on sun terraces of modern hotels, or in their private patios, are comfortably warm, but the open beaches and water are visited by only a few brisk strollers or hardy bathers.

Charles describes it perfectly, and the title is his too. Both his descriptions I could have used for our day on the beach last week. It wasn’t uncomfortably cold and we did enjoy a picnic sheltered in the dunes, however there were only a few other strollers on the beach. Can you spot them? It definitely was not a day for paddling in the sea nor was it one for sunbathing. It was though, with an incoming tide, perfect for copying the Sanderlings and playing ‘tag’ with the Atlantic!

I actually prefer beaches in winter as they are so much quieter and the skies can be incredibly dramatic. There was a strong northerly wind on the day I took these and for a while I thought we might get caught in a rainstorm. We didn’t albeit the skies were constantly changing around us. These next few shots I took one after the other, looking first north to the Algarvian hills, then west towards Farol, south across the Atlantic, then finally east towards Monte Gordo. Quite different skies from those above taken a little while later. All taken on Praia do Barril, and you’ll notice (with the exception of one shot) not a swimmer nor another walker in sight.

If you like me think this is perfection then start packing now. Make sure though you pack lots of warm layers as well as your sunglasses and suncream. You may be fortunate and arrive for a week of blue skies and sunshine, and very little need for your fleece, long trousers and socks. dscn9343However you could also arrive in a week of strong and chilling breezes accompanied by frequent heavy rain showers, interspersed with only the occasional day of sunshine and warmth. So be prepared, and remember even if there is glorious sunshine it is unlikely (unless your patio is very sheltered) to ever be warmer than 70F (21C). Generally the winter temperatures hover in the mid to high 50s (12 to 16C), perfect for walking, exploring and skywatching but maybe not sunbathing. And my final weather tips for your Algarvian winter, check out the forecast before you fly and bring something warm for the evenings and nights as central heating is not the norm and it is always chilly at night!

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

23 thoughts

  1. Every year I can’t wait for rush of high season, but at the end of it, I’m just tired and when it’s finished, I love empty beaches. It’s cold and often windy. You just breath in fresh air. And mind you, it’s very fresh, because temperature by the Baltic Sea at this time of the year is 3-4 degrees, often below zero 🙂 Beautiful pics.

  2. Looks lovely to me and without the steep and crumbling cliffs we have in Cornwall. I think I would want a nice woodburner for the evenings though 🙂

    1. Most people do! It’s the bedroom and bathroom I’d really miss heating in, fortunately though our apartment has room heaters.

  3. Not deterred by the threat of rain, as well you know 🙂 🙂 I happen to have a very fetching rainhat. (that’s a total lie but I plan to get one 🙂 ) I absolutely love following those sandpipers. One of my favourite things. We do have a good sun terrace and I have been known to sunbathe in January, but we rarely would go out without a jacket and Mick never wears shorts out of season. He’s practising to be a proper Portuguese person. 🙂 Hope you had a good day despite the rain.

    1. How can you not have a rainhat?!! If you don’t I’ll get you one – maybe Paddington style 😉
      But does Mick have a cloth hat? MrB has been fitting in very well these past few days, well he would if he wasn’t so tall!

  4. Good morning Becky,

    it’s every time a great pleasure for me to read your post.
    Thanks a lot for your great engagement.

    Best regards form freezing Würzburg

    1. Thank you so much Markus, I love it when you leave a comment as they are always lovely and make me smile 🙂

      We are having to return for a few days to the freezing north next week. Unfortunately whilst Winchester probably won’t be as cold as Würzburg it definitely isn’t as pretty. Would love to visit your home town one of these days.

  5. What an informative post and the photos are wonderful – restless jo has posted about the algarve many times and so this was familiar –
    And I like your writing voice

    Also – I like a beach in winter too
    Anytime really….

    1. oh thank you so so much, what lovely comments. So glad you like, and yes Restless Jo and I are only a few miles apart when we are in the Algarve and have met up a couple of times. She is wonderful.

      I’m off out to the market now, but plan to visit your blog later 🙂

      1. Oh how cool that u know restless jo! I love her – and no hurry coming on by ! I just wanted to say hi
        And funny how they all don’t have the heaters
        When we lived in. Northern Ca – we were surprised at the homes without AC!

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