Travel advice--go north or go south? – Miscellaneous – Expats Portugal Community Forum
Travel advice--go n...
Clear all

Please feel free to view our Forum, but you must either LOGIN or REGISTER to join in the conversation.

  • Wow Wines Banner
  • spartan Fx

Travel advice--go north or go south?

Posts: 15
Community Member
Topic starter
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago


I'm spending a month in Portugal, arriving in early October (Lisbon) and leaving early November (from Lisbon).

I plan to spend the first 8 days in Lisbon/Sintra and then rent a car for the rest of the trip. From Lisbon/Sintra, I need to decide whether first to head south to the Algarve OR instead head north toward central Portugal, then on to Porto and Northern Portugal.

My intention is to cover as much of the country as I can in the month. So either way I decide--head north or head south first--I'll still try and hit all the major regions. 

With it being October, I was thinking that it might be better to head south to catch as much of the remaining warm temperatures as possible for beach and swimming. Or will I be too late? Or would it be better to catch the warm temperatures up north before it gets chilly?

Any thoughts on weather or other implications? Otherwise I can just flip a coin...


4 Replies

Posts: 60
Community Member
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago

My two cents about this,

Apparently the water temperature for October is about 21ºC (70ºF) if you find it warm enough for you, you could do just as you described and enjoy the beach, if it is too cold for you (for me it would be, I like warm water) you could do the reverse and start in the north, not so much because of the temperature but because of the chance of raining, it’s more likely to rain up north in November than in the south.

Down in the Algarve we don’t usually have many rainy days in October or November, but the weather has been changing in the last few years so who knows how it will be this one.

This year we barely had any spring days, one week it was cold and the next one it was hot like it was summer.


Posts: 384
Ask Our Expats Consultant
Joined: 4 years ago

OK, so from a temperature perspective, October is hard to predict.  In 2018, it was baking hot until mid/late October, for instance, even in coastal areas (which typically avoid the inland excesses).  Nowhere usually gets especially unpleasant until later in November (that I've experienced) though patterns are changing fast.

So, maybe it doesn't matter.  My personal recommendation would be to work round broadly clockwise, perhaps using stretches of the N2 for your "downwards" journey.  But there's unlikely to be a wrong way to do it; and you're unlikely to have extended bad weather (famous last words!)

Have a wonderful time!

1 Reply
Community Member
Joined: 10 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 15

@thomasribatejo Thanks Thomas!!!  Gina


Posts: 168
Premium Member
Estimable Member
Joined: 9 months ago

Our advice from two people who are finishing up a month in Portugal is yes.


  • Sovereign Group Leaderboard
  • Reis & Pellicano International Lawyers
  • EI Banner

To post a reply, sign up and become a member!


By becoming a valued Premium Member today, your support will help the team continue to bring you useful content about life in Portugal. You can also:

JOIN TODAYOnly €25 per year


Sign me up as a Community Member today for access to the forum and social meet-ups.



The first year’s donation is only €47 with a 50% discount every year you continue to renew your membership. By becoming a valued Premium Member today, you will unlock some great privileges, freebies and perks.

Less than €4 per monthJoin Today

Copyright © 2021 Expats Portugal

Marketing by Unity Online