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Algarve in May: Events & Festivals, Holidays, & Weather Guide

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Although May isn’t as warm as the peak summer months, it’s still warm enough to relax in the sunshine and even get a tan. In fact, it’s a lot more enjoyable than the sweltering heat that’s common in July and August so it’s maybe even one of the best times to visit the Algarve. And with flight prices typically cheaper than during the height of summer, it’s one of the most budget-friendly times of the year to visit sunny Portugal as well.

Reasons to visit the Algarve in May

  • If you live in a Northern European country, you may be holding out for good weather in May. Let’s be honest here: there’s a good chance that the good weather won’t happen. Come to the Algarve instead, where sunshine is pretty much guaranteed.
  • Although the Algarve is starting to get busier, it’s not the high season yet. Most hotels and villa companies class the high season as July until the beginning of September, which means accommodation will be cheaper and it’s still possible to pick up a bargain apartment rental or hotel room.
  • As well as being cheaper, it’s also going to be quieter on the Algarve in May. The schools haven’t let out yet, which means that many of the popular attractions like Slide and Splash and Zoomarine will be less busy. Restaurants, many of which have queues outside them during the peak summer months, are also going to be less crowded.

For cheap hotels in the Algarve, booking.com is always a good place to look. For car rental, comparison sites like rentalcars.com are worth looking at. 

What’s on in the Algarve in May?

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Fiesa, the festival of giant sandcastles, takes place between April and October. Every year, this festival picks a new theme and sand sculpture artists from all over the world travel to Pêra to take part in the event.

For more information about FIESA, dates, and ticket prices, visit fiesa.org.

Algarve Nature Week

For lovers of the great outdoors, Algarve Nature Week is the festival for you. The event showcases outdoor activities available on the Algarve like birdwatching, dolphin and whale watching, hot air ballooning, and more.

For more information about Algarve Nature Week, visit algarvenatureweek.pt

Festival of International Music (FIMA)

The Festival of International Music, a classical music festival, runs from the end of March until the end of May. Orchestras and choirs from all the world attend to play music from a variety of classical and contemporary composers.

For more information, dates, and tickets, visit fima.com.pt/en

Want to know what’s happening in June and July as well? Check out the month-by-month guide to the Algarve’s events for a complete rundown on what’s happening locally. 

Weather in the Algarve in May

The average daily temperature in May is 18 °C, although it can get as high as 25 °C. For most people this is a very pleasant temperature, particularly if you’re planning on taking part in an activity such as walking or playing golf. Expect around 10 hours of sunshine per day, double the 5 hours January usually gets.

Have you visited the Algarve in May? Do you recommend visiting at this time of year? Share your thoughts, questions, and tips by leaving a comment below. 

Last updated in September 2019.
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