Visiting the Algarve in May

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Written by: | Last updated on November 13, 2023 | Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes
This article is available in: en_US

May in the Algarve ushers in a delightful blend of warmth and affordability that makes it an enticing choice for travelers seeking a sunny escape. While it may not offer the scorching heat of the peak summer months, it provides a comfortably warm climate that invites you to bask in the sunshine and perhaps even return home with a sun-kissed glow.

In many ways, May offers an ideal compromise, sparing you from the sweltering intensity that characterises July and August, allowing you to savour the region’s beauty and activities without feeling overwhelmed by the heat or the crowds.

Moreover, this pleasant climate is not the only advantage; May also brings along more budget-friendly options, with flight prices typically more reasonable compared to the peak of summer. So, if you’re seeking a perfect balance of sunny weather and cost-effectiveness, the Algarve in May might just be your ideal destination.

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 much more likely.
  • 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.

What to Pack

  • Warm Weather Clothing: Hopefully, you’ll get fantastic weather for your trip to Portugal. Be sure to pack shorts, t-shirts, dresses and other lighter clothing to take advantage of the warm weather.
  • Layers: Although you should expect warm weather, it can get cold in the evenings. Always make sure you have a sweater and potentially a lightweight jacket for the evenings.
  • Sunscreen: Although the weather isn’t as hot as in July or August, that doesn’t mean you can avoid wearing sunscreen.
  • A light jacket: It’s a good idea to bring a jacket just in case. Generally speaking, the weather is warm and sunny in May but there have been a few years where it has rained a little.
  • Comfortable footwear: When visiting Portugal, always bring flat-soled shoes and leave the high heels at home. The cobblestone streets can be slippy, especially if it has rained.

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.

Foursomes Week

Every year in the third week of May, the Vale do Lobo Golf Club hosts the highly anticipated Foursomes Week, a thrilling pairs competition that gathers golf enthusiasts for a week of enjoyment on the resort’s picturesque courses. This event, known as the Open Foursomes Week at Vale do Lobo Algarve, is a highlight on the Algarve’s golfing calendar, attracting avid golfers eager to experience top-notch golfing moments in stunning surroundings.

With a range of competitions spanning six days, including Foursomes Stableford, Singles Stableford, Four Ball Better Ball Stableford, American Foursomes Stableford, Fourball Team Competition, and the prestigious Foursomes Matchplay Finals, participants can showcase their golfing skills and competitiveness. The tournament also features contests for Nearest to the Pin and Longest Drive, adding an extra layer of challenge.

Moreover, golfers have the opportunity to opt for a special tournament package that encompasses luxurious accommodation in Vale do Lobo’s properties, green fees, unlimited golf throughout the competition week, and entry to an exquisite prize-giving dinner featuring live music.

Weather in the Algarve in May

The average daily temperature in May hovers around 18°C (64°F), occasionally reaching as high as 25°C (77°F). This pleasantly warm climate is perfect for various activities like hiking or a round of golf. May generously offers around 10 hours of sunshine per day, which is double the 5 hours typically experienced in January.

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.

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.