The weather on the Algarve can be summarised as follows:
Sunbathing weather every day. Very little rain. Daily highs about 35°C and nightly lows 15°C. Shirtsleeve weather all the time evenings included.
Mixture of beautiful clear, sunny winter days with overcast but warm days. Evenings cooler. First rains in October can be heavy but rarely last more than a day or so. Daily highs about 20°C and nightly lows rarely much below 10°C. Shirt sleeves, sometimes with a pullover in the day, jacket in the evening.
Some Myths Expelled
Isn't the Atlantic coast very windy?
Parts of it are, yes. But those are the southern parts, between Cadiz and Gibraltar and the Western Algarve. The winds rise primarily where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, making southern towns on the Costa de la Luz like Tavira popular with windsurfers. Further north and west along the Spanish Algarve both sea and winds are much calmer. The winds of the Atlantic in this area are also predominantly western. The coast is sheltered from the western winds by the peninsula of Faro in Portugal. The beaches also face south and so are not very exposed to the western wind. There is generally a gentle breeze in the mornings and evenings. This wind is gentle and soothing and actually stops the temperatures reaching sweltering proportions in the peak of summer.
Isn't the Atlantic very cold?
Certainly not. Ask the millions of tourists who flock to the Portuguese Algarve each year. The water around Isla Canela and Islantilla is even slightly warmer than it is in Portugal because the Guadiana River moves warm water out on top of the colder seawater. Furthermore the ocean floor along the coast slopes very gently away from the shore so the shallow water near land becomes warmer as it is heated by the sun. In late April the water temperature climbs above twenty degrees Celsius and it doesn't drop below twenty again until late October.
Does it get as much sun as the Med?
It actually gets more! There are an average of 320 days of sun per annum on the Spanish Algarve. In the summer the heat is not as intense as the Costa del Sol and is much more pleasant, especially when enjoyed on a lovely sandy beach with a glass of something cold to hand!