September Weather in Portugal: Hottest on Record, Average Temperatures, and Rainfall

Lisbon, Portugal
© iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Updated: August 26, 2023

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Portugal is a beautiful country that borders Spain to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It is a small country, but it used to be one of the world’s most powerful maritime nations. It conquered many places around the world, including Brazil. Now, it is considered one of the most peaceful nations.

If you are thinking of traveling to Portugal in September, you have picked the right time. The hot weather is on the decline and it still has not become cold like it will in the winter months. Let’s explore what Portugal’s weather is like in September, along with fun activities to do and what to eat and drink.

Average Temperature

Lisbon landscape at sunset.Panoramic photograph of the 25 de Abril bridge in the city of Lisbon over the Tajo River.

The 25 de Abril Bridge, which connects Lisbon to the municipality of Almada, was inaugurated in 1966 and fashioned after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

©carlos castilla/Shutterstock.com

Depending on where you go in Portugal, the weather will have a range that will be near-perfect. On the islands, it will be a bit hotter than on the mainland. The average temperature in September ranges from a high of about 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) to a low of about 62 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius). Sunrise is around 7 a.m. and sunset is at around 9 p.m., which gives about 12 hours of daylight. That’s plenty of time to hit the beach or explore the area you are visiting.

The Hottest Temperature on Record

Usually, the summer months have very hot temperatures in Portugal. In September, it starts to cool down. However, the hottest temperature in September ever recorded was in Lousã on September 7, 2016, with a whopping 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). With climate change on the fast incline, September will get hotter as the years pass by.

The Coldest Temperature on Record

September in Portugal is not known to be a cold month. The summer is just winding down and the temperatures are cooling down. It’s a perfect time to visit. But like in any other place, some anomalies happen. The coldest temperature in September ever recorded was 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) on September 7, 1956.

Average Rainfall in September

September is a pleasant month to visit. Not only do you get a lot of sun during daylight hours, but there isn’t much rain either. The average amount of rain in September doesn’t exceed two inches (1.34 inches to be exact). There are about seven rainy days in the entire month. 

It is important to note that the beginning of the month is vastly different than the end of the month. The beginning of September is still quite hot and as the days pass, the weather becomes colder. The rainy days increase towards the end of September.

UV Index in September

A happy tourist woman overlooks the colorful old town Alfama of Lisbon city, Portugal, and castle Sao Jorge on her sightseeing trip

Because of its location, Portugal gets about 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.

©Sven Hansche/Shutterstock.com

Portugal is located in southern Europe, which gets more sun than most European countries. Because of that, September is usually a hotter month than the winter months of January and February. The sun shines quite fiercely pretty much during all daylight hours. In September, Portugal has a UV Index of 7.4. This is very close to 8-10, which indicates that the sun can damage the skin quickly.

It is imperative that, if you visit Portugal in September, you protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays by putting on sunscreen. You should also have a hat handy for further protection and wear loose clothing to avoid getting overheated.

Natural Disasters in September

Natural disasters in September are not that common, however with climate change in full force, we see this happening more often. In an article in Springer Link, scientists concluded that Portugal is vulnerable to landslides and floods because of extreme rainfall. The article was published in June 2022 and three months later, the massive rainfall caused floods and landslides. The government declared a state of emergency because of the landslides that caused severe damage in many places throughout the country.

Visiting Portugal in September

Wide sandy beach in white city of Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

Algarve is a popular place for beachgoers from all over the world and it has 85 Blue Flag beaches to prove it.

©Sopotnicki/Shutterstock.com

September in Portugal is one of the best times to visit. The peak summer season is over, but the weather is still nice. There are a ton of fun activities you can do this month. Hit up the beaches in Algarve to soak up the sun. Not only that, but you can go kayaking, fishing, or surfing. If you want to go for a hike, the nearby mountains in Monchique have perfect trails.

For the wine enthusiasts out there, the Madeira Wine Festival takes place in early September. You will have to take a flight from the mainland to go there, as Madeira is an island off the coast of Morocco. However, if you’d like to stay in the continent, there are plenty of vineyards you can visit. 

After going to the typical touristic spots in Lisbon like the São Jorge Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the city and bay, or Belém Tower, you can listen to jazz and dance at the Out Jazz Concert. This jazz festival is free and takes place on Sundays all summer long until the end of September. You can also walk along the Tagus River and take selfies with the breathtaking backdrop.

Things to Eat and Drink in Portugal

First thing first, you have to try Portugal’s signature pastry: the pastel de nata (custard tart). Accompany that with a coffee and you are all set to start the day. For lunch, head to a traditional Portuguese restaurant to have Portugal’s famous dish, bacalhau (salted cod). You can have it with potatoes or rice, and drink a nice Portuguese white wine along with your meal.

If you haven’t guessed already, seafood is big in Portugal. So, if you don’t want the cod, you can always go for other seafood dishes. Sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines) are a popular summer dish that will still be available in September. You can also eat polvo à lagareiro, which is an octopus dish served with potatoes.

Finally, for dinner, have a porco preto, an Iberian black pork. The best way to eat this dish is to pair it with a port wine. If you don’t fancy wine, there are other options like Portuguese beer or a Sumol Ananás, one of Portugal’s most popular soda drinks.

Fun Facts About Portugal

View of the Cabo da Roca Lighthouse. Sintra, Portugal. Portuguese Farol de Cabo da Roca is a cape which forms the westernmost point Eurasian land mass.

Cabo de Roca is usually referred to as “the edge of the world” because of its location in Europe.

©De Visu/Shutterstock.com

  • Cabo de Roca in Sintra holds the title for being the most westerly point in continental Europe.
  • Portugal is one of the world’s oldest countries in Europe, dating back to 1132.
  • The Bertrand Book Shop in Lisbon is the world’s oldest bookstore, established in 1732.
  • Portugal is known to be one of the world’s top surf spots.
  • The country with the most Portuguese speakers is not Portugal, but Brazil (which has a population of 212 million).
  • Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to abolish slavery in 1819.
  • In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the personal use of all most-used drugs.
  • The national flower of Portugal is lavender

Conclusion

Portugal in September is quite nice. The summer is concluding and autumn is about to commence. There isn’t a lot of rainfall during the month, which makes it perfect for beach days, hikes, and city exploration.

There are so many things to do in Portugal, so there won’t be a shortage of fun-filled activities. From looking at the traditional tiles at the National Azulejo Museum to exploring the wildlife of the Peneda-Geres National Park, there are things to do for all types of people. Your time in Portugal will be an unforgettable experience!


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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