Portugal has a temperate maritime climate with hot summers and wet winters, affected by the Atlantic, Continental and Mediterranean influences.
The climate also varies according to the altitude and proximity to the ocean. In the mountainous north, conditions are generally cooler and wetter while Lisbon, the Alentejo and Algarve regions have long, hot summers with temperatures up to 35–40ºC. The humidity diminishes as you move away from the coast and the interior areas are quite mild.
Portugal is defined as having a Mediterranean climate as a whole but there is some variation between regions. In general this means warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters.
Whilst snowfall is unheard of throughout most of Portugal it is common in the mountainous regions of the north. Portugal’s highest peak, Serra da Estrela, is home to a ski resort, the Vodafone Ski Resort.
The highest temperatures in Portugal tend to occur inland. The town of Amareleja is one of the hottest places in Europe during the summer with a high temperature of 47.4°C recorded. The highest average temperatures are found in the Algarve though.
The Azores and Madeira archipelagos both have subtropical climates. The average temperatures are around 20°C and there is less variation around this. Given the wide spread of both island groups there is a wide variation in rainfall with lhas Desertas near Madeira being classified as desert whereas some of the Azores islands are lush and verdant year round.