My wife and I are travelling to Portugal & Spain at the end of March. We want to spend 4-5 nights in the country before heading over to Seville and southern Spain for the rest of the trip. My initial thought is to spend 2 or 3 nights in Lisbon (with a day trip to Sintra), then 2 nights somewhere in the Algarve (likely Salema and/or Tavira). My question is this: is this region better suited for a summer trip rather than a mid-March visit? It looks like the average temps are between 50-60 F, so not bad, but not exactly beach weather. Will we get the proper enjoyment/feel for the area at this time? Or would a different area in middle/southern Portugal - say, Evora - be a better idea?
If you're not going in the water, the Algarve will be fine. Albuferia is more central, has more to do, and might serve you better.
If you prefer the Alentjo, Evora is a mass of people off of tour buses during the day. Elvas, with access to the hill towns would be my pick.
With your limited time, burning a day for Sintra might not be the best idea.
If you decide on the Algarve you can also check out Quarteira. Similar to Albufeira but smaller.