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Winter in Algarve

We are thinking of spending January in the Algarve and looking at an airbnb apartment in Carvoeiro. We will rent a car and drive down from Lisbon.
Any pros or cons about the town/area such as will services be operational in January or will it close down for the winter, restaurants/stores/sites.

Posted by
921 posts

From the information I found, a lot closes down in the winter because it is such a summer resort. I spent two weeks in Lagos in February and everything was open. I really enjoyed Lagos and found the location good to visit the western coastal areas, as well as, the Lagos area itself.
You might want to check out the Lagos area as an alternative if you are concerned about too many things being closed for winter.

Posted by
4145 posts

I lived and traveled in Europe for nearly 20 years. The absolute worst place I visited was the Algarve in February. Everything was closed, the apartment was moldy and the weather was horrible. The best memory I have is a chicken dinner. Don't do it!

Posted by
80 posts

Hello Barbara,

I disagree with the previous comment... It's true the weather won't be marvellous but it's winter... Taking that into consideration, this is a good location to go since Algarve has the most number of sunny days in Portugal... you can admire the landscape and you won't see many tourists as you would in the summer... Enjoy this region and travel from one point to the other and if you have the chance visit places like Tavira, Ria Formosa Natural Park and Sagres...

Enjoy your stay in Portugal!

Posted by
17145 posts

I don't do Europe in the winter, but I just want to note that a month is a very, very long time in off-season small towns unless you have something to keep you occupied--taking language classes, writing a book, etc. It's not like the Algarve is a cultural mecca.

Posted by
8293 posts

We spent a week in Albufeira one year in the month of February and the weather was warm and dry. Not hot but lovely and warm. Perfect for walking, touring, sight seeing.

Posted by
4065 posts

Carvoeiro is a mid sized place, so most places will be open, albeit some places do close during the January lull. It is quite hilly and a bit characterless IMO, being a purpose built resort. I prefer Lagos or Tavira which have more character.

If you want decent weather in Europe in January, head for the Canary Islands, as I will be doing!