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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Portugal

Geography

Portuguese Geography - Trees in a field
Trees in a field

Portugal is located on the far southwestern end of the Iberian Peninsula right on the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal only has only one neighbor, a border they share with Spain to their east.

Geographically, Portugal is very low-lying in the south and west, through which a number of rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean and a few lakes exist. In the north and northeast the land rises in elevation, but there are few alpine peaks. In some areas these elevation gains are fairly rapid though, providing some incredible scenery.

Weather

Portuguese Geography - Dona Ana Beach
Dona Ana Beach

Portugal's weather is difficult to predict as the relatively small country has significant geographical variations and is exposed to both the Atlantic Ocean and winds from Northern Africa.

Summers along the coast tend to be hot as daily highs reach near or above 80° F (27° C) in most places. The mountains remain much cooler however. Additionally, the south tends to be very dry during the summer making the temperature feel hotter while the highlands in the north can be more humid and even rainy during this time.

Winters in the highlands can get as cold as 35-40° F (2-4° C) at elevation, but the coasts rarely fall below 45° F (7° C) at night with daily highs remaining at about 60° F (16° C). Only the high mountains receive snow, but in these places the snow can remain for a couple months.

Springs and falls (autumns) again vary based on elevation, but generally remain on the warm and temperate side, with some regions, particularly in the north getting significant amounts of rainfall.

Wildlife

Portuguese Geography - Porto
Porto

Portugal has a number of mammal species, both large and small; the goat, pig, and deer are common while smaller animals, such as the fox and rabbit can also be found. Fish life is also common, including shellfish and sardines, both of which are common just off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

Like neighboring Spain, the bird variety that lives in or pass through Portugal is incredible as birds fly along the Atlantic Coast and regularly stop or settle in the country depending on the season.

This page was last updated: November, 2013