Where to Find Snow in Portugal?

Portugal, renowned for its sun-kissed beaches and Mediterranean climate, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when envisioning a winter wonderland. However, nestled within its diverse topography, Portugal harbors hidden gems where snowfall transforms the landscape into a serene and enchanting spectacle. 

Whether you are an avid winter sports enthusiast or simply seeking the magic of snow-covered landscapes, this article is your guide to discovering the unexpected snowy retreats scattered across Portugal. 

Does it snows in Portugal?

Prospective expatriates contemplating a move to Portugal often wonder if they’ll have the chance to experience snow in a country celebrated for its agreeable climate. While Portugal is predominantly known for its mild weather, snow does make an appearance in specific regions, primarily in the northern mountainous areas.

For those yearning for a winter wonderland, the Serra da Estrela mountains in central Portugal provide an idyllic retreat. Here, winter months usher in a breathtaking transformation as snow blankets the landscape, creating a charming snowy haven. It’s a haven for snow enthusiasts, offering a distinctive winter experience in a country typically associated with temperate weather.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to recognize that the majority of Portugal, especially the coastal and southern regions, enjoys mild winters with infrequent or no snowfall. So, while you can indulge your winter fantasies in select areas, the likelihood of needing to shovel snow from your doorstep is minimal in most parts of this expat-friendly nation.

Can I ski in Portugal?

Skiing enthusiasts will find Portugal to be a surprisingly diverse destination, offering the opportunity to indulge in their passion amid the stunning landscapes of the Serra da Estrela mountains. This central region of Portugal transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, attracting snow lovers with its slopes suitable for skiing and other winter sports. 

The ski resort in Serra da Estrela provides a unique experience, allowing visitors to combine their love for skiing with the charm of Portuguese culture and scenery.

While Portugal may not be as commonly associated with skiing as some other European countries, the Serra da Estrela mountains offer a delightful escape for those seeking a ski adventure in the midst of Portugal’s picturesque settings. 

5 Places to see snow in Portugal

Serra da Estrela

The highest mountain range in Portugal, Serra da Estrela is a winter haven for snow enthusiasts. Beyond its stunning natural beauty, the Serra da Estrela mountains host a ski resort, making it a popular destination for those seeking winter sports and the thrill of snow-covered slopes.


Nestled in the northeastern corner of Portugal, Bragança is a city steeped in history. The winter months transform this charming destination into a snow-covered wonderland, enhancing the beauty of its historic architecture, including the iconic Bragança Castle.

Where to Find Snow in Portugal


Nestled in the northern region of Trás-os-Montes, Montalegre is surrounded by lush landscapes that turn into a winter wonderland with snowfall. The town’s medieval castle and the picturesque Montalegre Dam are particularly enchanting in the snow.

snow in portugal montalegre


Piodão is a unique village in the central Serra do Açor mountains, known for its slate-built houses. In winter, these stone structures contrast beautifully with the white snow, creating a postcard-perfect scene in this remote and idyllic locale.

Where to Find Snow in Portugal


Known as the highest city in Portugal, Guarda is situated in the mountainous Beira region. Its elevated location contributes to frequent snowfall during winter, creating a magical atmosphere around its historic cathedral and charming city center.

Where to Find Snow in Portugal


Perched on a granite crag in the Serra de São Mamede mountains, Marvão boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. During winter, this hilltop village becomes a picturesque scene as snow dusts its cobbled streets and medieval structures.

Where to Find Snow in Portugal

Frequently asked questions about Where to find snow in Portugal

Where to Find Snow in Portugal?

Yes, although Portugal is primarily known for its mild climate, certain regions, especially in the northern and central areas, experience snowfall during the winter months.

Which parts of Portugal are more likely to see snow?

The northern and central regions, including areas like Serra da Estrela, Bragança, Guarda, and others, are more likely to receive snowfall.

When does it usually snow in Portugal?

Snowfall typically occurs during the winter months, from December to February, with higher altitudes experiencing more consistent snow cover.

Is snow common in coastal areas of Portugal?

No, coastal areas, especially in the southern part of the country, rarely experience snow. Snowfall is more prevalent in the inland and mountainous regions.

Can I go skiing in Portugal?

Yes, particularly in the Serra da Estrela mountains, which host a ski resort. It provides opportunities for skiing and other winter sports.

Are there any picturesque villages that become especially charming with snowfall?

Yes, villages like Marvão, Monsanto, and Piodão are known for their unique charm, accentuated by snow-covered landscapes.

How does snow impact daily life in Portugal?

In regions where snow is less common, such as the coastal areas, daily life is minimally affected. However, in areas with regular snowfall, preparations are made for winter conditions.

Are there any disruptions in transportation during snowy periods?

In regions experiencing heavy snowfall, there might be some disruptions to transportation. However, these instances are usually well managed, and efforts are made to clear roads promptly.

Can I visit Portugal specifically for a snowy experience?

Absolutely! Certain regions offer a delightful winter experience with snowy landscapes, providing a unique and unexpected aspect of Portugal’s diverse offerings.