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5 Reasons Summer is an Ideal Time to Study Abroad in Portugal


In the last few years, Portugal has experienced a tourism boom. While there’s no wrong time to explore Portugal, it’s particularly lovely during the summer months — especially if you plan to study abroad there! 

Here are a few of the many reasons why you’ll love doing a summer study abroad program in Portugal: 

1. Seemingly Endless Sunshine 

The timing of summer is pretty subjective in Portugal — the winters rarely fall below 50°F. That said, summer is still the best time to visit, especially if you’re a fan of life on the coast. Portugal boasts 1,740 miles of beaches and, as of 2022, 431 of their beaches were Blue Flag awarded, meaning they meet exceptional standards for both safety and sustainability. Each features clear waters, golden sands and is surrounded by gorgeous rock formations. Praia da Marinha is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in Europe and one of the top 100 in the world by the Michelin Guide. Doing a summer study abroad program in Portugal means getting to experience this amazing coastal life during your downtime from class. Pretty great, right?

2. Trails of Adventure

If the beach isn’t your thing, you can also experience Portugal’s summer weather while exploring its many trails. From hiking along the coastline of the iconic Algarve beaches to the rugged ancient Roman roads in the northern mountains of Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal is known for its diverse landscapes. There’s something for every level of hiker, whether you’re looking to scale the stratovolcano of Mount Pico or you just want a stroll through historic Tomar, the land of the Knights Templar. Doing a summer study abroad program in Portugal will give you plenty of weekends to find your favorite hiking spots!

Praia da Marinha, Portugal

3. Season of Seafood

Summer is a great time to try the traditional cuisine of Portugal. Given its sprawling coastline, it’s no surprise that seafood is a staple in Portuguese culinary traditions. During the summer, all fish dishes are at their best since they’re most likely freshly caught and not frozen. You’ll find the popular street food sardinhas assadas, or grilled sardines, in pretty much every city you explore. As a study abroad student sampling local dishes, be sure to try some bacalhau, Portugal’s trademark salted cod dish. Some say bacalhau can be prepared hundreds of ways, some say thousands. Chances are you’ll find at least one recipe perfect for a hot summer day.

sardinhas assadas, a traditional fish dish in Portugal
Sardinhas Assadas

4. Full of Festivals

With a culture as old and widespread as Portugal’s, there’s a lot to celebrate. Summer in Portugal is festival season, and some of the most popular ones include:

  • Santo António: Honors Lisbon’s patron saint 
  • Dia de Camões aka “Portugal Day”: Celebrates the death of poet Luís de Camões, while also serving the country’s equivalent to our Fourth of July 
  • Primavera Sound: A modern indie music festival

All three take place within a few weeks of each other in June, so if you study abroad in Portugal during the summer, you’ll likely be able to experience them for yourself!

Vineyard in Duoro Valley, Portugal
Vineyard in Duoro Valley, Portugal

5. Time of Wine

Fun fact: Portugal is the world’s largest producer of cork, which works out because it is also one of the world’s leading producers of wine. Summer is a great time to take advantage of its many vineyards and experience wine culture in the region. Be sure to explore Douro, famous for its production of port, which is a cool, sweet, red dessert wine that is only made in Portugal. But if you’re not a fan of red wine, there’s also vihno verde, which translates to “green wine” and is historically produced in the northern Minho province. If you’re a college student interested in wine production, spending your summer on a study abroad program in Portugal is a great way to gain exposure to the industry and culture! 

Looking for an excuse to spend summer in Portugal? Here’s one: study abroad!

If you have your eyes set on Portugal as your summer study abroad destination, you’re in luck! AIFS Abroad offers programs in the capital city of Lisbon. With inclusions such as tuition, housing, insurance, excursions and activities, on-site staff, and emergency support, you’ll have a stress-free global education experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in Portuguese life and culture while earning college credits in between spring and fall semester. Are you ready?

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